Notes: heliotrope, hawthorn, violet, narcissus, musk and leather.
And wow, I think, brilliant notes! Maybe this, this is ‘my’ J. C. Ellena fragrance. Ellena; an icon- and without a doubt a master of his métier, who puts Zen and grace in a perfume bottle, he draws you in. I want to love his perfumes. I try. It’s complicated.
Cuir d’Ange must be one of those perfumes that wears very different on all skin types, on me completely opposite to Victoria of Bois de Jasmin, this one wears for a substantial amount of time for a Hermessence fragrance, spraying it on skin in the evening, I could still smell the gorgeous reminiscences of it in the morning.
I have been wearing this for almost a week, and its unfolding has not been easy to put into words, or even how I feel about it, I kept spraying, sniffing, reapplying, sniffing, taking in the aura of the fragrance.
The first sniff was delightful. On as close to a summers day as one gets in late September, the scent unfolded with great beauty and a sunny presence, but consequently I kept getting an opening note which I can best describe as the scent of my childhood’s finger paint. I have no idea if finger paint smells different now, but a plastic-paint like scent, I can almost smell the primary colour of yellow and see the rough, slightly grainy structure stuck on paper and children’s hands. And I suppose it makes sense, even if my senses scream FINGER PAINT- my mind can think that perhaps a rather poisonous narcissus is to blame? This stage does last for quite a bit, and only after over half an hour, does this note slowly give way for a softer leather note underneath. The leather is neither butch as Bandit nor as lady-like as the leather in Bottega Veneta, I am in fact reminded of another fragrance, which at least on my skin is definitely related, albeit, a completely different animal in sillage, structure and atmosphere; Serge’s Daim Blonde.
On the tester there’s an obvious soapy violet note, which is completely lost on my skin, and I’m also deprived of a softening into a cosy almondy heliotrope as the notes had me assuming. I would have thought a bit of jasmine had worked its way into the heart; at least I can almost grasp a sense of a floral leather. As this stage of Cuir d’Ange mellows and deepens, I get a sense of an apricot suede, camel tanned, smooth and soft, and it blends with the skin until it reaches a ‘my skin but better’, and stays there for an (Hermessence-) eternity. When it reaches this point I want to run out and buy it, but I spray again, and get uneasy…
The angel skin I end up with is divine, but I fear that first finger-paint angel. My relationship with Cuir d’Ange might be Zen but it stays complicated.
*Read also this wonderful review of Cuir d’Ange by Denyse at Grain de Musc
**This time no own-illustrations apart from the photo, as I couldn’t face the angels, finger painted or otherwise.