Perfume Directory

Grand Cuir (2013)
by Parfums Retro


Grand Cuir information

Year of Launch2013
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 11 votes)

People and companies

HouseParfums Retro
PerfumerHugh Spencer
Creative DirectorJeffrey Dame

About Grand Cuir

Grand Cuir is a masculine fragrance by Parfums Retro. The scent was launched in 2013 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Hugh Spencer

Reviews of Grand Cuir

I'm amazed that no one is mentioning the stinkier aspects of this! There is a decidedly animalic component to this 'leather' scent, in fact, it smells primarily like a fascinating combination of soap and stink, squeaky clean barbershop accords and exceptionally dirty leather. There are mothballs galore and a dry down of leathery musk that permeate the entire thing and make it smell reminiscent of 'sinful' feminine perfumes from long ago. The indolic nature of the orange blossom and other florals gives this Cuir a very intriguing and darkly voluptuous bent that I love. Too bad it is now discontinued because I would wear this one myself and revel in its bad-boy attitude.
08th October, 2017
Grand Cuir, to me, has that gasoline/suede smell made famous by Knize Ten, but with Ten's pineapple and flowers removed and replaced by intensely powdery lavender, so it's got a strong classic barbershop vibe, eventually drying down to a musky French soap smell. In all, Grand Cuir reminds me of something Caswell Massey would do, but richer and better quality.

I love that this was clearly designed for serious perfume fans. It assumes you know your history and like more difficult classic smells, and that you're not intimidated by powdery flowers and leathery musks. As such, it earns a definite thumbs up, though to be fair, as a matter of personal taste, I'd still take Knize Ten or Kolnisch Junchten over this, just because I prefer their fruit and flowers over Grand Cuir's effusive barbershop powder.
18th November, 2015
Parfums Retro Grand Cuir is framed for you before you even try it. Putting the expectation right out front is an interesting strategy. The name tells you it will be a backward-looking, stonking leather perfume. While the name is not an outright fiction, it’s a ruse. Grand Cuir is a leather perfume, but it plays rough with genres and assumptions. If you take the name as a suggestion rather than scripture, the perfume speaks for itself and the fun starts.

Grand Cuir refers to the big, androgynous leathers of the early 20th century, the smoking and drinking party girls and boys such as Caron Tabac Blond, the various Cuirs de Russie, Schiaparelli Shocking and Lanvin Scandal. It is formal but rakish in that unbuttoned tuxedo, end of the evening style. It also links to the whopping aromatic fougeres of later in the 20th century with herbal, soapy facets that smack of loud shower-singing. The references might be retro, but its genre-blurring was current when released in 2013 and the huskiness of the floral leather notes matches a pendulum-swing away from sheer suede/leather notes and toward smoky, peaty leather tones.

Like the early 20th Century Shalimars, Emeraudes and Tabus with their dress up, play-acting orientalism, the art deco-era leather perfumes had a bit of costumey amateur-theater to them. The aromatic fougère of the mid-20th century was equally burdened with drama, in this case the overstuffed props of a wounded masculinity. Grand Cuir takes the stage but does it with a wry, comedy-of-manners-style that suits the project. The irony is smart and never reaches into sarcasm. Grand Cuir simply lives in a world of props and set-dressing appropriate to the genres.

Grand Cuir plays with olfactory tones as much as it plays with genres. Soapiness is common to both floral-leathers and fougères and Grand Cuir uses it to modulate the tannic woodiness of the leather and scratchy herbal qualities. The perfume balances tones of voice that typically would be dissonant. The hissiness of the orange blossom-leather pairing sits easily next to the barbershop quartet of the fougère. Grand Cuir is a big broad perfume and holds these differences in place without them seeming shoehorned into the same bottle.

Taken seriously, lightly or laughingly, Grand Cuir is a potent but nuanced perfume. Its opening gives a picture of the journey of the next 12 hours. The details, though, are nicely calibrated and the sites that you see en route are delightful.

18th May, 2015
Such a good surprise this Grand Cuir.

The fragrance opens with an extremely aromatic and and kind of arresting herbal combo of lavender, pine and terragon. Hyper-green, almost strident and even challenging if you want because of the juxtaposition with a remarkable dose of birch-tar. Hang in there and let the fragrance evolve because this is just the beginning…

A masculine soapy-floral pattern (mainly geranium) breaks in in the middle phase driving the fragrance towards more traditional territories while a barbershop-type leather-patchouli base starts lurking in the back to then merge with the rest and give birth to a tremendously complex old-school clean leather that could have easily been included in the Geo F. Trumper line-up as well as, say, Czech & Speake.

If you like classic *gentlemanly* leathers a-la Knize Ten, you can't miss this.

Indeed *rétro* and very, very good.

15th January, 2015
Grand Cuir starts as a complex soapy leather fragrance that is like no other on the market today. There are a lot of notes besides leather in this, and all of those notes get to play their tunes over time. I don't find this to be a rough fragrance. It's a bit sharp at first, but it mellows and becomes more and more sophisticated. The evolution over a period of 8+ hours is fabulous. The tightly- packed structure opens up and softens, and at 6 PM is very different from what it was in the morning. Parfums Retro has met its goal-- a very special contemporary mens' fragrance with definite classic roots.

UPDATE 2018-- Grand Cuir is back but no longer as a Parfums Retro product, but is being sold under the JD Jeffreey Dame line. Dame was the originator of this fragrance back in 2013 and has now put it out to market eponymously. On early testing, without the benefit of the earlier product, it smells the same, and smells delicious.
06th September, 2014 (last edited: 25th November, 2018)
Parfums Retro's Grand Cuir joins an elite club of top tier leather fragrances. It is a perfect marriage of fresh, crisp, masculine leather and a sensual, slightly feral, feminine leather. It opens with a citrus/pine freshness on top of a barbershoppy lavender and orange flower. It is not all squeaky clean, though; there is a sensual heart, slightly animalic (this barely registers but is there), giving the creation a warm beating heart. The florals are carefully and masterfully blended, reading as bright and fresh (not ozonic) and dry. Unlike Cuir Pleine Fleur, which is rather dark, brooding and autumnal, with a more prominent violet/orris and salt note, GC stays fully in the light of day. Sillage is moderate and gratifying, tenacity is also 6-8 hours. This brings to mind Knize Ten in terms of style, without being quite so conventionally "manly".

Hugh Spencer is the perfumer for this, and the rest of the Parfums Retro line. I am looking forward to more from Jeffrey Dame and Hugh Spencer. Bravo!
13th June, 2014

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Parfums Retro Grand Cuir Eau de Parfum Perfume Spray 100ml 50% Full 3.3-3.4oz

End Date: Sunday Mar-10-2019 18:09:55 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $149.99
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