Mushrooms Haute Couture: DSH Cuir et Champignon
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.