Perfume Review: Serge Lutens Cuir Mauresque
Serge Lutens line of fragrances, both export and exclusive, is the one that agrees with my skin chemistry the most. I had incredible luck with his scents; out of over thirty pefumes in his line, I dislike only one and am a little ambivalent about four or five. Cuir Mauresque used to fall into that second category of scents I just could not quite “understand” and truly love. I am not sure what unfortunate foible of my skin chemistry made me unable to fully appreciate this wonderful scent and see it for what it is, a complex, dark, warm, infinitely enjoyable leather fragrance quite unlike any other. I am glad that the cloud lifted. Cuir Mauresque is now one of my favorite Lutens scents and is undoubtedly full bell jar worthy.
Along with Muscs Koublai Khan, I consider this to be one of Lutens’s most sensual, most seductive scents. Cuir Mauresque makes my mouth dry and my knees week. From the slap of pure unadulterated leather in the beginning to the warm, gentle caress of cinnamon and orange blossom at the middle stage, to the wonderful dark, ambery, leathery embrace of the drydown, Cuir Mauresque charmed, enamoured and enslaved me. This being a Lutens scent, it goes almost without mention that the woody accord of cedar and aloe wood (agarwood, the source of ouds) is executed in the most exquisite way; the wood here serves only as a background, but what a luscious, almost sweet background it is! I also adore the way a musk note is woven into the rich tapestry of the composition; even though never too evident, it is there at every stage of the development, adding the raw, animalistic accord that makes the blend all the more irresistible to me. I must also note that the drydown of Cuir Mauresque has a dim, buttery and very slightly powdery quality that I can’t help but compare to Guerlain’s renowned base.
Cuir Mauresque is a part of the non-export collection and is unfortunately only available at Les Salons du Palais Royal in Paris, where a much coveted bell jar retails for €100.00 for 75ml.
*The photo is from sebastien-alain.com.