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  1. #1
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    JaimeB's Avatar
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    Default Guerlain Cuir Beluga vs. Annick Goutal Ambre Fétiche

    I recently got Annick Goutal Ambre Fétiche from the Les Orientalistes series, and in my review of it, I mentioned that I think it bears a fairly close resemblance to Guerlain's Cuir Beluga from the L'Art et la Matière series. For at least part of the development of the two, they are in very close parallel. Here are the two pyramids:
    Annick Goutal
    Ambre Fétiche (Les Orientalistes)
    (2008)
    Isabelle Doyen, Camille Goutal
    Top Notes: Incense, Labdanum, Styrax
    Middle Notes: Benzoin, Iris
    Base Notes: Vanilla, Russian Leather

    Guerlain
    Cuir Beluga (L'Art et la Matière)
    (2005)
    Olivier Polge
    Top note: Mandarin, Aldehydes, Everlasting Flower
    Middle note: Leather Note, Heliotrope
    Base note: Amber, Vanilla
    You can see that vanilla and leather notes are the two things they have in common; but I believe the benzoin and iris in AF closely parallel the heliotrope in CB, because they both produce a powdery effect in the heart note that makes the central part of the development of both scents quite similar.

    I greatly admire the resiny, incense notes in AF; in my opinion, that is what chiefly distinguishes them, and it makes AF very appealing. At the same time, AF, like many Annick Goutal fragrances, falls down a bit in the areas of coherence and longevity. There is a smoky note in it that doesn't fit smoothly into the whole, and it suffers even more noticeably from that in the drydown, which also affects the longevity.

    I am aware that many Basenoters have found the L'Art et la Matière series from Guerlain somewhat wanting. I have to say that at first Cuir Beluga affected me in that way to some degree; nevertheless, with each successive wearing I came to appreciate it more. I think the heliotrope and the everlasting flower are a great coup of brilliance in this scent; they impart both depth and luster without weighing it down.

    In the end, while I enjoy them both, I think I'd have to give a slight edge to Cuir Beluga.

    Any other opinions on these (or either one)?
    Last edited by JaimeB; 18th November 2008 at 10:09 PM.
    Yr good bud,

    JaimeB

    "Why spend life seeking that which does not satisfy? Why remain a slave, when freedom waits? Let your life shine; illumine the world with your truth!"

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Guerlain Cuir Beluga vs. Annick Goutal Ambre Fétiche

    Quote Originally Posted by JaimeB View Post
    I greatly admire the resiny, incense notes in Ambre Fétiche; in my opinion, that is what chiefly distinguishes them, and it makes AF very appealing. At the same time, AF, like many Annick Goutal fragrances, falls down a bit in the areas of coherence and longevity. There is a smoky note in it that doesn't fit smoothly into the whole, and it suffers even more noticeably from that in the drydown, which also affects the longevity.
    I don't have any experience yet with Cuir Beluga, but I love everything about Annick Goutal Ambre Fétiche, including the smokiness of it. Longevity hasn't been too much of a problem, helped by the fact that it is an eau de parfum. One of my better purchases in a while, actually.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Guerlain Cuir Beluga vs. Annick Goutal Ambre Fétiche

    i've heard Cuir Beluga isn't a very good 'leather' scent at all.....what do you think of the leather notes in it?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Guerlain Cuir Beluga vs. Annick Goutal Ambre Fétiche

    Quote Originally Posted by everso View Post
    i've heard Cuir Beluga isn't a very good 'leather' scent at all.....what do you think of the leather notes in it?
    The leather is definitely there, but it's not a birch-tar dominated leather. I would say it's more of a Spanish than a Russian leather. I guess it would depend on which kind of leather scent you prefer. I like both, so I find Cuir Beluga a legitimate leather scent.
    Yr good bud,

    JaimeB

    "Why spend life seeking that which does not satisfy? Why remain a slave, when freedom waits? Let your life shine; illumine the world with your truth!"

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    Fiat justitia ruat cælum.

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    Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus

    Qui nihil potest sperare, desperet nihil.
    Let him who can hope for nothing despair of nothing.

    —Seneca

  5. #5

    Default Re: Guerlain Cuir Beluga vs. Annick Goutal Ambre Fétiche

    Brilliant comparative review JaimeB. I haven't sampled either so this gives me food for thought


    PVC and Leather. A Chain and a feather




  6. #6

    Default Re: Guerlain Cuir Beluga vs. Annick Goutal Ambre Fétiche

    JaimeB

    I don't have any experience with the Cuir Beluga. I received my bottle of Ambre Fetiche about 10 days ago. I have no problem with longevity or sillage. In fact, I have to dab and be careful because on me it has monster sillage and will last over 10 hours.

    I love it very much. I think I will get a sample of Cuir Beluga.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Guerlain Cuir Beluga vs. Annick Goutal Ambre Fétiche

    I would never have thought these two would compare at all Jaime - thanks for the heads up.

    I've been wanting to smell Cuir Beluga for a while now. It's nice to hear that the wonderful and sublime Guerlain heliotrope note shows up in CB. Is the heliotrope like the note in Apres L'Ondee Jaime?
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 18th November 2008 at 08:08 PM.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Guerlain Cuir Beluga vs. Annick Goutal Ambre Fétiche

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    I would never have thought these two would compare at all Jaime - thanks for the heads up.

    I've been wanting to smell Cuir Beluga for a while now. It's nice to hear that the wonderful and sublime Guerlain heliotrope note shows up in CB. Is the heliotrope like the note in Apres L'Ondee Jaime?
    Cuir Beluga is gorgeous, and I do find the heliotrope note to be somewhat analogous to the Apres L'ondee note.... it has that 'delicacy' found in Apres and in Iris Ganache (but without all the sweetness of Iris Ganache). The leather in Cuir Beluga is there, but it is not primarily a 'leather fragrance' in the traditional sense. Rather, a light leather note adds fullness to the composition. I've heard that they are planning on having a sale at the NYC Guerlain boutique next month (something like buy one bottle and get a percentage off the second bottle), and I'm thinking I may just pick up both Cuir Beluga and Bois d"Armenie at once. Some may find this line wanting, but I'm not one of them.

    So JaimeB's got me very curious about this Goutal, which I have yet to try. I will put it on the top of my 'to try' list post haste.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Guerlain Cuir Beluga vs. Annick Goutal Ambre Fétiche

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    I would never have thought these two would compare at all Jaime - thanks for the heads up.

    I've been wanting to smell Cuir Beluga for a while now. It's nice to hear that the wonderful and sublime Guerlain heliotrope note shows up in CB. Is the heliotrope like the note in Apres L'Ondee Jaime?
    mikeperez23,

    The heliotrope in Après l'Ondée is pretty strongly reinforced by the hawthorn, with which it shares a certain almondy, slightly fruity note. Also Al'O has lots of white florals in it, lots of vaguely green acacia notes, and is anchored in a classic oriental base. You can see that the whole context is quite different from Cuir Beluga, and that the blends are much more complex.

    Having said that, it is true that heliotrope is heliotrope, and that Guerlain uses it masterfully to complement and bring out its characteristic guerlinade base notes. So I would say the heliotrope in these two is: as to form, different; as to function, the same; as to feeling somewhere in between. At least that's my take on it. Wiser heads should chime in here...
    Last edited by JaimeB; 18th November 2008 at 10:30 PM.
    Yr good bud,

    JaimeB

    "Why spend life seeking that which does not satisfy? Why remain a slave, when freedom waits? Let your life shine; illumine the world with your truth!"

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    Fiat justitia ruat cælum.

    Let justice be done, even if the sky should fall.

    Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus

    Qui nihil potest sperare, desperet nihil.
    Let him who can hope for nothing despair of nothing.

    —Seneca

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Guerlain Cuir Beluga vs. Annick Goutal Ambre Fétiche

    Thanks bbBD and JaimeB!

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