Perfume Review: Lancome Cuir
Thanks to incredible generosity of a fellow perfume addict (the one responsible for my obsession with Djedi and Kolnisch Juchten; she knows who she is!), I got to sample a long-gone perfume, Cuir by Lancôme. The fragrance was first launched in 1936 as Révolte; the name was considered too confrontational and the scent was re-released in 1939 as Cuir. Whether the perfume was toned down a little as well, we will perhaps never know. It is difficult to come upon a bottle of Cuir with at least some fragrance remaining (and remaining in more or less smell-able condition), finding Révolte seems practically impossible.
In any case, to my nose, which the modern perfume industry is trying hard not to offend by issuing politically correct, neutral, dull fragrances, Cuir smells wonderfully uncivilized, feral even. It is one of those scents that, along with Muscs Koublai Khan, Yatagan and Kolnisch Juchten, taps into a barbarian streak I apparently have hidden somewhere deep inside me. It makes me feel …dangerous and sexy as all get out. Admittedly, the perfume I am smelling is old, so the animalic undertone, that smell of a lustful predator on a prowl, may be a side effect of the aging process of the scent and not what Lancôme originally intended. If that is so, praise be to the age of Cuir! The fragrance starts sweet, vaguely fruity even, making me think of ripe red roses and peaches. Almost immediately, the scent becomes more powdery and dry, and the leather appears on the scene. It does not have the birch tar smokiness of Russian leathers that I love so much, but it does have something just as attractive, a certain musky, sweaty, dirty aspect that appears somewhere in the middle of the scent’s development and lasts well into the drydown. Moon_fish is absolutely right, when he points out in his article on Cuir that this smell would befit Marquis de Sade’s characters. Under the quickly shed appearance of refinement, there is something depraved about this fragrance…
To be worn to secret gatherings involving planning a révolte or/and having an orgy or to the Satan’s ball as depicted in Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita.
The ad is from Okadi.com. The painting is Sin by Franz von Shruck.