PATCHOULI IMPERIAL ( 2011 ) + CUIR CANNAGE (2014 ) by DIOR

I smelled these two scents for the first time the other day. Paper
strips drenched in both of the perfumes stuffed in my back jeans pocket; Cuir Cannage all over my left arm, Patchouli Imperial all over my right.

Good initial impressions: the Cuir is a sweet suedy leather; irised, floral, spiced and complex- at the very least quite interesting : my olfactory ears pricked up upon smelling it. The patchouli, too: a decent attempt to present a more elegant face of this trope to the world with a bright and earthy, verging on ozonic beginning and light, fresh herbaceous, citric tinges: a persistent ( if slightly neutered ) patchouli overview throughout, and an ambered, invisibly chocolate-like finish.

Eventually, however, I tired of both. The Cuir, while novel in these harsh times of arid, stringent niche in its soft and plush rendering of soft leather ( it was designed to smell like the insides of a handbag ) becomes rather cloying, at least on me, and reminds me a little of the no holds- barred thickness of Caron Montaigne – but without its gay humour. While I thrilled, slightly, to the orris-brushed, ambered suedeness, the faun- like kiss of ylang, there is also a sour, synthetic sandalwood somewhere in the (at times uneasy and unstable ) mix that I find off putting.

The patchouli, also, becomes too sweet in that typical contemporary manner. Overdone, somehow; synthetic: a patchouli for (rich) beginners if you like, but not one for the connoisseur.

There is no way that I could live with either of these two on a regular basis. They are just too loaded, somehow- too much about demonstrable ‘performance’. In any case I don’t need to because my leather and patchouli needs have already been fully met. I already have, and am wearing on the train where I am writing this on a rainy day up to Tokyo, the perfect, ideal patchouli/leather: Givenchy Gentleman. Good lord it smells good today, this moment, as we speak.

The patchouli – and this perfume is thick with it – is deep and profound, bone-dry, but somehow elevated; the leather note it rests on smooth but out of reach. The herbaceous rose citrus the perfume begins with locks all into place, making it take its time to reveal its full intentions, and you are left, then, finally, with a velvety aura of animal sexuality concealed discreetly, yet powerfully, within sly elegance. The construction of this scent is irreproachable. It will last all day; its throw will be ideal, and it will simply blast those ridiculous Dior impostors straight out of the water.

12 Comments

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12 responses to “PATCHOULI IMPERIAL ( 2011 ) + CUIR CANNAGE (2014 ) by DIOR

  1. Tara

    I liked Cuir Cannage a lot on paper but not on skin. The iris seemed to just disappear.

    I love the smell of patchouli on others or in the air but don’t know if I’ll ever find one I like to wear.

    • It’s disappointing when something seems initially exciting and then just goes to mush.

      As for patchouli, I can’t remember your tastes or favourites, Tara. Please remind me of thy grails.

      • Tara

        My HG is Vol de Nuit parfum. I have the modern, pre-formulation and vintage versions.

        My tastes are generally embarrassing tame compared to yours but there you go. I like OJ Woman & Champaca, Osmanthe Yunnan, Bois des Iles, L’Artisan’sTea for Two & Fleur d’Oranger, Mona’s Eau Absolue, Vero’s Rozy Voile…

        A patchouli recommendation would be much appreciated.

      • Loving your selection actually and guess what: I am in the middle of a piece for ODOU on Vol De Nuit, also one of my absolute holy grails. I am finally trying to tackle her.

        Went to Isetan Tokyo the other day to try the current versions of edt and parfum, TRYING to believe, but no : vintage parfum only. that ghostly vanillic trail is lost, there is no magic….

      • Tara

        Oooh I look forward to your ODOU Vol de Nuit article. Writing about a fragrance of HG status can be so dfficult.

        I bought the modern version in the gold box on ebay because it was a good price. It’s still sealed but I’m worried about only liking the old version too. If you found it’s now lost its magic there’s little hope.

      • I mean….. it smells more old fashioned than the vintage to me. More musty and ‘mossy’ but without that starry fur coat magic wand I know you know ( I LOVE it).

        That said, batches differ in my experience. It might be nice and could be used as an extender

  2. cookie queen

    I was with Tara when we tried the Cuir Cannage. Didn’t like it then, and after trying again like it even less. Ugh.
    I got given some Patchouli Imperiale and binned it without trying it, the smell from the bottle was enough …….
    HG Patchouli is Il Profumo Patchouli Noir Osmo. Thick, dark, aged and gorgeous, on its own or layered. xxx

    • I ‘m actually really glad that you are so emphatic about your rejection of these perfumes. Sometimes I feel as though I were being almost ‘disrespectful’ towards them (perhaps because of their price), as other people seem to fawn over them with their tongues lolling out as though the work of Francois Demachy were of great import.

      In actual fact, on full consideration of them (especially on card once they had tried down), I kind of think they are vile. A bit of a mess, actually.

      I love Il Profumo as well. They have a no-nonsense quality about them : just delivering the goods.

  3. So happy to hear your impressions of these two scent, so sad at the same time because it does not make me long to try the rest of the line. I have been curious about the rest of Dior’s “exorbitantly expensive” collection. Ca dommage.

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