Shoe story bro, Parfums MDCI Cuir Garamante

I have to admit that I avoided fragrances from French niche line of Parfums MDCI for a long time. Mostly because of their higher price tag (not to mention even higher price if you wanted to buy a bottle with a bust sculpture cap.) Even though I appreciate high quality of ingredient this house is using in their compositions, something was holding me back from reviewing them. But I’ve been enjoying many new leathers lately and this is the one I just felt I should write about.

In 2013 Parfums MDCI has launched a leathery composition named Cuir Garamante. The structure of this composition begins with pungent yet not overly powerful leathery accord. Right from the start it smells dark and rich, with easy to notice balsamic qualities combined with characteristic aroma of tanned leather and black chemical dye. In the next couple of minutes leather becomes more dense and powerful on my skin, bringing more weight to the scent. Then it turns more earthy with the note of Cyperus esculentus – I had to google that name and it’s an earth almond and it belongs to sedge family. At 30 minutes mark something weird happens with Cuir Garamante.

The perfume develops this very specific, kind of chemical and unpleasantly pleasant vibe that is sticky, waxy nd greasy. When I smell it, it instantly gives me the association of black shoe polishing paste. The combination of pigment and natural waxes has its own odour that I actually like. Finding it in perfume is a bit unusual but it fits here, especially that from the start Cuir Garamante smelled to me like shoes leather. After some time the composition becomes softer. There is a wonderful, creamy woodiness coming from sandalwood (it also has some rough parts.)

At around 60 minutes mark some spicy elements start to emerge from the deeper parts of Cuir Garamante. Namely, there’s quite a lot of saffron. At first it’s dry and slightly powdery but when rose joins the composition, it transforms into this beautiful and delicious red saffron, making the rose petal to melt into this mouth-watering rose jam. You should know this feeling from perfumes such as L’Artisan Safran Troublant or Technique Indiscrete Safran Nobile. Those of you who are more sensitive to smoky note of incense will probably notice it. If you’re like and incense isn’t your best friend, you might ignore it or even don’t realize it appears in this MDCI scent.

As this perfume evolves, so does evolve the character of leather note in this composition. It starts off bold and dark. Gradually the color fades away, the edges become softer and in the drydown this leather is not leather anymore. It’s a very soft, fuzzy and cozy suede. It feels very warm and sophisticated, like an expensive accessory. In the drydown you will also find some vanilla – it adds more oriental style to Cuir Garamante, it also introduces suitable powdery touches.

More balsamic-smoky notes come later when labdanum appears close before the perfume will fade away. I find this note particularly comforting and pleasant. It somehow highlights fashion and style of those black and shiny leather shoes Cuir Garamante wears. Pink pepper adds a tad of piquancy at the end of the blend. Creation will last like that for around 2-3 more hours, whispering more and more quiet. Leather perfumes are often over the top. Parfums MDCI Cuir Garamante is classy and is more of a quiet perfume. Its style is smart.

I really enjoyed the time I spent wearing Cuir Garamante and I regret my sample is drenched to the last drop. This is a very stylish perfume of more masculine character and more suitable to pair it with official, smart clothes rather than casual ones. The perfume was composed by Richard Ibanez. This perfume is available in eau de parfum concentration. Bottle is 75ml.

[note] pictures found via press, pinterest and esquire

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14 thoughts on “Shoe story bro, Parfums MDCI Cuir Garamante

  1. rickyrebarco says:

    Great review, Lucas. This one sounds appealing and I love your shoe pictures. I adore men’s shoes, especially Italian ones- yum. They smell divine. I have a pair of women’s Bottega Veneta oxfords myself and I swoon when I’m putting them on. I have too many Italian shoes because I love them so much. Shoes, my other obsession….

    Back to the perfume!! I don’t think I would like the first hour of this MDCI, but the drydown sounds lovely. I love saffron notes and a great suede scent can be really divine. Penhaligon’s Iris Prima is a favorite of mine. It has a beautiful suede note along with the iris.

    • lucasai says:

      Thank you. Good leather shoes are a valuable thing. I have to say that I love leather shoes too (I always prefered more elegant than more sporty models) but I don’t have too many pairs yet.

      The drydown of Cuir Garamante is definitely much more pleasant than opening phase. Iris Prima from Penhaligon’s is lovely, but it doesn’t last long enough on my skin.

  2. rickyrebarco says:

    I forgot, I do own one MDCI, Rose Siwa. It is my perfect rose scent. I debated for a long time about buying it (even without the porcelain top, it’s expensive) but I’m glad I bought Rose Siwa, and I may buy another MDCI later on.

  3. Holly says:

    This one sounds fascinating as something to smell, but I doubt it would be something I would wear. I’d like to get a sniff, anyway! Great review, Lucas.

  4. Undina says:

    When I tried Cuir Garamante I liked it – which surprised me since it seems like this brand isn’t one of “my brands”: as much as I respect what they are doing there is only one perfume from the line that I wear (from decant). But this one smelled very pleasant, I need to give it another run.

  5. Flaconneur says:

    Enjoyed the read, lucasai but you can’t included photos of fantastic looking shoe and expect me not to become distracted.

  6. hajusuuri says:

    This is another one of my decants pirchased last hear and it is languishing in the decants pile. I don’t recall how it was on me but I will certainly haul it out to wear. Would you classify this as appropriate for cold weather?

    From this line, I also have a decant of Chypre Palatin which I love!

    • lucasai says:

      See, another perfume in common! Get back to me with your impressions after you give it a try again (at the weekend maybe?) Yes, I think Cuir Garamante is more suitable for a cold, winter weather.

      So you’re a lover of Chypre Palatin? Me too, if only it was cheaper.

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