Feast for a nose, Parfum d’Empire Cuir Ottoman

Perfume rarely speak to me but this certain one did and it was so loud I couldn’t resist temptation. I didn’t even try – off to the boutique I went and bought a bottle. It was my last purchase of 2012.

Fragrance that I’m talking about is Parfum d’Empire Cuir Ottoman. To be honest with you I will confess that I’ve never been much into leather perfume earlier. Year of 2012 was quite crucial for me in terms of blogging and perfume discoveries so I decided to be a little bit braver and try some perfume notes I classified as risky for me. This case shows taking risks pays-off sometimes.

Cuir Ottoman is a oriental floral fragrance which had its launch back in 2006. Of course it was mastered by Marc-Antoine Corticchiato, perfumer and a house founder. This scent is inspired by the erotism and mystery of Ottoman Empire of the East. It’s an olfactive journey to Anatolia region.

In its opening Parfum d’Empire Cuir Ottoman is a strong, pungent leather with a kick. Right after spraying it on skin the fragrance almost explodes with powerful leathery molecules. The smell reminds of burnt leather with a strong plastic vibe to it. Initially it may put you off but if you’re patient your waiting will be rewarder. After 10-15 minutes that strange plastic feeling goes away leaving you with a magnificent aroma of pure and natural smelling leather. It reminds me of old leather couch.

Cuir Ottoman continues to have that dense feeling for quite a long time but after some time it becomes smoother. Iris gives it a proper dose of elegance and sophistication with slightly powdery finish while tolu balm combined with benzoin create oriental, sweet and spicy aura around you. Incense, though not very powderful here, introduces more smoky and spiritual quality to the scent.

Few hours later in its late drydown Cuir Ottoman shows off its tranquil side. Hint of egyptian jasmine gives a little bit of lush and floral attribute. On my skin it’s also deliciously sweet thanks to vanilla and styrax. Delicate spicy tones in the drydown come from tonka bean. I’m not sure of it but in my opinion there are also some sweet raisins. I didn’t notice labdanum in this Parfum d’Empire but it’s not really a problem for me. There was already enough to enjoy in this perfume, so no complaints.

Parfum d’Empire Cuir Ottoman is a scent for woman and man. I’ve met different opinions about if it’s more suitable for males or females. To me it’s really unisex but it’s opening makes me say it’s a little bit more masculine. I imagine that some people might find Cuir Ottoman too strong and straightforward. I’ve got a tip for you – dab it instead of spraying. I noticed that spraying releases the leather in it’s full power while dabbing makes leather to be more well-behaved and promotes stronger powdery aspect of iris. Isn’t it intriguing how different applying techniques influence the fragrance?

Sexy, charming, seductive, a little bit edgy and lush are probably the best words to describe Cuir Ottoman. It’s very unusual and pretty leather. Quality of the fragrance ingredients is top notch, only the best essences landed in it. Sillage is quite powerful, turning lighter after time. It’s lasting power is excellent – I could smell the scent after 10 hours! Parfum d’Empire Cuir Ottoman is available in 50 and 100ml bottles, eau de parfum concentrated.

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30 thoughts on “Feast for a nose, Parfum d’Empire Cuir Ottoman

  1. Kevin says:

    Heh, my guess was right! Great review! I love this scent too. I don’t get the off-putting opening you do, but it doesn’t surprise me other people might. I got the same thing in Knize Ten/Knize Ten Golden, except that on me that opening stayed there the whole time. This might be my favorite leather, or at least tied with Cuir de Russie.

    Very interesting note on dabbing v. spraying. I’ve never given much thought to it, but I think you might be right!

    • lucasai says:

      Yes Kevin, you guessed it 100% right. I would give you a reward if I had a brand cooperating with my blog.
      I don’t get the off-putting sensation but I know some do that’s why I mentioned it.
      Yes, same here. Favourite along with Cuir de Russie. I made this dabbing vs spraying notice immediately since before I bought a bottle I had a dabber sample and they smelled differently

    • Kevin says:

      Actually, on second thought, I *do* smell the opening you mentioned (your review inspired me to dig out my sample and try it again for the first time in probably 6-8 weeks), but it’s still fairly faint for me. But I still enjoy this one just as much as I remember. It’s such a luscious, well-done leather.

  2. I’m not a huge fan of leathers, but this really is lovely. The powdery iris takes away the bite of the leather for me and turns it into a lamb.

  3. hajusuuri says:

    Lovely review, Lucas! I will try my sample this week and report back. I have tried Cuir de Russie and it just did not work for me.

  4. laniersmith says:

    Oh like an old leather couch! I could sleep in this. I love a good leather perfume and this sounds perfect for me. Great review!

  5. Kafkaesque says:

    Ah, your beloved Cuir Ottoman. You and Kevin should definitely be spokesmen for this fragrance as you both love it so much and describe it so well. 😉 The dry-down sounds lovely and I’m rather a fan of a boozy, rum raisin note, so I have this on my list of perfumes to try. Lucas, very nice review.

    • lucasai says:

      Yeah, my beloved, a second bottle from Parfum d’Empire in my collection.
      I could become a spokesperson for Parfum d’Empire. What do you say Marc-Antoine Corticchiato? Do I get a job?
      I’m looking forward to read your impressions of Cuir Ottoman in the future.

  6. Dionne says:

    Lucas, as you know I’m also a member of the Cuir Ottoman fan-club. Love this in all its stages: that first initial blast, the softening once the iris kicks in, that incense-y drydown….. Mmmm. On my skin this is very feminine, and makes The Engineer get all nuzzly. Small surprise a full bottle is in my collection, too. 😉

  7. Undina says:

    Great review, Lucas!

    I like Cuir Ottoman and have a bottle to prove it 😉 though I still prefer it on my vSO – I do think it’s a little more into the masculine territory. But if I haven’t had my own walking deffuser for this perfume I would have worn it more often myself.

  8. hajusuuri says:

    Hello dear — I tried this today, I like it but not enough for a FB. I will give it a few more tries!

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