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.