Cuir Mauresque by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 1996


Val the Cookie Queen


Hey APJ!

Cuir Mauresque is an odd creature. I have a bell jar of the stuff and have worn it a lot. Which should indicate that I like it.
Although it always smells the same when I sniff it in the bottle, it is an absolute risk putting it on as I have no idea as to whether
I am going to enjoy the experience or not. Hours of pleasure or hours of pain?

Cuir Mauresque by Serge Lutens 1996

Cuir Mauresque by Christopher Sheldrake


Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Amber, incense, cinnamon, cedar, jasmine, civet, nutmeg, cumin, musk, mandarin peel, orange blossom, sweet spices

Like a number of Lutens, it is a casserole of components. Perhaps the order of these materials are forever swirling in the bottle?

Like most of us I have perfumes that I have to be in the mood for, and perfumes that only I might only want to wear once a year. That
would include Vero Profumo`s Onda EdP and a recently acquired vintage Mitsouko. But I enjoy both of them and know what I am going to get when I wear them.

Cuir Mauresque on a good day is sumptuous and warm. Spicy, golden, a supple leather. Stylish, rich and fragrant, comforting, balsamic, seductive, and classy. It opens with a floral burst of jasmine and orange blossom, resting on top of the darker and more spicy ingredients. I love this version all day and all night! It is agreeable and slouchy, relaxed and comfortable.


However Cuir Mauresque on a bad day is a whole different kettle of fish. We are talking an artificial fruity shoe polish opening, or perhaps furniture polish, powdery and cloying, old wet leather, and an underlying feeling that you´ve spilled a bottle of cough syrup over yourself. The kind that sticks to everything. Perhaps a dab of floor polish? It remains sickly sweet and very waxy. There is a a continuous leather note, running through the whole composition, but it´s the recently deceased cow vibe. Hmmmmm.

Nevertheless, I wouldn´t want to be without Cuir Mauresque. I love it.

Val XX

Further reading: WMSSL and Scented Hound
Surrender To Chance has samples from $3.50/0.5ml has

WTF? I wonder what causes this extreme difference in what I experience. Any of you know what I mean?

Welcome to the Twilight Zone.

Bountiful Bussis

19 thoughts on “Cuir Mauresque by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 1996

  1. Hey Val!

    Yea, I’ve had this fruit-loop of an effect with fragrance. Chimaera by Tiziana Terenzi. Ah-may-zing in winter, has 4 full dry down stages over 12 hours and leaves me with fabulous honey scented skin. So good. In summer however, it’s opening is sickly sweet gourmand and I just don’t enjoy it. Bleh. It goes from perfection incarnate to perfectly ordinary. Odd.

    So for me that’s seasonal. I’ve got a small sample of Cuir Mauresque but I’ve been waiting till the cooler months to try it – I don’t feel that many leathers suit summer, and ours has been HOT. Love your (first) description. Will see how it goes.

    xxx Tina G


    • The one leather that I absolutely love in the summer is Cuir d’Ange. I don´t wear it so much in the winter months. But I dunno if the Lutens is seasonal or not. CMs behaviour is really extreme. I must admit I have not tried it in the summer. I will do that this year, you just never know! Hugs. xxx


  2. HI Val. I did have CM and found that I never wore it so I passed it along, although I did keep a large sample for reference reasons. Although who knows where I put it! I do have a few perfumes that wear differently depending on I don’t know quite what. One that has been playing up on me lately is Coromandel. For some reason it’s starting to make me feel a little sick when I wear it which is concerning me as it was one of my favourite perfumes. I’m hoping to try it again when it’s warmer to see if there’s a difference. I’ll be very sad if my chemistry has changed and I don’t want to wear it anymore. xxx Megan


    • Hi Megan! I much prefer Coromandel in the summer, patchouli in general is a heat note in my books. Just stick it in the back of your wardrobe and come back to it in a year or two. I sometimes find Coromandel really flat, definitely need to be in the right mood for it. On saying that every time I spray it it reminds me of Portia, I bought it with him on the day we met, so maybe I should wear it more!!


  3. I never smelled this one but own about 30 SL. I think this is the nature of the house. I still hate them but some days I love them. And, I am drawn to this weirdness.


    • On thinking about it that is really true Gina, at least regarding the Serge Serges. Those that are spicy, fruity, and cloying anyway. I love, and always love La Myrrhe, which couldn’t be further away from his more traditional fragrances. Many weird ones for sure!!
      Love Val xxx


  4. It happens. Don’t know if it’s psychological or weather related or what. Kind of need the weird ones to keep you real, that’s what I think. Lovely review, and glad you have it.


    • I don´t think there’s an answer. I think it´s a gamble. Hahahaha. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but always worth a shot! xxxx


  5. I tried this one years ago and it was fine until about 30 minutes in. Can’t remember exactly what it was like then but suspect it was recently deceased cow. Sounds like a Russian Roulette of a perfume. I love that you continue to wear it. I wonder if it is weather related. That’s the only time it happens to me.


    • Hi Tara! I don´t believe it is weather related. It´s just weird shit. But when it´s gorgeous it is absolutely worth it. AND like all the Serge´s it has to be dabbed, IMNotsoHO. xxxxx


  6. I gave this to my husband years ago. Sometimes I feel like hiding it from him. Other times, I am stunned by how good he smells. Either way, it is a powerhouse on him. Huge and unrelenting. Nice, when Cuir Mauresque behaves!


    • Hello Victoria 🙂
      “Nice, when Cuir Mauresque behaves.” That would have been the perfect review. Nothing more to say. Nice to see you – do drop in again!! Hugs, Val xxxx


  7. Hey Val,
    Yes I know what you mean. Don’t ever remember smelling this one though. You have my interest piqued.
    Portia xx


  8. I hated CM until I tried it dabbed instead of sprayed. That saved it for me – the overdose of spraying made it suffocating but dabbing allowed the notes some room to breathe and reveal their beauty. Same with Mandarine Mandarin and Coromandel.


    • Hey Tara C!! I couldn´t agree more. I think all the Serge´s should be dabbed. And just dab a lot if you want a heavy hit. I remember reading once years ago, that SL said that he created them to be dabbed. At least I am pretty sure I read that, I don´t think I invented it. 😉 I am big into dabbing, and know I am in the minority. I would think at spreading CM could be lethal. xxxxx


  9. CM.. one of my favorite Lutens. It just played well the moment I wore it. It does change a bit, but never veers off track for me as described here. I think this one is extremely temperamental to chemistry and conditions. I love layering Fleur d; Oranger ontop to femme it up. Ill always take stray CM bottles in my house! So if anyone wants to get rid of it…. 🙂 Nice review!


    • Hey Suzanne! THANKS for the brilliant reminder. I had heard that FdO was good to layer with CM, maybe on Victoria´s BdJ blog? I have a bottle of FdO and absolutely never wear it, and although I have intentions of giving it away, have never got around to it. I shall go and try that combo right now. 🙂 Bussis xxxxx


  10. I know the phenomenon very well, but am not familiar with the perfume. It sounds on the face of it a bit like a leathered up Arabie, which Abigail of I Smell Therefore I Am famously described as smelling of ‘icky stewed fruit’ – or was it just ‘stewed things’ indeed? I certainly shan’t rush to try CM.

    I have a theory that sometimes when you spray a perfume, it’s like a kaleidoscope that you just shook, and a different combination of aroma molecules comes out sometimes. I am sure my theory has no basis in scientific fact, but it is the only explanation for these different experiences I have come up with!


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