Perfume Directory

Cumming (2004)
by Alan Cumming


Cumming information

Year of Launch2004
AvailabilityIn Production / Limited Edition
Average Rating
(based on 86 votes)

People and companies

HouseAlan Cumming
PerfumerChristopher Brosius

About Cumming

Cumming is a masculine fragrance by Alan Cumming. The scent was launched in 2004 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Christopher Brosius

Cumming fragrance notes

Reviews of Cumming

I’m not certain how Cumming (2004) and 2nd Cumming (2010) are related. Obviously, the second followed the first. Beyond that, reformulation? Sequel? The CB I Hate Perfume website states that 2nd Cumming is, “exactly the same as the original Cumming” yet provided Brosius and actor Alan Cumming the opportunity to, “…do the scent the way [they] had originally intended.”

I don’t find this bit of obscurity vague or misleading. The ambiguity is appropriate. They smell like the exact same scent, but not. Perhaps the clue is in the subtitle of 2nd Cumming: Once More with Feeling!

The two fragrances are extremely legible. They seem more abstract than the list of notes (cigar, whiskey, Douglas fir, Scottish heather, peat…) implies, but they are sharply defined. I do get the suggestion of peat and its olfactory quality of being both wet and dry at the same time. ‘Peaty’ when describing Scotch, suggests the smoke and tar of a peat fire. Peat moss itself is more like the scent of rain after a dry spell. The two Cummings build on this quality and have the scent of a storm moving in–static electricity, dust and twitchiness. The start of a rainstorm scratches at all your senses simultaneously and gives a sense of imminence. This is where Cumming resides. It sits at the tip of your nose the way the way a inaccessible memory sits at the tip of your tongue.

From the perspective of 2016, the Cummings feel like a commentary on the woody tones that were a trend at the time the first model was released. That’s not to say that they seem dated or era-specific per se. They are more inventive and precise than the dull woody-amber trends of the time. Their olfactory profiles suggest the guilty pleasure of commercial scents that we often deny liking: plastic packaging, dry-cleaning chemicals, petroleum byproducts. This is much more fun than cigars and drinks.

The greatest difference between the two versions is in the drydown. The original smells metallic and the scent overall fades to a whisper fairly quickly. 2nd Cumming’s drydown is warmer and a bit leathery. Surprisingly given its water base, it has much more longevity than the original. They are both well-sculpted scents but it is an open question whether they are perfumes. I don’t mean this as derogatory. I assume that this discussion would be welcome in a line called I Hate Perfume. The catch here is that the term scent, when contrasted with perfume, usually implies a lack of artistry. The Cummings twist the distinction into meaninglessness and make environmental scents that you wear. They don’t read as room spray applied to the body. They just perform differently on the body than ‘straight’ perfume does.

The cheeky double entendre of 2nd might bother some, but it reminds me of a college professor who started our class one day by writing on the board, “Christianity is a cultural mediation of homosexuality.” For the students who winced, they should have remembered to leave their delicate sensibilities at the door of a class called “The History of Sex.” For those squeamish about trying this perfume, you’d would do well to remember both the name of the perfume and the company.
20th June, 2016
An attractive leather-based, boozy, cigar-smelling but not smoky fragrance. Quite abstract too, for all those 'concrete' notes. A bit medicinal in the opening, but that dries down to a comfortable aromatic. Modern, urban, and masculine. Thumbs up.
29th November, 2015
Genre: Leather

I experienced an episode of instantaneous recognition when I first smelled Cumming: take Olivia Giacobetti’s Dzing!, pare away the vanilla candy to isolate the pungent barnyard and riding boots accord, and you’ve got Cumming. Or something very like it, at any rate. Where Dzing! uses sugary vanilla, Cumming employs smoke, tobacco, and dry aromatics to set off its intensely animalic leather. The resulting scent is more than a little raunchy, but never crude. References to cigars and whisky in descriptions of this scent are accurate, but the unabashedly animalic accent keeps Cumming far from the stuffy men’s club territory occupied by Vintage Tabarome and Baladin.

While Cumming is by no means weak, it does wear close to the skin, so I doubt those beyond arm’s reach will detect it easily. Lasting power is adequate, if unexceptional, with a mossy wood and leather drydown setting in after four to six hours. Lovers of animalic leather scents like Montale’s Oud Cuir d’Arabie or Eau d’Hermès ought to give Cumming a try. It’s just as bold and distinctive, but less loud, and hence easier to wear. Very good stuff.

12th June, 2014
One crazy fragrance,thats all i can say.If your looking for different, this is the one. Smells like an old backyard thats been dug up, then a kind of semi sweet,mellow scent comes thru........
22nd April, 2013
With such a name, I'd expected something extremely challenging, provocative, unapologetic and sort of love-or-hate but, Cumming, is a very easy to like fragrance. Basically this is a leather centered composition with boozy notes, a smoky-cigar accord and something else that strikes halfway bewteen spices and coniferous hints. If all of this may bring to mind fragrances such as Idole De Lubin or cetrain deliveries from Frapin, be advised that Cumming is VERY far from either being surrounded by a remarkable urban vibe as opposed to the spice market allure and oriental quality of both the Lubin and Frapin.

Cumming is modern and with its abstract nature, it clearly shows the experimental aspect of most of the Christopher Brosius' compositions for CB I Hate Perfumes and Demeter. The opening is quite misterious with a boozy accord of whiskey and an extremely aromatic dry-tobacco quality. It's like smelling a cigar and then lick it while holding in your hand an opened Zippo. This accord is very efemeral and it's immediately joined by a bold animalic leather note that brings to mind of saddled horses passing by in the streets of London or New York. The strong animalic presence is handled to achive a metrosexual, sort of urban vibe as opposed to the typical barnyard/cowboy imaginary of most of the compositions that move in the same direction. In this context, Cumming is a damn sexy fragrance that will appeal to both hardcore leather fans and experimentalist-avanguardist perfumistos.

Overall Cumming is a moderately powerful composition that while staying quite close to the skin throghout its evolution, it's still able to provide an incredibly distinctive allure with its oxymoronic dirty-clean presence. One of a kind. An hidden gem.

08th April, 2012 (last edited: 10th April, 2012)
mumsy Show all reviews
United Kingdom
I put this on as the first Mr Brosius scent I had ever tried. I had no idea what to expect but it is quite an extraordinary olfactory adventure. It seems the more you sniff, the more you get and the more the imagination can take hold.

I'm getting a big leather studded armchair, a leather briefcase, including the metallic clasps, a woolly jumper, paper that has been thumbed, there is a bit of fountain pen ink, a cigar that has been smoked but is out and the butt is in a far away ashtray, there is a current bun in the distance, a watered down peaty whisky. There is a peppery skin, very slightly sweaty in a nice way with a trace of that mornings gentlemans cologne left. I'm not getting any fireplace, only the cigar ashtray bit.

Overall, it feels safe and secure, making me have a desire to snuggle up to this comfy person. It is an incredibly evocative smell and it reminds me of the older men in my family although not as an equal, more like an enveloping sort of smell, such as a child would perceive on a grandfathers knee.

I would value this as an olfactory painting rather than as a perfume. I liked the journey and didn't want it to stop. It almost made one sad as it dried down, like a fading memory. Mr Brosius, thank you for this little trip to the past.
03rd November, 2011

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