He smelled of leather and sweat standing there in the middle of Kaufman Texas, the handsomest sixteen year old boy in town. Mike kicked his boot against the curb to crack the dried mud off the heel. He looked up at the marquee of the old Plaza movie house on Courthouse Square and squinted as he pulled the rim of his cowboy hat low over his honest blue eyes.
“Mighty hot today.” Mr. Cross the owner of the theater was sweeping the sidewalk with a nubby old broom. “You coming to the movies tonight Mike?”
“I don’t know.” Mike kicked the boot a little harder this time sending the last clump of mud flying off into the street. ““What’s it about?”
“Paris….it’s about an artist in Paris.”
Mr. Cross leaned on his broom and smiled. “I don’t think there is much call for artists in Paris Texas.”
Mike pursed his lips to one side and thought for a moment. “Is it any good?”
“It’s better than good, It’s a great film. But nobody in Kaufman is coming to see it. Just not the kind of story folks around here like, “Rocky II” next week…that will be a sell out.” Mr. Cross started sweeping again. “You might like this film though.”
Mike suddenly felt a little exposed. “What makes you say that?”
Mr. Cross’ smile was genuine and safe. “Because you don’t belong in Kaufman.”
Mike had only half an idea just how true those words were. He had no idea he was born in Los Angeles and had been adopted before he was one by his parents. They never told him he was Jewish or what his real name was. What he did know was that he was an outsider. Even though he looked from top to bottom like Texas he longed for something beyond the rolling heat and big sky. It wasn’t something most people picked up about Mike, the girls at Kauffman High all had crushes on him. Most of the boys wanted to be like him.
“You’re so pretty Mike.” One of the girls blurted out during lunch which in turn erupted in nervous laughter from his buddies.
“There’s nothing pretty about me.” He barked in his Texas baritone.
He was right, he wasn’t pretty. He was beautiful. It wasn’t his dirty blond curly hair, or his golden skin that shimmered smooth over his well muscled frame. Not that kind of beauty. He had a beauty deep inside that came from a natural valor and truth that bubbled up when ever he tried to hide his true essence. He was just too big for Texas.
That night he sat in the empty Plaza movie house on Courthouse Square in the middle of Kauffman Texas and let Paris wash over him in the dark. That night he realized that someday he would fly away to a world where he could be real, to a world where he could kiss the boys and make them cry.
Even Cowboys from Texas can wear perfume. And not just any old perfume but one of the most beautiful leather perfumes around, Cuir de Lancôme by Lancôme of Paris. As I and so many others have said. Perfume is without gender and what is good for the gander works just as well on the goose.
Cuir de Lancôme is from the La Collection Fragrance line by Lancôme. Their exclusive line created a few years back. Many houses now have special lines like Collection Privée by Dior and Les Exclusifs by Chanel. Lancôme has not been left behind in the dust on that account.
This fragrance is most interesting in the fact that it is labeled Cuir (Leather) and yet it has not a single so called leather note in it. Yet its overall effect is that of the most luxurious fine leathers one can wear. It opens with a softly sweet and smooth mandarin orange and a slightly bitter bergamot that is given a tawny elegant smoothness with the addition of saffron. This note is where we get the leather. It is a grounded leather close to the earth and rather sensuous and caressing. This wonderful leather effect is created from a flower.
Hawthorne lightly sweetens the mid notes and marries the jasmine and ylang ylang under a canopy of sturdy masculine patchouli. It really shines here. Never too loud like some leather perfumes, rather it is like a Gary Cooper cowboy in full control of any situation yet laid back and languorous with a hint of danger behind it.
In the dry down it gets even more masculine with a balsamic styrax, the pure beautiful note of birch. These notes meet up with a austerely cool and gorgeous orris root. Cuir de Lancôme is never more beautiful than in its fading moments.
With fall fast approaching I know that this will be in my rotation. It simply and effortlessly projects a quite, masculine elegance that with a flip of the coin is equally perfect on the skin of a woman of substantial glamour and poise.
There are two noses behind this fragrance Calice Becker (J’adore and Velvet Orchid for Tom Ford) and Pauline Zanoni. Together they have come up with a really beautiful fragrance that lasts on my skin between 8 and 10 hours. Around the third hour it moves closer to the skin were it remains to invite more intimate exploration. The projection is moderate which I like in a leather fragrance. You don’t want to come in with six guns blazing all the time. Sometimes you can say much more leaning against the bar surveying the room from under a ten gallon hat.
Cuir de Lancôme by Lancôme of Paris 5 Gold Stars *****