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VINTAGE - Guerlain Cuir de Russie Extrait (Pure Parfum)

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Perfume Description

 

NEW YORK CUSTOMERS ONLY - We can no longer ship Guerlain products to New York State.  If purchased by a New York State customer, we will refund all Guerlain items and cannot ship them.

 

The House of Guerlain is one of the oldest perfume houses in the world. It was founded in 1828 by Pierre-Francois Pascal Guerlain. Pierre-Francois composed and manufactured custom perfumes with the help of his two sons, Aime & Gabriel. Guerlain catered to the high society of Paris and had a very loyal following. The perfume house was so successful that in 1840 Guerlain decided to open a flagship store at 15, Rue de la Paix. The house was at its peak in 1853 with its fragrance Eau de Cologne Imperiale which gave Guerlain the prestigious title of His Majesty's Official Perfumer of France. 

Pierre-Francois died in 1854 and his sons took over the perfume house. Aime became the master perfumer and Gabriel managed and expanded the house. Aime created several fragrances including Fleur d'Italie, Rococo, Eau de Cologne de Coq and his greatest creation, Jicky. In 1914, Guerlain moved to 68, Champs-Elysees. 

The business was then handed down to Gabriel's sons, Jacques & Pierre. Jacques became the third master perfumer and created many fragrances during his time at Guerlain including Apres L'Ondee, Shalimar, Vol de Nuit, Mitsouko, L'Heure Bleue, Eau du Coq and Ode. A number of these fragrances are still available today. Jacques' grandson Jean-Paul became the fourth master perfumer and  among his creations were Vetiver, Habit Rouge, Samsara, Nahema and Jardins de Bagatelle. 

Cuir de Russie was launched in 1872 and created by Aime Guerlain. The name Cuir de Russie means "Russian leather" and was inspired by the Russian army's usage of highly fragrant birch tar on their military boots. Several perfume houses have produced a perfume called Cuir de Russie but Aimé Guerlain used the name Cuir de Russie as far back as 1872. That original fragrance was reformulated by Jacques Guerlain in 1935 so there is no record of what the original smelled like. Frédéric Sacone of Guerlain revealed that Jacques' formula listed both Mitsouko and Chypre de Paris as ingredients in his formulation of Cuir de Russie. 

In looking for listings of notes for this unisex, spicy leather chypre fragrance, I found this listing on Fragrantica: top notes of lavender, rosemary and thyme; middle notes of iris, styrax, labdanum, benzoin and birch; and base notes of amber, musk, civet, vetiver, oakmoss and resins. And I found this listing of notes on Monsieur Guerlain which was provided by Guerlain: jasmine, gardenia, rose, lilac, ylang-ylang, moss, leather, musk, orris, spices, patchouli, rosewood and vetiver.

Cuir de Russie is a pure parfum extrait. The bottle we are decanting from is 1935 and was an unopened vintage find. 

From Perfume Shrine

Even though Cuir de Russie by Guerlain is initially properly bitterish with what seems like herbs, galbanum and oakmoss, with a smoky aspect and not too much tar, the progression veers into a much more supple finish superbly poised between masculine and feminine. The opening notes are folded into the spicy (like carnations), leathery, bitter-almonds facets of styrax resin and maybe a hint of the sweetness of Peru balsam as well.

The heart is fanned on jasmine (boosted and "opened" by animalic civet, possibly) and the intermingling with leather is delicious and lush: what I see through Guerlain's Cuir de Russie are purple suede gloves gathering Indian blossoms in the cool evening breeze; a warm wrap upon naked shoulders brushing off long, chandelier earrings while sitting at the dacha; the feel of a firm gloved caress rather than the crack of a military whip... 

From Sorcery of Scent

Loyal Sorcery of Scent readers may well remember my '5 Guerlains in 5 days' series from a few years ago... a collection of ten articles focusing on rare, limited edition or practically-unheard of Guerlain perfumes. This series featured a handful of perfumes from history, created before olfactory pyramids and widely-disclosed formulas were the norm. This being said, with a number of them I was flying blind... attempting to pick out individual accords through my modest sense of smell, and intuition alone. One scent that moved me monumentally, and continues to do so to this day, is the elusive Cuir de Russie ... a post-Industrial Revolution creation authored by Aimé Guerlain in 1872. I was blessed to stumble upon a small quadrilobe of the parfum, and a pair of stilboide flacons... each of which showed a distinct separation of the parfum from the carrier oil, which made it simple to remove the parfum component with a pipette. Long have I relished the perfume, and have used it as a signature scent on special occasions. But I've also lamented the thought that one day my reserves will dry, and there could be no hope ever of seeing it replenished.

Key notes present in this perfume are citrus, birch, styrax, and a floral nucleus including iris and gardenia. These florals are so seamlessly worked in to the composition that they only peer through the plumes of coal-grey bitter smoke from time to time. The trail is resolutely chypre in style with abundant musks and oakmoss. Cuir de Russie is dry, sooty, and still defiantly tippy-toes the line between masculine and feminine. I am not altogether certain if this arresting scent will join the others in the famed Hall of Mirrors at 68 Champs Elysées, but a part of me genuinely hopes it does. It would be an opportunity missed not to share this unique and arresting odeur with the world... if not to memorialize the work of Guerlain's masterful forefathers, then to celebrate Wasser's efforts in remaining true to Guerlain's vast and hallowed history.

From Quintessence

The fragrance opens with a distinctly herbacious note which is both powerful and masculine, a sharp contrast to Gabrielle’s classic aldehydic opening. This intense green and almost medicinal quality gives rise to the richest, smokiest leather I have ever experienced, making it evident that the fragrance was composed long before any restrictions on birch tar came into effect. The impression is of a much more rustic and pre-revolutionary Russia than either of its 20th century counterparts, which evoke more of a Russian in Paris feel. Not so the Guerlain, which reminds me of the thick, rough leather boots of a cossack warrior atop a charging steed in the cold night air.

While the intensity of smoke and leather is prevalent for several hours, making me question the scent’s intended gender audience, the fragrance does a complete about-face in the drydown, softening into a gorgeously soft floral bouquet. There is a hint of jasmine overlaying the leather which has now receded into the background, deepened by hints of vanilla and animalic notes.

It is this odd interplay between masculine and feminine elements that reveals the true magic of the House of Guerlain. These disparate fragrance themes could not have been carried out by any other perfumer, and yet Guerlain flawlessly melds the two into one, invoking the grandeur of a revolutionary fantasy with the promise of a bright and beautiful future.

 

 

 

 


VINTAGE - Guerlain Cuir de Russie Extrait (Pure Parfum)

 

NEW YORK CUSTOMERS ONLY - We can no longer ship Guerlain products to New York State.  If purchased by a New York State customer, we will refund all Guerlain items and cannot ship them.

 

The House of Guerlain is one of the oldest perfume houses in the world. It was founded in 1828 by Pierre-Francois Pascal Guerlain. Pierre-Francois composed and manufactured custom perfumes with the help of his two sons, Aime & Gabriel. Guerlain catered to the high society of Paris and had a very loyal following. The perfume house was so successful that in 1840 Guerlain decided to open a flagship store at 15, Rue de la Paix. The house was at its peak in 1853 with its fragrance Eau de Cologne Imperiale which gave Guerlain the prestigious title of His Majesty's Official Perfumer of France. 

Pierre-Francois died in 1854 and his sons took over the perfume house. Aime became the master perfumer and Gabriel managed and expanded the house. Aime created several fragrances including Fleur d'Italie, Rococo, Eau de Cologne de Coq and his greatest creation, Jicky. In 1914, Guerlain moved to 68, Champs-Elysees. 

The business was then handed down to Gabriel's sons, Jacques & Pierre. Jacques became the third master perfumer and created many fragrances during his time at Guerlain including Apres L'Ondee, Shalimar, Vol de Nuit, Mitsouko, L'Heure Bleue, Eau du Coq and Ode. A number of these fragrances are still available today. Jacques' grandson Jean-Paul became the fourth master perfumer and  among his creations were Vetiver, Habit Rouge, Samsara, Nahema and Jardins de Bagatelle. 

Cuir de Russie was launched in 1872 and created by Aime Guerlain. The name Cuir de Russie means "Russian leather" and was inspired by the Russian army's usage of highly fragrant birch tar on their military boots. Several perfume houses have produced a perfume called Cuir de Russie but Aimé Guerlain used the name Cuir de Russie as far back as 1872. That original fragrance was reformulated by Jacques Guerlain in 1935 so there is no record of what the original smelled like. Frédéric Sacone of Guerlain revealed that Jacques' formula listed both Mitsouko and Chypre de Paris as ingredients in his formulation of Cuir de Russie. 

In looking for listings of notes for this unisex, spicy leather chypre fragrance, I found this listing on Fragrantica: top notes of lavender, rosemary and thyme; middle notes of iris, styrax, labdanum, benzoin and birch; and base notes of amber, musk, civet, vetiver, oakmoss and resins. And I found this listing of notes on Monsieur Guerlain which was provided by Guerlain: jasmine, gardenia, rose, lilac, ylang-ylang, moss, leather, musk, orris, spices, patchouli, rosewood and vetiver.

Cuir de Russie is a pure parfum extrait. The bottle we are decanting from is 1935 and was an unopened vintage find. 

From Perfume Shrine

Even though Cuir de Russie by Guerlain is initially properly bitterish with what seems like herbs, galbanum and oakmoss, with a smoky aspect and not too much tar, the progression veers into a much more supple finish superbly poised between masculine and feminine. The opening notes are folded into the spicy (like carnations), leathery, bitter-almonds facets of styrax resin and maybe a hint of the sweetness of Peru balsam as well.

The heart is fanned on jasmine (boosted and "opened" by animalic civet, possibly) and the intermingling with leather is delicious and lush: what I see through Guerlain's Cuir de Russie are purple suede gloves gathering Indian blossoms in the cool evening breeze; a warm wrap upon naked shoulders brushing off long, chandelier earrings while sitting at the dacha; the feel of a firm gloved caress rather than the crack of a military whip... 

From Sorcery of Scent

Loyal Sorcery of Scent readers may well remember my '5 Guerlains in 5 days' series from a few years ago... a collection of ten articles focusing on rare, limited edition or practically-unheard of Guerlain perfumes. This series featured a handful of perfumes from history, created before olfactory pyramids and widely-disclosed formulas were the norm. This being said, with a number of them I was flying blind... attempting to pick out individual accords through my modest sense of smell, and intuition alone. One scent that moved me monumentally, and continues to do so to this day, is the elusive Cuir de Russie ... a post-Industrial Revolution creation authored by Aimé Guerlain in 1872. I was blessed to stumble upon a small quadrilobe of the parfum, and a pair of stilboide flacons... each of which showed a distinct separation of the parfum from the carrier oil, which made it simple to remove the parfum component with a pipette. Long have I relished the perfume, and have used it as a signature scent on special occasions. But I've also lamented the thought that one day my reserves will dry, and there could be no hope ever of seeing it replenished.

Key notes present in this perfume are citrus, birch, styrax, and a floral nucleus including iris and gardenia. These florals are so seamlessly worked in to the composition that they only peer through the plumes of coal-grey bitter smoke from time to time. The trail is resolutely chypre in style with abundant musks and oakmoss. Cuir de Russie is dry, sooty, and still defiantly tippy-toes the line between masculine and feminine. I am not altogether certain if this arresting scent will join the others in the famed Hall of Mirrors at 68 Champs Elysées, but a part of me genuinely hopes it does. It would be an opportunity missed not to share this unique and arresting odeur with the world... if not to memorialize the work of Guerlain's masterful forefathers, then to celebrate Wasser's efforts in remaining true to Guerlain's vast and hallowed history.

From Quintessence

The fragrance opens with a distinctly herbacious note which is both powerful and masculine, a sharp contrast to Gabrielle’s classic aldehydic opening. This intense green and almost medicinal quality gives rise to the richest, smokiest leather I have ever experienced, making it evident that the fragrance was composed long before any restrictions on birch tar came into effect. The impression is of a much more rustic and pre-revolutionary Russia than either of its 20th century counterparts, which evoke more of a Russian in Paris feel. Not so the Guerlain, which reminds me of the thick, rough leather boots of a cossack warrior atop a charging steed in the cold night air.

While the intensity of smoke and leather is prevalent for several hours, making me question the scent’s intended gender audience, the fragrance does a complete about-face in the drydown, softening into a gorgeously soft floral bouquet. There is a hint of jasmine overlaying the leather which has now receded into the background, deepened by hints of vanilla and animalic notes.

It is this odd interplay between masculine and feminine elements that reveals the true magic of the House of Guerlain. These disparate fragrance themes could not have been carried out by any other perfumer, and yet Guerlain flawlessly melds the two into one, invoking the grandeur of a revolutionary fantasy with the promise of a bright and beautiful future.

 

 

 

 

$16.99

Warranty Information

All sales are final, we are a perfume sampling company - letting you try perfume before you invest in a bottle. Unfortunately, we cannot refund any product that you do not like. If you are new to perfume or wanting to break out of wearing the same scent, try our starter sampler packs so that you can find the perfume that works for you.

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Product Reviews

  1. Classic, but very clearly vintage 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 11th Jan 2018

    I love it. The people around me most either love it or hate it, and I think that's a result of the very clearly vintage nature of the scent. It starts with an initially strong rose and powder scent, exactly what you think of when you think "grandmother's dressing room". Once I've worn it for a bit the spice and amber scents begin to rise to the top, with a very warm leather note. Almost, but not quite a tiny bit of salt in there as well.

    If you are expecting a scent structure more in line with contemporary perfumers, this may not be your jam. But if you really like nostalgia, this is an amazing treat.