Parfum D’Empire – Cuir Ottoman

When I first joined Basenotes, I asked the strangers at the time to form their opinion on my scent tastes from the many designer and few niche fragrances I had explored, including my beloved Boudoir by Vivienne Westwood, and my taste of animalics, leathers, and powdery florals.

One of the first suggestions, and one repeated over and over, was Cuir Ottoman…
I ignored this numerous times, even when given the opportunity to sniff it at Les Senteurs, I thought “I don’t like the bottle… It’ll smell old-fashioned”. Obviously this is when I was much more immature (not that long ago :’)).

Only in December 2011 did I pick this up and give it a spray. It blew me away, it was perfect.

Cuir Ottoman blasts open with a beautiful, creamy and slightly barnyard-y leather. Rough, slightly animalic and potent yet soft as suede. A leather opening full of textures, dusted with a vanillic sweetness to make it comfortable.

The leather in Cuir Ottoman is absolutely exquisite, it is so luxurious and soft that it becomes almost gourmand and edible. 
The vanilla retreats to come out later, and the leather is joined with a powdery iris, subtle in comparison to the leather, I hardly perceive it as “iris and leather”, it is impeccably blended to a point where even I struggle to find the iris’ scent. The textured combination is beautiful, the orris “perfuming” the leather, enhancing it’s suede quality and pushing the harsher elements of the opening out of the composition from here on.

Almost caramelized but not sugary, the leather is soaked in resins with some vanilla and tonka providing that creamy backdrop which provides the base to this fragrance, you’ll find it gleaming strong over 12 hours later. Some delicate, sweet incense floats around in the foreground too, a subtle trail of smoke throughout. A drop of jasmine sambac sits in the heart – adding to Cuir Ottoman’s rich opulence.

As I said earlier, this lasts forever – and I find that personally, after numerous hours this just becomes the most beautiful skin scent imaginable. It is smooth, suede like, and ridiculously soft – the sweet benzoin and leather on the skin makes it sweet and a little dirty. Great value, exceptional quality, and perfect from start to finish.

The most expensive smelling, and one of the best, leather scents available – hugely recommended.

Parfum D’Empire Cuir Ottoman 100ml – £84.50 Les Senteurs

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5 thoughts on “Parfum D’Empire – Cuir Ottoman

  1. I’ve also read a lot of great reviews about this, but I’m not a big fan of leathers, but am intrigued. Do you find that this runs feminine or masculine?

    • Are you in the UK? I’d happily send you a little sample or do a swap if you really wanted to try it?
      I’d say it’s great for people unsure about leather. Whilst it’s obvious throughout, the tolu, vanilla and incense is impossible not to enjoy. It has a milky-tea like feel throughout.
      It’s a perfect unisex fragrance, masculine, but soft.

  2. I am a woman who loves softly floral leathers, and Cuir Ottoman is among my favorites. It’s definitely an androgynous scent. I’m so in love with everything Pd’E does; their perfumes are music for my nose. Great write-up!

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