Thursday, December 13, 2007

Miller Harris Cuir d’Oranger

As reported in last Friday’s WWD (Women’s Wear Daily, for those of you outside the ken of retail fashion), one-fifth of fragrance sales occur in the two weeks before Christmas. Funny, I thought, how something as personal as fragrance has become associated with aspirational gift-giving, i.e, if you can’t afford to buy her that Chanel clutch you can always buy her the newest variation of No. 5. Will she honestly like it or will she wear it just to please you? And, ladies, vice versa, will that bottle of Ralph Lauren Double Black turn him into some sexy beast or just turn him off from cologne altogether? Even gift cards are problematic, owing to the fact that most perfume-counter salespeople intimidate the heck out of potential customers, guys especially. At which point, we are left with giftable “classics” which may or may not be everyone’s cup of tea, fragrances like L’Air du Temps and Paris for her, Acqua di Parma and Green Irish Tweed for him. Sure, these might be nice gifts if you’re leaving for a stay at a pretentious hotel somewhere trendy and beautiful – nothing wrong there – but do they really express a personality or, for that matter, encourage the development of one? I think not. They are the old standbys.

A very pleasant surprise for holiday gift-giving comes in the form of Lyn Harris’ indubitably masculine, terribly subtle Cuir d'Oranger. An initial blast of orange oil gives way to petitgrain, labdanum, wild thyme, birch tar (just a tad) and cassie (mimosa blossom) which lends a dry, restrained leather note to the whole. It reminds me of an old panelled dining room, on whose table are stacked dozens of oranges (ye olde WASP Christmas gift). Nothing about this scent is predictable, which makes it a welcome addition to the usual cologne-y holiday picks. The man who wears will know its worth, not through a fancy box or bottle or advertising hype, but through the odyssey it takes on his skin – one which, I hope, grants its rara avis to the office or the club. While this is not a leather scent to end all leathers, it has a complexity which deserves notice and which rewards daily use. I think it would be smashingly sexy, worn under evening attire, Hendrick’s gin martini in hand.


Blogger Perfumeshrine said...

I knew you'd love this one! I am planning on including it on my Leather Series on the blog. It's quite unlike anything else, isn't it? Sui generis.

December 14, 2007 at 1:56 PM  
Blogger Vetivresse said...

Thanks, E. BTW I loved Denyse's entry of the other day and the artwork. How fascinating these connections are. There must be dozens of forgotten artists/writers of the Decadence who pulled on these very same threads of relation.

December 14, 2007 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger carmencanada said...

Hi C.! It must be serendipity: I skin-sampled Cuir d'Oranger today at the terribly British-by-way-of-Paris Old England store, where, I'm embarrassed to say, no less than two SAs know me enough to let me play with the nice smellies... Cuir d'Oranger strikes me as being in the lineage of Creed Royal English Leather and Eau d'Hermès: the orange-leather combination, reworked here in the non-pyramidal style that seems typical of Lyn Harris. The leather is not terribly strong here -- it plays peekaboo with the juicy orange, always nagging at the edge.
And thank you for the compliment: look up Félicien Rops, by all means. He illustrated Barbey d'Aurevilly's Diaboliques (a must-read for lovers of 19th century decadence).

December 15, 2007 at 1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love this one. Realizing I don't own it and wondering why that is...

December 18, 2007 at 10:51 PM  

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