Chabaud Lait Concentré review first published in Cafleurebon.
Few things are so charged with meaning, symbolism, and emotional triggers as milk. From the pastoral societies that still rely on milk as their main food to the western advertising-turned-pop-culture of “Got Milk?” the life-giving liquid is a part of our daily life and we are not ready to be weaned off it.
A gene mutation that originated in Europe 7500 years ago (named 13910T) is the one responsible for allowing the human body to digest milk far beyond infancy, into adulthood – and we are the only mammals to have acquired this ability. The interesting part is that this gene has mutated and evolved differently in separate areas of the world and there is a fun linguistic element that separates this: the milk, melk, milch, mjolk of the north (where lactose intolerance cases are statistically fewer) vs the lait, leche, latte, leite or lapte of the south (where milk is mainly consumed as a processed product).
Milk is that one food that is given to us, it’s not found, harvested or manufactured, so it has always been the perfect offering for the Gods, the fluid that symbolizes eternal life, motherly protection, abundance, vitality.
On a more practical and less symbolic level, milk remains a comfort food, the kind of treat you indulge in at midnight, half-awake in front of the fridge, gulping down a guilty sweet and dense snack. (Disclaimer: the morning ritual of cereal & milk combo is not that popular with grownups in Eastern Europe so milk is more linked to the sacred nightly ritual of the Nutella jar & the midnight cookies). And in these days, when more than ever, we crave a safe mental space to deal with the “new reality” around us, the quickest coping mechanism is retreating to the carefree memories of childhood and the fluffy safety cocoon we can hide in.
Enter the simple but not at all simplistic milky gourmand joys: Lait Concentré (Concentrated Milk), Lait de Biscuit (Cookie Milk), Lait de Vanille (Vanilla milk), and Lait et chocolat (Chocolate Milk) from Chabaud Maison de Parfum (a family-owned niche perfume brand from Montpellier, specialized in the production of luxury perfumes and interior fragrances and candles).
I was never the “cocktail-with-umbrella” kind, having always liked my vices straight up: my wine red and dry, my chocolate dark, my tobacco unflavored (back when I smoked), and my milk… well, condensed and sweet.
What you see (on the label) is what you get: a childhood memory wrapped up in a delicious and creamy milky gourmand bubble that smells exactly like a cup of freshly-out-of-the-microwave warm and sweet concentrated milk.
Don’t think of a sticky overly sweet heavy gourmand, this perfume is light, transparent, and feels natural and hyper-realistic on the skin. After the deliciousness of the buttery start, a tart and fresh note of coconut adds nuance to the elegant minimalism of the white-on-white olfactive décor. A homemade caramel, made from brown bio-eco sugar comes into play with warm hues, for contrast.
Lait Concentré is the kind of fragrance that feels like looking at an album of overexposed light-filled pictures from your childhood. Close your eyes, inhale, and go back to your grandma’s house, kitchen table full of homemade sweets, heart full of love. We all have our version of the “penguin caves” (remember this scene from Fight Club?) Mine happens to smell of sweet milk and pastel cookies.
Lait Concentré by Chabaud Maison de Parfumwas launched in 2014, and the nose is Sophie Chabaud.
Notes: milk; coconut; caramel.
Disclosure: Sample kindly provided by Chabaud Maison de Parfum, opinions are my own
If you like Chabaud Lait Concentre, also try Lolita Lempika