Perfume Directory

L'Art et la Matière : Cuir Beluga (2005)
by Guerlain


L'Art et la Matière : Cuir Beluga information

Year of Launch2005
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 196 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerOlivier Polge
Parent CompanyLVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton

About L'Art et la Matière : Cuir Beluga

Part line of fragrances launched in 2005 "L'Art et la Matiere", where different perfumers create a scent based around a "raw material". The line is available at the flagship Champs-Elysees store.

L'Art et la Matière : Cuir Beluga fragrance notes

Reviews of L'Art et la Matière : Cuir Beluga

It smells not exactly like suede, but it smells like a high end store that sells suede. It's delicious, opulent, and a little smokey. There's a lot of depth to the scent. It's also quite long lasting.

I'd call this perfume is my long lost love. I discovered it in an Oliver Polge sampler set and it sent me down a rabbit hole of trying any and all Guerlains, but no other was as lovely.

It became my most expensive perfume buy last year and I was initially disappointed at the new bottle. Fresh and from the atomizer, it has a very bright amaretto note. It made me worry that there was a reformulation or even that my initial sample had been compromised. Luckily, a knowledgeable friend suggested that I try decanting into roller ball bottle and apply that way. It really does smell better dabbed or rolled on compared to the spray. Also, now that the perfume has aged a year it has definitely settled down to match my original decant.
19th October, 2017
The initial impression I get is that of a dark, smoky vanilla, as if frankincense was being blended with coumarin. It’s pretty much linear for me, no development. With the heliotrope note I expected something close to L’Heure Bleue, Apres L’Ondee or the house of Etro’s Heliotrope. What I don’t get is any leather at all, not even suede, which at least a hint of orris would have provided. Cuir Ottoman does come to mind but the musks in that powerhouse were brutally magnificent and here they are much softer. It’s almost impossible to include immortelle in a fragrance without it taking center stage with its burn sugar caramel note, but here it is quite shy, just perking up the corners of the dark musks used.

While not blown away by this, it is certainly quite good. Certainly lovers of vanilla/musk scents should give it a try.
21st June, 2017
Another impossibly beautiful Guerlain masterpiece. If you've made it this far into your Guerlain research, and you haven't sniffed Cuir Beluga yet, you still have at least one extreme treat to look forward to. At exactly the moment at which you've decided that Guerlain can't add anything new and pertinent to the vanilla/Guerlainade conversation, along comes Cuir Beluga to blow the doors wide open again. Layer in gorgeous suede/leather notes, with an extraordinarily beautiful powdery effect on top, a little heliotrope sheen in the middle, and you have another excuse to praise the gods of fragrance. Cuir Beluga is a bona fide masterpiece, one of Guerlain's crown jewels. High likelihood you'll fall in love. It's pretty irresistible. Don't overthink, just surrender to the loveliness of Cuir Beluga.
05th May, 2017 (last edited: 07th May, 2017)
I'm unsure about this one. I love it most of the time for the powdery leather and vanilla. Then I get some animalistic notes in whiffs I find hard to go through. I always find some weird notes in this line. It's like the fragrance is saying: "you've got to deserve me". "Stay with me and I'll put a veil around you for many hours." "You'll love me, you'll hate me." It could easily be worn by men as well.

Edit: I actually bought it. I love the mandarine in the leather. I love how feminine it is, without getting too feminine. So good.

Edit bis: I’m a bit disappointed now that I noticed the dry down (once the leather is gone, after 10 minutes) is like a very cheap vanilla fragrance I bought in a French supermarket. I won’t buy it again.
24th April, 2017 (last edited: 27th February, 2018)
After seeing that Guerlain's L 'Art et la Matière collection included another vanilla-dominant fragrance (in addition to Spiritueuse Double Vanille), I had to try Cuir Beluga, and on the whole, it did not disappoint.

I'm not sure I have much to add beyond concurring with the consensus---CB is, to me, a vanilla-dominant fragrance with elements of powder, leather, and perhaps even the amber note that is listed. Comparing it to SDV, CB is more limited on projection and longevity, less the burst and chorus of vanilla (that SDV is) and more so a symphony of mixed instruments, the most dominant of which is the vanilla. As others have noted, CB is safer and more work-friendly than SDV for the reason that the vanilla projects somewhat less, but CB is still a strong composition with respect to the performance expectations of a high-end EDP.

Comparisons of CB to Tonka Imperiale have less merit, given the absence of the vanilla overlap that CB has with SDV.

Overall, Cuir Beluga is a fantastic unisex vanilla-dominant fragrance that should be tried by both vanilla-lovers and lovers of SDV alike. Given that I already have SDV and TI, I'm not sure I'd opt for a bottle unless I got a special deal, but even though I love both SDV and TI, I'd still encourage others to perhaps try CB as they may like it more, especially given the cost of the items in this collection by Guerlain.

9 out of 10
15th March, 2016
True luxury never shouts. Cuir Beluga is perhaps the smoothest, richest, and most refined vanilla-dominant fragrance I own. Wearing it makes you feel like you’re being rubbed down with a silk cloth by a butler. It is rather minimalistic for a Guerlain, and doesn't evolve much, but when something smells this good, I couldn't care less. At the opening, I get a brief flash of a mandarin-tinted liqueur – Grand Marnier perhaps – before we slip into a warm bath of silky vanilla, suede, and heliotrope, a sort of luxury-car-on-cruise-control gear where the perfume will stay for most of the ride.

This is a Guerlain vanilla that’s been through several filters. It is recognizably the Guerlain vanilla used in Shalimar, but here it’s been double-strained through a muslin cloth to remove all the impurities that give Shalimar its famous ‘burning tires and soiled nappies’ edge. The heliotrope gives up its faintly almond-like flavors to the putty-like cream, but it is like a paste of pulverized almonds rather than the full-on fudge of marzipan. The almond accents here are of the most pale and refined sort – unsweetened, and reminiscent only of the naturally milky, mild flavor of the nuts themselves. The texture is both buttery and powdery, like the inside of a white chamois leather glove that has been dusted with talcum powder so as to ease a lady’s hand in without any vulgar pushing. The suede is accented with a dusting of anise, which adds a faintly savory, almost salty-metallic feel to the fragrance. These salty, skin-like notes are what conjure up the feel of a true, fine ‘cuir’ here, and save it from being just another gluttonous gourmand scent. This is a fragrance that is drop-dead beautiful, and I get a lot of pleasure from wearing it. Inarguably over-priced, yes, but I can’t seem to find anything that comes close to it.
12th November, 2014

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