Parfumerie Générale offers three leather scents in its stable and today I want to take a look at all three of them.
Leather has been a note I did not like, let alone seek out for a long time. Mainly because it was connected in my mind and body with cars and cars make me motion-sick. As a child it was enough to just enter car for me to get nauseous. (It must have been a joy for my parents to travel anywhere.) I hated cars and therefore I hated leather.
Fortunately my fragrant explorations somehow made it possible to detach the two. Leather is in the clear, gasoline is not. But gasoline can take the blame, it is relatively easy to avoid. And thankfully driving is not as impossible for me these days, since I learned to drive myself (I had to take medication for every driving lesson), it has gotten progressively better over the years.
But enough of me, on to the perfumes…
Cuir Venenum (venenum, lat: poison, elixir, venom) includes notes of leather, absolute of orange blossom, myrrh, citrus, cedar, coconut and honeyed musk.
This is surely the most unusual leather scent out there. A strange, but interesting combination of leather and fruit stew á la Serge Lutens, Cuir Venenum is the first gourmand leather I know of.
All in all, there is not enough leather and too much fruit for me. Cuir Venenum is interesting, but I am slightly put off by it, it irritates me and while a little irritation is a good thing, too much of it makes it a pain to wear.
Cuir d’Iris includes notes of cardamom, Iris, old black leather, woods, vetiver, Rizophora tannin, amber and incense.
Cuir d’Iris is clearly my favorite out of the three and it is the most straightforward leather scent. Opening a bit sharply, it soon mellows and melds with my skin to create an impression of amazingly soft leather with powdered effects surrounding it. Cardamom (love that note) is very present in the beginning, and recedes over time when the leather becomes warmer and smokier thanks to amber and incense.
Cuir d’Iris smells just like my favorite leather bag by Liebeskind Berlin. It is extremely soft and buttery and I love to carry it (not to mention it holds all I need but don’t want to carry, like diapers and Smurfs and the like). Both the bag and the perfume make me feel tough and chic.
L’Oiseau de Nuit
L’Oiseau de Nuit (Night Bird – meaning not an actual bird, but a person who loves being up at night) includes notes of cistus labdanum, liqueur of davana, benzoin and leather.
L’Oiseau de Nuit is a complicated perfume and I blame the davana. Davana is a very interesting material, it is like a shape-shifter, constantly presenting a different facet. A perfume containing it is not one you have down pat after three wearings. L’Oiseau de Nuit continues to elude me after years of on and off testing.
I can say that L’Oiseau de Nuit is a very dark scent. Labdanum plays the major role here, leather being more of an accompanying player, but the real star is davana, making L’Oiseau de Nuit unpredictable and addictive. This could very well be one of the Devil’s scents that Tarleisio is looking for.
So you like the note? What is your favorite leather scent? Which one would you recommend I try?