Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
One of my niche discoveries this year was Parfumerie Générale, the perfume house established by Pierre Guillaume, a perfumer who came to this profession by way of chemistry. The line offers an interesting array of exotically named fragrances such as L’Eau de Circé referring to the enchantress in the Odyssey, Aomassaï inspired by the African wood carvings, and Jardins de Kerylos capturing the salty breezes of the Cyclades islands. The notes are just as unusual: Cumaru wood in Musc Maori, Canapa Sativa seeds in Coze, Matale black Tea in L’Eau Rare Matale.
Out of all the fragrances I have tried thus far in the line, Cuir Venenum was the one that captured my attention the most. A leather steeped in the nectar, it combines the smoky balsamic pungency of animalic notes with the luxurious floral sweetness. …
The vision of apricots steeped in orange blossom water and honey is conjured by the fruity sweetness that unfolds against the opaque tarry darkness, with the two olfactory extremes complementing each other quite successfully. The character of the composition is reminiscent of VIP Room, although while the latter has a touch of brightness that dims as time goes on, Cuir Venenum maintains its dark sweetness in the same register. Moreover, unlike VIP Room, it has a great sillage.
Although those who prefer the leather fragrances to be rendered either dry like Grès Cabochard or vividly smoky like Kolnisch Juchten might find Cuir Venenum too sweet and mild, it nevertheless offers an interesting leather interpretation. It manages to render the animalic notes without straying too far into the wild territory, while at the same time capturing the seductive quality of smooth, supple leather.
Cuir Venenum includes notes of orange blossom, leather, citrus, myrrh, musk. Cuir Venenum is available directly from Parfumerie Générale.