Perfume Reviews

Neutral Reviews of Cuba by Czech & Speake

Total Reviews: 10
Now that I've worked my way through the Czeck & Speake line, I feel like their perfumes often start out a bit awkward, with occasional questionable topnotes, but they tend to melt together after about an hour into something quite well put together. Cuba is a perfect example of this. It goes on with burst of toothpaste mint that awkwardly smothers a weirdly meaty and medicinal fougere fern. But somehow, given time, it melts into that leathery sweaty old man smell that Le Labo uses a lot, but with a dash of pie spices for warmth and a rather nice sweet musk drydown that quietly hints at Musc Ravageur.

All in all, I really wanted to like Cuba, and I enjoy the musky basenotes, but I think the mint is a mess, so I'm just going to vote neutral.
17th September, 2017
A sharp blast of limes and bergamot in the opening. Pretty intense for a few minutes, but slowly fades and rum with a hint of mint become apparent. This is actually my least favorite part of this fragrance as I love the opening and the dry down. The tobacco comes through after the rum/mint middle and is fantastic, but on me it doesn’t last long. I’ve given this one several wearings and every time come to the same conclusion about the longevity. If the middle contained no mint to my nose and the dry down lasted longer and was stronger, this would be one of my favorites. As is, I can’t give this one high notes because of this.
13th September, 2011
A real shame it just doesn't shake that fecal note on me after the top notes are supposed to die down. That fecal stuff just rubs me the wrong way. Sucks because underneath are nice spicy accords. Its unfortunate the fecals are stronger than the Spicy notes
22nd January, 2011
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Ahree Show all reviews
United States
Egad. The earthiest and most indolent, fecal-redolent opening I've yet experienced in a frragrance. It does settle down into a nice tobacco and high end boozy accord, but honestly, I can't get past the debut with a straight face.
14th October, 2010
MOONB Show all reviews
United States
This is just a dandified bay rum, spruced up with the mint in the top and the cedar wood in the middle. The cedar is pretty dominant to me, and kinda reminds me of a hamster cage. I don't get any vetiver, but maybe some frankincense. There's also a very light, blink-and-you-miss-it tobacco accord flitting around in the base, which seems to be an amalgamation of the persistent mint from the top co-mingling with the cedar, bay, cloves, and a really poor rendition of rum. As for there being a "fecal" note: no, there is no fecal note in Cuba. This hamster cage is clean.
04th June, 2010
Oh boy Oh boy, You wont believe how I wanted to love it, but I failed after 10 attempts, one piece in this puzzle does not fit for me its peppermint ! I feel wierd wearing this because it simply reminds me ... weeeeell known polish medicine called AMOL. its available in Poland since ages, almost everyone knows that smell, people look around with strange eyes as if they want ask me "did You bath in Amol?", but when I pass the opening, Im rewarded by delicious middle notes and drydown. Neutral for opening, thumbs up for the other part but in summary still neutral. Maybe one day I'll buy 15ml decant for now I pass
13th September, 2009
I'm not a fan of tobacco scents but I'm a big fan of Czech & Speake, so I gave it a shot. The opening was very harsh and "dirty" and, unfortunately, it lasted more than I would have wanted. I was hoping that once the mid notes would emerge, the scent would soften and become warmer and more wearable. It did, but just a bit. It still remained a heavy and strong scent. After a few hours, things finally became smoother… The drydown is a woody-herbal-leathery-tobacco mix which, although sounds like a heavy combination, is much easier to take and much more wearable. I actually like this final phase quite a lot, but, unfortunately, the good things in this fragrance emerged too late.

Overall, Cuba is a strong, robust fragrance but which is not my cup of tea. Maybe if I were a smoker, I would like it better. I have to admit, though, that this is probably one of the best opinions I could ever have on a tobacco-based fragrance.
10th May, 2009
Bigsly Show all reviews
United States
On me, the mint just lasts too long, and obscures everything else (though there is a bit of muskiness that is clear). There is also the "abrasive" or "synthetic" quality that others have mentioned. I simply don't find this nearly as good as Michael for Men (Kors), and while wearing Cuba I can only think that I would rather be wearing MfM. I also have other fragrances with strong mint that I prefer to this, so Cuba really has no place in my large rotation. I don't find it especially pleasant and I like other fragrances with similar qualities more. Perhaps those with different skin chemistry will find this is smoother and more balanced that I did. If I took price into account, I'd give this a negative. Since this is not terrible and others seem to have better experiences with it, I'll choose the neutral rating.
04th April, 2009
Being shackled to Cuba for the first few minutes was deeply unpleasant. It was industrial and terrible artificial. However, within the hour it had mutated into something a little more worthwhile. Having recently tried No. 88 from C & S I was familiar with acidity of the Rose, but I am not convinced that it really works as part of the constituent parts of a man's fragrance. It is now the end of the day and I can confirm it has a very acceptable longevity. I can live with this, but whether this would ever lead to more than friendship, I am not sure.
15th January, 2009
Disappointing. Others before me have already described this juice well; I also give it a thumbs-up on its own merits. My "meh" rating is based on the sole aspect that the new juice is a copy of a copy of a copy of itself (current stock is a reformulation according to reliable sources). Meaning, all the components of the original seem to still be there but it feels diluted compared to the vintage formula*. Specifically, the "headiness" mentioned on C&Ss website in its description is considerably diminished. The heady effect becomes most apparent late in the drydown but again, it is a fraction of its former self. In the vintage version, the effect was CLEARLY noticeable within about 15 minutes and it lasted throughout most of the drydown.

Heady, ethereal, intoxicating, enveloping warmth - all terms I would use to describe the vintage version but unfortunately, very abstract. It is a quality that one will recognize when one encounters it but that cannot otherwise be adequately described by words alone. Other fragrances I've tried that have a similar effect in varying degrees are Creed Silver Mountain Water, Green Irish Tweed, Himalaya, Basala, Stardust (men), and Dune (men). Could it be ambergris and/or tonka? I believe one or both of these ingredients are common to all the frags I mention.

* I'm making my comparison from memory of the sizable sample of vintage formula I had a couple years ago.
04th November, 2008