Because We Love Nice Things – Review: Guerlain Cuir Beluga

I have already spoken about my infatuation with Guerlain’s L’Art et la Matière line and trying Cuir Beluga did absolutely nothing to dispel that particular obsession, on the contrary, Cuir Beluga charmed its way into my heart and onto my wishlist in no time.

Not a loud or attention seeking fragrance at all, it is still powerful in its ability to insinuate itself.

Cuir Beluga was created by Olivier Polge in 2005 and includes notes of mandarin orange, immortelle flower, leather, amber, heliotrope and vanilla.

Cuir Beluga opens with  a soft citrus note that abates as soon as it has come and the perfume becomes a warm and soft nimbus of suede-tinged vanilla.

Over the wear-time of about five to six hours, the immortelle note, which can be a bit (think: very tiny bit) harsh in the beginning tapers off, leaving the leather clad vanilla to its own sweet devices.

The leather in Cuir Beluga will certainly disappoint leather fetishists, for simply not being there. It is the softest, most innocuous, but extremely elegant off-white calf-skin that I picture in my mind’s eye when wearing Cuir Beluga. Something you’d love to touch, but would be immediately afraid of ruining by doing so.

Thankfully you can wear this delicate leather without fear. It is highly sophisticated and elegant.

This is one more example of the rule that names should not influence us so much. I don’t seek out perfumes with names that evoke notes I don’t like. And thankfully Vanessa took care of that irrational fear by giving me this sample.

One more fear assuaged, one more bottle on the list.

Because I love nice things.

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This entry was posted in Fragrance Reviews, Gourmand, Guerlain, Guerlain L'Art et la Matière, Leather, Vanilla, Woods and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

59 Responses to Because We Love Nice Things – Review: Guerlain Cuir Beluga

  1. Anastasia says:

    To me Cuir Beluga is quintessence of luxury and good taste; accords of delicate leather, creamy vanilla, subtle heliotrope and amber assosiates with good old aristocratic times. I think there is a slight resemblance between CB and another Guerlain masterpiece – Shalimar.
    Thank you for this review. Love your blog!

  2. I’m glad that you found the leather to be very soft and innocuous in this one. I found it to be almost undetectable, which isn’t a bad thing of course, it’s an interesting, plush take on leather, a note that tends to be on the harsher side.

    Not my favourite of the L’Art et la Matière but still a very lovely fragrance.

  3. deeHowe says:

    It sounds so beautiful! Off-white calfskin is just the thing I need… 😉

  4. Vanessa says:

    Love the phrase “warm and soft nimbus of suede-tinged vanilla” and am so happy that you are enjoying this one. To be honest, I can’t remember why it wasn’t right for me, and what prompted me to give it away – to an excellent home, as it turns out! Some leather scents simply do not work on my skin eg Daim Blond, while others I grow to appreciate over a longer timeframe. If it so happens that I gave this one away prematurely, it was in a good cause!

    And what’s with the name “Beluga”? That’s a type of caviar or a type of whale, so the link with the perfume doesn’t immediately spring to mind.

  5. raab says:

    yes, elegant and sophisticated, the name Beluga which refers to Caviar is just here insist on the idea of “luxe”……very soft suede, mandarine orange, subtle and, finally, a powdery blend of vanilla, amber, heliotrope……’s warm, it’s got a timeless lasting power on me and in all the home even when I come back at evening, I open the door and I can smell it when I sprayed it on me in the morning…….
    Very good projection, I had a lot of compliments on this perfume. It remains one of my favorite perfumes even if others have made their way.
    Cuir Beluga is the idea of the “chic attitude”

  6. andrea says:

    If I had not been tempted yesterday I am now, thank goodness I gave into temptation, I look forward very much to smelling this one, I have been getting into perfumes with leather, previously it was not something I much cared for but I find myself spraying the Armani Cuir Noir quite a lot at the moment. If it cn make me seem ‘chic’ then I am all for it. 🙂

  7. Tara says:

    I only tried CB briefly in Harrods before getting distracted – that’ll happen.

    I just remember it being sweet and fluffy which isn’t normally my thing but I need to test properly. I think that not expecting leather will help 🙂

  8. lady jane grey says:

    What a coincidence : I just got a sample of that one today ;-). I get a tinge of tabac there, with a lovely soft pale suede in the background (far away in the background…)

  9. Alexandra says:

    I also tried this recently in Selfridges but got distracted by something else, there seems to be a trend! This is obviously a stealth perfume, not an immediate attention grabber… Hopefully I will make my way back to it, but I do tend to like my leather a little less elegant.

  10. Undina says:

    I liked CB when I tried it. I’ll do more testing but right now it’s in “nice, wouldn’t mind wearing but do not need to have it yet” category.

  11. Suzanne says:

    I have a feeling that Cuir Beluga will not be leathery enough for me to fall in love with it, but I still look forward to trying it anyway. Lovely review!

    • Olfactoria says:

      If you seek it out for the leather, you might be disappointed, but if you are looking for an incredibly elegant floral-gourmand, you might just love it. 😉

  12. judith DM says:

    Brigit, please email me, I have lost the emails you sent (buried among hundreds)….and the one on contact me was returned…

    Cuir Beluga is already in my Neiman’s shopping cart, awaiting me to just hit that place order button. Funny, we make our lists, check them twice, or many more times, and along comes something that vaults to the top, something not previously considered. The Danger of Reading Blogs, and especially this one…for me!!!! Good grief, and I mean that in a very good way!

  13. This one must be very nice. I know the note is short-lived, but I wonder why the orange note is used so little I perfumes?

    • Olfactoria says:

      It is. The orange note is not at all apparent here though.
      I don’t have the impression that orange is used seldom, though. There are a good many fragrances with orange notes I can think of.

      • Right. I’ve read many times that similar notes are fleeting and I remember that in your review. It seems that lemon and lime are used much more than other fruit notes. Malle’s Citrus Bigarade comes to mind for a good orange note.

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  15. Gogol says:

    Just received a sample of this. (Swoon.)

  16. judith dm says:

    I just purchased a FB. I had another at the very top, one that is greatly admired, but now it is second. Doesn’t a FB feel good! One can spritz with abandon, knowing there is more for another time or later the same day! Thank you Brigit, I owe this one to you!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Congratulations! MdO Vanille will wait for you, no doubt.
      No better feeling than a FB!

      • judith dm says:

        I do not know if I told you that I am living downstairs in my small den as I cannot climb stairs, and even if I could, I cannot get back down without fearing another crash! I have a nice size decant of the Mona, maybe 20 or 30 mls, cannot recall, but one of my larger ‘samples’, as I knew I would love and adore but still wanted to spend some time with it before buying FB. This is an expensive hobby! My Mona is upstairs, and yes I have people who will go up and get things for me. However, my life is upstairs, my bedroom, my closet, my bathroom, my study, my stuff, my goop and nobody knows it like I do, I know My Chaos and I don’t like others poking around in it, even if I tell them exactly where to look, and I can! It is my private world up there. So, the Mona stays upstairs and I will have something to look forward to, (truthfully, I have much!!!), and the FB of CB will be delivered to my FD ( front door) where I had the slip and fall, ironic!

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  20. Mary says:

    Oh my goodness…I just received a sample of CB today and I cannot stop sniffing!!!! You described the tapering with delicious perfection! I smell all of the notes you described and cannot wait to purchase a bottle!!
    I love your blog!! Thank you!!


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  25. I just want to quickly share that I was in Paris this weekend and one of the bottles I took with me home was a bottle of Cuir Beluga. I’ve been looking for a good vanilla and this one is it. Gorgeous.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Excellent, congratulations! It is a gorgeous fragrance. And Paris… sigh… How was it? What are the other bottles? (Can’t leave me hanging with half the story! 😉 )

      • It was my first time there so I was walking around in awe most of the time. We rented an apartment in Montmartre which was perfect.

        I was only there for the weekend and went to Jovoy, IUNX, Serge Lutens, Guerlain, Cire Trudon. At Jovoy I fell in love with Arquiste Alexandr and Vero Profumo Rubj. I got a bottle of Alexandr, but sorely regret not getting one of Rubj. Amazing. Truly stunning. I’ve been looking for a white floral I can use and Rubj might very well be it.

        I want to get a bottle of IUNX Blanche as well, which might be the best soft white musk fragrance I’ve smelled. The rest of the IUNX line left me somewhat unimpressed. I got a try a new one which was a few days old, one with nothing but dark sandalwood in it. Really nice, but well, just sandalwood really.

        I was also disappointed to find out that Guerlain Vetiver pour Elle don’t exist anymore. I was surprised, because it was on their website the week before I left. I also asked for Attrape-Cœur, but I knew it was discontinued. Just wanted to ask anyway.

        • Olfactoria says:

          Sounds like a perfect trip!
          I understand your infatuation with Rubj, it is truly perfect, and my only gripe about my bottle of EdP is that it is not the extrait. 😉

          Too bad about Vetiver Pour Elle indeed, it was a very pretty scent. I always ask for Plus Que Jamais – hope dies last. 😉

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