Cuir Fétiche fragrance notes

  • Head

    • mandarin, bergamot, lemon, geranium
  • Heart

    • ylang ylang, leather, rose, iris
  • Base

    • musk, ambergris, patchouli, cedar, sandalwood

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Latest Reviews of Cuir Fétiche

Maître Parfumeur et Gantier, which is now the name of a perfumers on the rue des Capucines, was once the title given to artisans who would supply Louis XIV (d.1715) with scented gloves - and other items that were used by the royal household to keep away the stench of poor hygiene at Versailles.

It's also possible that MPG's fragrant leather Eau de Parfum was inspired by the gloves worn by Louis and his entourage, items that were first made fashionable by Catherine de Medici his distant ancestor (b. 1519).

So, calling this Cuir Fétiche - which can be translated as Mascot Leather - is appropriate because it can be seen as emblematic of the brand's co-opted origins. It's also a good catchy name for the product.

Although it's hard to know what Louis' gloves smelled like, never mind the original ones given to Catherine by an unknown Grassois glove maker, the modern scent isn't without precedent; but it's not quite as grand as all that.

In fact it's a good evolution of Knize Ten (1924) - although it's more complex than that. Enriched with fruity and deeper animal facets, honeyed flowers and powdery iris, the rubbery-bitter aldehydic leather is still there all the same.

Which gives Cuir Fétiche, or - by another translation - Leather Talisman, an old time feel. The name can then be traced back to Medici as well, who knew astrology and was said to be a magician.
16th May 2023
The glove leather and the iris are a perfect combination, kind of a lipstick and upscale leather appeal. The vanilla and the amber keep it accessible and wearable, the ylang ylang, jasmine, and rose keep it very grown up and classy, the musk and the sandalwood keep it sexy, sexy, sexy, sexy. Loving this!
9th December 2020

After an initial ‘Not again!' screwing of my nose at what seemed like powder compact florals (which can age a perfume by a century) this settled quite nicely into a funky floral leather. So overlook the first volley that smells like one of those fur-coat-and-powder jobs that have been lying around for too long in the bottle and gently decaying. But focus on the decay, because as the perfume begins to bloom you'll note that the floral notes that come into their own are enriched by an indolic fullness suggesting not only glorious peak flower power but also a bit of wilt. It's quite bewitching and pairs seamlessly with a soft, worn leather accord and some buzzing musk.
Its dirt without feeling dirty, something that classic French perfumery excels in and Cuir Fétiche is in that mould. If the superficial impression is of grande dame refinement, that lingering suggestion of unmentionables brings a flush to her cheek. Unburdened by the sticky baggage of resins and spices which make some leathers unbearable to me, Cuir Fétiche is still a pleasingly complex creation, not too strong, offering the nose a variety of impressions, which overlap and tease.
28th January 2017
Hadn't expected to like this but I do.
I find the leather note to be soft, aged and classy.
The florals are rich and substantial, but not heavy.
This has a real old-school veneer.
Bit of a metallic twang in the dry-down. Some have called it "ashtray". I think it comes from the patchouli and musk. The dry-down gets a bit sweeter but also smokier which is a nice touch.
Not my style, but I think it is a nice scent.
6th September 2015
The opening of Cuir Fetiche is of a classic, waxy-soapy leather scent halfway Cuir de Russie, Cuir Mauresque and Knize, but quality-wise quite far from all of these; no hints of Chanel's opulence, and no austere, dusty, dark elegance à la Knize. There are faint and derivative echoes of all of that, but nothing actually close to those. A cloud of powdery, herbal and plummy notes makes the leather accord softer and gentler, making Cuir Fetiche also globally similar to modern – vintage – leathers like Bel Ami, although the same quality gap applies here too. Basically it's like a teenager piano student trying to sound like Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli or Rachmaninov – still better than someone who can't play at all, but probably not memorable yet. Delicate and nice as much as dull and without any distinction or originality; a decent alternative for leather lovers only.

7th September 2014
A wonderful surprise! It deserves more attention than the massive shrug it seems to have gotten around the Internet. It's a floral leather in the vein of Chanel's Cuir de Russie and Cuir de Lancome, but is far heavier on the birch tar than either of these, and therefore considerably smokier. The leather is also a little bit more butch, with the opening reminding me strongly of the cracked leather in Bandit. But this is a brief impression - as the scent progresses, the leather becomes this soft, supple handbag leather.

What's important to mention here is that Cuir Fetiche, while not filthy, is not exactly the clean, sanitized thing reviewers seem to paint it as either. In fact, it contains a good deal of properly dirty animal pong. The dirtiness is coming from a powerful musk that runs up from behind the opening leather note, and totally dominates it from that point onwards.

There is also quite a bit of filthiness coming from the florals, which, surprisingly for me, I can smell very, very distinctly as a very indolic jasmine and a fabulously fleshy ylang. Usually in these floral leathers, I can pick up a fuzzy outline of florals but can't really distinguish separate flowers in the mix - here I can. The florals are in clear focus here. Although I am not a big floral lover, the floral accords here are extremely enjoyable. The jasmine in particular smells like it is decaying straight off the vine and into my lap. The indoles in the jasmine act as a sort of bridge to the dirtiness of the musk, enclosing the leather accord in an aura of naughty naughty.

I really like this one. It's probably a bit redundant in my fragrance wardrobe because I already own more Cuir de Russie than I could possibly use in a lifetime, as well as a bottle of Cuir de Lancome, and a decant of Cuir Pleine Fleur. But I do think it brings something new to the table - first of all, I am not sure I have seen a leather that derives its animalic pong from a dirty musk before, and I am pretty sure that I have never seen a leather accentuated with such delineated and realistic florals either. It smells both natural and naturalistic. Definitely worth considering if you are into the leather genre in particular, and easily unisex.
12th August 2014

If the name “Cuir Fétiche” and Maître Parfumeur et Gantier's reputation for unapologetically blunt compositions have you anticipating a raunchy, animalic, S&M leather, you're in for a disappointment. After a crisp, tart citrus top note, Cuir Fétiche is a straight-up smoky birch tar leather scent, with antecedents in Chanel's Cuir de Russie, Cuiron, Tom Ford's Tuscan Leather, and the old Tabac Blond, among others. In character it's less floral than Cuir de Russie, though also - name notwithstanding - less animalic, as it exhibits neither huge iris nor the conspicuous civet that come with the Chanel. It is also smokier and a bit harsher in texture than either Cuiron or Cuir de Russie. However, if it's transgressive, biker bar leather that your after, you'll do better with Montale's no-holds-barred Oud Cuir d'Arabie.

If Cuir Fétiche's early stages conjure echoes of its worthy predecessors, the drydown is very much a thing unto itself: a soft and civilized blend of sandalwood, a very warm, clean musk, and the very merest hint of patchouli. In case you're wondering, Cuir Fétiche is in no way redundant to the other leather in the Maître Parfumeur et Gantier portfolio, Parfum d'Habit. Where Parfum d'Habit centers on vetiver and patchouli, Cuir Fétiche builds on an accord of birch tar and labdanum, staking out an entirely different approach to “leather” in olfactory terms. While it doesn't deliver on the naughty promise of its name, Cuir Fétiche is a solid, appealing, high quality leather scent, and I'm comfortable recommending it to anyone seeking a versatile, unisex leather.
11th June 2014
I think this is a really beautiful floral take on leather, and it's character is light and diffusive, no heavy sticky resins lurking here. The ylang-ylang really stands out on my skin. For me it's a very comfortable, elegant leather for day wear and quite feminine. I chose it when hunting for a new leather and after sampling every leather I could get my hands on. It was a goldilocks moment in which this one seemed 'just right'. In the past I've worn Cuir de Russie and Daim Blond, so I guess that gives an indication of the type of leather I like... not very leathery-leather!
4th September 2012
Light leather fragrance. Soapy, floral heart. Lists ambergris in the notes, which is fascinating, yet I detect a bit of “ashtray” here, a subtle smokiness that is off-putting. Definitely won't replace Cuir de Russie, Jolie Madame, or Tabac Blonde in my estimation.
1st June 2012
I was expecting a bit of a leather bomb going off in my face, but it is surprisingly and pleasantly refined in it's rendition. CF is an exercise in smokey sandalwood with an undercurrent of leather + musk to keep the longevity going. If you like Rien or Knize Ten, you may find this a bit tame. Me, I love it.

PS. Santal Noble is readily available again -- it still smells like the original also.
13th February 2012
I agree with "alfarom". Cuir Fetiche is Very well crafted but nothing new. Very closed to other precedent masterpieces like Chanel or Knize... but 100 years after.
22nd December 2011
Cuir Fetiche honestly did nothing for me. It strikes as a very classic flowery leather in the same vein of Knize Ten or Chanel's Cuir De Russie. It's definitely well crafted and has an overall good quality but if you're already familiar with historical leather frags such as the ones I previously mentioned, Cuir Fetiche adds nothing new on the table.

I'm quite a big fan of Maitre but, what really compells me about their older compositions is their rough edge and challenging power that Cuir Fetiche completely lacks. It's too polished, mannered and...polite. Not bad but it surely doesn't stand out in this crowded territory.
17th December 2011