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Way Off Scenter

Fragrance Review: Parfums MDCI Cuir Garamante

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Genre: Leather

Nutmeg and pepper top notes are brisk, bordering on abrasive, but they soon give way to a rich, smoky, animalic leather and labdanum accord that’s at once suave and vaguely menacing. As Cuir Garamante develops I catch flashes of cypriol and birch tar (the smoke), dry rose, and an oudh reconstruction*, but the central structure is mostly seamless. By the two hour mark, the leather has receded, leaving a labdanum-rich amber accord, some vaguely defined woods, and just the barest hint of oudh to carry the drydown.

This ambery drydown is pleasant enough, but it’s also comparatively dull and anticlimactic after the more distinctive smoky leather central movement. Cuir Garamante does not equal Chanel Cuir de Russie or Knize Ten as a sustained, luxurious leather experience, and for smoky, animalic leather and oudh, I’d sooner turn to Montale’s Oud Cuir d’Arabie. If I’m going to spend this kind of money on a fragrance, I want the interesting bits to last longer or I want a more distinguished drydown.

*Even at MDCI prices, one does not expect natural oudh.

For more reviews, see the entry for Cuir Garamante in the Basenotes Directory.

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