Perfume Directory

Cuir Cuba Intense (2014)
by Nicolaï


Cuir Cuba Intense information

Year of Launch2014
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 31 votes)

People and companies


About Cuir Cuba Intense

Cuir Cuba Intense is a shared / unisex perfume by Nicolaï. The scent was launched in 2014

Cuir Cuba Intense fragrance notes

Reviews of Cuir Cuba Intense

initial sparkling burst with some lime in there...smooth and sophisticated...i can picture walking into an old wooden barn...smelling the wood and the fresh piles of freshly cut tobacco and hay...the breeze blows in the scent of minty herbs and touches of flowers as i stand there and chew on my black licorice stick...get a little gourmandish touch of something resembling caramel fudge or sauce...a pleasure to the final phases get just a trace of tobacco scents and i found this to be a wonderful addition to my wardrobe...
21st February, 2019
Rather bitter or acrid type of perfume reminiscent perhaps of hot dry climates around the mediterranean. Dates, opoponax, labdanum etc. It is a well ploughed furrow for perfumers and is most familiar with blends such as, if I recall correctly Aromatics Elixir (Clinique).
30th July, 2018
I really can't understand the negative votes about this fragrance. So many dislikes? Really?!! Something is going wrong here. IMHO, Cuir Cuba Intense is extremely refined and elegant fragrance. It is very well blended with high-quality materials. The opening is nice, actually during this stage it reminds me of a smoother (much more unisex and slightly floral) version of Creed Tabarome. A few minutes later it changes a lot and from that point, Cuir Cuba is a totally different story than Tabarome. It has very sexy and seductive base part, I like it a lot.
Thumbs up!
13th December, 2016
Cuir Cuba Intense is exquisite to say the least. The magnolia note with the tobacco and licorice make this fragrance very interesting. I applied it in the morning and I could still smell it in the evening. After it dries down I could smell some civet with leather but not in a strong way. It was sweet as a matter of fact. I think it can be worn both day or night. Another great fragrance from the house of Nicolai Parfumeur.

20th August, 2015
I applaud PR wing of Parfums de Nicolai. Coordinating the release of Cuir Cuba Intense with the US administration’s plans to normalize relations with Cuba? Brilliant!

Cuir Cuba Intense is a tobacco perfume. No surprise, given the locale in the name, but Patricia de Nicolai creates the notes the way a stage magician plays with your focus. I recognize the tobacco. I smell it as an arpeggio of floral, woody and herbal tones, but he tobacco takes two forms: the humidor and the fresh tobacco leaf. A humidor's richness is a result of both the container and the contents. Fresh tobacco leaf is filled with resinous juice and its fragrance is more characteristically floral than leafy.

De Nicolai uses the tobacco note to focus your attention, but it’s a ruse. As with any good magic act, the real action takes place right in front of you without your notice.

Ta da! Cuir Cuba Intense is a fougère!

Granted, it's an impressionistic one, but an effective one. The classical fougère is typically described as soapy, but from Houbigant Fougère Royale to Caron Troisième Homme to YSL Rive Gauche pour Homme, the coumarin in a fougère smells of hay and tobacco. In Cuir Cuba Intense, de Nicolai uses all the tricks the fougère has to offer. It plays the cool, and anisic tones of coumarin against warmer woody hues. It balances delectable, caramelized qualities with soapy inedibility, suggesting forbidden fruit. And wrapping identifiably masculine aroma (tobacco, leather, rumbly woods) up in a pretty bow, it is a classical dandy. Also in classically Victorian dandy fashion, and epitomizing the early generations of the fougère, Cuir Cuba Intense opens with a generous, expansive geranium note.

Prestidigitation works best on the suggestible and Cuir Cuba Intense is highly suggestive perfume. The fougère is there, but so is the leather. A citrus note ties to a dry smokiness and the heartnotes hint at citrus-leathers like Hermès Bel Ami and Estée Lauder Azurée. The combination of botanical references alongside undisguised chemical qualities reminds me of Robert Piguet Bandit. There is a sweet, caramel-patchouli inflection to the quiet but durable basenotes that is the balanced, pleasant version of Thierry Mugler A*Men’s hangover of a drydown. Cuir Cuba Intense isn’t derivative, it’s just composed of a lot of moving parts.

My strongest association between Cuir Cuba Intense and tobacco is not the way it smells, but the tone of voice and the synesthesia it triggers. It smells like Betty Bacall's gorgeous, cigarette-raspy voice sounds. Her husky feminine voice was exotic yet she was forthright and plain-spoken. This same duality runs through the perfume.

Classical perfumery's forté is orchestration, the ability to build notes and accords and swing them around with flourish. Contemporary perfumery, from about the mid-90s forward, used the tools of postmodernism, focussing on deconstruction and recontextualization to make perfume. De Nicolai’s Guerlain heritage is often cited in order to emphasize her traditionalism. Cuir Cuba Intense shows that she is as contemporary as she is classical and that first and foremost she is an expert structuralist.

18th May, 2015
What's in a name?

Not much, if we are to look at (read go sniffing) Cuir Cuba Intense. There is neither the leather, nor any evocation of Cuba. Only some faint tobacco bears the possibility of a thin conceptual link, if any. Once we conveniently forget what it is called, it is a pretty palatable composition. In the opening there's the burst of sweet licorice and lemon with some florals in the background. There is a hint of freshness, perhaps attributable to the mint. The tobacco is near untracable. The lemon bids farewell as the composition turns less brisk and more soft and floral. The magnolia shines. The tobacco becomes more discernible. The licorice is omnipresent, so is the sweetness. There is a lavender, but it is hidden underneathe the licorice-magnolia pairing. There is some soft spicyness, but it's still mostly a sweet floral. There is little further transition as the fragrance enters its base. It is finally less sweet, but the magnolia never leaves. There are hints of soft patchouli and timid woods.

Overall, this is a sweet floral fragrance with vague hints of spices. Projection is good in the beginning and then dies down; longevity is decent. It is gender neutral. It is perhaps wearable on spring and fall afternoons to tea parties, and on summer evenings to the local boutique shop.

But there is no compulsion at all.
12th May, 2015

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