M.J. Rose: I've been fascinated with lost fragrances since long before I started writing The Book of Lost Fragrances... since I found a bottle of perfume on my great grandmother's dresser that had belonged to her mother in Russia. Here is one of those lost fragrances that stirs the senses and the imagination... (researched and described with the help of the perfume writer Dimitrios Dimitriadis)
GUERLAIN - CUIR DE RUSSIE
Created in 1875 by the house of Guerlain, Cuir de Russie is one of the very first olfactory interpretations of Russian Leather - a theme that would be revisited many times by many perfumers in the 20th century. A grey ribbon of smoke meanders up through a bright citrus/floral opening, bringing with it a coal-black parched quality. Birch tar, vetiver and oakmoss lend a bitter facet to this incredibly rare perfume which treads a fine line between being defiantly feminine and devoutly masculine. Guerlain not only succeeded in capturing the essence of true Russian leather in this striking composition, but also memorialized the essence of that age.
My note: fragrance stirs the soul, can recall fond memories and install new ones. The Book of Lost Fragrances by M.J. Rose introduces us to a fascination thereof beyond the amateur perfume collector's imagination. Read my review here.