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


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


Hermès, Hairdressers, and a Touch of Leather

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

Hermessence No 12

Cuir d’Ange really does smell like the inside of a soft leather bag. The kind that I will never own. I am not going to dissect Cuir d’Ange. Why would I? I learned on my recent trip to Florence that many of the perfumers want to stop “note lists” as it can take the wearer away from the beauty of the creation. Suffice it to say that there are layers of notes as with all perfume. Cuir d’Ange starts just sweet enough, and not overly flowery, the cool, elegant leather is detectable immediately. It has more of a suede feel, soft as a powder-puff. It smells exquisitely expensive, smooth and flawless. A whispy touch of warm caramel hovering, a soft muskiness. Subtle. It feels beautiful on the skin. A good generous spraying gave me hours of pleasure. I know that for some, the Hermès longevity is an issue. They are eau de toilette strength, but who cares? No law against reapplication.

Cuir d`Ange Hermes FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

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

Jean-Claude Ellena is 67. It took him 10 years to create Cuir d’Ange. When asked why he explained that it is a slow and very demanding process. Taking a concept that is in the mind and translating the concept into a physical thing is hard.

Cuir d`Ange Hermes Jon Rawlinson FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Cuir d’Ange was named referencing the words of an early 20th century French author Jean Giono. Giono has inspired Ellena for over thirty years. (Although I know of Giono, I am not familiar with anything that he wrote. I better remedy that!) Ellena describes himself as “a writer of smells”. That applies to all great perfumers.

My hairdresser has a leather fetish. He thinks I don´t know. I plan very careful which perfume I wear each time I go. Today I wore Cuir d’Ange.

Cuir d`Ange Hermes Leather Hector Garcia FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

I went to the Hermès store in Vienna last week. Their customer service is amazing. The SA gave me 8mls of Cuir d’Ange to “try properly”. Which I have done. It will be my next purchase. Much thanks to my two perfumista girlfriends in Vienna for introducing me to Hermès. I have given my bank manager their contact details.

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Grain de Musc
Cuir d’Ange is number 12 in Hermès’ Hermessence collection of perfumes. It is available exclusively in Hermès stores. It costs about 185 Euros for 100 mls.
Which is 92.50 Euros for 50 mls which is not expensive compared to some of those over priced supposed big hitters out there.
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $4/ml

Cuir d’Ange is graceful and refined. No mean feat for a leather perfume. Sublime.


37 thoughts on “Hermès Cuir d'Ange by Jean-Claude Ellena for Hermès 2014

    • Well, it´s all in the eye of the sniffer as we know. I reckon it would be too subtle for your TT nights, but perfect for when you need to be elegant and handsome, not that you need anything ……… xxx


  1. Oooh, I need to go to Selfridges STAT. I’m really dying to try this although I’m worried about the heliotrope. I knew you liked it but didn’t realise you thought it full bottle worthy.

    Great, fun post as usual. Love the bit about your hairdresser and I know whose details your Bank Manager now has 🙂


    • Hi Tara! Yep, I want it. Plus Chris loves it and he seldom loves anything so that is a bonus. I don´t thick I know what heliotrope smells like to tell the truth. I just stay clear of woody notes, like Ebola. I wore it on several evening in Greece. Cool night air was a prefect companion to it. Bussi and a hug. Val xxxxx


  2. “…who cares? No law against reapplication.” Wonderful review, I enjoyed reading it very much! 10 years to create – I’m so intrigued.


    • Hi Erica! I am sure the JCE created a many things in between, I understand he is a busy chap. He did however have this in mind over the years. Hopefully you can grab a spritz somewhere, although I guess it´s not the easiest stuff to get hold of. Love, Val xxx ❤


  3. I have a decant coming and am excited it about it – I like my leather perfumes, and I generally like them gentle.

    I’m just hoping that the lasting power is decent. As you say, no law against applying, but I always think it’s a shame to have to sink perfume budget money into a bottle that *must* be reapplied every three hours. I still have a backup bottle of Cuir de Lancome (online discounter, $36) when my first bottle is gone…


    • Hi there Mals86! It lasts for hours on me and I have not needed to reapply. I am not a big fan of reapplying actually. I think it smells different put on top of what was there, and still is to a certain extent, even if you cannot smell it. On saying that. if it really disappears in a short time, well ……. go ahead! In fact don´t overspray this because you don´t need to. I would love to know what you think. Keep me posted!! Hugs from the Austrian mountains.


    • Nemo! Oh he walks around in circles sniffing me and telling me he cannot work with such an erotic perfume. (I once nearly had to call the paramedics when I wore Boxeuses).
      He loved the Hermès. But then he would. (He is over 60 so I am not scared 😉 ) Heis a brilliant hairdresser though and has cut my hair for over 20 years. xxx


  4. I love your review of Cuir d’ Ange Val! Perfect description. I must say it lasts for hours on end with me too. Hope to see you soon. Xoxo


  5. Hi Val. I’m late getting into leather scents, but find that I really like them, a lot. Nice review. I thought it was interesting that some perfumers want to get away from note lists. It can be fun dissecting the notes in a perfume, but what ultimately matters most to me is the symphony, not the individual notes. It’s whether the notes come together to create something beautiful(or not).


  6. A symphony. That is it exactly Maya. And not all fragrances are. And what does late mean?
    I think fragrances for us junkies are like a circle! Sooner or later you get to each different part. I too love leathers, but many of them smell too much like dead cow to me. It is fun searching out the ones that I grow to love. This is like the perfect grand finale. For me. xxx Hugs.


  7. An elegant and refined leather scent is no mean feat as you say. As luck would have it, I managed to score a sample of this not so long ago and really must try it on skin without further ado! I have always thought the Hermes asssistants very generous, but your 8ml sample takes the biscuit. It says it all that you are going to invest in a full bottle – not many scents worm their way into your heart these days, so it is praise indeed.


    • Hi Vanessa! No you are right. I don´t think many of us buy full bottles of perfume do we? I have wanted a Hermés bottle for ages. This is the one. There will be enough to generously fill a couple of samples ………. Bussis xxxxx


    • Hey Fruitful! (Brilliant name 🙂 ) I hope you get to give it a go. Always nice to have something on the “seriously to try list”. xxx


  8. Sounds spectacular. I’m so intrigued to try a perfume that Ellena took so long to conceptualize and make. Out with my husband the other day I made the mistake of asking the SA at Bloomingdales if they had Cuir d’Ange to sample. She looked at us and said, “Queer? What?” and then sweated out a vague ‘don’ have/never heard of/would you like to try Rocabar?’


  9. Loved this peice Val! You have made this a must try for one who is not hellfir leather! Also I so totally agree about Hermes, they are wonderful. I will never forget going to our Sydney store just to try the first releases of this beautiful line…a bit nervous, matronly old girl from the sticks….they were unbelievably gracious, showered me with those gorgeous little test tubes. Had my daughter with me as wing woman so we could look at saddles…jaw drop, their jump saddles are state of the art of course, as is everything they touch. I bought a box of the travel sizes in Rome last year, their people were just as amazing, I could have been an oligarch dropping a fortune. I wrote to them, expressing my delight in the perfumes and Jean Claude E and received a wonderful personal reply. Osmanthe Yunnan blows me away…my first big girl fume was Caleche xo M


  10. Hi Marion! I don´t know whether this will change your mind about leather but it really is so perfect you might want to give it a try. Just don´t spray on too much, as I mentioned above.
    Leather notes can be overpowering! And yes, Hermés are fantastic. I love the store. Old school manners. None of the vulgarity of some (many) of the other designer stores out. Nice to see you here! Have a good day. Love, Val xxxx


  11. Oh Val. Your poor hairdresser… Such a tease. 😉

    Have tried this one, the opening is wonderful but those angelic wings brush away the scent a touch too quickly for me – reapplying would be the key.

    Tina xx


    • Really? It last hours on me. A good Full Monty dose ….. all day. Hairdresser tomorrow. Gonna go for Cuir Mauresque and see what happens. xxxxxx


      • Longevity is good, I wish the opening stayed longer. It is beautiful but the leathers I tend to wear are more robust, so just not quite my thing. Was itching to get my hands on this though! Glad to have had the chance.

        Lucky Hairdresser! Yum…. xx


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