Within the spectrum of leather fragrances there is an accord I adore. When a perfumer uses a certain amount of birch tar as a piece of their leather accord it can sometimes smell like an automobile mechanic’s garage. It is one of those natural scents of tire rubber and motor oil which is what makes my motor rev. I most regularly experience it I when the leather accord is of the Cuir de Russie variety. Ormonde Jayne Cuir Imperial starts off in the garage but it ends up someplace more elegant.
Creative director-owner Linda Pilkington and her regular partner in perfumery, Geza Schoen, consider what a modern Cuir de Russie style leather would consist of. Hr. Schoen uses a couple of his favorite ingredients to tint the central leather accord refining it as it lasts on the skin.
Cuir Imperial opens with a large concentration of green cardamom. This has the characteristic zestiness of the herb what it also has is a sticky green effect, too. The rawer leather accord arises as the scent of the garage which the cardamom pushes back against. Clary sage amplifies the green followed by an ingredient Hr. Schoen is becoming a maestro with; baie rose/schinus molle. At first, he titrates its herbal nature like a thin filament running through things. It begins to wrap itself around the leather forcing it to wash some of the garage off itself. Then it reaches for a snifter of cognac. This is a striking shift in tone from rough to refined. It is brilliant as it has an airy booziness which inserts itself through the top accord. The heart further softens the leather with rose and iris giving it a floral polish. It settles into a sophisticated suede effect. The base is sandalwood, vetiver, and patchouli. It is the most typical thing about this perfume.
Cuir Imperial has 14-16 hour longevity and above average sillage.
Cuir Imperial is one of the most elegant leather perfumes I have tried in a long time. What I relish about it is that it gets there by taking a trip through the garage. Once it strips off its coveralls it reveals a tuxedo underneath.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Ormonde Jayne.