Cuir d’Ange is the twelfth addition to the Hermessence collection.
I first tried this late 2014 during an all too common dash around the Sydney trying many many fragrances. To be honest, I was not enthused.
At first sniff it appeared to be a thin and papery leather of little complexity or interest.
Still, a number of fellow leather fragrance lovers were extremely enthusiastic about Cuir d’Ange so I earmarked it for future proper testing.
Of course that earmark was all I needed to find myself wandering into Hermès recently to buy yet another travel set. In this set was of course Cuir d’Ange.
Cuir d’Ange is a fragrance created by Jean-Claude Ellena for Hermès in 2014.
It features notes of heliotrope, hawthorn, violet, narcissus, musk and of course leather.
According to Jean-Claude Ellena:
“For a long time I’d wanted to reveal the importance I attach to literature, and where it meets perfume. More importantly, I wanted to evoke my connection with the work of Jean Giono. Two words from a passage in Jean le Bleu came back to me: ‘cuir d’ange’ – angel leather. Using the smells that are my words, I wanted to write a poem to rekindle the love duet between leather and the skin. Its softness and lightness, its tension and its caress. Heliotropes and hawthorn, leather and musk.”
Cuir d’Ange is very true to its brief and quite literal.
While this may be a little gruff for a member of the Hermessence line, it is completely of the recent Ellena style of light, easy to wear and inoffensive fragrances.
The name Cuir d’Ange suggests a scent of soft leather.
It also suggests a scent of little or no carnality.
In fact, both are true of this fragrance.
In many ways Cuir d’Ange is exactly what you might expect of an Hermessence leather and yet I found myself a little confused the first time I tried it.
My confusion mainly stemmed from the opening which is actually strong and gruff with what I can best describe as a gauzy texture.
This texture is accompanied by the smell of bandages and a touch of iodine antiseptic.
This opening should be quite enjoyable for the lovers of leather fragrances. Personally I find it extremely addictive.
Very quickly Cuir d’Ange starts to soften introducing a soft, only very slightly powdery violet. Now I smell something more expected.
A little later, some very soft florals appear and bring with them a little more powder.
Cuir d’Ange is by no means a powdery perfume but it certainly carries a powdery dimension.
On my skin, these changes all happen in less than an hour leaving behind a lovely, soft, slightly buttery, slightly powdery leather scent that hints at a floral dimension.
It is effectively my Swiss army knife leather. I can wear it all day every day and have been for the last week.
Cuir d’Ange has become a fragrance that I wear when I don’t know what to wear or when I don’t want to think about what to wear or just because I want to smell like Cuir d’Ange.
What do you think about this perfume?