World of leather: Scent Synchronisation Day I - Cuiron Pour Homme by Helmut Lang

02nd August, 2003

Halfway through July 2003, regular Basenotes Community contributor, Hjack, commented that:

"There must be one or two fragrances we all have in our collections - we should choose a day which we all wear the same scent, regardless of weather or occasion and then each report on our experience of that fragrance throughout the day."

It sounded a great idea. We decided that 1st August 2003, would be the day, and the fragrance would be Cuiron by Helmut Lang. Several generous 'noters sent samples to those members who were not able to obtain one, and we all waited in anticipation for the day the world turned Cuiron-shaped.

The First Basenotes' Scent Synchronisation Day.

DATE: 1st AUGUST 2003
COUNTRIES TAKING PART: Australia, Russia, France, United Kingdom, Canada, United States



1st August 2003
6:36am GMT
Hi all, Let me be the first to wish everyone here a Happy August 1st. (2003) and a HAPPY CUIRON DAY! this Summer flying by fast or what? Seems like only yesterday I had to deal with Snow! Enjoy CUIRON day everybody!


1st August 2003
6:51am GMT
Thanks. I have been, for the last 7 hours. And it's still hanging in there, despite my having a sample of the EDC version. A perfect scent for a nice sunny day in the middle of an otherwise cold, dreary winter.


1st August 2003
9:39am GMT
I had a sample brought back from Paris. It started off nice and citrusy actually and then did what is professed to do. Very special and a must-have. I asked for Mont Blancs' Individuel on someone's recommendation; hope I won't be disappointed. If not availalbe, I will request Cuiron next week.


1st August 2003
9.56am GMT

As instructed I "dumped the vial" on me "baldy dome" which was an experience. I have photographic evidence of Thomasina and her sample (will post it later!!) Puuurrrrrrrrrrrrrr, she said. Now she wants a leather collar

Mike C

1st August 2003
11.09am GMT

Can't wait Col!
I'm COVERED in Cuiron - I never wear this much fragrance but it stays so close to my skin and I suppose the point of the day is to elicit reactions.
Working from home today too so will need to go out to waft it at people. It's great stuff. Those top notes are fiery, then soften so quickly... Love this fragrance.


1st August 2003
2:08pm GMT
OK...freshly showered...using non-scented lotion... and well sprayed with CUIRON! Ummmmmm...I haven't used this one too much (waiting for cooler weather). In fact, today is a bit cloudy and cooler! Man...this stuff is REALLY nice! God...I like it! I wasn't sure when I first tried it months ago but...Ummmm...very very good!


1st August 2003
2:18pm GMT

I too went a bit overboard in the application of Cuiron this morning. The atomizer pump has such a short stroke... First I really love the bottle. Plain dark glass with a simple label. Actually I wish the 3.3oz came in a larger version of the 1.6oz square bottle. In any case I love the apothecary look.
It's supposed to hit a high of 84 degrees F (28 C) quite humid and a high chance of thunderstorms. The perfect day for a leather scent. I decided to go with the whole Tommy Bahama thing today. Silk pants, white t-shirt, salmon silk shirt and Mephisto carpenters sandals. I am very beachy today. The Cuiron works very well with the ensemble. As for the fragrance itself, well, I need to wear this more often in warm weather!
Cuiron is quite traditional except for the plum which adds a sweet and earthy edge. In the past I have described the leather notes in Cuiron as being leather-chairesque but know I think that is not entirely accurate. It smells like the rough underside of tan unworked leather. Does that make any sense? It's very sophisticated while being just a big rough around the edges.
I am getting a hint of powder- I hope this doesn't grow too strong throughout the day. I am anxious to hear everyone's opinions on this!

1st August 2003
3:00pm GMT

First of all, I accidentally dropped my sample and it started spilling, so I had to gather whatever was left and try to salvage the Cuiron Sample EDC that Chris (DustB) sent me. All I was getting when I put it on my skin was a powdery smell. But my sister who's in form out of town walked in and commented that I smell really good. powdery smell fades and there is this subtle relaxing effect in the next half an hour or so. Being the EDC, I think I will need to shower in it if I get the full bottle. It's a warm but cloudy day and can cool off anytime, but this Cuiron beast seems to be pretty versatile if you ask me. Any of you out there use the EDT or EDP ??

Dave S

1st August 2003
3:05pm GMT

Just sprayed on the scent a couple hours ago... Very nice... Kind of a fresh leather smell that grows a bit deeper the longer it is on. Very nice indeed. Looking forward to seeing how this one develops...
Mike C

1st August 2003
3:11pm GMT

My 'first coat' of Cuiron is approaching seven hours old now and its still going strong. I'm not getting any powder but the scent is softening nicely and the spices have come out to play with the musk...!


1st August 2003
4:11pm GMT

I do love Cuiron. I get some freshness initially with some plum that quickly becomes muted but if I smell closely, the freshness is still there. I don't get anything powdery and I don't get any musk. I get wonderful leather and suede all the way through. The only other leather scents I know well enough to compare this to are Antaeus which I don't think has leather in it and.......English Leather. Yes I wore this sometimes many years ago and I have some great memories associated with it. I haven't smelled English Leather in years but from memory Cuiron brings me back a bit. It is certainly much more sophisticated than the EL that I remember.
I love the amber apothecary bottle and the sprayer works well for me. I have the smaller 1.6oz bottle and I will definately buy another when this is done.
I had felt that this stays close to the body but something strange just happened. I was at work for about a hour and a call came in for me on someone else's phone. This person is one cubicle in front of me but there are dividers and she couldn't see me. After she got the call she was going to transfer it and someone said "Is he here yet?" and she replied "yes, I could smell him when he came in and he smells great." I almost NEVER get compliments/comments. Strange, that for Cuiron, which I thought was so close to my body with no trail, I received a compliment! Strange but welcome.
I really can't compare this to a leather jacket or a leather chair. While it is certainly leather, it doesn't smell like any other leather product I have known. I even think back to the times I have ridden in Jaguar's or Rolls Royce's and smelled the aroma of the Connelly hide. I am no leather expert but I don't find any comparison at this point. I even took out my old baseball glove before I left the house this morning to compare the scent! It is a rainy and cool day here in SE NY and I think this is helpful in evaluating this fragrance which I could see as being a bit overwhelming in the usual Summer heat.
I am now wanting to try any and all leather scents and I have my eye set on Creed's Royal English Leather! I hope you are all having a great Cuiron day!


1st August 2003
4:26pm GMT

I have been told this morning that Cuiron was very subtle but compelling. In my view Royal English Leather is still the king of leather scents but Cuiron is developing more richness as the day progresses. Very nice indeed!
Steely Glint

1st August 2003
8:31pm GMT

I joined you all on the Cuiron day (big vote of thanks to Chris for letting me have a sample). Non-committal reactions from those I asked for a response. And a fairly non-committal reaction from me too, if I'm honest. I quite liked Cuiron, but it wasn't one of those one-sniff-and-I'm-hooked smells. What I liked: fresher than I was expecting, the leather notes not overplayed and the whole thing staying fairly close to the skin. But it hasn't converted me from my instinctive preference for citrus and marine scents. So I just showered and let rip with the Erolfa!
Paul G

1st August 2003
9:06pm GMT

I did wear it and it's funny listening to HJack describes this being the perfect weather for a leather scent. I am the exact opposite. This stuff was choking me today. It didn't help that i was moving boxes and doing lots of physical labor at work today. However, while I love this scent, I can't wear it when it's this hot. Right now it is 90 and humid. This scent wasn't made for that. I had to wash it off. I might try it again after the storms come through and it cools down, but I can't wear this when it's this warm.

1st August 2003
9:43pm GMT

I was looking in the dictionary earlier today and I just happened to come across the word 'CRAP', and lo-and-behold, right next to it, there was a picture of Cuiron!!! Seriously though, I can't, for the life of me, relate to the appeal of smelling like leather. I thought Fendi Uomo sucked, I thought Michael Kors sucked, and I thought Lagerfeld Classic sucked, so it was foolish of me to think Helmut Lang Cuiron would be any different. I give this one a MAJOR thumbs down.

1st August 2003
11:08pm GMT

Like 6Cats!, I was not bowled over when I tried this initially a few weeks ago. It has grown on me in several subsequent wearings, and I find that I have really enjoyed it today.
Opened with a little citrus, and then a clean, smooth leather thing throughout the day, and yes I do get a little powdery note that seems to take the edge off (I cannot see wearing a scent that is just unadulterated leather--yuk). Very nice. I'm quite pleased with this purchase, which I made untested, based on so many thumbs up here. You guys were right-- thanks.


2nd August 2003
12:46am GMT

Hey I discovered a great new post-workout scent today- any guesses? Cuiron!
It seems to have a sharper, more animal edge after a workout. Very masculine and suprisingly refreshing!
Eric M

2nd August 2003
1:18am GMT

A warm, wonderful Cuiron day. Great leather, mild plum, powder, musk and even a hint of spice today.
Every time I apply this scent it is pure bliss. Great stuff in any weather, but especially the cold. Always present, never intrusive.
The sprayer is awesome on the delivery and control. I don't care for the color of the bottle, but do like the shape (3.3).
No comments on it yet, but it's doing duty as SOTN [scent of the night] too, so we'll see. I've used very little, but every time I wear it I think I must buy some more, and get the shower gel too. Stick deo. is not bad, but I wish it were a little more true to the juice. Maybe they'll make a spray one day.
Greg B

2nd August 2003
2:54am GMT

First off, thanks to Jason for the sample. The verdict: I kind of like this one, but for some reason it didn't have a lot of staying power on me. Maybe I didn't use enough, I'm going to try it again tomorrow.
Nice citrus smell when it went on, and when the leather came out I liked it a whole lot better than Creed's Royal English Leather which is the last leathery fragrance I sampled. Of course that sampling of Creed was a fiasco, because I did it at a department store and sprayed WAY too much on because I forgot how strong Creeds are out of the bottle plus it seemed like the sprayer was wide open, and I kind of drenched myself in it and it took hours for it to wear off.
Anyway, back to the Cuiron ... it did dry down to the powdery kind of smell that some have cited, and I also liked that a lot as well. Again, the only downside for me was a lack of staying power ... it was gone after 4 or 5 hours. I still have some of the sample left and am going to try it again, as I said, and will use a little more this time.
Dave S

2nd August 2003
12:10pm GMT

Now that I have finished a full day with Cuiron, I can comment further on my impressions...
I had a bit of bad luck as to how long the scent lasts on me... 5 hours is about all I get... that is one of the shortest lived fragrances I have experienced on my skin. I will say that I loved every bit of the 5 hours I *did* get. The leather scent is very different from others I have tried in the past (and the category is not a usual favorite of mine)... Cuiron seemed to have a fresher, lighter leather scent than what I am used to in the category, with maybe just a hint of deep/warm fruit mixed in. I did not get the powdery dry down that others have experienced.
As for others' reactions... unfortunately, nothing either way there. I was hoping to get some feedback, as our company was celebrating its 30th anniversary, and we had a big outdoor party (we even get a free Disney cruise to the Bahamas in September too for the entire company and our families ). Unfortunately, while I put on a good 4 sprays of Cuiron, it stayed very close to my skin, and I don't think many (or even any) noticed...
Oh well. So, all in all, a mixed bag, but mostly a positive experience. As for the scent itself... I absolutely love it. I just wish I could get a bit more mileage out of it.
Till next month...

3rd August 2003
5:58am GMT

Wore Cuiron on 8/1 and it lasted all day - through heat and humidity, work and a workout. Plum, suede and leather (duh!!) I tend to wear what I want, when I want, so the whole summer/winter fragrance thing is ignored by me. I LOVE to wear gallons of Antaeus in the heat of summer, it tickles me


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Note to retailers and manufacturers: If you would be interested in supplying the scent for a future Scent Synchronisation Day - email us and let us know. You'll get free feedback and some free advertising for your store or company.

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About the author: Grant Osborne

Grant Osborne is the founder and editor of Basenotes. Grant has two children, and a dependence on tea, haribo and bacon.


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