Hi there Posse. Not so long ago I got a Surrender To Chance pack in the mail, always cause for excitement. Rose & Cuir by Frédéric Malle was one of the 3ml decants I ordered. It’s had a couple of home wears now, also I got spritzy at our city Mecca store. Created by one of my, and the world’s, favourite perfumers Jean-Claude Ellena. That alone means I’d want to have a sniff. This is the first new Malle I’ve really loved since Music For A While.
Rose & Cuir by Frédéric Malle 2019
Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Bourbon geranium, Blackcurrant, Nepalese Sichuan pepper
Heart: Vetiver, Cedarwood
Rose & Cuir is interesting on a few levels beside the scent itself. The name: JCE has said publicly that he used zero rose in the composition, interesting that he’s named it Rose & Cuir. Also, after a couple of years break from signing off new fragrances, his last I can find was Hermès Neroli Doré 2016 (oops! Essence Rare for Houbigant 2018) and nothing for Malle since 2003. This year he has done Baliflora and Tuberosis for Laboratorio Olfattivo, 13 new ones for Le Couvent des Minimes, Songe de Sannes for Lothantique, Jasmin du Pays and Rose de Mai for Perris Monte Carlo. BUSY year. Also interesting that he revisit Roses and Leather, a combination he used in more than one fragrance for Hermès.
So, how does it smell?
The Rose & Cuir opening is crisp, dark, bittersweet and underwritten by logs of freshly chopped wood. The geranium and peppery blackcurrant do give an extremely photorealistic waft of rose that captures also the smells of cut stem, air conditioning in a florists, stainless steel and a healthy nod to functional cleaning fragrance. This whole bouquet of interesting parts swims in and out of focus over the top of woods, later in the heart and depths there is an addition of chilli-chocolate coated leather and torn grass stem. The slight sizzle os a tingle right the way through the late heart and dry down.
I find the whole ride cool, classy, unisex and utterly unlike anything else in my collection. Rose & Cuir doesn’t even have the expected oil slick that JCE so famously has had over the last decade plus. A very queer rose indeed.
Have you tried Rose & Cuir yet? Does it sound promising?
Portia also writes for Australian Perfume Junkies