Cuir 28 is a fine enough fragrance, and it’s, without a doubt, a leather-forward scent. But, at the price point Le Labo’s playing in, “fine enough” doesn’t cut it.
I don’t find this one to be all that refined. The birch tar/smoke aspect overwhelms at the opening, and it seems at odds with the rest of the composition throughout. On paper, they make sense together, but, in practice, they seem to maintain a tense relationship with each other, never quite settling into any sense of cohesion.
The effect doesn’t ruin the fragrance, by any means, and in some ways it seems quite fitting for a Le Labo scent to behave in this way. It’s something that simultaneously amps up a sense of more-than-adequate sillage, and it hearkens back to Le Labo’s all-natural bent and individual approach to order fulfillment.
Still, while it may function as something of a calling card for the house of Le Labo, it does so at substantial cost to overall smoothness and sense of refinement. And that’s not something I’m willing to spend $290 on.
But, the most shocking thing about Cuir 28, especially after experiencing that almost assaultive opening that seems to suggest this scent will last on you for a week, is it’s awful longevity.
I applied a good amount of C28 just about 3 hours ago, and all that remains is a slight/powdery skin scent. So, while this beast might snarl when first approached, it also whimpers away with its tail between its legs far too soon. I feel like a broken record here, but I find that unacceptable at this price point.
If Cuir 28 cost a fraction of it’s going rate, I would consider giving it a neutral rating. But, I expect near-perfection at this price point, and Cuir 28 is resoundingly imperfect, earning it a thumbs down.