Maître Parfumeur et Gantier Cuir Fétiche, a new women’s perfume, just launched. According to house perfumer Jean-Paul Millet Lage, he was inspired to create Cuir Fétiche on a scouting trip to southern France where he was looking at (and apparently sniffing) leathers for a new line of Maître Parfumeur et Gantier gloves. (As Robin said last week; I’m pretty tired of “creation stories.”)
Cuir Fétiche tries to be “racy;” it’s advertised using a woman wearing nothing but leather gloves (that make her hands look a tad masculine!), and the Cuir Fétiche bottle comes wrapped in a red corset.* Though Cuir Fétiche’s ads may be “suggestive” for Maître Parfumeur et Gantier, the perfume is far from “sexy;” it’s “bound” by convention, not leather handcuffs. Cuir Fétiche is a classic leather fragrance: elegant, calm, well-dressed (not, well, “un-dressed” for sure).
Cuir Fétiche contains fragrance notes of red mandarin, lemon, bergamot, geranium, leather, ylang ylang, jasmine, rose, iris, vanilla, musk, ambergris, patchouli, cedar and sandalwood. Cuir Fétiche goes on bright with glints of citrus and aldehydes, and it’s strong (almost “syrupy” in intensity). Aromas of geranium, sandalwood and leather dominate the opening, but I can also detect iris and rose (not dainty or “womanly” in the least).
Cuir Fétiche has a lot in common with Chanel Cuir de Russie, but it’s less smooth and floral than its famous predecessor. (Though I love both scents, I prefer the more masculine Cuir Fétiche.)
In mid-development, Cuir Fétiche dusts its leather with light vanilla and soft musk. In the base, Cuir Fétiche’s leather is joined by amber, rich but not cloying, and birch. Though Cuir Fétiche does not achieve (and maybe isn’t aiming for) originality, I enjoy it from start to finish. If you need a new leather perfume, or want a “tougher” Cuir de Russie-type fragrance, give it a try.
I’m surprised that Cuir Fétiche is presented as a women’s fragrance; it could easily have been marketed to men as well, thus, one assumes, increasing sales. Perhaps Maître Parfumeur et Gantier does not expect its fans to worry about such masculine/feminine labels, or maybe they don’t think very much about marketing at all. (Maître Parfumeur et Gantier is a rather “hidden” niche brand these days, certainly not discussed often; during the last several years, I’ve never heard anyone speak with excitement about an upcoming Maître Parfumeur et Gantier launch, have you?) All this is sad, since Maître Parfumeur et Gantier makes some wonderful fragrances.
Maître Parfumeur et Gantier Cuir Fétiche is currently available in Europe in 100 ml Eau de Parfum — €110 in the plain bottle, or €165 for the corset-wrapped bottle. For buying information, see the listing for Maître Parfumeur et Gantier under Perfume Houses.
* For an additional 55 Euros.