Cuir de Lancome, 2007

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(image Catherine Deneuve in Belle de Jour)

Perfumers Calice Becker and Pauline Zanoni

Cuir de Lancome is unlike most of the other leathers I know. There is not a trace of scratchiness that I usually associate with leather scents such as Bandit, Aramis or Rien. In fact it’s hard for me to consider Cuir and Rien in the same category. Cuir is a sweet, smoky floral leather. I can’t quite point to the source of the smoothness. Perhaps it is simply its well-considered moderation. Cuir has the nose feel of an emollient, viscous but not sticky. It makes me prick up my ears waiting for that roughness that the composition tells me is coming. But then, no, it’s more like a low-pitched vibration. The growl is implied, but what I hear is a purr, with all the sly contentment that a lounging cat suggests.

I tend to love rough and angular fragrances. Cuir is certainly not one of them. That said, Cuir does make me sniff my own wrist more often than most other perfumes. I suppose I’m always listening for the growl. If Cuir is a bit of a tease, I’ve fallen for him.

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