Fresh Baked Biker – Review: Armani Privé Cuir Noir

The Armani Privé line is very tempting. I love the look and the heft of the bottles, I love Ambre Orient and Bois d’Encens and I won’t even start with La Femme Bleue, before I get accused again of working it into every second review. But I also had a bad experience with Rose d’Arabie, that turned from perfectly lovely to horrible, synthetic mess over the course of an hour.

Due to my recent appreciation of leather notes (scents like Bottega Veneta, Cuir de Russie and Cuir de Lancome drew me in that direction), I was very curious to try the newest addition to the 1001 Nuits collection. Thanks to reader Andrea for the sample!

“Leather is an art. From Cordoba, Spain to the borders of the Atlas Mountains. With a wine patina, it takes the name of “cordovan”. Tattooed with gold, it is called “maroquin”. Drawn to the slightly primitive and animal scent of these leathers, perfumers attempt to recreate the fascinating ambience that pairs the wild tallow scent with the smoldering, tar aromas of black birch in tanneries.
In homage to the sensuality of this skin-on-skin sensation, Giorgio Armani writes a new chapter in the book of its 1,001 nights. Cuir Noir arises from this setting. A sumptuous palace awakening from the implacable heat of the day to the splendor of the oriental night.
The fragrance opens on a harmonious prelude of creamy Australian Sandalwood and the accents of Rose essence. A few hints of coriander and nutmeg set off their encounter.
The fragrance heart is more textured, alternating tinges of leather and smoky notes of Guaiac and Oud. In the base, animal traces of Tahitian Vanilla absolute punctuate the deep glimmer of Benzoin balm.”

-from the Armani Privé website

Notes include sandalwood, rose, coriander, nutmeg, guaiac wood, oud, leather, vanilla and benzoin.

While usually not one to appreciate, or even read in most cases, the PR releases and marketing blurbs coming with a new perfume, I have an inexplicable fondness for Armani Privé copy. It is not different from all the others as far as I can see, but still – it reels me in.

Cuir Noir is better than I anticipated, because it doesn’t overwhelm you with leather, it is not harsh or strong. Cuir Noir is soft and elegant, and it surprises with a relatively prominent oud note, I was not expecting at all, but that I like a lot.

Cuir Noir is a journey. During its long wear-time, it develops dramatically, from cool and distant oud-leather scent to a warm, almost gourmand vanilla-benzoin base to snuggle into.

It is like a biker getting rid of his leather jacket at the end of the day and with a smile revealing his warm body and the fresh pastry he brought home that he now offers for dessert.

Enthusiastically you say yes – to the pastry of course.

Image source:,

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This entry was posted in Amber, Armani Privé, Fragrance Reviews, Leather, Oriental, Resins, Vanilla, Woods and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Fresh Baked Biker – Review: Armani Privé Cuir Noir

  1. tara says:

    Because of the name, I was rather disappointed at the lack of smoky leather, but on me it was certainly a very smooth, elegant and wearable oud. Oh, and I absolutely say yes to a biker bearing pastry!

    • Olfactoria says:

      I always tell myself not to put too much faith in a name, for some reason not everyone feels the need to heed their own nomenclature. 😉
      It is lovely though, leather or not.

  2. Alexandra says:

    Gosh you are on a dangerous roll this week, this sounds amazing too. I adore the idea of leather/oud with vanilla/benzoin, darn it.

    I also love that you are now pleased to find an oud note! I am having a similar revelation with jasmine…

  3. andreawilko says:

    I cannot tell you how excited I was to see you had reviewed this one, I am so glad that you liked it, at least this review has not cost me any money this time as you know I already have the full bottle, normally your reviews should come with a wallet warning for me, Oesel being a current case in point, puredistance and Neela perfumes have already cost me money but I wouldn’t have it any other way as it seems you are never wrong… 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      Oh, I’m wrong plenty of times, just not when it comes to really good perfume. 😉
      I’m glad you are having a spending reprieve today. Thanks again for the sample!

  4. deeHowe says:

    Yum! Count in in for… Pastry 😉

    I have a sample of Oud Royal from the Prive line, which i like very much, but i havent explored any further than that. Those bottles are gorgeius!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Oud Royal is the only I have not tried in the 1001 Nuits line of Armani Privė.

      Did I never send Ambre Orient? You must try that. I need to decant some for you!

  5. Alexis says:

    If only I had all the money in the world, I would hire you to be my personal fragrance shopper. Once again, you have tempted me deep into the fragrance abyss and I do not want to claw my way out! This sounds utterly fantastic – how could I resist and sweet, snuggly, leathery scent?

    • Olfactoria says:

      Oh, I’d love that job! Especially since it would mean I’d have to move to the US. 🙂 I’ll personally shop for you in Paris, London and Milan too, of course.

  6. Suzanne says:

    Biker, pastry and oud … yeah, what’s not to like? (Except the price tag.) 🙂

    I know that Asali loves this one too and am looking forward to smelling it on her. I suspect it might not be leathery enough for me, but if you, Andrea and Asali all love it, then it’s definitely worth checking out.

  7. Philipp says:

    I tried this fragrance last Friday and the mouilette (sp?) I brought home that day is still smelling of CN. I agree it is a nicely done aoud fragrance, similar to Red Aoud by Montale. They share the same roasted hazelnut-caramel accord.

  8. flittersniffer says:

    Love the pastry-bearing biker analogy too! And this is very likely the mystery “gold bottle” that the Edinburgh branch of Harvey Nichols said was being released later this year. Or reaching their store, more like… : – )

  9. Undina says:

    Great review! (It’s not even a compliment, I’m just stating the fact)
    This line holds a special spot in my heart. I hope I’ll get to travel this year to one of the countries that sells it in stores so that I could try this one and some of the older perfumes that I missed since they stopped carrying them in the US.

  10. Civava says:

    I’m glad to hear it is not too smoky. I love leather scents and I wear leather a lot since I’m driving a motorcycle it is part of it. Not in the summer though ;-). I’m not even sure I want to try it…I might like it to much, but the price is too high. Nice you’ve thought about James Dean ;-).

    • Olfactoria says:

      This would be another great case for smaller bottles, it would be affordable and noone needs 100ml anyway.

      Drive safely, Civava! 🙂

      • Civava says:

        On a bike I can take only sample, but actually would need a splash, after a day in lether combo and 30 degrees outside. Before I get to the shower. Unfortunatelly smelling good wouldn’t do much for my safety ;-). Since I have a child I don’t drive anymore. Maybe once a year on a race track. It is safer. Thanks for good wishes.

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