How often can you get luxury for a bargain basement price? Not often, but with Cuir de Lancôme you can smell like a million dollars by spending relatively few. Released in 2007 as part of Lancôme‘s “La Collection” it seems to have barely seen the light of day, going pretty much straight to the discounters. So, for reasons unknown, this gorgeous fragrance has become the famously reclusive Greta Garbo of the perfume world.
Lancôme’s La Collection fragrances are based on their archives of vintage scents and the original perfume that Cuir is based on, dates back to 1936. The modern reconstruction was done by Calice Becker and Pauline Zanoni. It is incredibly well blended with top notes of mandarin, bergamot and saffron, middle notes of hawthorn, jasmine, ylang-ylang and patchouli, and a base of birch, orris and styrax.
Cuir de Lancôme is the finest, creamiest of leathers and it’s that butteriness which helps make it so swoonworthy. It is stylish and feminine, emanating a kind of “pulled together” chic. Subtly smoky, it shares a kinship with Chanel’s Cuir de Russie but Cuir de Lancôme is softer, more floral and less animalic. I’d class it as a “socially acceptable” leather perfume. Not because it’s lacking in character, but because it lacks any harshness.
The opening combines a burst of citrus with a good dose of birch tar, but it soon becomes sweeter and smoother as the florals come to the fore. What really makes this leather perfume special though is the stunning saffron note that’s apparent for most of the development. A dusting of this precious spice gives Cuir a sophisticated and beautiful twist.
Lasting power is excellent and the sillage is just about perfect. I often sit at my desk and wonder “what smells so good?” before remembering I’m wearing Cuir de Lancôme. This is something that doesn’t happen nearly as often as I’d like. The bottle is pretty standard with an ill-fitting cap but considering the low cost, I‘m not complaining.
I had to purchase my bottle unsniffed because it’s hard to find in stores, but I’m so glad I took the chance. Cuir de Lancôme is a hidden gem.
Cuir de Lancôme is a 50ml Eau de Parfum