Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
Parfum d’Empire seeks its inspirations in the annals of history, from the glory of Alexander the Great to the glittering decadence of the Russian monarchy. Cuir Ottoman tells a tale from the days of the Ottoman Empire, romantically painting the teeming bazaars of Istanbul, the supple leather of delicate gold embroidered slippers, and the rose gardens of harems. Even if the allure of Ottoman yore will not find resonance with everyone, an exploration of Cuir Ottoman’s leather impressions makes for an interesting experience. …
The fragrance offers a glimpse of leather upon the first inhale. The transparent top note quickly gives way to the pungent dryness that is accented with a subtle mossy touch. The sweet floral heart provides a bridge between the aggressive leather note and the balsamic darkness of the base. While initially the leather of Cuir Ottoman appears aggressive enough to rival the sharpness of Robert Piguet Bandit and Farina Gegenuber Kolnisch Juchten, it subsequently trades its roughhewn character for seductive sweetness.
On the one hand, the dryness of leather persists in the drydown suggesting the well-worn sword scabbard. On the other, the leathery facet of amber laced with the vanillic powderiness of benzoin alludes to the heft of suede. Although the leather accord possesses a pronounced sweetness, it differs from the unctuous syrup of Ambre Russe, another historically minded Parfum d’Empire fragrance. The opaque richness of Cuir Ottoman conveys a retro effect, placing the composition closer to the spicy ambers of the 1920s rather than among the crisp contemporary variations. As such, although it can be faulted for lacking in nuance, Cuir Ottoman is indeed a journey into the past that the lovers of vintage would find appealing.
Parfum d’Empire Cuir Ottoman blends iris, jasmine, incense, styrax, leather, tolu balsam, and benzoin.
Ottoman Sultan miniature from darkage.fsnet.