Perfume Directory

Cuba (2002)
by Czech & Speake

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Cuba information

Year of Launch2002
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 258 votes)

People and companies

HouseCzech & Speake
PerfumerJohn Stephen

About Cuba

Cuba is a shared / unisex perfume by Czech & Speake. The scent was launched in 2002 and the fragrance was created by perfumer John Stephen

Cuba fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Cuba

Czech & Speake's Cuba is the sort of scent that you are never going to get again if the current tides of civilisation and progress (read: mass culture) persist. Here is a proper 'cologne'. I refrain from using the word 'perfume' as it is quite explicit who the target audience is; and, women, if they wear this, they'd perhaps be the ones who prefer colognes over perfumes. Here is a cologne done in the best traditions of the old school, but with some nuances and flourishes that render a suave, fresh appeal rather than something dusty or dated.

Cuba is a simple yet complex affair; beginning with a burst of lime and mint paired with a note of rum. The mint is underplayed and expertly handled so that the concoction smells closer to an abstract cocktail, rather than any toothpaste association. That isn't all; there is a deft touch of clove, and a very prominent note of bay. The aromatics are further shaped by a rapidly developing warm, humid note of tobacco that hints at leafy cigars, together with cedar and vetiver. I don't really get any incense from it, and it smells perfect. The development is brisk, then slowed out as the fresh-aromatic nature encounters a plot twist to reveal a warm, glowing scent. I'm not surprised that warm weather brings out the best in this scent. Luckily I don't get any note of faeces, but then, I never really had a way of life compliant with contemporary North American (specifically: Toronto) standards of sterilisation and sanitisation. Cuba exhibits discreet to average projection and moderate longevity based on an abundant application.

Cuba is far removed from contemporary perfume trends in 2019, and I'm thankful for that. It's 'niche' at designer prices, at least when I bought it a couple of years back; more importantly, its style is very different. There is minimal emphasis on synthetics though I'm sure it employs quite a bit, and it reminds me of the earlier/vintage Creeds like Baie de Genievre. Cuba exhibits excellent separation of notes, is airy, and lingers on in memory space for long after it fades away from skin.

If you're curious about how it relates Havana, they are largely different scents with Cuba being fresh-spicy, whereas Havana is warm-spicy; however, there is an uncanny link in the 'personalities' of the two scents, somehow they feel connected, even after accounting for the tobacco and bay/rum notes. They sort of go hand in hand, and I can say this about both: here there is style, here there is substance. This is a scent for discerning gents who understand and value respect and appreciation; wet shavers, hat wearers, and tango dancers.


4/5

Note: Review is of the EdT. I just realised I have never tried the aftershave, and now I feel stupid.
18th March, 2019
Wearing Cuba for the second time today. I've been hand wringing for a while trying to decide if I wanted to purchase this one because of all the "fecal" note comments that have been made. Getting a sample of Cuba has proven difficult, so I finally bit the bullet and ordered a bottle. I'm relieved to report that there is no fecal note on my skin at all, and I'm slightly annoyed that I waited so long to enjoy this excellent fragrance. If those who think this smells like fecal actually excrete something that smells like this fragrance does, then by "Grabthar's Hammer, what a blessing!"

Seriously, this smells no more like excrement than neroli does to my nose. Cuba is very complex and there are some notes that are almost competing, but that I feel work wonderfully well, almost like a musical composition that is pushing the boundaries of dissonance but doesn't quite go off the rails and ends up being more interesting becoming a favorite in time.

Cuba has been a pleasant surprise. Another that I'm enjoying so much from Czech & Speake!
09th February, 2019
Now that I've worked my way through the Czeck & Speake line, I feel like their perfumes often start out a bit awkward, with occasional questionable topnotes, but they tend to melt together after about an hour into something quite well put together. Cuba is a perfect example of this. It goes on with burst of toothpaste mint that awkwardly smothers a weirdly meaty and medicinal fougere fern. But somehow, given time, it melts into that leathery sweaty old man smell that Le Labo uses a lot, but with a dash of pie spices for warmth and a rather nice sweet musk drydown that quietly hints at Musc Ravageur.

All in all, I really wanted to like Cuba, and I enjoy the musky basenotes, but I think the mint is a mess, so I'm just going to vote neutral.
17th September, 2017
The 'fecal' note some of the reviewers are moaning about is the tonka. No need to elaborate on this further, because it's silly enough to mistake it for ass. I mean, I wish my ass smelled like this, but no.
Ok, back to the scent. It's manly, rummy, minty, a tad sweet, distinctive and animalic, in a good way. Good longevity and sillage, at least enough to enjoy it for a good couple of hours. If you don't overspray it (5 sprays is more than enough) you'll like it just as much as the people around you. Best worn on the chest, but that's my opinion.
30th May, 2017
gimpy Show all reviews
United States
Olfactory heroin. Completely intoxicating, while still being manly. Green, floral, and spices, with a huge minty bay rum undercurrent.
30th June, 2016
C&S's Cuba is one of my top-shelf favs. Unlike most, however, I think a rose or geranium floral adds a great deal to this mix. No doubt, the floral is tempered by a whole lot - vetiver, cedar, clove, a cooling mint, resin - making it one of the best warm-weather, handsome, masculine scents I know. A bit of 'gnarl' is present throughout the heart making it that much more interesting but in no way does it define the scent; rather, it's remindful of sun-baked skin.

Does all the above represent tobacco? Is it like Havana? Bay Rhum? Not to me, no... but that doesn't matter. Above average longevity. I wear a good 10+ sprays under clothing.

I'm 50+, for reference. 5/5

p.s. Apply to chest after a cold shower after getting your heart up for awhile on a 90-degree-day... and the camphor/mint will take your breath away. Summer standout.
15th February, 2016 (last edited: 18th March, 2019)

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