Perfume Review: Classique Cabaret by Jean Paul Gaultier


The great thing about packaging your flagship fragrance in the shape of a couture-clad torso is that you can redress it again, again, and again, leaving lots of room for many exciting limited editions. The possibilities are endless and it’s true, Jean Paul Gaultier’s Classique has a vast wardrobe (one that many a supermodel would envy) packed to the brim with corsets and gowns, each of which has been fashioned from the imagination of a game-changing, rockstar of a fashion designer: the cheeky yet supremely talented Jean Paul Gaultier.

For 2019, Classique once again has a new outfit and this time, a new scent to match too. Classique Cabaret is the latest limited edition to launch in the Classique canon and aside from the original, which I love, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this is the best version yet. Inspired by the cabarets of the 1940s, Classique Cabaret is a light-hearted and liberated fragrance that just wants to have fun. The glitzy-red dress wearing Classique Cabaret blends the signature orange flower of Classique with electric ginger and sensual amber, putting together quite the olfactory show. So roll-up, roll-up, take your seats and get ready for the smelliest show in town: the Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Cabaret!

Welcome, welcome to the cabaret where humour and lightness are king. And inhale only the scent of liberty, a scent that you won’t forget


The Notes

Ginger, Orange Flower, Amber, and Vanilla

How Does it Smell?

The ginger interplay in the lively opening of Classique Cabaret is complex and intriguing. Initially, one gets a hot flash of fresh ginger – an almost soapy splash of refreshment that hints at the static excitement of the theatre, when the lights go down and the curtains open. Then things go gourmand and that wonderfully revitalising ginger note turns sweet, evoking candied ginger pieces and ginger biscuits. This all makes for a bold and exciting opening that stands out as something entirely unique, modernising the plush, retro powder that is the Classique signature.

Accompanying the ginger is a vibrant dose of orange flower and it is utterly glorious. The fresher, neroli-leaning aspects and citrus facets of the orange flower click in to place right next to the refreshing nuances of the ginger, whilst the sweeter, tropical flower aspects do the same, melting into the candied warmth of the ginger. They go together perfectly – creating a bold, and dare I say provocative, performance that is warm, intimate and floral. It makes me want to have ginger and orange blossom everything all of the time.


Now Classique was a boudoir fragrance which dried down to a modern interpretation of the amber-vanilla of opulent orientals such as Shalimar, so it stands to reason that Classique Cabaret’s dry down is a rich and enveloping blend of vanilla and amber that boosts the intensity of the fragrance’s floral character, twisting it into something tropical, delectable, and slightly erotic. Rather than evoking the cosmetic powder of Classique though, Cabaret has a glossy, waxy sheen in the base that speaks of more risqué outfits than the rouge glittering dress the fragrance wears – perhaps a PVC bodysuit? This is the cabaret after all…

Out of all of the things I’ve smelled so far this year, Classique Cabaret is my favourite. Yes, it’s only February, but still Cabaret has made quite an impact! It promised a “rip-roaring time” and do you know what? It delivers – big time! If I was being shady, I would say that this is the juice that Gaultier should have put inside the bottle for Scandal, instead of the lacklustre floral-honey blend that ended up beneath those splayed golden legs. But I’m going to be a nice blogger and say that is a truly great piece of work that reminds me of the more exciting fragrances that Gaultier used to launch – things like Fleur du Mâle and Ma Dame. All that is left for me to do is make a plea to our beloved designer: please can we keep this as a permanent edition?

Please, M. Gaultier? I’m asking very nicely…



Classique Cabaret is a limited edition, available in 100ml Eau de Parfum for £88.


Sample (pictured) sent by Jean Paul Gaultier for consideration. I was not paid for this review and Jean Paul Gaultier had no input in the contents of this article. Notes and quotes via Jean Paul Gaultier. Images are my own.