Perfumer Julien Rasquinet
Cuir Velours suffers from the same malady as its sibling, Bois d’Ascèse. The problem isn’t the fragrance, it’s the strategy.
So let’s get the perfume out of the way. It’s a waxy, fruity leather. Less soapy than Serge Lutens Daim Blond, more spiced than Robert Piguet’s revived Visa. A pretty fruit/leather that smokes and drinks. Very nice, truth be told.
But, why? Is niche perfumery strictly about branding. Say you sell a luxury fashion commodity. Shoes, purses, phone cases. Hats. Must a line of perfumes be part of the business plan? The smugness of viewing niche perfumery as a merely a style to be taken up and dropped is certainly nothing new, but the niche version seems dismissive by design. I know that there need to be business opportunities for up and coming perfumers, but is niche perfumery the lapdog of fashion businesses?
The thought that niche perfumery will serve to accessorize fashion is disheartening. Taking the focus away from exploration and placing it on the production of perfumes ‘in the style’ of niche is exactly how the soul is sold.
Niche orthodoxy. It will be the death of us.