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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mushrooms Haute Couture: DSH Cuir et Champignon

By Marina

Cuir et Champignon starts wonderfully dirty and ends amazingly elegant. There is an expression in Russian, iz gryazi da v knyazi (из грязи да в князи), from dirt to knezes, from rags to riches. In the case of Cuir et Champignon, it's not so much a tale of Cinderella marrying well. The composition transports the wearer from literal dirt of the forest floor into the most fashionable of homes. How about this...A wood nymph escapes to Paris and becomes a style icon, a muse to a famous couturier...

The graceful subtlety of the blend is rather unexpected in a perfume that is about leather and mushrooms. I imagined a scent very tarry and very dirty and wasn't prepared to meet instead this exquisite creature with cinched waist in a style of 1940s. Having said that, "subtle" in this case is more of a reflection of an elegant structure of the well-balanced composition, not of the intensity of the star notes. Lovers of leather will be satisfied with the accord's unmistakable presence, from start to finish of the development. Fans of earthy scents will be delighted to know that under the exquisite veneer the nymph is as wild as ever. Melusine had a serpent's tail; this one is hiding roots...

Mushroom-seekers like me (there are some out there, aren't there?) should be thrilled to smell quite a lot of cepes absolute alongside the leather. The pairing is genius. Mushrooms lend leather a vegetal instead of animalic undertone (although there is some of that too, with civet in the base), making it dirty in a new and unique way. And the leather turns raw and rustic mushrooms into a Perfume...and Haute Couture.

Available at Dawn Spencer Hurwitz's Parfum des Baux Arts and Indiescents, $22.00-$100.00, depending on the size.

Image source, Rodney Smith

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Blogger Flora said...

Interesting that you got a lot of leather from this - I got some, but on my skin the mushroom was really powerful. I know I amplify white floral notes, and since they seem to be kissing cousins to the earthy/meaty mushroom absolute, maybe that's why it's so dominant on me.

1:04 AM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

The literal translation from the Russian is 'from mud to princes' - the English equivalent is 'from rags (not rugs) to riches'

2:51 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this one. It is one of the few leather fragrances I can tolerate. DSH makes some amazingly creative scents. I love that they are daring, but always end up refined and elegant, no matter how wild the concept.
P.S. I love that image, it is perfect. :)

3:16 AM EST  
Blogger Ines said...

Wow! I have to say it's not like I imagined it - it's much better sounding. I have to try it soon. :)

6:43 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

That's a good theory! I wonder than what your skin will do with Cepes & Tuberose then!

7:08 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

thank you very much for pointing out the wrong letter! I do think it can be dirt or mud in the Russian proverb though as their are synonyms, and "dirt" suits my purposes better :)

7:10 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Very true. Often I read a description and think, oh, this might be too odd too wear. And inevitable, it turns out wearable.
Thank you for noticing the image! :)

7:11 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I did imagine uber leather and super dirt, and it is a very balanced, dare I say leaning towards traditional sort of chypre composition!

7:12 AM EST  
Anonymous *jen said...

Marina, thanks for this review. I have been wanting to sample this for awhile now, and your review has made me antsy to do so.


7:38 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I am glad it did. It's really worth trying!

7:43 AM EST  
Blogger Katy Josephine said...

Marina, I appreciate the review and agree with you - DSH compositions are beautifully creative. As of yet, none of them last on my skin, which bums me out. How does Cuir et Champignon compare in that department?

7:51 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I found it quite lasting, but the ones I tried all lasted well, so maybe I am not the judge. dirtyROSE in particular had formidable staying power :)

7:54 AM EST  
Blogger Alyssa said...

I need to try this again. I was a little overwhelmed the first time around--something in her base, since I get it in the other samples, too.

BTW, one of the samples in my CeC batch had an accord that was a dead ringer for Sotto Voce. Been meaning to figure it out and tell you since I know you're a fan.

9:48 AM EST  
Blogger cheryl said...

Dirty and unique and leather. Sounds good. Does anyone else get a bit of mushroom in Aumouage Jubilation 25?

9:51 AM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

I love love love this one! Fabulous review M. Cuirass et Champignon fascinates as a fragrance , all of that leather but softened , spicy and just a touch salty/ sweet! It does wonderful things on my skin!

10:01 AM EST  
Anonymous Victoria said...

Are you gearing yourself up for the Russian mushroom feasts to come? :)

have you tried DSH Secrets of Egypt collection?

10:17 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

oh, so which one is that?!

10:20 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I need to try it with that in mind. I do get a ice dose of good old-fashioned cuminy goodness there though :)

10:23 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I am sure it smells delicious on you!

10:23 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

LOL, maybe subconsciously :)
I tried the Egyptian collection, what about you?

10:24 AM EST  
Blogger Vintage Lady said...

this is one of the scents that are keeping me with a desire to try since last year. this is probably mysterious to me, i think as i love humidity scent in the forest i can associate it to champignons, i don´t know, i have to try it.

10:44 AM EST  
Blogger ScentScelf said...

Yes. ::raises hand:: Mushroom hunter here. So many things to love about that...the dirt...the warming sun somewhere just beyond...forest edge smells...all adding up to earth...

And then there is the reward, the morsels themselves.

This is two days in a row, you know. I might start tsk tsking pretty soon. I mean, how many desires can you prompt in one week? ;)

12:31 PM EST  
Blogger ScentScelf said...

Rushes back in to say...

Perfume. I love mushroom hunting in perfume. Send me out for morels, and the moral of the story will involve not putting your life into the hands of the ignorant. Fungi can be lethal.

::drums fingers:: ...kind of like too many lemmings... {ahem!}

12:33 PM EST  
Blogger Mals86 said...

Still scared of the mushrooms...

Must say I adore the image, and thanks for the review. DSH is so inventive, isn't she?

1:05 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Vintage Lady
You definitely should try it, it is is fascinating.

1:26 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

yay, a fellow mushroom hunter! More mushrooms tomorrow :)

1:26 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

and oh, that is exactly how I understood it. I am so not a natural in Nature :)

1:27 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Yes, so much imagination in her scents.
I am actually quite smug about the image, thank you for noticing! :))

1:28 PM EST  
Anonymous Victoria said...

No, I did not try it, I was curious what you thought about it.

Zamechatel'naja kartinka, zhdu gde by ona esche pojavilas'. :))

1:31 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

xaxaxa :)
As for the scents of Egypt, I like several, and Keni was a stand out.

1:36 PM EST  
Anonymous aotearoa said...

I'm really enjoying the mushroom exploration. Sadly none of the DSH work for me. I do get an odd shitake mushroom note later in the drydown of Champagne du Bois -but I'm sure I'm the only one.
I love earthy/soil notes in perfumes also and would love a series on this,too.
Thought your illustration was genius for the review!

2:14 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

thank you! :)
Is Champagne de Bois by Sonoma Scent Studio? I need to explore...

2:35 PM EST  
Blogger a.k.a. Warum said...

i've been lurking for a while, but here, cannot resist such a cool picture, my favorite indie perfumer, and a Russian saying! ;)

Thank you for this review. I was quite scared of trying it, but now I will.

6:58 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

a.k.a. Warum
It really is not scary it all, no scarier than any other leather chypre. :)

7:52 PM EST  
Blogger Ducks said...

Oh, do want, do want! This sounds astonishing. How lovely!

10:47 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

oh you have to try!

7:01 AM EST  
Anonymous Joan said...

That is an awesome picture! I can't say I've smelled any mushroom fragrances, but I would love to now!

Beautiful writing too.

11:37 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you very much, Joan!

11:46 AM EST  
Anonymous Marian said...

I'd like to try it! Earth and leather are 2 of my favorite notes1

12:37 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I think you would like this one then!

12:41 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had been wondering about this scent: intrigued by the "cuir" but leery about the"champignon". You have definitely made it sound worth trying.
You have every right to be be smug about your selection of that image. It is perfect. (And fashion photography focusing on the art of fashion is so much more intresting than that focusing on the latest anorexic 15 year old.)
- from Lindaloo

9:33 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you! Rodney Smith's work is amazing.
I don't think you should be afraid of mushrooms here. They are very civilized. :)

9:38 PM EST  

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