I adore leather. leather gloves. I have a glove collection to rival Imelda’s shoes, in all colors and types. Leather dresses. I wore a Harley-Davidson black leather evening gown with red leather opera gloves to a conservative charity event. It was weird – the leather part (the gown design is a plain black v-neck column) – but fabulous. Biker jackets. Before ballistic nylon and its ilk, it was the hide that would save your hide in event of an unexpected get-off. Soft, tough, sexy leather. The smell of a leather coat worn by a beloved someone. A tissue-thin evening glove with a hint of skin-scent and hand cream, maybe a touch of perfume.
Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier has captured all of that in their new scent Cuir Fetiche. This is one of the sexiest scents I’ve smelled in a very long time, mostly because it doesn’t seem to be trying all that hard, corseted bottle notwithstanding. The leather doesn’t come on strong at all, which you would think would be a negative, given my love of leather. But the first, developing notes conjured an almost visceral image : slowly sliding a soft, glove-leather jacket off someone you adore beyond reason, someone you want so bad it makes your gums hurt and your skin feel just a tad too tight, whenever you are anywhere near them. That faint buzzing in the ears, where you can’t be sure you aren’t behaving oddly because …..well, just because. And then. And then, you finally arrive at a time and place where you can make the buzzing stop – and perhaps the first step is sliding that leather jacket off….
that’s what I got out of it, anyway (“I’ll have what she’s having”). On first spritz I get a touch of soapy powder over leather but in the time it took me to write that the soapy powder settles down and becomes a very intimate, human-musk skin scent, with soft floral overtones. I usually hate musk so I was surprised to find it so ‘intimate’ and pleasurable. Weird as this sounds (and remember, I wore ball gowns to my last office job) I could see how this could work as an office scent, as long as you don’t mind your officemates following you around like snuffling dogs all day long. Notes are courtesy fragrantica:
Top: red mandarin, bergamot, lemon, geranium
Heart: leather, ylang ylang, jasmine, rose, iris, vanilla
Base: Musk, ambergris, patchouli, cedar, sandalwood.
This is my first MP&G so I had to read up on them – Jean Laporte, the former owner of L’Artisan, inspired by Parisian gantiers (glovemakers) who supplied scented gloves to 17thCentury aristocracy began this company in 1988 and apprenticed Jean-Paul Millet Lage, a former banker-turned-perfumer (at first I read ‘baker’ which made more sense than ‘banker’ but as a machine-shop-owner/artist I am in no position to judge. Talent and occupation are not always in sync). Just stop for a second and read that word ‘apprentice’ again. When was the last time you heard of anybody other than a union tradesman ‘apprenticing’? In this day and age of instant expertise, the idea of a banker being willing to apprentice himself to a perfumer to learn his craft is ….well, it’s heartening. I don’t know about his other MP&G scents (but reading comments indicates this is a bit of a polarizing brand, with the soapy and the musk) but this one is really nice – though it reminds me of something else…the skin-scent drydown, with the touch of leather, is remarkably close to another scent….and for the life of me I can’t remember what it is! I am going off my notes from a few days ago and am now at the onset of a flu I thought I’d dodged, dammit! My nose is in shreds. I’m not even going to bother trying to do scent-detective work. Instead…I’m going to do us all a favor and do a giveaway of my little sample. To enter, tell me how YOU feel about leather. Or this line. Or both!. I’ll have Pickle pull a winner via random.org on Friday. He will NOT be wearing this:
(though Mario is ROCKIN’ this! Hard!…and c’mon. I had to include it. When else would I ever get a chance to use it?)
sample: gifted by a dear Perfumista friend (Mario Lopez in Nip/Tuck)
Cuir Fetiche, an Autumn 2011 release, is not on the MP&G website just yet. It’s supposedly going to be offered through aedes and luckyscent, though it wasn’t on either site as of last night.
Update: Per a post on Perfume Shrine, M. Laporte died recently. A sad loss to the Perfume World. Condolences to his family and friends.