Review: Hermès Cuir d’Ange — 4.0 points

Cuir d’Ange (Hermès, 2014) is named after the words in the novel Jean le Bleu. In the novel, author Jean Giono describes his shoemaker father working in his Provençal cobbler. Similarly, the composition is inspired by the leather of Hermès. According to perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena who explored the leather pieces kept in the firm’s vault, the magnificent skins, which are naturally tanned, ‘smell of flowers’. This interpretation indeed comes through in the composition. The delicate floral notes bring out an interesting facet as they morph seamlessly into the rich overtones of soft leather.

flair flair

Cuir d’Ange opens with a sharp snap of hawthorn. Its crispness is as fresh as the cool spring air. This crisp introduction soon glides over to a floral mélange: violet, heady narcissus, and a touch of almond-like heliotrope. Its violet overtone gives Cuir d’Ange the impression of sweet leather handbags that exude a floral note. Its delicate theme seems to oscillate between floral and leather notes.

Towards the dry down, the bitter tang of its dry leather is noticeable, but the floral and leather notes are still seamlessly conjoined by musk. It is an interesting synergy. Those familiar with Ellena’s ethereal and wispy accord will find much to delight in this interesting leather etude. It may seem soft and bland in comparison to the dramatic leather chypres of Bandit (Robert Piguet, 1944) or Cabochard (Grès, 1959), but its clarity of its uncluttered floral-leather accord is a charm to behold.



Photograph of the Day: The Gifts of Spring

At last, I see welcoming changes from the dreary grey of winter. Here are some of my favourite sights of spring.


English primrose (Primula vulgaris)

English primroses are remarkably resilient; they bloom amidst the freezing rain of early spring, decorating kerbside lawns with blooms in shades of white, pale yellow, or mauve set against the amber colour of the centres.


In the homes, tulips of every imaginable colours decorate our living spaces with splashes of colours and intstantly bring life to combat the cold grey


Outside I often come across these unidentified bright yellow blooms of Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas) in defiance of the monotonous grey.


And, the white purity of hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) is an unmistakable beacon of full-blown spring.