Best in class - Cuir

dougczar

Basenotes Institution
Mar 3, 2012
For me, Creed - Royal English Leather is at the top of the heap. Dior Cuir Cannage is a pretty good modern take on it. And I think these two are good representations of "tan and old school".

Other favorites are Bruckner Aoud 2, Guerlain Derby, and Guerlain Cuir Beluga.
 

notspendingamillion

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Sep 2, 2018
For me, Creed - Royal English Leather is at the top of the heap. Dior Cuir Cannage is a pretty good modern take on it. And I think these two are good representations of "tan and old school".

Other favorites are Bruckner Aoud 2, Guerlain Derby, and Guerlain Cuir Beluga.
I've never tried the creed, but the prices I've seen it for were prohibitive. Gotta sample it for sure. Derby I've tried, and liked well enough, though we didn't get intimately acquainted. Cuir belega is one I almost blind bought, but reports of high vanilla and gourmond notes scared me off. I do love me some Guerlain though.
 

slpfrsly

Physician, heal thyself
Basenotes Plus
Apr 1, 2019
I honestly thought this would be a super simple explanation that people would understand instantly. I guess I just invented a Perfume category, Cuir, in my head. It just means leather in French, and nothing else. Like if fouguere just meant fern, and not a Perfume category. Disappointing.
It's a useful thing to do to attempt to delineate between the different types of leather, as there clearly are ways of grouping leather fragrances together in somewhat coherent categories. I think the problem lies in the clarity of that.

Having read through the thread and the comments, I see you've included Cuir d'Russie as part of this idea of 'Cuir', yet to my nose Russian leathers are very black, dark, tarry etc. Cuir d'Russie has that type of leather aroma but not prominently; it's mostly a musky floral soapy scent, offset by the depth of a leather note that fades throughout the duration of the wear. I think the confusion comes when you're then using colours in relation to aromas, which are at best interpretations, and although can be useful and generally understood, aren't exactly solid grounds for how to define something. To make things more confusing, you mention brown and even 'tan' colours, where, again, I think of Russian leathers and K10 as being black/dark/oily. I don't know if others would agree about that. I'm glad I'm not the only one confused about this in the comments though. As I say, I think it's a worthwhile endeavour, and separating the leather category up could be helpful and interesting in general.

Just off the top of my head as well, you run in to another problem re: note, accord, and overall fragrance. There are leather notes in a fragrance - particularly those that start off very leather-heavy, which is often the case in older leather fragrances, before fading down to something more aromatic, mossy, musky etc. Then there are leather accords, which is a more general leather-like smell, but isn't necessarily a true leather note, nor does it dominate the fragrance: something like Dior Homme Parfum, for instance, or maybe Michael Kors for Men, where you have a leather quality produced by a combination of different notes (including suede in the case of MK, which maybe isn't the best example) but it isn't as 'true' a leather aroma as the previous leather note, and nor is it dominant in the blend. Then you have leather fragrances where the overwhelming aroma is leather. Modern scents like Tuscan Leather seem to do this, where it's all leather all the way through, with the addition of some other supporting notes like sweet raspberry or whatever.

Considering all of this, I think it's hard to reach coherence about the way leather fragrances differ from each other without being very clear and specific about it. I wouldn't want to do it tbh, I don't think I know enough about leather fragrances to find the right outer edges for different categories.
 

LiveJazz

Funky fresh
Basenotes Plus
Mar 16, 2006
When you mentioned Knize Ten, I knew the style of leather you were talking about.
Same, and there's a reason Knize Ten is the baseline...it's damn hard to beat in this category of leather: K10, Cuir Mauresque, Cuir Cannage, Etro Gomma, with things like Bel Ami and Moschino being at fringe of it.

Soapy/floral Russian Leathers make their own little pod. Aramis, Cabochard, etc at the fringe. Green/soapy leathers like Alliage, Miss Dior, Jules also on this fringe, with some of them starting to get pretty sharp and black (Bandit) and forming their own mini-category.

Modern/sparse leathers like Gucci Guilty Absolute, Cuir d'Ange and Cuiron make a pod. These actually read as the most "black" to be as they often have notes I perceive as rubbery or tarry. Otherwise most leathers are "brown" to by nose.

Tuscan Leather and associates make their own stylistic group IMO. The fruity/fuzzy pod, I'll call it.

Suede leather, another group. E.g. Dior Homme at the sweet end, Cuir Ottomon at the dry end. Cuir Pleine Fleur (RIP) somewhere in the middle. Osmanthus-y type fruity-honey leathers slot in here somewhere.

That's my mental map, anyway.

The words we use to describe the groupings and the boundaries between them are subjective of course, to @slpfrsly 's point.
 
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Toxicon

Basenotes Dependent
May 29, 2021
Same, and there's a reason Knize Ten is the baseline...it's damn hard to beat in this category of leather: K10, Cuir Mauresque, Cuir Cannage, Etro Gomma, with things like Bel Ami and Moschino being at fringe of it.

Soapy/floral Russian Leathers make their own little pod. Aramis, Cabochard, etc at the fringe. Green/soapy leathers like Alliage, Miss Dior, Jules also on this fringe, with some of them starting to get pretty sharp and black (Bandit) and forming their own mini-category.

Modern/sparse leathers like Gucci Guilty Absolute, Cuir d'Ange and Cuiron make a pod. These actually read as the most "black" to be as they often have notes I perceive as rubbery or tarry. Otherwise most leathers are "brown" to by nose.

Tuscan Leather and associates make their own stylistic group IMO. The fruity/fuzzy pod, I'll call it.

Suede leather, another group. E.g. Dior Homme at the sweet end, Cuir Ottomon at the dry end. Cuir Pleine Fleur (RIP) somewhere in the middle. Osmanthus-y type fruity-honey leathers slot in here somewhere.

That's my mental map, anyway.

The words we use to describe the groupings and the boundaries between them are subjective of course, to @slpfrsly 's point.
I still need to try a lot of these. I suppose I’m also curious where the leathery immortelle bombs fit in, things like 1740 and Sables. I’m wearing Participe Passe today, which also falls into that category (others describe this one as leathery, but I don’t really perceive it that way). Perhaps under the fruity/fuzzy category?
 

sagebrush

Basenotes Dependent
Nov 20, 2017
there's a reason Knize Ten is the baseline...it's damn hard to beat in this category of leather: K10, Cuir Mauresque, Cuir Cannage, Etro Gomma, with things like Bel Ami and Moschino being at fringe of it.
You can add Xerjoff Homme in with the above : similar ish to Etro Gomma, but hugely more expensive. I prefer Gomma.
I think all these are leathers that use IBQ in creating the leather accord.

The darker, black, tarry leathers tend to involve cade and birch tar. Add to that list those almost meaty BBQ leathers : Mona di Orio Cuir (also with cumin); Tauer Lonestar Memories; Hiram Green Hyde; Papillon Anubis.

Suede leather, another group. E.g. Dior Homme at the sweet end, Cuir Ottomon at the dry end. Cuir Pleine Fleur (RIP) somewhere in the middle. Osmanthus-y type fruity-honey leathers slot in here somewhere.
Likewise, add Bottega Veneta EdP (the femme-marketed one; perfectly unisex) to that list : fine kid leather or suede, with plum and violet.
 

LiveJazz

Funky fresh
Basenotes Plus
Mar 16, 2006
I still need to try a lot of these. I suppose I’m also curious where the leathery immortelle bombs fit in, things like 1740 and Sables. I’m wearing Participe Passe today, which also falls into that category (others describe this one as leathery, but I don’t really perceive it that way). Perhaps under the fruity/fuzzy category?

Yeah, those could be their own thing, maybe ambery/sweet/suede?

The lines start to blur depending on which leather goes to which top and heart accord, so potential for subcategories and outliers is pretty endless...which is what makes this fun! I'm not sure where I'd stick Derby, for example...there's a lot going on. Not sure it fits cleanly in any of my default buckets. Somewhere between fruity (and spicy) suede and the Russians, I guess.


I know leather is a big part of it, but 1740 reads to my nose as more animalic amber than leather to me (I say that as a big fan of 1740). Like the leather is part of the accord and not the star attraction for me.

@sagebrush , big yes on "Meaty BBQ leathers" as a category! More entertaining than wearable IMO, but definitely a thing.
 

mrupp

New member
Aug 18, 2009
Guerlain Cuir de Russie
Chanel Cuir de Russie

Superb! When you mention these two we should also bring this to your attention

Cuir-de-Russie-Creed2.jpg


Cuir-de-Russie-Creed1.jpg
 

Pollux01

Basenotes Member
Apr 7, 2015
Old style, i.e. with loads of IBQ - Knize Ten, Chanel Cuir de Russie, Lanvin Scandal, Yardley's Bond Street, Aramis, Cabochard.

My favorite was a local cheapy discontinued ages ago, I found it in a perfume Shop selling really old stock. I recall it morphed from IBQ to amazing floral notes.

Contemporary: Gucci Guilty Absolute, Dior Homme, Bill Blass Mr. Blass, Hermès Bel Ami...
 

Diddy

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Oct 14, 2015
Good thread. Very interesting to see everyone’s mental process through leather. I’m no expert on the subject matter but I will say this… After testing now all of the great and legendary named leather fragrances, the only one I could never see being without is Moschino Pour Homme. Then there are a whole host of runner up fragrances that fall VERY close behind.
 

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