One Thousand Scents

Monday, June 06, 2011

Drink Up: Gres Cabaret Shower Gel

Even though I am on a self-imposed moratorium and am trying manfully not to buy any scents in 2011 (I will probably fail before the year is up), I have given myself a little bit of wiggle room: any bottle of fragrance that I buy is going to be around for a long, long time, given how many bottles I own, but shower gel gets used up at a pretty fast clip, so I can judiciously buy that, if I really must.

I was at Winners the other day, the Canadian version of TJ Maxx, and in the soaps-and-lotions section they had four boxes of Cabaret shower gel by Gres. They were all sealed, so I couldn't test one, but I vaguely remembered having smelled it when it was launched in 2003, and thought I recalled a lush, seducey oriental; a bargain at $5.99, so I talked myself into buying one.

As it turns out, Cabaret is not an oriental at all, or at least the shower gel isn't; it's a crisp, brilliant citrus rose with a vague, almost subliminal wood note underneath. There is certain to be more going on in the eau de parfum, but the shower gel is simple, stripped down, and immodestly cheerful; just lemons and roses, and lots of both. It is also very big; probably best not to use this one at the gym, because it is highly perfumed and very, very diffusive, although very little of the scent clings to the skin after towelling off, and what remains doesn't last long.

The box is splendid: festive red and gold in a sawtooth pattern laid transparently over an iridescent metallic. The bottle, unfortunately, is cheap; a mere tube, with a pleasant-enough matte finish, capped with a cheap, trinkety gold-plastic screw-on cap, which is maddeningly inefficient — unscrew the cap, and then what? You have to set down the cap somewhere in order to squeeze out the contents, and then you have to set down the tube somewhere to use the product, and it's a tube, so it's teetery and hard to balance. Very poorly thought out.

But the gel itself is a real surprise; that's where most if not all of the thought went in this product. It's a pale, translucent apricot colour, bejewelled with tiny iridescent particles of shimmer and studded throughout with little spheres in white and gold, also iridescent. These globes aren't full of moisturizer or whatever such things are usually loaded with; they're solid (but easily crushed) clumps of that same shimmer that the gel is laced with. After pouring it into my hand and examining it for a minute, I finally realized what the total effect was meant to be; it's champagne. And of course it is; what else would you be drinking at a festive cabaret?



  • I LOVE Cabaret! And I was also sucked into the fragrance by first getting the shower gel at the
    local TJ MAXX. It's very much a Chypre and the
    EDP that I eventually got has a touch of leather
    that the shower gel doesn't reveal. It's beautiful!
    You may have to "cave" on the 2011 purchases &
    get a bottle. At least a mini. It's SO worth it!!
    And who doesn't like a cheap fix?

    By Blogger Melissa, at 3:39 PM  

  • I just got a bottle of the perfume in a swap and I think it's great. I never would have asked for it in the swap had I not read this, so thanks!

    By Blogger Existentialist, at 9:05 PM  

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