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Cuir de Lancôme


The opening moments of bergamot and mandarin are bright and sunny, but they don’t last long. Saffron, dusty and slightly sour and medicinal, and creamy sweet ylang, make a buttery mix for a minute or so, and then WHAM – I smell smoke!  Smoke with a tarry edge, a campfire at night – not Lonestar Memories but more Eau de Fier – it’s the birch and styrax notes. The smoke rises as Cuir moves into the drydown, and then floats away to the edges, replaced with patchouli and iris, earthy and floral.  
Cuir de Lancome deepens into a golden scent, becoming more woody as the smoke dissipates, and the end result is a warm smooth leather, scented with dry flowers, with hints of caramel. For a leather, it has a light touch – its elegant sillage stays close to the skin but lingers for hours.
Cuir de Lancôme is really a niche scent that ended up in a non-niche market.  It was sold through the Lancôme cosmetic counters, and wasn’t understood well by SA’s or by Lancôme for that matter, since it was so poorly marketed. The result was that it lasted about 15 minutes on the Lancôme counters, and now resides mostly with on-line discounters. Luca Turin’s 4-star review in Perfumes: The A-Z Guide says that Cuir de Lancôme is a very unusual and beautiful leather “devoid of the weight of ambery, smoky, and animalic notes that make most others sink on drydown. Instead, this one maintains a light, airy, woody, almost vetiver-like translucency all the way through and feels… like rich suede… feels as comfortable as the real thing. Excellent.”
Notes:bergamot, mandarin, saffron, Jasmine, ylang-ylang, hawthorn, patchouli, Iris, birch, styrax.
Type: EdP
Parfumeurs: Calice Becker and Pauline Zanoni

Price: $5.00