Paris1921. Dawn. The snow was falling outside. It was a white coverlet that blanketed the Place Vendome like a soft wet whisper. Coco stretched and smiled eyes still closed. She rolled over in the bed and opened one eye. In the cool steel grey light the Grand Duke was still asleep. The beautiful Russian’s scent had permeated Coco’s bed. She breathed in the aroma of tobacco, it mingled with his musky sexiness. He was delicious.
She sat up in the bed and looked around the boudoir pulled her knees up to her chin and hugged them. A new lover; what could be more perfect this winter? She gathered the mink throw about her naked shoulders and arose like a sylph to ring for breakfast. As she passed a bouquet of African orange blossoms, roses and jasmine on the vanity she noticed how lovely the scent was as it mingled with the trail of musky masculinity that followed her progress from the bed. It hovered near her cheek daring her to kiss the air.
Once breakfast was ordered she turned to enter the bathroom and a glint of light from the foot of the bed snatched at the corner of her eye. The Duke’s gorgeous noir leather boots were there where he had dropped them the night before, one upright the other having fallen over on its side. Coco swept one up in her arms and held it like the most precious thing. The strong masterly fragrance of fine Russian leather embraced her. The room seemed to be swimming in leather and tobacco and some faint spices from the Orient that emanated from one of her perfume bottles. “Odeur incroyable, merveilleux rêve…” she whispered softly. She dropped the boot and fell back into bed with him. She squinted and studied his profile. Then playfully she ran her finger along his imperial Russian forehead over his nose and lips down to his chin. “Wake up Cheri! I have an idea.”
(Coco and the Grand Duke)
That Idea became Cuir De Russie by Chanel inspired by her brief love affair with a Romanoff on the run, the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich. Created in 1924 by master nose of the house of Chanel, Ernest Beaux this fragrance is a masterpiece of the leather perfume group.
It opens like a rich silver box lined with plush maroon velvet. It is well-appointed and sumptuous in the smoothness of its first notes of African orange blossom and mandarin orange. These citrus accords are only momentary and they sink back to reveal the heart of jasmine, rose and ylang ylang supported by incredible spice. This all sounds very feminine and lovely but the over riding structure and genius of this fragrance is the persistence of the rich smooth polish of a great leather note. It is there from beginning to end. This leather blends in with the rose and jasmine to create a dominating masculine presence that somehow is not pushy but rather intuitive and clever. It is a seduction of insinuation that is in the end irresistible. It smells of a clean wonderful athletic body that isn’t intimidated by rough roughish edginess that comes with the musk. The dry down is clean as the birch wood note enters along with a taste of tobacco and bergamot. The projection is substantial and it lasts around six to eight hours. Cuir de Russie is most definitely for both men and women.
Plane and simply put it is a magnificent scent. Cuir de Russie by Chanel Les Exclusifs is a classic from arguably one of the best noses ever to have lived. Legendary, iconic and timeless and as modern today as it was when it was introduced 88 years ago
FIVE PLATINUM CAMILIAS *****
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