Going to the perfumery fair like Esxence and meeting different kinds of people makes you realize that those, who are involved in fragrance industry, be them perfumers, brand founders, bloggers or connoisseurs, they all share similar sense of aestetics. Same emotions awaken inside of them each time they try a new perfume. And when it comes to recognizing beauty, everyone has some brands that work better for them. I discovered Le Galion just a year ago but I quickly fell in love with this historical perfume brand founded in 1930. Le Galion style and my style are similar.
If you’ve been following my writing for a while you know how deeply in love I am with Le Galion Iris. During my recent visit to Milan, I was introduced by Nicholas Chabot, to a new creation – Cuir. Funny story about this note is that in my early perfumista days I really disliked it but as my knowledge grew bigger and my tastes started to broaden, I developed a real fondness towards leather in perfume. Which is why I had a spark of excitement in my eyes while trying it.
For me Le Galion Cuir is a perfume of surprise. When I spray a little bit of it on my skin, the first thing I can smell is this extremely dry aroma that I believe is vetiver. Not listed anywhere I detect this specific vibe that is a marriage of both earthy and woody/rooty elements. After a few minutes the perfume starts to vibrate when it gains a piquant and spicy facet. It smells warm, dry and a bit pungent. To me it’s black pepper but what it really is, I don’t know. Pepper is not mentioned as well.
After around 20 minutes comes the leather accord. It’s bold, pungent and black. If you were expecting a fragrance that imitates leather gloves or an exclusive bag, with soft and kind of plushy effect, you won’t find it here. Cuir is intensive and powerful and it definitely has more masculine vibe to it. To me the best way to describe how it smells is to ask you to imagine an expensive pair of black leather shoes. You can smell leather, some pigments, tannins and waxes used to obtain a glossy surface. It’s more animalic leather, more daring and more provoking leather.
If you like leathery fragrances you probably know that note of leather doesn’t occur in perfumer palette. It is created with different accords supporting each other. In Le Galion Cuir the perfumer used elemi resin which gives more balsamic feeling after some time. I forgot to mention that before leather appears there is a short yet brisky shot of bergamot. Continuing previous thought, later on Cuir unveils an accord of sandalwood. With what is offered on the market we got used to smooth and creamy interpretation of this precious wood. And here again Le Galion offers something different.
Sandalwood in this creation is a substantial piece of wood as it was created by Mother Nature. In Cuir by Le Galion richness of the woods meets with cracks and splinters. It’s a raw wood. But there is nothing wrong in that. It’s pretty. As the time passes I observe that the composition becomes more toned down – it never becomes quiet but it settles on skin. Ambergris adds a mineral feeling with a salty undertone. A bit longer and it softens the whole perfume. Musk brings back some of animalic elements introduced earlier in this blend. Animalic for this perfume doesn’t mean something you should be afraid of. For me it’s a different way to say that it’s sexy in specific way.
Drydown of this perfume is its softest part. There is some white lily that brings delicate floral whispers to the foreground as well as there is something creamy and tad milky about this note. I find it to be a great ending to what I believe is a great perfume. I’m going to befriend Le Galion Cuir because this perfume makes me feel like I was riding in an exclusive limousine with leather seats and drinking champagne as chauffeur drives me to some important party. As I wrote earlier, to me it’s more masculine but I encourage women to try it. This might be a true aphrodisiac.
Cuir is a fragrance in eau de parfum concentration which was created by perfumer Vanina Muracciole. This composition is characterised by fantastic sillage and longevity is just as good. On me it easily lasted through the day. It will appear on the market later this year and will be presented in signature 100ml faceted column bottle, as seen on the photo above. Le Galion Cuir might not be the best perfume to start exploring leathers with but it’s definitely the one that deserves to be known.