Perfume Review: Lancome Cuir (La Collection re-issue)
From Révolte to Cuir to Cuir re-release, the devolution of one scent illustrates the downhill trajectory of Lancôme's develoment in the sphere of perfume and, I will say this at the danger of sounding too dramatic and making too sweeping a generalization, the trajectory of the whole perfumery.
The new Cuir is not a bad scent - not at all! - in fact, it is very attractive. Those happily unfamiliar with the old version, will rejoice at the fact that Lancôme released a perfume that is not a fruity floral and not another version of Miracle (which is to say, not a fruity floral). Those who, like me, were corrupted by the dark, dirty, sinful beauty of the original Cuir, will find Cuir No 2 lacking ...lacking character, lacking intensity, and above all lacking cuir. There is certainly some leather there but it is buried under a heap of sweet citruses and powdery flowers. The beginning is pleasant, with mandarin adding a candied aspect to the leather accord; the floral heart is very elegant ...but such an emphasis on other ingredients obscures the title note and gives the fragrance an air of dainty femininity. With its powdery softness, the new Cuir is closer to Rykiel Woman Not For Men or even Cuir Beluga than to the 1939 original. Whereas the original Cuir was a barbarian who almost couldn't be bothered to appear refined, the new one is well-mannered, demure, and awfully embarrassed by its disreputable predecessor.
When, a couple of months ago, I inquired about the arrival of the re-released Cuir to the States, the ever-knowledgeable customer service officials at lancome.com told me that the fragrance named Cuir is not being released. Smelling it now makes me wish they were right. It also makes me wish that Lanvin never attempts a re-issue of Scandal. Let the dead stay honorably dead rather that resuscitating them into politically correct shadows of their former striking selves.
According to osmoz, Cuir is available in select stores only; more information on its availability can probably be obtained from Institut Lancôme, tel : +33 (0)1 42 65 30 74, but I frankly am not moved enough to make an effort.
Image sourse, osmoz.com.