Hermès Cuir d’Ange by Jean-Claude Ellena for Hermès 2014

Hello my lovelies,

The other day I was in town to get shouted at by my accountant. Luckily for both of us he didn’t shout but he did get quite sober a couple of times and gave me dry looks of disbelief and incomprehension. He is generally quite genial and full of bonhomie and we did have a few laughs but still I felt like a very naughty boy. Aside from that I was lucky enough to get a motor bike parking space right in the center of Sydney’s CBD (Central Business District) and trotted into Hermès to see my favourite SA there Jean. Jean of the sexiest voice known to woman, the friendliest smile and the most elegant figure. I was on a mission, having tried (and adored) Cuir d’Ange at the Hermès store in the Bellagio, Las Vegas because my mate and co-contributor here Val the Cookie Queen had raved, it was time to get myself a sample and really come to terms with it.

Hermès Cuir d’Ange by Jean-Claude Ellena for Hermès 2014

Hermessence No 12

Cuir d`Ange Hermes FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica give these featured accords in one line:
Heliotrope, hawthorn, violet, narcissus, musk and leather

Now, Cuir d’Ange is so Jean Claude Ellena, from the opening fireworks and can can girls squealing their lungs out in brand new chorus heels, slightly sweaty and a trifle tannery, their corsets silk all musty and a little dank from years of wear and poor ventilation in the store room, ripe with their yearnings and disappointments. Really, this is exactly what I smell in Cuir d’Ange’s first 15 minutes, the story unfolds and I even get whiffs of the resins they use to give their chorus shoes grip and slide. There is also something of feet in Cuir d’Ange, a worn shoe, a well loved leather jacket or a vintage leather and fur purse.

Hermès Cuir d’Ange Toulouse-Lautrec WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Having spent some time with CB I Hate Perfumes Narcissus I really can smell its disgustingly gorgeous ripeness, over ripe ness that has me both retching and reaching for more. It really brings that shoe/bag worn and loved feel and I am enjoying it immensely. It could even be the scent of a ballet shoe after a show, maybe the next day. Though now Cuir d’Ange has softened considerable and I think it would be only slightly noticeable sillage if I walked past you in the office, certainly hardly noticeable at all in a bar until you got very close to me. We are at about the one hour mark and I really love how this extremely soft, highly nuanced concoction keeps surprising me.

Hermès Cuir d’Ange Ballet Shoes MinasCreativeExpressionsPhoto Stolen MinasCeativeExpression

It’s a very circular fragrance, the notes seem to return at odd intervals, darting out and back to keep your nose on its toes. A lovely ride. You could easily wear Cuir d’Ange in a work situation and it will be killer for date night, a real stealth bomber through the movie and not overpowering for dinner. I can feel a 15ml bottle coming on, at least. I might even wear the rest of my sample on New Years Eve.

Further reading: Australian Perfume Junkies, Bois de Jasmin and Grain de Musc
If your city doesn’t have a Hermès store you should probably move
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $4/ml

Do you like the Hermèssence range? Is Jean Claude Ellena to your liking or are you meh?
Portia xx

27 comments on “Hermès Cuir d’Ange by Jean-Claude Ellena for Hermès 2014

  1. cookie queen says:

    NIce review Portia and I still am enjoying the 6 x 2ml samples that the extremely generous SA in Vienna gave me. I would love a 15 ml bottle. Bussi. xxx

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Maybe we need to buy a 4 pack and split them Val. That would make firm economic sense.
      I will buy them and eat the postage if we can get a couple of others on board?
      What do you think?
      Portia xx

  2. Tara says:

    This was such a treat Portia! Loved it from your beleaguered accountant to the recommendation to relocate for access to an Hermes store. It’s just a pity Jean doesn’t conform to The Husband’s flowchart on OT 🙂

    I’ve tried twice without success to get a sample. Until then I won’t know for sure if that plasticky off note will begin to bother me or not. I was fine with it on first sniff though. I’ll have to wait and see but your hugely evocative review will keep me going in the meantime. Especially the chorus girls’ corsets holding onto their yearnings and disappointments. Great writing.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      My accountant is so lovely and I torment him mercilessly. I thin k he likes me so much because I am a challenge.
      As to Cuir d’Ange I’ll send you my sample remnants if you like.
      Portia xx

      • Tara says:

        That’s very sweet of you Portia but please don’t worry. Hopefully next time in Selfridges/Harrods I can pick some up xxx

      • australianperfumejunkies says:

        OK, take your 3ml decant atomiser and fill it. Any excuse to go to Selfrige & Co.
        Portia x

  3. AllGirlMafia says:

    ‘disgustingly gorgeous ripeness’ I love this term, it perfectly describes how I kike my perfumes. Aromatics Elixir, Agent Provocateur and Angel are all so equally vulgar and delicious I can’t get enough of them!

    It pleases me that you describe Cuir d’Anges this way because I am expecting a sample in the mail any day now. Generally the Hermes line is far too ‘light’ and translucent for me but I am hoping Cuir will be different.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Cuir d’Ange is a wallflower compared to the fragrances you mention. It is all these things for me but subtly, quietly and nicely.
      I hope you are not underwhelmed.
      Portia xx

  4. poodle says:

    JCE makes some beautiful perfumes but they’re so light and fleeting on me I just don’t rush to test things by him. If I really have to go searching to sniff it an hour into the wearing I don’t usually fall in love with the scent. You’ve made a convincing case to try this one. It sounds like a dirty girl perfume which is not how I think of JCE perfumes.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Poodle, It is dirty girl blended with self. I hope I haven’t overstated the case and that you will not feel cheated.
      JCE has not stepped back into his Dia,. Ambre Extreme or First mode. This is sheer yet full of nuance.
      I hope you get the ride I do.
      Portia xx

  5. Liam says:

    Portia – JCE is an absolute genius and I adore all of his creations. I know many are put off by his ‘eau chade and watercolour’ techniques – but I will recommend that you try Bel Ami Vetiver from Hermes (2013). He can do more than watercolour… Or if anything he uses that to his advantage!

    -Liam xx
    Liam recently posted…Bel Ami Vétiver by HermèsMy Profile

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      OK, we are going into town on Monday Liam. I will check out Bel Ami Vetiver. I loved the vintage Bel Ami in the cocktail shaker bottle, very cool. I think it was Bel Ami, it could have been Equipage and my mind has turned to mush…
      Oh well, I will try.
      Portia xx

      • Liam says:

        They are both old school (equip and bel) – They have reformulated the old masculines (early this year me thinks), however whilst I feel some have been dulled down, the new bottles are stunning.

        I too like equipage – but I will try to avoid the new bottled version… It’s pretty plain. Rocabar too is nice… I think this may be an excuse for me to go onto Hermes in the new year! Have fun when you are at the store!!!

        Liam recently posted…Antaeus by ChanelMy Profile

  6. Jackie b says:

    I need to try this one, having been that squealing can can dancer complete with slightly used leather shoes!
    My favourite Hermessence so far is Vetiver Tonka, sample obtained on your recommendation Portia.
    Not so watercolour on me either. Nice.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      AhA!! I knew we were friends for a reason other than fragrance. HOW STUNNING that you were a squealing Can-Can dancer.
      Funnily, though I enjoyed Vetiver Tonka immensely I never grabbed a bottle. I need to spend time with it again, I think there’s still a decant here somewhere…
      Thanks for the reminder.
      Portia xx

  7. I’ve got to try this. I could do with a bit of boosting up. 😀
    I’ve only tried Vanille Galante and Santal Massoïa so far. I liked them but it wasn’t a love. I should venture out into the cities in the new year.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      YAY for youre adventure to the big city. I only have to travel two stations to the heart of Sydney’s Central Business District nowadays and yet still it feels like going to town.
      Portia xx

  8. Oh I went to the same store in the Bellagio just a few days ago! I did spray some Cuir d’Ange on a strip, but unfortunately my nose was all clogged up due to allergies from the cigarette smog that permeates the entire Las Vegas, and so I couldn’t really smell anything.
    The Smelly Vagabond recently posted…MiN New YorkMy Profile

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Oh NOOOOO! That is a terrible story Smelly Vagabond. Are you enjoying your stay otherwise?
      Do you need me to hook you up with my mate in O? He’ll give you a backstage tour after the show.
      Portia xx

  9. Robert Herrmann. says:

    Portia, I must admit to being a bit of a Hermés whore, yet I do run hot and cold for Ellena. Just got a bottle of Jour d’Hermes Absolu for Christmas, and with that small bottle am in love with Jean Claude once again. Gorgeous candied apricots dripping with honey, and served in a fragrant night-blooming garden. Yup. Love him. This week.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      HA HA HA! Yes, I think we all do the same thing with our fave perfumers. When they release good shit we ADORE them but when they release shit we are most unhappy.
      Portia xx

  10. Nemo says:

    Cuir d’Ange sounds wonderful. I love JCE so much I would ALMOST (but not quite…yet) blind-buy a travel spray of it based on what I have read 🙂

  11. Nice write up and I do want to try this one as I love a leather scent – suede or the more hardcore style. Do love the Jour d’Hermes Absolu like Robert above. But I haven’t really got my head around the Hermes house yet and I think this is because everyone says JCE makes light watercolour perfumes and that’s not my preferred style, although I really like that he’s delivered a real signature feel for Hermes. Am quite looking forward to what Christine Nagel brings. I did manage to lose a really cool leather vintage Hermes bracelet on a slightly inebriated evening in Paris though that I’m still grieving. Boo!
    meganinstmaxime recently posted…Christmas Day Perfume – Vero Profumo Rozy EDPMy Profile

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Losing any Hermes is a reason to mourn, what a crapper MeganInStMaxime,
      JCE has really given the house a wonderful direction. Try this one even if you don’t like the aesthetic, it really is lovely.
      Portia xx

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