I have a friend who is generous beyond belief. She is also one of the scentbloggers I read religiously because we see such different things in the fragrance, and because clever is an understatement. Undina from Undina’s Looking Glass is also a great community person, ie reads a lot of blogs, writes thoughtful and thought provoking comments often, helps out and does it all with a cyber smile.
I received a fair satchel of lovelies recently from her in the mail and inside was a fragrance I’ve long read about, desperately wanted (yes I’m the guy who has been bidding against you all but only to a certain amount, which is why you all win) but have not tried yet. Till today.
CHANEL Cuir de Russie (CdR)
When I sprayed myself today with Chanel’s Cuir de Russie I was expecting a bear, to be picked up, shaken, savaged and left for dead in a steaming, spreading puddle of fear related incontinence. There has been so much written about this extreme, hard to love, hard to get fragrance that I was slightly nervous, just in case I was overwhelmed.
This is the Les Exclusives modern range not the mid 1920’s Ernest Beaux original. Ernest Beaux was the perfumer behind Chanel No 5 also a few years before.
Honestly, 15 minutes after I sprayed I had to come back and check the decant spray to make sure I hadn’t misread. This is one of the softest and most elegantly refined perfumes I’ve ever tried on myself. On me it is powdery iris and lovingly cared for driving gloves from last season, maybe even a little blonde mink-ish, it’s soft too, a whisper of rich beyond our wildest imaginings. It seems like Hollywood, but not the actresses; the lovely parts they played in those magnificent sets and gowns. Pretending to be the rich, elite, decorous daughters and wives of the extreme upper classes, instead of the children of migrant/itinerant/working class people that most of them were. This scent is all sensual evenings with a fire, a delicate waft perhaps in restaurants, theatre or cinema. On reflection, this is a great treat-yourself-to-the-best office fragrance, not a sillage monster or powerhouse fragrance. Only the people that you want close enough to you to reap the reward will be any the wiser that you smell terrific. This is the fragrance you do checklists with catering staff, book holidays, shop at Paspaley or seduce your next husband while wearing.
BOTOBlog (Beauty On The Outside) has a fabulously fun CdR conversion story. NSTPerfume (Now Smell This) does a wonderful job giving you history, notes and story. Fragrantica also has some great information.
Thanks for dropping in, I hope all is lovely where you are.
If it’s not, it gets better,
And Undina, Thank You.