Total Reviews: 91
Yesterday, I marched my behind down to my local Chanel store to try the Les Exclusifs line, since it is rumored that new EdPs will soon replace the current EdTs. I figured that falling in love with the EdTs would be a less costly affair than falling for their more expensive EdP counterparts, so off to Amsterdam I went.
I must admit, I seem to have a bit of a thing for Chanel. Ever since starting out on my journey to discover the world of perfume a few months ago, I have made it a point to sniff most of the great (designer) houses, so I've made regular stops to smell the offerings of Hermes, Guerlain, Dior, Tom Ford, and so on. Of all these houses, some scents I hated, some I liked, and a few I loved. However, the only brand that seems to be able to truly and consistently move me is Chanel.
It may be due to the fact that No. 5 has been pretty much the only scent I've worn since I was 15, and the Chanel DNA has been deeply ingrained in my neural pathways, or it may be something else entirely, but this brand's scents seem to agree with me.
So, based on reviews and notes, I checked out my personal shortlist of Les Exclusifs at the store. Cuir de Russie was high on that list, and boy did it deliver! Shortly after spritzing it on my wrist, I knew I would not leave the store without it.
On me, it bursts out of the gates with sparkling citrus y freshness and a woody, leathery warmth. The leather soon grows stronger, and becomes the undisputed heart of the scent.
I also get something ever so slightly dirty; not the stable like dirt some others describe, but something sensual and physical nonetheless. When my husbands first smelled it on me, he said: well, there's the sex you've been looking for in a scent. Right on the money. It's a restrained kind of sexy, and it never gets raunchy, but it's an excellent and warm addition to an otherwise supremely classy and luxurious scent.
The leather I get is of the highest quality, think supple lambskin gloves, or a pair of the finest calfskin heels.
I think this perfume is perfectly unisex, but my husband seems to think it's rather masculine. Normally not one to quickly warm to any scent, he immediately decided that this is one fragrance he is going to steal from me ever now and then. I knew should have gone for the bigger bottle.
It is 4am, and you are at a Cambridge may ball. All around you beautiful medieval architecture rises; against the paling sky a floating light balloon is starting to look a little pointless.
The knot in your black bow tie is beginning to come loose of its own accord; your once crisp white shirt is creased in the crooks of your elbows, softening into your skin. Bags are settling under your eyes. One too many free cocktails have been consumed and the buzz of celebration is fading into a slight headache and the overwhelming desire for a cup of tea. The formality of Cuir de Russie is a tired and familiar one, its classiness starting to wear thin, giving in to the humanity of the need for comfort and rest. Everyone is still carefully washed and scrupulously clean, and the minds behind the tired faces are still sharp as tacks and will be the movers and shapers of the future - but the veneer of perfection is cracking and we're all still just people underneath.
I'm sure that on Mick Jagger (it's a favourite of his, according to one reviewer) this adds an element of class his looks and reputation don't otherwise support - on anyone who already has that sort of class, it adds that worn-leather-jacket approachability, the ordinary-human sensuality and warmth. A fascinating exercise in balance.
This is not just any leather. This is not like showing up at the pot luck smelling like your new chaps and donning a trusted whip, heaven forbid. This is what Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida or Audrey Hepburn would probably smell like in their mink coats, showing up for dinner at Louis XV in Monaco, with a penguin clad/cleft chin accomplice at their side, smelling like the inside of a Bentley that has been bathed in jasmine and incense. I see Rachmaninov knocking out out an etude at the back of the restaurant. Ernest Beaux must have had some great dreams after creating this one, I'll bet.
Projection is less than you would think and silage is just enough to have the waiters watching your every move. For winters only (keep the Bentley in the garage until then).
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(review of a vintage decant)
Putting it on is a nightmare; you're blasted with a scent not unlike that of rubbing alcohol. When it mellows down, its flowery for a few minutes, then it settled into what I expected; all musk and fur and leather. Which I liked, except...
On me (or maybe a few of us) there is this cloying scent like baby powder what won't go away. It's like sitting down on a train with an old lady on one side, and a fresh newborn on the other, and I just don't like it.
This is the f*ck-me-boots of perfume. It smells like an invitation, and after about an hour, every time I smell it, my stomach turns over like I'm in love.
This is not the sort of thing to wear to tell someone you just want to be friends. This is not what you would wear to work, or even for day. This is an evening tryst with a stranger sort of scent.
I wanted to love it, but the babypowder scent has ruined it for me. My friend suggested I'd like it on someone else, so I'll try that. But this isn't something I would wear.
Age and circumstance have resigned me to living in a less-than-perfect world, so it's kind of stunning to run across evidence that something close to perfection still exists. Examples of this give me hope and comfort, but they also makes everything else seem shabby. Such is the case with Cuir de Russie, which ties together everything I've come to love about perfumery--old stuff, weird stuff, bitter notes, funky notes, jasmine, iris, powder--into the most elegant knot possible (I think--if there's something better, I haven't found it yet . . . .)
Here's the thing. This stuff isn't cheap, and buying yourself a bottle is a big commitment. But unlike many other expensive contemporary perfumes, Cuir de Russie an endless array of different aspects. Spray this on, and you never wear the same perfume twice. Sometimes it's a cool customer; sometimes it's a skank bomb. Sometimes it's an elegant handbag; sometimes it's a raunchy sex toy. Sometimes it's an exotic garden; sometimes it's an overripe bouquet. It's usually some combination of these, and more. But all of these tie in seamlessly to its gorgeous central accord of ylang ylang, jasmine, incense, and leather. You never know which face(s) this perfume will show you--and that makes it even more beautiful.
21st June, 2016 (last edited: 03rd July, 2016)
Everyone else has found the right words for this one, so I won't go into dissection mode.
I sat there sniffing my wrist as it developed, my mood was brightened and I felt excited. At the twenty minute mark sniff, my scalp tingled and a totally organic, insupressable, ear to ear grin came on. At the 40 minute mark sniff, I swallowed hard and my eyes welled up. They welled up and didn't stop.
Cuir de Russie made me cry.
Over a decade into this hobby, that was a first. It shook me up.
It's not my favorite. There are many others that I'd rather wear, but nothing has ever drawn a reaction like that. Not even close. I'll certainly never forget today.
The most goddamn beautiful leather perfume I've ever had the pleasure of trying. 10/10
The Exclusifs EDT.
I've showered with Vintage Imperial Leather soap. My Black Cordovan's have been polished with a high quality boot wax. My bespoke jeans, perfectly fit, worn at the knees. My Ivory Kiton cleanly pressed open at the collar by one button. My jacket, a slightly out of style and perfect Black Hermes. My wedding ring, plain, heavy, Yellow Gold. In my arms is a bouquet of Purple Iris and Yellow Daffodils. It is Spring. I am meeting my beautiful wife for Late Lunch at our favorite Brasserie. She is wearing Black, Ivory and Gold, No.5, Black Chanel flats with Gold Bows. All these things are MYNE. Don't try to take them away or I will kick you with MY Black Buffed Cordovans and punch you in the face with MY heavy yellow gold wedding ring.
Then again I can anoint this fragrance anytime, anywhere, wearing Formal or not. It is sooo perfectly sublime.....
14th January, 2016 (last edited: 09th January, 2017)
Chanel's Cuir de Russie is the third Exclusifs fragrance that I've worn, and it is easy to see why it has such a favorable reputation. A nice leather, dirty but dressed up at the same time, that seems to be geared more towards women but for me is very unisex. The iris figures prominently for me throughout, with a citrus opening and more floral notes in the dry down that can give it a feminine edge.
Very good projection and longevity, so the power is there along with the refinement, as with the other Exclusifs I've tried. This is a fragrance that demands a try, like Coromandel and Sycomore, and now it's the third I believe I need to buy. Definitely among the best leathers I've smelled, with its own floral and citrus edge.
8 out of 10
Quite elegant, reserved and classy. This is tailored for formal wear and other times that demand respect! I feel it perhaps too proper for every day use? Opens with bright florals and a touch of citrus, and the animalics appear almost immediately. Eventually, I get a woodsy scent, perhaps the birch tar and tobacco, with it all settling into powdery leather, still smelling a touch wild. Makes quite a statement, and deserving of being included on many short lists. Thumbs up!
I love this perfume. It makes me feel like I'm Marlene Dietrich. Like I'm a singer in a dimly lit bar with red velvet booths and men smoking pipes. Like I like to smoke their pipes. Like I drink their champagne. Like I wear stockings and braces and a top hat.
Words can't even begin to do justice to Chanel's Cuir de Russie, about which so many have been written. It is a masterpiece, and one which I am very glad to have after years of dithering: Should I? Is it worth it? Do I really need it? The answer to all three turned out to be a resounding Yes.
This is one of the most elegant, beautifully balanced fragrances ever created, perfect at every stage of its development, with enormous but not overpowering sillage. On my skin, longevity is well over 12 hours (and that's just from one spray of the EDT). As others have said, Cuir de Russie really does evoke the presence of top-quality leather, such as one associates with bygone eras - in addition to gorgeous floral and well orchestrated animalic notes.
Following a period of indecision over whether to buy the EDT or parfum, a decant of EDT so astonished me with its full-bodied presence that I ordered both from Chanel. The EDT seems crisp and self-assured, the extrait softer and gently pervasive: I liken the EDT to rustling silk, the latter to velvet. I'm so glad that I decided to acquire Cuir de Russie in both concentrations.
Most of what has been written on classical perfumery falls into three categories: the description, the tribute and the complaint, also known as anger passing for nostalgia.
Take Chanel no 5:
• The description: Soapy. Bubbly. Old Lady perfume. Flowery. Feminine.
• The tribute: The greatest perfume ever made. The ultimate fashion accessory of the 20th century. The perfume that launched thousand ships.
• The complaint can be sophisticated or simplistic, but the meaning is the same: something I am entitled to has been taken away from me and I'm bitter. Blame political correctness for taking animal products off the perfumers palate, blame the governmental nannies for taking away nitro musks. Wherever I point the finger, though, I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to wear this anymore.
Cuir de Russe is a seminal work from one of the acknowledged founders of contemporary perfumery, Ernest Beaux. Describing it, idolizing it or bitching about its current state doesn't seem sufficient.
So what can I say about it? It is one of the few remaining examples of the sub genre after which it was named. The Russian leathers were defined by their specific combination of the hard and the soft. Rough leather notes, typically created with great helpings of birch tar, are balanced by dry floral notes. They combined the rugged and the refined and played on the Franco-Russian mystique of the early 20th century. They conveyed the sensibility of an era where sophistication was not defined by effete finery, but by an almost swashbuckling pursuit of 'the finer things'.
Does Chanel's Cuir de Russie meet these expectations? Tough to say. Perfume's capacity to evoke a broad sensibility is a function of many factors, from accessibility and social expectation to marketing, cost and personal habit. The Russian Leathers's connotation of class and privilege was likely a smoke-and-mirrors game at the start of the 20th Century. In the second decade of the 21st it is virtually mythology, which Chanel maintain with their heritage pillars: No 5, Cuir de Russie and Bois des Isles.
Cuir de Russie must meet a two-part goal for Chanel. It must remain coherent with the image of Chanel's history yet be desirable to the buyer who doesn't know or care that the perfume has a history. This is the precipice where many vintage perfumes die. They are reformulated, whether due to materials or strategy, and they lose the buyers. Caron's strategy has been to reformulate their heritage products drastically (eg. Narcisse Noir). Vintage lovers protest that their favorite perfumes have been gutted and new younger buyers have little interest in 'old lady perfumes.’ Taking a different tack, Guerlain reissued Vega as true to its original form as possible. Buyers who didn't care about its historical significance didn't buy it and it has been discontinued.
Caron is the cautionary tale and Chanel have paid close attention. Cuir de Russie 'ain't what she used to be,' but is an exceptional perfume that is precicely calibrated for 2015. The reference to the past is apparent but the perfume isn't nostalgic in the least. Neither is it adorned with olfactory signifiers like fruit notes, lingering woody ambers or cotton candy that that would suggest a cynical attempt to trick a younger demographic. The juxtaposition of leather with flowers is the idea at the heart of both the vintage and the current formulations of Cuir de Russie. The current version focusses on the same concepts that the original did rather than try to recreate it. In emphasizing evolution and continuity Chanel have made the current Cuir de Russie what it always was: a reference point and a standard against which other perfumes are measured.
An excellent leather perfume has been evidence of quality and distinction for niche and classic houses. Robert Piguet are 'known' for Bandit, as is Heeley for Cuir Pleine Fleur and Balmain formerly was for Jolie Madame. Cuir de Russie might not be a best-seller for Chanel, but it is critical to their image and their perfume portfolio. Jacques Polge, who oversees the maintenance of the line and is responsible for its current composition, gets high marks for the deliberation and subtlety that make the contemporary Cuir de Russie an exceptional perfume.
It fulfills my leather fantasy being my ideal leather. Only problem is that it doesn't last long -3hrs on skin and its projection is quite average. Of course, I do enjoy it but I expected a bit more considering the price I paid for.
Cuir de russie is truly beautiful master piece with a striking balance of femininity of soft leather and handsome authority.
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After a brief moment of bergamot-orange freshness, a floral rose phase and a woodsy-balsamic interlude the delightful leather note emerges. On my skin this is a smooth leather with some smoky undertones and a sweetish element that contains incense qualities at times. Elegant with an edge of danger. The vintage perfume is made of extraordinarily high-quality ingredients and gorgeously blended. In the newer version in the Exclusifs range on my skin there is less leather, and a floral jasmine-rose with ylang-ylang is more dominant.
With the vintage perfume - a true masterpiece - I get quite heavy sillage, very good projection and over seven hours longevity. A paradigmatic leather fragrance. 4.75/5 for the original perfume.
Tested finally again on skin (after long time) in Harrods, London. Chanel Cuir de Russie is basically one of the smoothest (aldehydic-rosey) leathery soapiness ever, a conservative-palatin (yes "classic/modern chic") piece of measured alchemy, a fragrance epitome of an expired french chypre neutral tradition conceived for high class (excellent in taste) "Grand Madame" arousing hyper luxury aura, measure and impeccable manners (so far from the current expensive, boor ignorant banality around the newly rich rampant people). Inebriant and organic (you feel a penetrating aroma of human skin moisturized by balmy-milky foams). Supremely smooth and elusive. Yes, the Chanel N 5 's DNA is here but Cuir de Russie appears less aldehydic (and less properly molecular/radiant) in order to evolve (after a glorious initial hesperidic valzer) towards a more soapy/musky/animalic execution finally "sprouting" a soapy-leathery (balmy-cosmetic/chypre) and richly floral wake. Yes, the animalic notes (civet, wax, honey, amber??) are substantial (barely adumbrated) and restrained in a perfect balance with all the other notes (floral ones in particular). Frankly I detect more rose/ylang-ylang than yet present iris (at least, it seems) and I suppose the interaction between incense, orris root, cedarwood and woody powder elicits a typically creamy powdery feel. A "non-molecular" whiff of incense (not a properly dusty one but a minimally resinous incense perfectly enclosed in the general neutral balminess) slightly darkens the soapiness (and its leathery tail) providing a more mysterious magic hyper restrained spark. If you love the leather and are looking for a subtle (hyper subtle) classic soapy-suede perfectly enclosed in a balmy-animalic-organic chypre accord, well..you can't miss this piece of classicism. I've tested the reformulation of course and hardly could imagine superior "natural modulation".
Summary: On me, good leather, dark "bitter" sandalwood and smoke, androgynous or even masculine and classy at the same time. I like it, my family hates it.
Starts very dark and very leathery. Like a dark leather purse of good leather, those leathers that smell bitter and a little pungent but (for me) in a good way. Quite masculine, actually. As it dries, the most important note is sandalwood, and something smoky, maybe tar or smoke itself. Underneath it there's something sweet that balances it, but the full composition never becomes mostly sweet. If I had to describe it in one word: bitter. With more words: you are at a bar, at night, where smoking is permitted, wearing a good leather jacket, drinking bitter tonic water. The bar has old fragrant wood furniture and there's a sandalwood box nearby.
As it dries, like 22 Chanel (which is completely different), I detect a sharp metallic note which is unsettling. I believe it is incense, and I like it, as unsettling as it is to me.
My brother also smells camphor, though I wasn't able to detect it.
I like it very much, though if I owned it I would only wear it at night (for a night out or for a very good night at home) as I don't see it being a mainstream people-pleasing fragrance
Soft, Subdued & Elegant... My favourite Chanel.
Cuir de Russie is a beautiful leather fragrance. But it's a leather-orris combination. A "powdery leather" almost. I have tried leather fragrances with a more animalic leather note. This is a feminine, androgynous leather, rather than a very full, animalic one.
We know the story of Coco Chanel's affair with the Russian aristocrat and military officer. She captured the smell of his riding boots and leather gloves, his tobacco pipe, mixed with the rose, jasmine and ylang-ylang smell of her perfume (the scent of a love affair). It's a truly subdued but beautiful smell, a soft and understated type of elegance.
Basically to my nose what Cuir de Russie is to me, is simply a leather version of Chanel No. 5. In simple terms, it's Chanel No. 5 with added leather. You have the rose, iris, jasmine, ylang-ylang & aldehydes, but with a heavy dose of leather. A wonderful combination!
I get the leather and birch tar but it's a scented leather, with orris root and florals, and a hint of blond tobacco in the drydown. This could be worn by either a man or a woman (it's a favourite of Mick Jagger). It's a beautiful one, but it stays closest to the skin (the Eau de Toilette version) and it's almost like the leather used in saddlery.
I think the bottom line is, Chanel would never release something like this today, and if any other house did, it would be niche, probably charged at the same price. Again, Cuir de Russie may not be for everyone, as it takes the right look to pull off (on either a man or a woman). I'm impressed with it, and I would certainly feel comfortable wearing it. Beautiful, elegant stuff! The so called "Rolls-Royce" use of leather in perfume.
Elegant scent, very classy and unisex. I am not a leather fan but I find this to be nice. Everything is substantial yet restrained, and (as others have said) in perfect balance. Definitely not heavy, sweet, or cloying.
The scent is in an an attractive evening style, sophisticated and alluring. I hadn't expect to like this but I do!
04th August, 2014 (last edited: 09th August, 2014)
Cuir de Russie offers an almost perfect balance between glamour and danger. Sharp leather, fruit, and sweet citrus dominate the opening. Strong florals emerge very quickly afterwards, along with some smoke. A sweet floral accord with a superbly integrated civet underpinning and the merest trace of lingering smoke makes for a rich, dark, seductive, heart that's vaguely suggestive of a more animalic Habanita. The leather submerges for some time under the exotic florals and civet, then reasserts itself strongly in the drydown.
Cuir de Russie's extended drydown reveals a smoldering animalic leather, amber and civet base. At the risk of redundancy, the civet note in Cuir de Russie is one of the best executed I've ever encountered. Bravo!
A magnificent leather scent that has risen over time to the summit of my leather collection, right alongside Knize Ten and Eau d'Hermes. I think it's suitable a man or a woman, provided the wearer has the confidence and dignity required to carry such a bold and complex scent.
The Chanel No5 DNA in Russian Leather is ever present in the top notes and first few minutes. The Ylang Ylang and Jasmine displayed prominantly in both. Very classic Chanel quality. However my nose never really keys into the Leather vibe that is in it's name sake.
I grew up riding horses, and this scent is the archetypal Proustian Madeleine that hurtles me back through the corridors of time to the simple pleasure of resting my face against the neck of a sweaty horse. We grew up in a family with lots of kids and very little money, so I begged, borrowed, or stole horses to ride on whenever I could. I did hard labor on a farm in exchange for rides on a fat, bad-tempered pony, and when I outgrew him, my dad drove me to the nearest racing stables and volunteered my services.
Now, looking back, it might not have been the safest or wisest of things to glibly offer your thirteen year old daughter to a working racehorse stables in Ireland. Those places are rough and the horses are dangerous. I would sit precariously perched, knees up near my ears, on over a thousand pounds of fast moving horseflesh as they galloped 35 miles per hour around a muddy track or down the beach.....and I would cycle 5 km each morning at 6am for the pleasure, unpaid and unthanked, riding out up to three horses each morning before school. But then again, my dad taught all four of us kids to swim by picking us up and throwing us into the Irish Sea and yelling "Now SWIM, you little feckers!" so maybe I shouldn't be that surprised.
Anyway, there was this wonderful, quiet moment every morning that I would cherish - after racing the horses on the beach, we would take their saddles off, throw the reins over their heads and lead them into the sea to cool their legs down (important to reduce swelling and minimize the risk of ruining the investment (the horse)). There, I would sometimes lean in and rest my face against the flank of the horse, dark and wet with sweat. Often, the sweat would lie in creamy rings looping around the flesh where the English saddle had been, so your nose would be taking in the smell of leather and sweat at once. I loved that moment, and now I wish I could get that simple sort of peace again - the sort of exhausted peace that exists between two animals who have taken exercise together. At home, I would often have no time to get ready for school, so I would just wash my arms, neck and face with Imperial Leather soap, and head off to school.
Cuir de Russie smells like me and this moment in time - horsey, vaguely dirty/sweaty in a clean sort of way, creamy soap, warm horse flank, and the underside of English leather saddles freshly lifted off a horse who has run five kilometres up and down a beach in County Wexford, Ireland. No more, no less. I can't identify or dissect any of the notes in this beyond the soapy aldehydes and the soft, vaguely floral leather, and I can't for the life of me imagine how you go about reconstructing a horse in such 3D glory using the simple list of notes I see on BN and Fragrantica. In fact, I would rather remain in ignorance for fear of breaking the power it has to conjure up that memory, just like I imagine Proust didn't bother asking his housemaid what type of butter and what type of flour went into making his Madeleine. I am simply glad that this exists in the world. I should note that I have only tried the EDT (Les Exsclusifs version) and the pure parfum must be ever more glorious.
Somptuous, soapy, sensual orris-leather masterpiece with a multi-faceted cut – balsamic, dark, floral, chypre, dry, powdery. A quintessential timeless great masterpiece like Mitsouko, Shalimar, Bois des Iles: there's them, then there's everything else. Scents which do not really any douche like me wittering about them. Ironically I agree with Anosmia's review below: I mostly wear it at home too, but not because I find it too feminine, just because I do that with the scents I really love the most - so that I can enjoy them at full power and concentration, and in total relax.
I understand that many men wear this very excellent perfume, and wear it successfully. I like to wear it myself. However, I think it is an essentially feminine perfume, and I'll tell you why. I find that the long and wonderful heart and drydown definitely include notes that are reminiscent of that bit of anatomy that by definition is not standard issue to men. I hope that's not too blunt, but when, as here, the argument persists regarding whether CdR is masculine or feminine, this fact is certainly relevant.
And that actually may be why some of the alpha types who famously wear CdR can do it. That is, it unconsciously validates the impression of unlimited feminine acceptance, which absolutely commands other men's admiration.
That being said, this stuff is really intriguing. I don't know if I can pull it off or not, but I really like it. It's deep, sensual, rich, elegant, exquisitely blended, lavishly formulated. The florals are totally lush: They are absolutely as good as the leather.
And speaking of the florals, you will have a much harder time appreciating them in the EDT. They're in full otherworldly bloom in the parfum. For all my talk about CdR being too feminine, I seriously think you're missing out if you only try the EDT. Not only are the florals great in themselves, but the balance they lend to the leather, to me, is well worth the price of the parfum.
02nd February, 2014 (last edited: 10th February, 2014)
Quite possibly the best leather scent available today and it was one of the first - debuting in 1924. Its only rival is Knize Ten.
What strikes me most about Chanel's truly vintage scents (from the 1920s-1930s) is the extraordinarily delicate "balance" of the ingredients. Here the discreet florals are perfectly balanced with the animalic leather notes - the result is the most sophisticated leather on the market.
Neroli, Bergamot, Lemon, Mandarin, Clary Sage
Orris, Carnation, Rose, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Heliotrope
Leather, Amber, Opopanax, Styrax, Vanilla, Cedar, Vetiver
My favorite Chanel.
Loved it in the bottle, but it just flattened out on my skin and disappeared rather quickly. I'm glad to hear that it blooms so nicely on others, but not on me. Too bad.
Pros: Great in the Bottle
Cons: Did Nothing on My Skin
Wonderful animalic and dark leather.
It's deep enough to make you think you're all covered by leather.
The opening is a bit rancid leather, but then turns to a smoother leather with the tobacco note.
Not an easy fragrance to wear, but beautifully constructed and blended.
Sillage, lasting power and projection are medium-high.
I have to fly a lot long distance for work and I am not a happy flyer. I need to find every possible way can to relax. Cuir de Russie is my travel scent. It is pure luxurious comfort. It smells like an old soft leather glove. I am transported to my happy place. Very warm and reassuring. It does not project to far, just as far as my nose when I move and I get a good 10 hours from it. One of the few scents that I cannot be without.
Cuir de Russie EDT is the most audacious purchase I have ever made, being a person who doesn't like leather, animalistic, dirty, or powdery and balmy. CdR is all of those things, and yet, I love it!
It is a work of art that is a famous struggle between masculine and feminine. It's astounding, really- feminine powder stemming from florals, ylang ylang, and wood, juxtaposed completely with a rough, buff leather covered in dirt. How in the hell these two things come together, I don't know, but it really works. The leather is dirty, but not unpleasant. It's not off-putting, musky, or too heavy- it's an animal hide tanned into a jacket made for soldiers type of leather.
I think the magic of Cuir de Russie is that it always keeps you guessing. One second it's bergamot, then it's powder, then leather, then it gets soapy. Repeat, repeat, mix it around, repeat. Easily the best Chanel Exclusif in my opinion, and one of the few leathers that I like. The only true downside is that it's so lavish, it's a bit hard to wear around other people.
Cuir de Russie Parfum
Cuir de Russie is a masterpiece, and quoting another fellow reviewer from basenotes (of-scenter), it belongs to my pantheon of leathers. Its so beautifully done, the overdose of iris, the smoky birch tar with the citrus in the opening creating a sour animalic aura, its very dark and luxurious at the same time. An image that comes to my mind is Coco wearing a black patent leather cape over a white satin gown or even the famous Helmut Newton photo in witch the model is wearing a Couture Saint Laurent tuxedo.
Beaux and Coco managed to capture the essence of the feminist movement and the free spirit of the contemporary woman, that is, the duality of femininity and amazone fighter. I can see the working girl that uses seduction as a weapon, the dominatrix controlling her male slave and even house wives that knows how to convince their husbands to do what they want. The strange thing its that its is so classical and modern at the same time, i think thats why it reminds me of Yves and Helmut Newton, the erotic gender bender game, women dressing as men, women taking control over their desires and taking care of their lives. I fell like it represents Coco's own personal way of life, financially independent but emotionally dependent of her lovers at the same time.
CdR is a very feminine fragrance and you can smell that because its full of flowers but then again its so masculine, the flowers are very animalic, the birch is incredibly smokey and improper for a women and I think thats what makes this fragrance so grand and important. Its full of contradictions, its very personal, not the type of fragrance you would wear to attract someone but rather to satisfy your own desire. This fragrance and nº19 to me represents much more then nº5 whats Chanel is all about but unfortunately they doesn't get the attention they should specially Cuir de Russie...
5 out of 5
The scent of the British aristocracy, coming in from a day of riding or hunting to throw on a ball gown and dab a sophisticated scent on to cover the smell of the stable and of the cigarettes to be smoked during the night, that's what this smells like to me. I think Camilla Parker-Bowles as a young woman, or now--age is irrelevant with a scent like Cuir de Russie. One of my top 3 favorite fragrances of all time. To me it's very masculine yet feminine at the same time. So complex, at times it seems like my grandmother's cigarette-reeking vanity, then a stable, then it veers into an almost disagreeable area of the dirtiest of animalic notes, only to return to the pleasant side of smells carrying a bunch of subtly feminine but never sweet flowers. There's nothing sweet in this fragrance to me, yet it is still very feminine, which apparently is exactly what I look for in a fragrance. I like No. 5 better, but I don't like having one of the world's top-selling fragrances as a signature, so I'm considering making this mine. It smells even more expensive than No. 5 to me, too.