Italian Ganache – Café Chantant Nobile 1942

Normally I don’t care to copy the marketing blurb here, however the text for Nobile 1942’s Café Chantant, is really rather delightful; ‘A cheerful buzz, burns of laughter, ladies in stunning evening gowns whose chypre perfumes are blended with gentlemen’s tobacco, ready to enjoy the show from their table in the front row. No matter what is their social status. The enjoyment of the pleasure, a genuine joie de vivre towards the end of the nineteenth century, following a wave of optimism, regenerating the great European capitals.’ Indeed it was delightful enough to go in search of the chantant #4

If, after reading this, you’re looking for a gourmand-chypre, this one isn’t as sophisticated as that, it also isn’t reminiscent of times gone by seen from a perfumed perspective, it is also a far cry from the ‘back-stage velvet robes, powder-puffs and fur boas’ of HdP’s Moulin Rouge- this is really a gourmand the Italian way, and it’s a rather fine one.

I like the Nobile 1942 line; I think they have done some nice fragrances, which manage to stay true to their Italian origin, being more flamboyant than the typical French style, while at the same time being quite classical in their compositions.

The name is taken from the ‘singing cafés’ of the belle époque, an environment as described above, so although you’d assume they do drink coffee in these cafés, this isn’t a perfume created around a coffee note. Rather Café Chantant starts out very almondy and with a whiff of a doll-head-note, that combination of vanillin and heliotrope. When I think of the belle époque, I also think stylized drawings and posters of women with big dolls eyes, so this imagery works for me.

cafe chantant #3A hint of cherry evokes the smoke of pipe tobacco hanging in the crowded room. Although I never get a coffee note per Se, I do smell a mix of anise, working its way into a dark liquorice molasses, and combined with an entirely patchophobe-friendly patchouli and laurels, this somehow manages together with the heliotrope to smell like a rather gorgeous coffee hazelnut blend or perhaps you should care for an Italian Gianduja with your espresso, per favore?

On my skin Café Chantant stays cuddly, a darkish gourmand rounded by a bit of buttery iris, however, on the scent strip I do get a bit of that chypre mentioned, it’s like that liquorice- patch combination goes a bit more dark emerald green, rather than the dark cherry red and ganache layered cake I get on skin.

A good old-fashioned Italian song, sung by a famous Italian tenor, would be the right sound track to end this post with; so for those who care for it here’s a link to the beautiful song ‘Non ti scordar di me’ as sung in the 1935 film (by the same name) by Beniamino Gigli.


*the pics are mine.

15 thoughts on “Italian Ganache – Café Chantant Nobile 1942

  1. Wow! This sounds incredible actually. 🙂
    Any you are absolutely right, that description of the perfume is rather well done. As it seems the perfume is too.
    I also like the Nobile line a lot, I think they did some good things that I wouldn’t mind owning.

    • I’m glad you think so, and yes, I think you’d like it. It isn’t a warm weather fragrance of course, but we had a day when the weather turned completely, it was grey and cold, and Cafe Chantant was so cosy to wear.

  2. This may not be my cup of tea (no almond or anise for me, thanks!) but I loved reading your post. The belle epoque enthralls me and I enjoyed reading about the “singing cafes” and your thoughts on Nobile 1942.

    Now I really want to try Moulin Rouge… 🙂

    • What? You haven’t tried Moulin Rouge? You have to, I think it is gorgeous, and it might just be your kind of iris… I have still to actually get a bottle though. As for the anis in Café Chantant, it really isn’t that prominent, but the heliotrope is, so I can see that this one probably isn’t for you. I was happy to find a gourmand-ish fragrance that I like, they tend to be not really for me 🙂

      • I’m so annoyed, I could have tried it at Roullier White!

        Oh well, I’ll defnitely get to it at some point. I’d love one of those half-bottles.

        • The half bottles are such clever design, just beautiful. As for annoying; every time I decided to finally get Moulin Rouge, when travelling, they didn’t have the half bottle :-/

  3. Asali, the artwork that you did for this post is incredible!!! Really gorgeous, really fitting of your description of the perfume.

    I can’t say that I’m going to seek out this perfume (even though it sounds elegantly delicious … just too many perfumes, too little time); still, I very much enjoyed your painterly and verbal descriptions of it.

    • Thank you, Suzanne 🙂 I’m so happy you like it. It was fun doing, although, a bit like with writing, afterwards you see all the things you’d have done differently.
      ‘Too many perfumes, too little time’- so true, you know, we actually had a sniff at it in Rome, or at least I did. But I think it does require colder weather to properly enjoy it.

  4. Who cares about perfume?! The artwork!!! Wow… I mean, it’s impressive: both the review and illustrations are just gorgeous! I know at least several people who can describe the perfume that is definitely “not me” the way that I want to run and test it. But, in addition to that (yes, I will be seeking this perfume) with your images you made me want to like it. You are so talented!

    • Dear Undina, I couldn’t answer straight away, it needed to sink in first as I was simply too overwhelmed by your comment. Thank you so much, you have no idea how much it meant to me.

  5. Seconding the others’ comments about your terrific illustrations – they are so graceful and sinuously elegant – perfectly capturing the period atmosphere.

    Sabine gave me a sample of this and I remember liking it very much. Can’t recall the specifics too well, other than to say I did agree with S’s assessment that it was rather in black forest gateau territory. I don’t like coffee, but that didn’t bother me – or I didn’t smell it too much. Your description of Cafe Chantant as a ‘cuddly, darkish gourmand’ definitely chimes with my hazy memory!

    • Thank you so much Vanessa, it’s good to hear that it’s something you enjoy, as I do have fun doing. Black Forest Gateau is a nice description, although for me it’s not quite that. But perhaps that’s because I’m not crazy about BFG 😉

  6. I am still floored by your artistic talent, Asali. Singing, writing *and* drawing? This drawing is so good. You act as if you just threw it together, but it is really awesome – publishable, saleable, etc.

    As for the perfume, I guess I shall have to try it. 🙂

    • I am so happy that you think so, that truly means a lot to me, and it makes me happy how much you all seem to appreciate me doing these hobby-illustrations. There’s always this nagging self-doubt that it might be a bit silly, but I do so enjoy it, and when it’s so well received, well, that just puts a HUGE smile on my face.

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