måndag 16 februari 2015

Parfums de Nicolaï - Cuir Cuba Intense

Picture: Native American Tobaccoo flower and buds
Photo: William Rafti of the William Rafti Institute (c)
Wikimedia commons, some rights reserved
 Cuir Cuba Intense is a recent creation from one of the perfumer I appreciate the most, Patricia de Nicolaï. OK, she's a Guerlain offspring so she has perfume in her blood so to say, but the heritage in it self doesn't form a talented perfumer. Patricia is not just talented (there are many talented) she also has the education, training and long experience that in the long run discerns a master parfumer form the good perfumers and the up coming stars. Patricia creates very wearable perfumes which are distinctive and intriguing but in the same time  commercially viable. Cuir Cuba Intense is another example of such a fragrance from the house of de Nicolaï.

Cuir Cuba Intense starts fresh sparkling with  warm citrus and fresh tobacco leaves balanced with some smooth, darker almost gourmand notes of licorice and anise. I can imagine just harvested tobaccoleaves that dries in the sun. Soon a bright and intensive, magnolia note appears and gives tha fragrance a warm, flowery, uplifitng expression. The magnolia is not the shrill and almost disruptive magnolia of  Frederic Malle Eau de Magnolia, the magnolia in Cuir Cuba Intense is sort of domesticated and it's better balanced with other notes. Cuir Cuba Intense is sunny, warm and a happy perfume. After a while smooth spicy elements are showing up, a bit peppery and deepening the warmth and pleasing nature of the fragrance. The cumin is skillfully handled, it doesn't stand out as a separate note, I suppose it just adds some of the strength to the spicy mix. As Cuir Cuba Intense reaches the basenotes it becomes darker and a slight gourmand, spicy cake, aspect of the fragrance appears and is offsetted by a light, animalic touch which create an intriguing inteaction. The patchouli, which smells what I percieve as the smell of natural patchouli leaves are blended with the fresh tobbacco in a extraordinary beautiful way, the best balanced rendition of the combo I have sniffed so far. In the basenotes Cuir Cuba Intense reminds me of another enjoyable recent release, Huitième Art Liqueur Charnelle but without the booze of the latter. The leather in Cuir Cuba Intense is not obvious to me, but tobbacco fragrances are often also referred to as leather/tobbacco. The fragrance is also not the heavy mens club, club chair tobbacco as for example By Kilian Back to Black, which I also like much, Cuba Intense is playing in its own league with the brilliant idea combining the fresh tobbacco with the magnolia.

Picture: Cuir Cuba Intense in the 100 ml bottle
Photo: PR Parfums de Nicolaï (c)
Cuir Cuba Intense is just that, very intense with a strenght that makes four spritzes on the verge to too much. A small 30 ml bottle will last for ages. The longevity is very good, I can smell it  light but unfragmented on skin after 24h. It's the perfect perfume to brighten up in winter but as a work of such an experienced perfumer, I could imagine it will show other aspects when tested in summer. Cuir Cuba Intense is unisex, leaning a bit to the feminine side when it comes to my nose.

Rating: 5

Notes: Lemon, star anise, licorice, mint, lavender, geranium, ylang-ylang, magnolia, coriander, cumin, patchouli, cedar, tobacco, hay, liatris, civet

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