Cuir Altesse by David Jourquin

Year: 2014

Notes: orange, pink pepper, cardamom, clove, cumin, rose, jasmine, benzoin, vanilla, coumarin, patchouli, leather, oakmoss
Intended as an evening fragrance for women, Cuir Altesse is a brutal disappointment.

The opening is lovely, with a flurry of orange, spices and florals, alongside a mild leathery accent. And although this stage is fleeting, it's both succulent and spritely while it lasts. However, after giving way to the mid notes, it all goes unexpectedly pear-shaped...

Initially coming across as anaemic, a bitter marzipan-like aroma rears its ugly head. As this aspect intensifies, one soon realises that it's actually the coumarin... and far too much of it. So overwhelming is the coumarin that it takes quite a while for some of the other accords to sufficiently breathe (particularly the florals).

By the drydown, the coumarin has yielded some of its dominance but is still very much perceptible, with subtle hints of patchouli, vanilla and oakmoss being present. And while the marzipan-like aroma has largely subsided, the coumarin's suggestive loukhoum properties continue to quietly pulsate.

Although all the David Jourquin creations assert a leather theme, Cuir Altesse can't really be considered a true leather fragrance. Personally, one can only see it appealing to those who enjoy the different facets of coumarin, as that's pretty much the prevailing note.

As always with this house, staying power is over six hours but its projection is too modest.