Positive Reviews of Cuir de Russie by Chanel

    Find out more about Cuir de Russie by Chanel in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


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    Anosmia Amnesia's avatar
    Anosmia Amnesia


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    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.


    02 February, 2014 (Last Edited: 10th February, 2014)

    JackTwist's avatar
    JackTwist
    United States United States

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    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.

    21st January, 2014

    's avatar



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    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.

    21st April, 2013

    Sticky Threads's avatar
    Sticky Threads
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    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.

    28 March, 2013

    Incontinent's avatar
    Incontinent


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    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.

    9/10

    03 March, 2013

    Smelly Beast's avatar
    Smelly Beast
    Brazil Brazil

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    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

    17 February, 2013

    bititybumble's avatar
    bititybumble


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    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.

    13 January, 2013

    PeteH's avatar
    PeteH
    Australia Australia

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    I'm with Candide on this one - I love my CdR parfum, but I'd never wear it out of the house. This is a perfect fragrance for a rainy cold Sunday at home. It's just too feminine for me to wear in public, although I adore it.

    15 August, 2012

    Candide's avatar
    Candide
    Germany Germany

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    Luxury is not for everyone to see. I wear it in private only.

    19 June, 2012

    blood-orange's avatar
    blood-orange
    Australia Australia

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    I was preparing myself for a strong leather scent, bigger and bolder than what I've previously tried. I was amazed to discover that this is a feminine and soft leather, nothing like Bandit by Robert Piguet or Cabochard by Gres.

    This is leather with pretty floral and soapy nuances. I find nothing like what some have described; there's no animalistic qualities, (at least to my nose), no saltiness and no bitterness.

    It almost smells inky to my nose, like a room filled with regal, black leather armchairs, big red cedar tables and ink-wells, with a vase filled with jasmine, ylang ylang and rose sitting near a window overlooking a courtyard.

    I also don't get the masculine references, to me this particular scent is very feminine, pretty almost. I think it would work well in a casual atmosphere too.

    I recommend Cuir de Russie as a leather scent for beginners, the perfect subtle leather before the transition into the bigger, harsher and stronger leather scents. Strange as it may sound, this fragrance is more romantic than dominatrix in my opinion. If you want sexual, animalistic leather try the men's department or douse yourself in Bandit.

    Cuir de Russie has great lasting strength, however the sillage is extremely intimate and subtle, making it somewhat difficult to detect at times. All in all, a beautiful powdery and floral interpretation of a leather classic from Chanel.

    24 March, 2012

    iivanita's avatar
    iivanita
    Croatia Croatia

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    this is animalic leather, horselike leather, but with huge touch of iris...the longevity is 12+ hours, its one of the strongest scents that i have that radiates all day long, something unbeleivable.and classy, not something you can smell around every day
    its perfect for winter. for the summer its too heavy.

    when i first tried it it was terrible smell of barnyard, but after 2-3 hours it started radiating this very powdery ,warm, buttery smell that never stops it goes after you for hours.i bought it becasue it was so unusual turnaround from disgust to affection :) and maybe i could not take the vintage version this is just enough of weirdness to me.

    24 February, 2012

    thatbrownelf's avatar
    thatbrownelf
    United States United States

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    As much as leather is one of my favorite scents, of the (limited, I admit)leather-featured scents I've tried most have gone into plasticky-PVC-bondage leather rather than butter-soft leather gloves passed down from a chic female relative. Cuir de Russie, however, was love at first sniff. It opens with a dirty animalic note that's borderline fecal, but the soft, creamy, spicy florals seep in and smooth out this animal's shaggy fur until Cuir de Russie becomes this heart-achingly beautiful blend with an undercurrent of barely-bridled danger; a lady in leather and lace, a sleek panther at repose in a meadow. I feared the bergamot and mandarin might ruin CdR as citrus is my skin's nemesis, but the two are either nonexistent here or (more than likely) thankfully so well interwoven with the other notes that I can't make out their presence.

    I have the current Exclusifs EDT, and so cannot compare to past formulations or the parfum, but I can imagine those are as beautiful if not more so. For an EDT sillage and longevity are quite long, and I only regret buying the smaller EDT. Ah well, more wiggle room in my budget to save for the parfum!

    27 August, 2011

    Fleurine's avatar
    Fleurine
    United States United States

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    This is an incredibly complex scent composed of leather and tobacco notes as well as a gorgeous collections of florals and frankincense...when people speak of it as skanky I really don't get that as much as I get smoky. Chanel really hit it out of the park with Cuir de Russie, and if you like dark heroines from books like Anna Karenina, then Cuir De Russie is for you. This is probably one of the reasons that you came to Basenotes to begin with. Sample this one, this is part of the Chanel legend.

    14 August, 2011

    Schuyller's avatar
    Schuyller
    United States United States

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    Scored a flacon on Friday that was 75% off at a local fragrance store here and it was only $50! Yay me! Wonderful fragrance! Too bad it's been discontinued. Close to the skin. Strong lemon notes on the opening then comes the leather and birch. Finishes with ambergris and powder to me. Longevity is only a couple of hours but a fabulous couple of hours!

    31st July, 2011

    blueyezz's avatar
    blueyezz
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    I’ve got the 15ml parfum along with a tester of the EDT.

    CdR smells equestrian to me - elite, decadent, burled wood, artisanal saddles socked with sweat, manure. All in a paddock surrounded by flowers. Magnificent. I bet Hermes wished they’d made this.

    The parfum is richer, more heady, it amps up the old-world eroticism by walking the fine line between refinement and brutality. The edt is more aldehylic, thinner, more modern and immediate. Still great though.

    Suitable for men and women. Ideally the wearer will be aquiline, haughty, probably loaded, possibily slightly cruel. I’m none of those things, but I love it and I’m going to wear it. It doesn't really "fit" my lifestyle - I'm too ordinary, but this is the stuff of dreams, and I when I wear it I dream about The Ballet Russes, polished samovars and dangerous Cossacks with leather riding boots.

    Wears very close to the skin and doesn't last long, so a VERY expensive luxury. I don't regret it at all. I was going to get Bandit. This is twice the price but I enjoy it twice as much.

    11th July, 2011 (Last Edited: 18 July, 2011)

    Oh_Hedgehog's avatar
    Oh_Hedgehog
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    The Russian Leather that’s survived... and with good reason. This is an undeniably *floral* leather that unites the Chanel bouquet of iris, jasmine and ylang ylang with more foreboding notes of birch, civet, castoreum. It is also the most warm-blooded of the traditional Chanels, the one with fur and a supple conscience. It never feels ritzy, but it is unabashedly plush and, dare I say it, a tad pretty for my lascivious tastes – which really means I should spend less time whining and more time on eBay hunting for the vintage formulation, which is rumoured to grunt and growl.

    Speaking only, then, of the current formulations, I'd recommend the Parfum over the Eau de Toilette. The EdT is Jacques Polge's 1983 effort to put an old masterpiece in a modern frame, and it is lit with aldehydes and given the Les Exclusifs treatment of an amped-up iris. The Parfum is more husky, less floral, and boasts a more generous slathering of animalic butters. Both formulations dry down to a gorgeous soapy lather, but Cuir de Russie Parfum does it on horseback.

    16 June, 2011

    Larimar's avatar
    Larimar
    Austria Austria

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    My review is for the current PARFUM (the Les Exclusifs EdT is more of an iris fragrance to me and less a real cuir-de-russie):
    Smelling Cuir de Russie is the smell of a million bucks, luxury and big splendor... it's fantastic and stunning, a sophisticated and top elegant sillage!
    Mentioning sillage... real cuir-de-russie parfums, also vintage, that I had the privilege to experience are all skin scents sort of 'by definition' and therefore stay very close to skin. For maximum enjoyment of the animalic side of Cuir de Russie Parfum I dab (instead of spray - to my perception) my dips of collar bone, neck and wrists (preferably 'two layers') and spray something like three times on my shirt in order to boost sillage at least a little bit. CdR is a perfectly animalic leather with very intelligent helpers (for the overall feel) with, I think, the most prominent being the ylang-ylang. A comparison, thanks to a wonderful BN friend here, with vintage CdR EdT made clear for me that I prefer the overall warmer feel of the new parfum compared to a colder vibe I felt when wearing the vintage EdT, which I had always associated with Chanel and therefore considering it a house that was rather not for me.
    There is not more to add here... tott's words are spot-on in my opinion.
    THE ONLY TRUE ANIMALIC LEATHER SCENT TODAY! End of story!

    10th June, 2011

    Le Grand Duc's avatar
    Le Grand Duc
    Denmark Denmark

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    Let me quote Tott's review 6 places below mine:

    'Today's Cuir de Russie is like a fine leather saddle
    soaked with sweat, rather than a luxurious leather
    jacket or car interior.'

    Perfectly stated!

    Two thumbs up!

    06 June, 2011

    Red Theodora's avatar
    Red Theodora
    United States United States

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    I rank this one the five greatest perfumes created. It was crafted by the immortal Ernest Beaux ( the father of Chanel No.5), and rivals No.5 on the elegance meter. Its' superb blend of florals, leather and tobacco give it the feeling of old world aristocrisy. It always brings to my mind one of those 1930's sophisticated ladies, all sporty tweeds by day and sweeping charmeuse gowns at night. It brings out the romantic in me!

    27 April, 2011 (Last Edited: 02 June, 2011)

    alfarom's avatar
    alfarom
    Italy Italy

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    Ok, start to save your money now because you "NEED" to buy Cuir De Russie. This is absolutely fantastic and it's one of the richest, most lascivious and elegant leather scents around. Perfectly balanced to be at the same time wearable and " risky", it runs in that tiny, thin line between glory and precipice and it does it with an incredible awareness. Floral- animalic-leather at their best. Magistrally crafted, this is pure perfumery virtuosism. One of those scents that you encounter once every 100 years (i.e. Knize Ten). Buy it!

    Cuir De Russie has been reformulated since 1924, but despite that, it's still one of the most luxurious and terrific iris/leather around. That's how reformulations should be!

    26 March, 2011 (Last Edited: 25 January, 2012)

    Grottola's avatar
    Grottola
    United States United States

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    I've always loved the raw, sexual quality of Chanel's Cuir de Russie. The very slight animalic funk that compliments the balsams and leather is just too damn sexy - I definitely can understand why Mick Jagger wears this one. And, contrary to some other reviews, I believe that Cuir de Russie is totally unisex once the opening blast of florals subsides. Just that thick, rich quality that Chanel is able to pull off so flawlessly. Love it!

    07 March, 2011

    Genge's avatar
    Genge


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    I'd heard so much about this, including that it was so daring and deep that I expected a somewhat masculine and overpowering scent. Masculine it is, overpowering--not.
    It opens intense, a tad too strong for a younger woman, smelling of spice and comitment and develops into something softer that smells of clean and soapy leather and skin. The first time I wore this I kept sniffing my arms and shoulders, having a hard time to differentiate between the scent of my own skin and the perfume but finding they mingled perfectly into something rich, warm and natural. I smell clove, maybe a tad of cinnamon, then the leather coming back again and a sense of home and woodfire smoke. The flowers are there, but they add warmth rather than banalitly and don't stop this from being a dead-serious scent.
    At first it didn't feel really "me", as if I were wearing a man's cologne. Then, about 5h after I put it on I was engulfed by melancholy. I still felt I smelled like someone else, but that someone was a (fictional) man who had left and my nose kept catching traces of him on my body and in my house. I was quite overpowered by this fiction. I'm nowhere near a breakup at this point in life, so why does this fragrance evoque this reaction in me? A little later it started settling into my skin, weaving itself into me, like a breakup that makes you stronger with time.
    I have to try it again and see why I get this catharsis from it. It may be too emotional for a daily scent but I'm sure I want to retreat into it from time to time. I've tried samples of the EdT. Now I want a bottle.

    19 February, 2011 (Last Edited: 21st February, 2011)

    zenana's avatar
    zenana
    United States United States

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    Try this one over Bvlgari Black. With the leather of Cuir de Russie and the rubber of Black, you'll smell exactly like the show room of a Jaguar dealership.

    11th August, 2010

    tott's avatar
    tott
    Sweden Sweden

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    Vintage Cuir de Russie is a hardcore, animalic leather. Despite the fact that the tarry leather is clearly dominant, its rough edges are smoothed out by rich florals and things like sandalwood, musk, civet and castoreum. The leather here is thick, sturdy, soft and of the highest quality.

    Current Cuir de Russie is still gloriously animalic, but in a different way. The leather has been toned down and the florals amped up. Today's Cuir de Russie is like a fine leather saddle soaked with sweat rather than a luxurious leather jacket or car interior. There's also a natural, outdoorsy feel to it; something vaguely stable-like with a sense of damp earth and dormant vegetation similar to what you can feel in the air during early spring or autumn.

    But despite what might sound like a murky skankfest, CdR manages to project an elegant and luxurious aura that is floral, leathery, salty, animalic, earthy and sexy.

    09 July, 2010 (Last Edited: 14 May, 2011)

    tijanarm's avatar
    tijanarm
    Canada Canada

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    Possibly one of the nicest Chanel's I ever owned and sniffed. I fell in love with it so much that I bought both the EDT and pure perfume and I am in the process of trying to distinguish if there are any differences. So far, to my untrained nose, they are remarkably similar, with pure perfume being slightly softer. The longevity is excellent. This is my signature fragrance and I hope it never gets discontinued. Someone mentioned Katherine Hepburnesque fragrance and I agree - classy all the way!

    22 May, 2010

    epicurean's avatar
    epicurean
    United States United States

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    I've been familiar with many of the classic scents for years, with a posh aunt and my mom having worn No. 5, No. 19 & No. 22 at various times over the years. I remember those bottles and their contents, though I don't remember as a kid and teenager ever seeing a bottle labeled Cuir de Russie in our household. When I finally sampled it years later, though, I somehow "remembered" it. Not a surprise, really, what with Chanel's signature aldehydic glow being a common denominator. CdR really could only be a Chanel, and it is absolutely first-class all the way. Just like the Chanels listed above, CdR just smells posh and expensive without being over the top. A class-act all the way.

    But posh or not, a friend and I while sampling it not too long ago couldn't help but think: "Bathroom!" Granted, a clean bathroom, but a bathoom nonetheless, and though clean there's something animalic about it. Is there civet in there? Esp. after about an hour or two, that warm ever so slightly fecal aspect is there, but it isn't unpleasant. This isn't meant to sound sacreligious; it's just a further facet of an already wildly multi-faceted, first-rate scent.

    I'm not sure I'll be wearing CdR; a tad bit more leather and a bit less on the floral front would work better for me. But that opinion could change over time; I can actually imagine this one working well in warm weather, with that aldehydic glow working well on a sultry summer's evening.

    01st May, 2010 (Last Edited: 26 December, 2010)

    smh78's avatar
    smh78
    United States United States

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    What a revolutionary perfume Cuir de Russie must have been in its day! It is so masculine, so gender-bending, that I imagine it would make a huge splash today--and ruffle some feathers. This is classy, classy, classy woman-as-man scent, and it has a certain theatricality to it, a sort of "I'm pushing the limits" cigarry edginess, but then the florals swoop in, and it says, 'I'm only kidding; I'm just a woman, after all.' Like all classic Chanels, for better (Bois des Iles) or worse (No. 5), this is a super complex thing; it tells a very upper-class story. I imagine one of those virago femme fatales that populate Wodehouse novels wearing this; brassy, horsey, masculine, yet deeply feminine, with hidden urges towards female role-playing that need only the right situation to bring them out. A tour de force, truly, something that both sweeps one's imagination into the past and fits in perfectly into our own postmodern world.

    08 April, 2010

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    holyzoo
    United States United States

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    Femme Fatale Power Woman - floral with seriousness of leather. The woman who wears this means business. As florals go, it’s a dark, serious, sultry floral. Classiest, most intruiging floral, with some attitude by the time it’s worn off some. The dry down is femme fatal bombshell classy all the way. Dress up for this or you're wearing it wrong. I see this as female all the way, and would not try to pull it off as a man.

    04 March, 2010

    annalyssa's avatar
    annalyssa


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    I just tried this and now nothing will ever, no not ever, be the same.

    At first sniff in the shop, I didn't really get "into" it - but by the time I got home........an olfactory epiphany. This is the pinnacle of luxury, the Katharine-Hepburn-in-a-dusty-riding-outfit-with-a-cigarette-dangling-from-tapered-fingers type of luxury. And smart.

    I eagerly await the day when I will be chic enough to deserve a bottle of this stuff. Perhaps in a decade or so; may the gods of perfumery preserve it until then.......
    (My wallet breathes a sigh of relief as I write this, however my wallet doesn't know about the sample of Diorella in my purse right now...).

    "Thumbs up" doesn't even come close to expressing how incredible, how exquisitely beautiful this perfume is.

    17 October, 2009

    Diamondflame's avatar
    Diamondflame
    Singapore Singapore

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    I love the complexity of Chanel classics and this is no exception. Greener and more floral than contemporary favorite Cuir Pleine Fleur, CUIR DE RUSSIE is a gloriously beautiful leather-inspired scent which finds a rightful place among such illuminaries as Chanel No. 5, Guerlain's Shalimar, Lanvin's Arpège and Patou's Joy. It seems to me the 1920s was indeed a golden era for fine fragrances.

    13 October, 2009

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