My Favourite Bottled Leather – Cuir de Lancome

Hand me my leather…

Top notes of mandarin, bergamot and saffron, middle notes of hawthorn, jasmine, ylang-ylang and patchouli, base notes of birch, orris and styrax

Why was Cuir de Lancome discontinued so soon after its release in 2007? No doubt it didn’t appeal to the average Lancome customer. I know when a “civilian” friend of mine sniffed it on my wrist she didn’t say a word. She didn’t have to, the look on her face said it all. This tarry beauty was a beast to a fan of spring florals and D&G’s Light Blue.

However, to many of us who love leather, Cuir de Lancome is hide heaven. I’m sure if it had been released by a niche brand it would still be going strong. My EdP is down to about a third and I feel anxious at the thought of having to open my sealed back-up bottle.

I bought Cuir de Lancome for about £25 four years ago and the second bottle for about £35 a couple of years later. I’ve just checked on that same auction site and there’s one 50ml bottle for sale in the UK with a Buy It Now price of £90. The ones in the States aren’t much cheaper.


For me, the reason Cuir de Lancome is so great is that combination of smoky birch tar, saffron spice and tender florals at its core. The saffron and flowers meld into the leather making it butter soft and super sophisticated. The contrast of one accord against another makes it addictive and I can’t get enough.

It leans more feminine than your average leather fragrance. It’s not a heavy-hitter but has enough throw for me to pick it up as I type – plus it lasts for ages.

Who doesn’t love the smell of an expensive leather handbag which has softened with age?

On days I wear it, like today when it feels cold figuratively and literally outside the front door, Cuir de Lancome warms, comforts and protects me.


You can read my full review from Olfactoria’s Travels here.


Do you have a favourite leather fragrance?



Filed under Perfume Reviews

34 responses to “My Favourite Bottled Leather – Cuir de Lancome

  1. I like Cuir de Lancôme and my finger hovered over the final Place Order a dozen of times. But I missed it when I could have bought it for $36 and after that every time before paying more, I wanted to wear it once again from the sample I have – and by the end of that day I would tell myself that I didn’t love it enough. It’s good. It’s extremely good. But, most likely, I won’t wear it enough to justify a 50 ml bottle purchase.


    • It does really put off you buying if you didn’t take the plunge when a perfume was a lot cheaper, but I see you really didn’t spring for it in the end because you just weren’t totally won over.
      Is there a leather you wear regularly?


      • The way I wear my perfumes it’s really hard to classify any of them as worn regularly: two most favorite perfumes got just 9 times wear each in 2015. But with that disclaimer, I really like and wear regularly Chanel Cuir de Russie and Ambre Fétiche.


  2. cookie queen

    I cannot express in words how much I adore this perfume. It is perfect in every way. It is the only one that my son always compliments. Stunning stuff. I reckon 90 quid is fine . 🙂 xxxxxx


    • Good point. When you compare it to a lot of niche stuff, £90 for 50ml really isn’t bad for what you’re getting.

      How interesting that your son reacts well to this one. Great taste.


  3. I got my first bottle in T K Maxx in Torquay of all unlikely places, for about £30 and the back up bottle for that amount or thereabouts online. I feel reassured to have it in a way no other back up purchase has comforted me! It is in my top two leathers I reckon, along with Cuir de Russie. Goes on strong, but softens down as you say. I might put a snifter on, as I did with Rose de Nuit when you reviewed it!


    • Oh I feel exactly the same! It’s the only back-up bottle I’m really relieved I purchased.
      It’s definitely cold enough for CdL today. Storm Henry is chilling my bones.


  4. Sandra

    I love Cuir de Lancome Tara. I have one bottle and I should really use it and enjoy it instead of hoarding it. Thank you for the reminder. Sandra Xo


    • Definitely wear it, Sandra. Who knows what the future will bring? Your tastes could change or it could even turn eventually. I’d love to think of you wafting Cuir de Lancome in the First District.


  5. Tara C

    This one and Mona di Orio’s are my favorite leathers. Doblis is great but more austere and demanding on me.


    • Hey Tara C!

      I’ve never tried Doblis so I just read Victoria’s review on Bois de Jasmin and she describes it as her “ideal fragrance”. Austere and demanding would be no good for me but I have to at least try it.

      Thanks for mentioning it.


  6. Lady Jane Grey

    People have been swooning about this one ever since – and I’ve never tried it (a bit scared by birch tar and ylang-ylang…). But Val promised to bring me some next week, am very much looking forward to both, Val & the parfume !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, M, I’ve been meaning to email you. It was so good to see you last week and thank you so much for the chocs. You’re always so thoughtful and generous.
      CdL is birch-tarry but the ylang-ylang shouldn’t bother you any. See what you think.
      Have a lovely time next week!


  7. So funny you should quote this Tori Amos song. I performed the very same at a cabaret in Tokyo on my birthday……


  8. Wonderful post Tara. I like CdL a lot, but I don’t love it the way you do, I think it’s perhaps just a little too sharp on me for it to be LOVE 🙂 Cuir de Russie is a love and Jolie Madame too, and for the leather saffron ( and so much more) I do love Idole EdT. However, taste change and perhaps I should give CdL some wear today to see how I feel about It now, perhaps I’ll pick up the ‘tender florals’ you speak of.


    • Ah that is interesting because I found Jolie Madame too sharp for me when I tried it, but that was a long while ago.
      I hope you get on better with CdL if you try it again today. Mind you, considering it’s hard to get hold of, it may be for the best if you don’t 🙂


      • Oh, I bought it back when I paid about 10£ for a used bottle 😉 and I always liked it enough for it to be a keeper. I wore it today but it still does go a little sharp on me, so it’s one I need to be in the right mood for. It’s probably ‘my’ boxeuses 🙂


  9. Hamamelis

    Hi Tara, CdL is my favourite leather too, followed closely by Cuir d’Ange when I want ‘almost leather’. I also enjoy Kelly Caleche but it isn’t love. I am on holiday in Abu Dhabi at the moment and may have found a lovely rose that doesn’t turn sour on me, it is a good quality attar with Ta’if rose. Tomorrow we go back to the shop and I may buy a small bottle. I will keep you posted!


    • Happy Holidays Hamamelis!

      Cuir d’Ange is perfect for “almost leather”.

      I’m so excited about your Ta’if rose discovery! Please do update me. I’m assuming it’s a local brand rather than one I’d recognise. I really hope you get that bottle.


  10. Hey Pretty Lady,
    I have a few bottles of this gem hidden away. It’s so sexy and warm for me. YUM!
    Portia xx


  11. Hi Tara, Loved reading your review, I have a bottle too but it looks like I can’t wear it any longer as it doesn’t agree with my skin anymore. So I do not love it the way you do. My favorite leather is Cuir Mauresque. Wear it a lot at this moment.


    • HI Esperanza,
      Too bad you can’t wear CdL any more. That is a shame, but things change.
      I recall loving the drydown of Cuir Mauresque and can imagine it being perfect for this time of year.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: Perfumes That Work For Everyone Else But You – Mood Scent 4 | A Bottled Rose

  13. Hi Tara, I’m new to your blog, but following now. I have been looking for info all over the net on this perfume and wonder if you can help me if you still have the box.

    None of the ebay listings have what I need, which is some ingredients. Specifically, if you have the box still could you tell me what (if any) dyes are in this perfume? Like red 40, yellow 5, etc…Or maybe it’s listed the European way like CL 16035?

    Thank you for any help!!


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