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segunda-feira, 21 de dezembro de 2015

Scented Snippets New Fragrance Review: Oriza L. Legrand Cuir de l'Aigle Russe / Courtly Leather

by: Ida Meister

A successful perfume tells its own story.

[When I refer to 'success', I intend that someone / something reaches its goal, its aspiration; it's not my custom to perceive success by popularity, money, visibility.]

We all enjoy perusing well-written copy which kindles flights of fancy from time to time. Sometimes, though, the fragrance and the evocative copy don't seem to match up. In such cases, one feels as if he/she has been played for a fool. It's an ugly sentiment. A good perfume speaks for itself and requires little else.
Oriza L. Legrand is an older company [founded in 1892] which has been fairly recently resurrected with admirable results; they have proven that retro has endured the test of time and remains desirable, that tradition has bequeathed many beauties none the less for wear. Their latest release, Cuir de l'Aigle Russe, is a welcome illustration of a venerable recette revived.

I'm a leather lover; no surprises there, I'll warrant. I love them raw and untamed, silky, suave, dulcet, howling and brutish. Fortunately, they tend to love me back. I begin to lose count of mine [do bear in mind that I've amassed them over a 45 year + period]: Cabochard, Tabac Blond, vintage Shalimar, Roja Dove Fetish Homme, Cuir Ottoman, Cuir de Lancome, Puredistance M, Bandit, Futur, Bulgari Black, Neil Morris Tea House, le Parfum d'Ida and Fetish, KM Fleur de Peau, Cuir Mauresque, Knize Ten, Lonestar Memories, SMN Peau d'Espagne triple estratto, Chanel Cuir de Russie parfum, Dzing!, Guerlain Derby, Dior Homme, Mona Di Orio Cuir, Cartier La Treizième Heure, SMN Nostalgia, Barry Lyndon, Hermes Caleche and Bel Ami, Jolie Madame, Miss Balmain, vintage Habanita, JAR Diamond Water, DSH Zeitgeist, Fumée d'Or, Metropolis, Vers la Violette, Dirty Rose, Cuir et Champignon and Le Smoking, Ava - Luxe Madame X, Soivohle Journeyman...
[I know there are more, but that's all I can recall for now. I would have done murder for the old Hermes Doblis!!!]

Cuir de l'Aigle Russe possesses its own merits: it's a mannerly, courtly leather which I find very wearable and pleasurable. It was a blind buy [yes, veterans succumb too, sometimes!] which ended happily. There's always room for one more leather. Or is it a fougèreAmber?
Let's explore it.
Top: coriander, fine lavender, davana, Italian bergamot, cade, styrax
Heart: Bourbon geranium, rose de mai, immortelle, cardamom, styrax, Indonesian patchouli
Base: ciste labdanum, incense, musks, tonka bean, sandalwood, amber, benzoin, vetiver.
Nota bene: even the top notes include base notes!!! I'd only consider the coriander, lavender and bergamot top notes; davana usually smells like a heart note to me, and cade and styrax never feel like they belong on top ;-)

We're looking at a variant of aromatic leather / fougère composition, as we have bergamot, lavender, tonka, sandalwood and geranium; patchouli and vetiver render it modern, and oakmoss alone is missing, with labdanum in its place. Floral is served up as lavender [it does double-duty as herbal], Bourbon geranium, and rose de mai, buffeted by potent aromatics: coriander, cardamom, lavender, spicy/earthy immortelle and davana, with its sweet/sharp, balsamic winelike aroma.
Base notes abound, and they are deftly handled so that you aren't overwhelmed by cade's presence, for example. What commences as furry and sportingly on the animalic side, slightly smoky – morphs into a mist of powdery amber, all balsamic and comforting. LOADS of resins. Some might say styrax overload, because it's paired with benzoin and tonka, which amplify Amber With An A.
[The immortelle seems to come out hours into the drydown.]
I happen to enjoy ambers of all kinds; at this point in its development we've crossed over from fougère to amber quite definitively. There is almost an old-fashioned barbershop quality – and I suspect that it's this demeanor which feels courtly and well-mannered to me. A tad dandyish, suave, dapper.
[By the by, I think women are smashing in dapper scents. Just ask Marlen! I know he'll agree ;-) ]

Here's the official copy from the Oriza website:
"Elegant and majestic, Cuir de l'Aigle Russe conjures up the days of the Russian aristocracy's love affair with rich fragrances so refined they had no equals.
Cuir de l'Aigle Russe is a gleaming samovar at the centre of a smoking room hung with gold brocades shimmering with colour.
Its heady mixture of blond tobaccos and smoked teas will revive once-distant memories of the Russia of the Tsars."
In the final analysis – Cuir de l'Aigle Russe reminds me more of Parfum d'Empire Ambre Russe than Cuir Ottoman: all opulence and excess in the drydown. Vanished is the smoke, those gleaming sables, the samovar; what lingers is a vestige of aristocratic decadence and distant murmurs from les neiges d'antan.
It's an exquisite fragrance, whatever it may be called.

Best simply to sample it and decide for your

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