Rose & Cuir by Frédéric Malle 2019

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

Rose & Cuir by Frédéric Malle

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Bourbon geranium, Blackcurrant, Nepalese Sichuan pepper
Heart: Vetiver, Cedarwood
Base: Leather

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.

Rose & Cuir by Frédéric Malle

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 xx




Portia also writes for Australian Perfume Junkies

  • HeidiC says:

    Hoo-boy, this does NOT sound like my thing AT. ALL. I don’t think I’d mind green + leather (I love me some Bandit), but that weird peppery rose thing is a nope.

  • Neva says:

    Hi Portia, I really loved R&C when I first tried it, especially the green freshness combined with the leather. It’s truly an allaround perfume. J.C. Ellena did it again!

    If they had a travel spray, I’d have bought it but at that time they only had full bottles. I’ll have to go and check once again.

  • Tara C says:

    I smelled it several months ago and was underwhelmed. It smelled quite vegetal, with a tomato leaf note, and a faint whiff of leather. Not my cup of tea, which is great for the budget.


  • March says:

    Huh, this sounds fascinating!   I was ignoring it due to the name, and that’s a mistake…

  • Musette says:

    I……. somehow I….MISSED THIS?  HOW DID I MISS THIS?  I live in Andy’s pocket (which is right next to the Malles, at N-M)

    I’m on (virtual – not legal) house arrest right now, so can’t get to N-M; will order from StC, STAT!

    However – I want to know what is “functional cleaning fragrance”?  Intriguing……

  • Tara says:

    Hey Portia,

    I squirted my sample in honour of your review. 

    I love the stuff. It is so cleverly balanced. The leather is central but doesn’t overwhelm and that bright splast of geranium is just stunning. 

    Queer rose – ha!

    • Portia says:

      Heya Tara,

      YAY! Spritz partners.

      There is so much to love about Rose & Cuir. I have gone crazy and bought a 10ml travel. If I empty it then I’ll go bigger.

      He He he, Queer rose! I was chuckling to myself. Dad jokes are us.
      Portia xx

      • Musette says:

        Tara,  one of my favorite Malles is Geranium pour Monsieur – I eager to try this, see how the G is handled!



        omg!  Portia – I. Just. GOT. It.  omg.  I need to go lie down – I’m so…….clueless!  Queer Rose. 😉