I loved grape soda as a child – it came as a powder in foil sachets, which fizzed for a bit while dissolving, rendering glasses of a highly synthetic pinky-purple drink. This stuff had likely never been close to a real grape; it had a potent ‘fruity’ smell that I loved whereas fresh grapes hardly smell of anything at all (unless one is talking of perfumed varieties like muscat and gewurtzraminer); and it tasted of no fruit on earth. Joy.
The strong dose of orange blossom at the top of Cuir Venenum is for some inexplicable (to me) reason quite reminiscent of this childhood treat, and whereas for me it is fun indulgence, I can imagine others will consider it fruity muck. Choose your side. There’s a touch of the hair oil, too, to this provocative accord.
However, this is clearly grape soda for adults, as the two other prominent elements in the mix are a bitter myrrh with such a smoky profile it reminds me of fresh cigarette smoke when all the deadly aromatic additions to the tobacco are still dancing in the air and a rugged but clean leather. I am fussy about which leathers I wear – spicy ones are usually a no-no due to their tendency to lapse into unendurable staleness.
Cuir Veneum is wacky and playful despite its pretty butch smoke and leather statement – the grape soda twist makes it almost a non-leather leather – and it puts a smile on my face.
Reviews are all over the place! Personally i fell instantly for that tangy herbal candy-sweetness. Not sure what it is frankly, juxtaposition of honey, myrrh and orange flower? Pretty sure there's a hefty dose of sweet musks or ionones in there.
As for leather... Sure i can picture some fanta soaked leather, but certainly not the first thing that comes to mind.
To be honest i'd probably say shampoo would be a more suitable medium for this, but it smells fucking delicious. A fun fragrance that simply makes me happy.
A resemblance to Nostalgia? It has facets but I prefer to wear the SMN.
This has more going on though except for the outrageous opening of Nostalgia.
Myrrh and leather are the main players here together with a slightly skanky note -- it might be the urinous aspect of honey.
I like it very much and worth having for leather lovers imo.
Cuir Venemum is a dry, tarry leather that strikes me at first as a leaner, sparer version of Santa Maria Novella’s Nostalgia. It has some of that same new leather car interior vibe, but adds a bouquet of medicinal aromatics and shucks most of Nostalgia’s tobacco. The result is leather with a bitter edge and not even a hint of sweetness. This is miles away from the fruity suede of Cuir Ottoman or Daim Blond, but equally far removed from the provocative animalic leather of Oud Cuir d’Arabie or Eau d’Hermes.
As Cuir Venenum develops, a very bold myrrh note takes over the role of bitter accent. The myrrh expands steadily until, after an hour on my skin, it dominates the composition. The ongoing impression is highly medicinal, but in a bracingly pleasant manner. The medicinal leather and resin accord soldiers on in a straight line for hours, fading more than altering when it eventually dries down. All in all I judge this a fine leather scent, straightforward but not stodgy, smelling of quality, and easy to wear. It will appeal especially to those who like their scents dry and their leathers relatively “clean.”
I don't see particular reasons to be severe with Cuir Venenum but frankly find it useless and almost uninspired. Can't really figure right occasions in my life for wearing it with full satisfaction. How to label it? I would not define this scent a straightforward leathery one for sure since the somehow coconutty honey and the citrus are heady and just finally "brushed" by a musky suede caress. Orange, a lot of orange blossoms, hints of balsams, a minimal touch of dried fruits and heady honey welcome the wearer while a drier (gradually rising up) musky suede closes the round. At the beginning the slightly sour citric vibe contrasts with honeyed suede and dissonant balsams (but paradoxically this weird "askew" one is the more interesting phase of the evolution). The final outcome is more restrained, woody, defined, still orangy and leather veined. Not bad in its final substance but a somewhat soulless and aimless one.
18th February, 2014 (last edited: 10th September, 2014)