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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Perfume Review: L.T. Piver Cuir de Russie

L.T. Piver’s Cuir de Russie, a fragrance inspired by “the leather smell of Cossack riding boots protected against the wet with silver birch bark”, was originally created at the end of the 19th century. By L.T. Piver’s own admition, the current version has been adapted to today’s market. My guess would be that a certain degree of intensity and richness has been lost in reformulation, however the new version is still incredibly attractive. Having said that, I am not sure that I can be entirely objective or rational, when speaking of Cuir de Russie. As soon as I smelled it, its citrusy-fruity-spicy-nutty accord reminded me of a scent that a person very dear to me used to wear. Nothing is capable of bringing the past alive more than a scent. The flood of memories hit me; I was in love with Cuir de Russie at the very first sniff.

To try and describe the fragrance dispassionately, the first thing that must be said about Cuir de Russie is that those who might have been scared by the image of Cossack boots, should not worry. There is nothing brutal, harsh, animalic or indeed overly leathery about this scent. Even though leather is in the name of the perfume, it is not the most prominent player here, to my nose. Sure, it is present, but it is more of an understated backdrop for that incredible fruity, spicy, almost nutty accord I mentioned above. Mandarin and bergamot are among the notes of Cuir de Russie, however, even though the citrusy quality of the scent is unmistakable, with mandarin bringing a certain fruity-honeyed sweetness to the scent, it is not overwhelming. There is another note here that I cannot identify, a dark, sumptuous note with slight nuttiness to it, that I think may be hawthorn. Whatever it is, I absolutely adore it.

It is possible that the fans of leather in fragrances would be disappointed by the timidity and the lack of prominence of the leather note here. Apart from that, this is a smoothly blended, elegant, rich scent that would eminently wearable on all sorts of occasions and in all seasons. It might prove to be emotionally challenging for me to wear Cuir de Russie, but I will be buying a bottle nevertheless.

Cuir de Russie is available at, £35.00 for 100ml (standard delivery to USA is £9.50).

*The image is from


Blogger Marina said...

I agree, the leather note was much less prominent on my skin that the hesperidic-fruity accord. I think that you are right in that Chanel or Creed would be more to your liking if you are looking for a more leathery leather :-) Also, try Cuir Mauresque by Serge Lutens, also a rich leather scent.

8:38 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I'd buy it just for the label on the bottle :-) But I do love the scent as well.

11:33 AM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

I love the packaging too, but have never smelled the juice. Not sure I've ever even seen a Piver scent in a US store...

11:34 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I googled and I googled, and all I see is or eBay. I am stalking eBay :-)

11:39 AM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

Someone else just did this... Marlen? It sounds delicious. Still searching for some more citrus, maybe this is it. Fragrance-wise I've got enough leather to open a bondage shop.

1:28 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

It was Marlen. I think Wendy at Notes on Shoes Cakes and Perfume has done a post on CdeR too.

This may be a good citrus scent indeed (wish a hint of leather) :-)

PS. any luck with Philtre d'Amour?

1:30 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You handled the touchy part of this scent based on the boots of the pogrom makers with such humor and grace! Thanks for the laugh. It's funny that in reality, it sounds like quite a tame scent.

2:27 PM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

Sure, I can have some right now on Le Bay for $255. Let's see, for a 30 ml bottle, that works out to .... aaack!!!! I think the $250 l'Artisan Orange LE is 100 ml, right?!

PS You are BANNED from writing anything else about it until I get my hands on some! ;-)

3:10 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

It's always this way. When we lived in the UK I envied the Americans for having the access to all these wonderful scents. Now I envy the Europeans. *sigh*

3:28 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you! It really is quite tame. Perhaps the original version had all the intensity and smelly-ness of those boots, but CdeR seems to have been very much reformulated.

3:30 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I will say no more about Philtre d'Amour. ...There is nothing left to say except that in its original version, its WONDERFUL!

*evil cackle*

3:32 PM EST  
Blogger Caitlin Shortell said...

Just wanted to let you know that I am babysnatcher. Wasn't trying to hide or anything. Whoops.
So, I can smell Philtre d'Amour when I go in March to Paris, right? I can hardly wait!

4:23 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Tsk tsk tsk!

And, yes, Dear Snatcher :-), it is available in Paris. It is part of Les Parisiennes collection (together with Attrape-Coeur) and now comes in bee-bottles. It is rumoured to have been reformulated. I would love to hear what you think about it, when you come back from Paris.

4:35 PM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

Marina -- I am hoping to conduct a, er, little experiment comparing the old and the new. Will let you know the results if/when it happens.

8:03 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I would love to know the results of the experiment. I am very curious to know what (if anything) they have done to the newer version.

8:35 AM EST  
Blogger Qwendy said...

Hey Gang, It's at The Perfume House in Portland, for $65! I bought it ALMOST unsniffed, and though I like it, I do have trouble wearing it, and Marina's description is perfect. I have some vintage, and it's much leatherier (how's that for a word?)!

1:38 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Nice to see you here! Thank you for the inof, I am going to google that store to see if they have a site. I so love Cuir de R.! :-)

1:54 PM EST  
Blogger Harold Levine said...

I bought a bottle a few years ago in Paris and it's my absolute favorite. I had been wearing Hermes "Bel Ami" and "Rocabar" but they seem overbearing in comparison with Cuir de Russie. I didn't get around to buying more last time I was in Paris (November) and now I'm regretting it bigtime. A while ago I think there was a US website which offered it, now it seems it's just that UK website and their very high prices. Well, guess I just need to head back to Paris!

9:51 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I do wish it was sold in the US. Well, for what it's worth, this is a good excuse for another trip to Paris :-)

10:01 AM EDT  
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4:28 AM EDT  

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