Friday, 16 July 2010

Parfumerie Generale - Cuir Venenum

The picture on the left is kind of how I imagined Cuir Venenum would smell, or perhaps it is how I hoped it would smell. I'm generally quite a fan of PG, having sampled a lot of their range and they tend to be quite interesting, rather unusual perfumes. Cuir Venenum is unusual, granted, but not in the way I wanted it to be. The notes listed are leather, orange blossom, myrrh, citrus, cedar, coconut(!) and honeyed musk. On my skin Cuir Venenum opens with a slightly peppery, musky kick, with what I think is a dose of bergamot. I did detect something floral, which at the time I thought might be ylang-ylang, but probably is the orange blossom. However, it isn't an orange blossom note I'm familiar with. The first time I tried Cuir Venenum, I did not detect leather at all. On subsequent wearings I do find a bit of leather, but if you are a leather fiend who likes them strong, this will leave you wanting. Knize Ten this is definitely not.

For some reason Cuir Venenum seems fruity to me and I would have classified it as a more feminine, fruity leather. At times I detect a plummy note, which with the cedar was not miles away in vibe from Feminite du Bois. This was especially so in the heart and dry down. This is a very subtle, slightly sweet leather fragrance and I can see it being quite popular with women in particular. I  think Cuir Venenum is a decent, understated fragrance, but is totally not my cup of tea; I much prefer PG's other leather scent, Cuir D'Iris.

Speaking of leather fragrances, which ones do you like? I particularly enjoy Montale's Cuir D'Arabie and also like Parfum D'Empire's Cuir Ottoman. I find Knize Ten quite a challenge to wear, while I'm relishing the thought of sampling Serge Luten's Cuir Mauresque when it comes to London later this year.


  1. I suppose it's a bit of a cliche, but I think Chanel's Cuir De Russie is amazing, although I guess in many ways, it isn't a strict leather scent.

    I'm actually very fond of Lancome's reissued Cuir, which is softer and less diffusive than traditional leathers, but is extremely elegant.

    And since you mentioned Montale, I think Oud Cuir d'Arabie is out of this world, but I've only got a tiny sample, so I don't get a chance to smell it very often.

  2. I haven't tried the Lancome - is it readily available? I agree on the Montale - I think it is my favourite of their oud series, a gorgeous fragrance.

  3. Hi Michael - nice post! My problem with leather perfumes is that they rarely stay, or develop, leathery enough for me. Such is the problem with Cuir Ottoman. Cuir d'Arabie is amazing in the beginning (your post prompted me to go apply), but as I remember, it doesn't hold up over time. (It's been awhile since I've worn it, so we'll see what happens a bit later.

    Like you, I have not yet tried the Lancome, but would love to know your opinion!

  4. Thanks Josephine. I personally find Cuir d'Arabie quite leathery all the way through, but what often happens to me with leather fragrances in general is that they turn to patchouli, which in itself is not a bad thing, but not what I want in most cases. Have you ever tried Knize Ten - I find that to be a rocket fuel leather, although I'm sure that depends on skin chemistry.



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