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Rêve en Cuir – Dreaming of leather and other things


A young guy at the gym heard that I know a bit about perfume so he stopped me on my way out a couple of weeks ago, and asked, “Have you ever come across a perfume called Knize Ten that smells like leather?”

“I sure have”, I said. “It was James Dean’s favourite and, in fact, I’ve written about it.” I could tell from his polite smile that he had no idea who James Dean was, so I pulled my phone out of my bag and went straight to my post about Knize Ten with its pic of the 1950’s actor. “Here, read this,” I said:

Knize Ten is a leather fragrance, THE reference leather – and should definitely not be worn by boys….It may not be suitable for some grown-up men either, but on the right MAN..... Oohh - watch out!”

“It’s also one of my most favourite leather scents” I added.

“I HAVE to get a sample from you,” he said, which he did later that day, and now he’s a fan of not only Knize Ten, but leather scents in general, which he had no idea even existed before I opened the Perfume Door. Poor guy, now he’s hooked.

Leather has always been one of my favourite notes. There’s something about the scent of leather that stirs the primitive brain and signals danger, food, pleasure, or power, but like amber, leather in perfume is a fantasy note, created by blending natural and synthetic scents. I often wear Cuir de Russie by Chanel, and Cuir Mauresque, and Daim Blond, and Bottega Veneta, and Cuir Beluga, and Cuir Velours and Mon Cuir – all fragrances featuring leather and all very different, some strong and animalic, some exotic and spicy, some soft with floral or gourmand notes in the leather accord, and all of them extremely sensual. **

Rêve en Cuir, or Dreaming in Leather, is one of the soft sensual leathers.  Created in 2008 by master perfumer Francis Kurkjdian for the small Parisian perfume brand, Indult, it was sold exclusively by Luckyscent in Los Angeles, but discontinued after a couple of years. Now the original formula has been re-launched with an updated image by the new owners of Indult, and the perfume world is happy happy because Rêve en Cuir is, without doubt, an extraordinarily beautiful leather fragrance. It is five-star perfection.

What makes Rêve en Cuir so appealing is its lightness. The animalic heavy polo-horse tackroom clubbiness found in traditional men’s leather scents is only hinted at, replaced by accords of citrus and spices, herbs and moss, grass and woods and patchouli, all woven through with…vanilla. And therein lies its brilliance.

Right from the opening accord of candied citrus peel and spices, Rêve en Cuir has a sensation of gourmand indulgence, which perfectly balances the more masculine elements, the slightly smoky patchouli and cedarwood, the earthy grassy moss and vetiver. Rêve en Cuir dries down slowly and smoothly and evenly with a transparent waft, a yin to the yang, a feminine elegance paired with a masculine strength. The result is that one is left with an impression rather than an experience of leather, like catching the almost imperceptible waft of leather on clothes or skin after wearing a suede jacket. And then there’s that undertone of velvet-soft slightly gourmand, subtle, sensual vanilla…with leather.   I  must be dreaming....

Rêve en Cuir . Make that six-star perfection.

Rêve en Cuir is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.

** See our post on Note Series #3 – Leathers – and Decant Pack of 4 leather fragrances.