Leather is one of the more interesting accords that are used in perfumery. When I first entered the amazing world of fragrances I didn’t like it, but as I was acquainted with more and more scents I grew to really enjoy this note. To say more, I’ve been on a leathery kick lately, trying to discover new leather compositions that would suit me well. What I love about leather chord is that depending on the perfumer and the use of other notes that accompany it, these perfumes can be either bold, almost harsh, or they can be very soft and gentle. There are also fragrances that manage to harmonize these two aspects in 1 bottle of perfume which takes us to my latest discovery.
The perfume that I recently found is Cuir X from La Parfumerie Moderne. This is one of the newer perfume brands established in 2013 by Philippe Neirinck, a son of hoteliers who spent many of his vacations in La Touquet, a resort village in south of France where aristocrats and rich were traveling on holidays. One time his family stayed in an empty palace that once was a hotel. While adults had their ways to entertain themselves, the children were playing around at empty hotel corridors. In one of the suits young Philippe found a vial of perfume – it amused him, the scent was like nothing else he knew. That discovery led him to founding his own perfume brand as an adult.
For the initial 10 to 15 minutes Cuir X is a very bold and powerful fragrance. The leather accord is presented immediately and straight in your face without any warning. Dark and dense aroma fill your nose with heavy, slightly plastic impressions. This hefty dose of leather is very potent and has a lot of substance to it. For sure this is a heavy and black leather jacket rather than light and thin leather used to produce gloves. Leathery molecules in this La Parfumerie Moderne creation are also filled with animalic and carnal properties, quickly bringing to my mind the vision of fur-coats and their specific smell. That’s how Cuir X smells at first. But you don’t judge the book by the cover and you can’t judge the perfume by just one whiff. Right?
After a while the fragrance starts to change. Leather becomes less heavy and dense, however it still keeps a good substance. The composition of Cuir X warms up when the note of amber joins the composition. It brings more light and sparkle to this initially dark perfume. Amber has a resinous and even slightly woody smell here and it blends really nicely with the leather note. There is power in this perfume and as the time flies, more sensuality can be discovered behind these perfume ingredients. After some time amber becomes a tad sweeter and inviting, creating the aura of comfort.
The next accord that appears on my skin is labdanum. It turns La Parfumerie Moderne Cuir X into something more smoky and darker again but the proportions are so well-determined that labdanum never covers the inner light of amber in this composition. Now is the phase when this perfume smells the most animalic. Leather, labdanum and amber create such a complex concoction that at some point it’s hard to separate them. The aroma is mysterious, alluring, dangerous yet enchanting. It’s like a combination of fur, dirty musk and resins. After this climax Cuir X becomes much softer.
Oriental aspects of aromatic saffron peek through the structure of Cuir X, treating you to the amazing and rich aroma of bright red color, it goes right up your sinuses. The gentle and bit dark sweetness of vanilla seamlessly blends in this fantastic creation, making it more playful and more versatile in use. There’s also a bunch of tonka beans enhancing the sparkling spiciness of saffron and also adding a bit of their own creamy spiciness. Leather is still the star of this composition but it became soft and sensual so that it rather brings the feeling of suede now. Another great thing about this La Parfumerie Moderne scent is that it lasts for many hours, slowly changing the way it smells.
After around 6 hours here comes the time to experience the drydown of this scent. We have some beautiful iris here – it emanates the aroma that is earthy and rooty for a while but then – boom – it brings the most refined, delicate and sophisticated powdery tones. At this point Cuir X reminds of my favorite leather fragrance which is Parfum d’Empire Cuir Ottoman. These 2 compositions share some similarities. They’re not identical but are made in the same style. This shouldn’t be a shock or surprise for you, especially when you find out that Cuir X was created by Marc-Antoine Corticchiato.
Cuir X by La Parfumerie Moderne is a perfume that could serve as an impersonation of domesticated tiger. At first it doesn’t recognize you and shows you his sharp teeth, that is the bold part of the scent. When you get few steps closer the tiger recognizes your voice and your face and comes to you to cuddle and he purrs like a small kitten while doing so, that’s the soft stage of this scent. Cuir X lasts for around 10 hours and goes from strong and bold to gentle and close to the skin sillage. It’s available in 100ml bottle made of red/brown colored glass.
[note] pictures come from the press and from WhatMenShouldSmellLike.com