Some of our perfume discoveries are simply driven by fate or some other higher force. That is the case for me and Evody Parfums. I haven’t heard of this niche brand until March 2014, when at Esxence Anais Biguine of Jardins d’Ecrivains introduced me to her friend, whose stand was just w few meters away. That’s how I stumbled upon Cerine Vasseur and Regine Droin – daughter & mother who combined their passion for scents, giving birth to a fragrance line and called it EVODY.
In a few years the collection grew up to 8 fragrance compositions, each focusing on a different materials and smells. As Cerine guided me through all the perfumes I quickly realized that the seventh blend I was given to try is my favourite one and it felt very “me” on the paper, so I decided to wear it on skin as well, since I had a free spot on my arm to use. The name was Cuir Blanc.
The opening of Cuir Blanc gives a sharp alcoholic vibe before the alcohol evaporates completely. I guess I was to greedy to smell it and didn’t wait long enough for ethanol to float away. As soon as it dries on your skin the perfume story begins. Just as the name suggests this is a leathery perfume and leather is the first accord that unveils upon application. It is this lovely kind of leather which smells very delicate, soft, thin and a little bit fluffy. It’s more like the high quality suede, perfect to make fitted gloves. It can embrace you in a luxurious feeling like you were wearing some haute couture garment.
The delicacy of the suede-leathery opening is counterparted with the note of saffron, which adds warmth and a lovely hint of spiciness, measured with perfection to complement the leather, not to overpower it. Evody Parfums Cuir Blanc is now very tender, sensual and also quite intimate in my opinion. After about an hour the perfume begins to build-up a powdery facet. There’s a solid dose of musk in this perfume – at the start it’s more powdery but as the progress is recorded it becomes more milky, slightly lactonic and creamy but in a light way, think – whipped cream.
Before I found out what notes create Cuir Blanc I already knew that iris is an important part of this perfume blend. Waiting for a reaction, Cerine confirmed that my nose was right smelling iris. The noble note of iris in this perfume has a few faces. At first it’s sheer powdery (but not talcy), kind of reminding me of Prada Infusion d’Iris but with less powderness to it. At some point iris turns more buttery and rooty with a noticeable earthy undertone to it. This part of the perfume lasts relatively long, 2-3 hours actually. What I really like about is that it continues to bring all those stronger ingredients in a very gentle way.
After having Cuir Blanc on my skin for four hours, came the moment when I got quite confused! You might ask why and I’ll tell you – I started smelling the lily of the valley accord. No kidding! I returned to Evody Parfums booth at Esxence to investigate the case. Cerine said this perfume doesn’t contain this note but when she smelled the perfume on my arm she nodded and said that she also gets the same vibe that I do. The next time I wanted to smell the fragrance on my skin, the surprising guest was not there anymore. What a relief! I really didn’t want lily of the valley here.
Further line explorations as reading the press release I received from Cerine I formed a theory that it was a violet leaf that somehow transformed to giving a lily-of-the-valley-like aroma in the company of other ingredients of Cuir Blanc. Continuing the review, later the perfume was pleasing me with a transparent and luminous amber accord which was slightly animalic but it also had a little vanilla and caramel feeling to it. There was also a bit of thyme which made the composition a little bit more herbal and even more entertaining. Suedy leather, powdery iris and sweet amber create a trio of the notes that last on your skin for the longest.
To many of you Cuir Blanc might seem to quiet, too polite but that’s exactly what is a trump of this fragrance. The brand manage to render as powerful ingredients as leather or saffron and present them to the public in their softened, sensualized form without making anything more simple. It’s true that Cuir Blanc is not very complicated but it has its own level of complexity. Those who want to understand it – they will understand it. I think the perfume is beautiful even though it’s evolution isn’t big and it stays rather linear but with best ingredients for me.
Evody Parfums Cuir Blanc is a part of Collection Biographique which reflects different stages of Cerine Vasseur life through fragrance. Cuir Blanc is a time of Cerine’s pregnancy which totally explains the gentle character of the perfume. The fragrance is available as 50 ml and 100 ml eau de parfum bottled in black glass flacons with white labels and a crown-like cap with a house logo embossed on top of it. The creator is Alexandra Monet with assistance of Cerine Vasseur. It launched in 2011.
[note] All pictures are my own, all rights reserved. A bottle of Cuir Blanc was a gift from Cerine Vasseur of Evody Parfums.