Picture: Beluga whale,
Photo: Attribution premier.gov.ru.
(cc) Wikimedia commons, some rights reserved
Cuir Beluga, created 2005 by Olivier Polge as one of the first three fragrances for the Guerlain exclusive Les Art et la Matière line, is the most elegant and polite immortelle dominated fragrance I have tried so far.
Cuir Beluga is an almost linear, gourmand moderatly sweet, composition. A soft and gentle immortelle is the maincharacter complemented with warm and moderate sweet supporting notes as heliotrophe, vanilla and amber. There is also a slight herbal touch in some stages of Cuir Beluga. The leather, reflected in the name, is a soft, utterly discrete suedenote that unfurls gradually and is most present in the baseaccord. The immortelle of Cuir Beluga is perfectly rounded, smooth and almost on the edge to powdery, it has no rough edges and lacks the syrupy note and loud charachter as the reference imortelle of all times: Annick Goutals predecessor Sables. Also the immortelle in Histoires de Parfumes Tubereuse 3 Animale is rough, tough and loud compared to how the note is presented in Cuir Beluga.The immortelle in Cuir Beluga is complemented with a discrete honey-like note that gives me associations to Serge Lutens tobacco fragrance Fumerie Turque. A more masculine and less subtle (even if also subtle) is Guerlain Tonka Imperiale. The texture and imaged color of Cuir Beluga is soft suede white, just as the sweet Beluga whale on the picture above. Somewhere (I think it was on Basenotes) I have read that the Beluga in the name of the fragrance refers to this soft whale living in the cold arctic waters and not the russian caviar. Just like the beluga whale is a revelation of smooth comfort in such a harsh environment, Cuir Beluga is a true comfortscent during a cold winterday.
The overall impression of Cuir Beluga is that of an elegant and well balanced skinscent, it's there to comfort the wearer and those who comes close. The sillages is close and the longevity is for almost 24h. At first, Cuir Beluga was a fragrance of growing liking to me. It's a scent that I start to crave after a few days after my latest wearing. Once when I woke up in the middle of the night I could smell a beautiful, soft and calming scent from my pillow, suddenly I realised it was Cuir Beluga. Since that moment this fragrance finally has made me surrender and it's my absolute favorite in the LAelM-line.
Notes: Aldehydes, mandarine, immortelle, heliotrophe, patchouli, suede, amber, vanilla