Tuesday, May 23, 2006

ASK MARLEN: A Dunhill of Cuiron


First, my compliments on an educative and enjoyable blog. I'm a 32 year old male who's only lately taken an interest in perfumes, and your blog and your reviews on Basenotes have been very helpful; for that, my thanks. I write to know how the following perfumes strike you : Cuiron pour Homme - Helmut Lang and Dunhill Edition - Alfred Dunhill.

I look forward to your reviews.

Best Regards,
KHi K,

Thanks for reading and for the great question. Let's start with Cuiron (2002; $20.99 at ImaginationPerfumery.com) - I remember all the buzz around this one and the early reviews on Basenotes (more than a few folks thought they had found their holy grail scents). I got a bottle, sprayed it on, wondered what the fuss was, wondered where the leather was, and then promptly dismissed it. A few months later, I received a second bottle, having swapped the first and wondering if perhaps I had missed something. Nope. Nowhere to be found were the buttery almost saffron-like leather notes I prefer. Rich, smoky, sweet - all missing. Instead I smelled a misch-masch of notes, mostly tobacco and some indistinct olibanum with citrus and pepper added for good measure. Again, I wasn't thrilled. Where was the leather?

As for Dunhill, this is a line that I sniff once just to get to know what the newest scent smells like, out of a sense of duty more than curiosity, and then never return to again. Dunhill Edition (1984; $25.99 at ImaginationPerfumery.com), however, is actually a little different story.

Though not a scent I would choose for myself, there is something very intriguing about it. Considering the time in which it was created, Dunhill Edition is a surprisingly crisp and green aroma, similar in my mind to Cerruti 1881, sharing many of the same notes. The scent embodies a watery lightness that a number of 80's scents had been experimenting with just prior to the marine/ozone/green tea explosion of the late 80's and early 90's. Therefore it's missing the "sweet and fruity" factor that ruin so many of today's launches. The only drawback, to my nose, is that both 1881 and Edition share what I call "the band-aid factor" exhibiting the tendency to smell a bit plastic, a phenomenon that I often experience with lavender aromas. More than 20 years after its original launch, Dunhill Edition is still around, still striking, and still terribly sexy on the right person.



Prince Barry said...

Mmmm, Cuiron. A very strange animal indeed! I quite liked it when it first came out. I did get a leather/suede note from it, but not a natural smelling one. Anyway, I thought 'What the hell' and bought a bottle. The first time I sprayed it on my neck, I started to itch and my neck went red. I thought it was because I had just shaved. Anyway, I tried it at a later date when I hadn't shaved, agin itching and redness. Needless to say, I ended up getting rid of Cuiron. I have never before before had a reaction like that to a scent. my partner loves Sables, but he breaks out in redness now when he wears that, but I don't.

andy said...

hmm... a very interesting post, indeed Marlen. I must admit: I like cuiron (without turning red). But not really as a leather scent, I like the dry cedarwood in it (texan variety), combined with the tobacco (which for me has not much to do with leather except for some lines of woody smokiness that might go with tobacco.) Thus, bottomline for me: Nicely done, maybe not a leather, rather flat, I have to admit, but still I like it.

katiedid said...

I like Cuiron, too... it's leathery to me, but more at like the smell of flipping through an upholstery sample swatch book filled with leather samples than being a fragrance of solid opaque leather. Plus, there's this weird little gasoline rag note in it that I dig. It's just really easy to wear for me. Perhaps it would have been better marketed if it had been aimed more at women than men?