Christian Dior Cuir Cannage

This is the last of the samples/decants from my (fairly) recent parcel and it’s nice that things are finishing with a sort of bang … because Cuir Cannage is both very good and a bit unsettling. But … it appears to be discontinued (would I have started writing about it if I’d known this from the get-go? Probably – as I really enjoyed the ride). So, if you love it I expect you’ve already got a bottle and if after reading this post you are curious, you’re going to have to do some digging or find something that approximates its feel.

Anyway, what do I mean by ‘unsettling’?

First off, this has a lot going on, though I expect what I detected isn’t what François Demachy intended with his composition. But, such is the way of things regarding perfume.

The second ‘aspect’ that struck me about this is the refined cloaking the rough. It’s like that person who looks elegant and well put together on the outside but hides some sort of maybe somewhat dark secret or part of their being.

In any case, I really enjoyed making up all kinds of weird stories based on how it smells.

Cuir Cannage was released in 2014 and was part of the La Collection Privée. I have to say I really like the bottle design in this higher end part of Dior. Like someone thought less is better here and was right. Nice solid rounded, simple labels, good cap – available in smaller (ie, 40ml) sizes that aren’t cheap but don’t cost the earth (when I finally finish my decant of Eau Noire I will most likely invest in the small bottle [which is currently £125 – eminently bearable for something so glorious]).

Portia wrote about Cuir Cannage here in 2015 and referenced a vintage feel.

The notes list flummoxed me a bit when I first sprayed this on. It includes ylang ylang, orange blossom, bergamot, leather, iris, jasmine, rose, leather, birch (not birch tar), tobacco, juniper, violet and cade oil (per cade smells resinous and smoky, like birch tar but finer with less petrol).

On first spray I get leather, camphor and violet. It’s really compelling and doesn’t last long in that phase. So, I kept respraying it just to re-experience that.

As it warms on me, we move to a classy floral leather with jasmine quite apparent as well as ylang and a whiff of rose.

The drydown is again a conundrum, like the opening: I get a Serge Lutens Muscs Kublai Khan skankiness but all dressed up. I so wonder if that was just in my head though because I got an email from Lutens a few days ago inviting me to buy the re-issued MKK belle jar (not happening).

So, ‘refined’, ‘vintagy’ and ‘conundrum’ would be my watchwords for this overall. But that doesn’t really matter because it’s gone.

In the end, sampling this did lead me to remember that I really do need to invest in a bottle of Knize 10 at some point soon, which on me is a more definite floral-leather vs leather-floral – and doesn’t have that extreme skank in the drydown. I’ve been meaning to for years and it’s far far cheaper than CC. However, it’s no longer stocked by the place in London that used to have the brand so it’s going to be either an order from Europe or a bottle found on a discounter site.

But that diverges from CC. In the end, this is the refined leather coat over the exceptionally well cut trousers and cashmere sweater on an exceptionally compelling someone who is also clearly hiding some aspect of their being. You’re not sure it would be healthy to get to know them better but you sure do want to anyway.

Pics: Pexels and mine

  • March says:

    I have not tried this one, sounds very interesting! I like leather more to sniff than to wear unless they’re the soft handbag-type ones, but this sounds bottlw-worthy for sure. You also brought back a fond memory of sniffing the Knize line in Vienna.

    • cinnamon says:

      I enjoyed sampling it. You reminded me of the Annick Goutal candle (Le Sac de Ma Mere?) which I never got to try. Frustrating. Wish someone would release something similar.

  • Dina C. says:

    Great review, Cinnamon. Leather scents are not my top favorites, but when mixed with florals, they appeal. Think like Jolie Madame. Thanks for putting this one on my radar.

    • cinnamon says:

      Alas, as noted, it’s gone. But agree the mixed with florals makes things more interesting, IMHO. Jolie Madame is one I’m hoping shows up in one of the local charity shops here.

  • Portia says:

    LOVED this review Cinnamon. Cuir Cannage is a strangely beautiful thing. I love it and have a bottle but it usually gets passed over for something else.
    Portia xx

    • cinnamon says:

      Hmmm, I’m not that surprised it gets passed over for other things. I really enjoyed trying it but (a good thing I guess, given it’s discontinued) I have no desire to own it. I’ve got other leathers (Kilian) and other leather desires (Knize 10) that are stronger. I guess I can admire it and that’s enough.

  • Tom says:

    Well you just saved me falling down a rabbit hole by mentioning Knize 10 as a sub. I still have a smidge of that somewhere and should get a bottle..

    • cinnamon says:

      In the second (or whatever) iteration of The Guide Luca Turin is fulsome in his review of this and positions it with Chanel Cuir de Russia in its lushness, with Knize 10 at the other end (ie, dryer, etc). And I think that might be what I find more attractive about the Knize, the dryness.

  • alityke says:

    Is the something that haute couture dressed person the MKK skankiness of unchanged undies?
    It does sound gorgeous but my pennies are being saved for Liz Moore’s release due on 1.8.24. A horse scent, so I’m sure leather will be a note.

    • cinnamon says:

      No, it’s a different sort of skankiness, and def not unchanged undies. Will have to look up the Liz Moore. None of hers really work for me but they are very well done. I am trying to get a sample of the new Hiram Green at the moment, Philtre, but the HG site doesn’t appear to ship to the UK and RW in London doesn’t appear to have it yet. Will call them to ask.

      • Maya says:

        I got a sample of HG Philtre last week. Sniffing it, I get a very strong clove soliflore. YMMV. I haven’t put it on my skin (yet) because what I smell in the vial has always been what I get on skin.
        I am a Liz Moore superfan. 🙂

  • Tara C says:

    I own and love CC but it is a leather orange blossom on me primarily, although I do get the jasmine as well. It’s very potent and the 250ml bottle I own would last me for several lifetimes.

    For those who don’t own it and can’t find it I find SL Cuir Mauresque similar in weight and feel, but without all the florals.

    • cinnamon says:

      Interesting: leather, orange blossom. A lot of lushness. I can’t remember CM — not tried that in years. Thing is I like the florals with leathers — gives things a different feel.