Chanel – Cuir de Russie

Perfume: Cuir de Russie
House: Chanel
Perfumer: Ernest Beaux
Source: The Perfume Court
Size: 1mL EdT

Perfume Court Notes: Top notes of orange blossom, bergamot, mandarin, and clary sage. Middle notes of iris, jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, cedarwood, and vetiver. Base notes of styrax, leather, amber, and vanilla

Date: 3/4/08 Weather: 50 degrees, cloudy

Comments: Starts with Chanel’s signature aldehydic blast with a healthy note of citrus. The leather appears quickly, along with some iris and a powder note. Then picks up a jasmine note and the leather disappears. Then – violets, jasmine and some powder. Where did the leather go? About 15 minutes in, the leather reappears. Much like an old handbag where a powder compact had exploded. Then I get a bit of vanilla (very faint) but it feels like my nose has been scoured. I can’t smell anything. About 1 hour in, it gets “tea-like.” My nose has finally cleared a bit. 2 hours in – Picking up the leather/exploded powder compact with some rose and jasmine (perfume has been spilled in the bag too). Within 15 minutes of this appearing, the jasmine becomes more dominant. Gone in 4 hours. Not a fan.

Date: 5/16/08 Weather: 70 degrees, clear

Comments: Still get the aldehydic blast. Still get the old handbag / leather phase. But the drydown isn’t nearly as nose-searing (though I’ll admit my nose has been pretty seared by allergies the past couple of weeks). The drydown is much nicer this time – rose, jasmine, leather, powder. Much more leather than the last wearing. Also get a hint of vanilla. I see why this is considered a classic, but I also won’t be reaching for it very often.

Date: 8/19/08 Weather: 93 degrees, humid

Comments: Still get the Chanel Aldehyde blast. I can’t seem to do Chanel topnotes. At least I didn’t get the nose scouring this time. 10 minutes in, Mom’s good handbag. More floral and powdery than leathery. Then smells like fruity poo. lovely (note dripping sarcasm here). That (thankfully) burns off within 10 minutes of making an appearance and I get spices, powder and (finally) real leather.

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~ by Wendy Wickham on March 4, 2008.

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