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Cuir Andalou


Rania Jouaneh is the owner and perfumer who started the niche brand Rania J. in 2012, and the nose who created all seven of the fragrances in the line. Her creations marry the refined elegance of French perfumery with the scent memories of her childhood in the Middle East and Africa - jasmine and orange blossom growing in private gardens, notes of spices, leather goods, attars heavy with oud notes permeating bazaars and markets. 

In an  interview with FragranticaRania describes her vision for her leather fragrance:

“So I thought about leather and I wanted my leather to be more dry but with a bit of flowers to bring more life into it. And I don’t want my leather to be overly-sweet or sharp and strong. I like it to be soft and supple, very complex (of course with a lot of naturals) and deep; I want my leather perfume to be as soft to touch as skin. My goal was to create a leather depth in the perfume.”

“…I chose to decorate my leather accord with rose absolute, neroli oil, and also orris and violet. Flowers made the perfume more bright and lively as I don’t like one-dimensional perfumes. I love deep and complex perfumes so I added woody and spicy notes as well. It’s still a leather fragrance, but it’s a multidimensional fragrance. It’s like a leather jacket on a person who wears floral perfumes...”

“…the oud is a very small accent in the drydown…it does not grab  your whole attention; it gives more character to the perfume. It gives a black shadow and makes the dark side of the perfume more pronounced. I am happy with Cuir Andalou because I feel it’s more wearable by all genders than any of my other perfumes. It’s perfectly unisex, for men and women…”

Cuir Andalou opens with a warm, rich leather accord, paired with vibrant florals and dusty saffron to balance the sweetness, but with none of the “barnyard” bitter aspect that’s sometimes found in leather fragrances. In the heart, the floral notes deepen, sweet neroli and rose, powdery violet and iris, subtly shadowed with the faint smoke of oudwood. In the base, vetiver and castoreum add earthy depth, and sandalwood keeps the leather accord distinctively dry and silky smooth. 

Cuir Andalou is leather, but the soft leather of a well-worn jacket, sweetened with florals, deepened with spices and woods, and darkened with just a wisp of oud, the distinctive Arabic note that puts the Andalou in the Cuir. This is a sexy leather. 

Price: $5.00