Cuirs by Sonia Constant for Carner, Barcelona 2011

Hello my lovelies,

Today we have a fragrance that has seen little scentbloggosphere chatter but what there has been seems completely ambivalent, people either are loving or hating it with no in betweens. More than anything that’s what drew me to try this Spanish offering from a very new house Carner, named for its creator Sara Carner.

Cuirs by Carner, Barcelona 2011

Cuirs Carven FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Saffron, caraway
Heart: Australian sandalwood, patchouli, guaiac wood, Virginia cedar, violet
Base: Musk, French labdanum, tonka bean, agarwood (oud), cypriol oil or nagarmotha, amber, leather, amyris

I am just starting to get to know saffron in a fragrance, here I am getting the amber base right from the first moment I spritz with what I think is saffron over the top(?) and some soft patchouli. For some reason I was expecting Cuirs to be more in your face, more leather tannery than soft kidskin gloves from the outside of a shop. It is very conservative in projection and sillage, this is self indulgent, introverted scent that is soft enough to be worn all day every day and becomes your own scent but better. Even workmates in very close quarters would think you had a lovely lotion, rather than perfume. The story of leather tanneries that is in the ad copies is a fiction, those places smelled like hell. Cuirs is dainty and soft, expensive and anything but in your face.

Cuirs Carvan Italian Leather  Gloves FlickrCommonsPhoto Stolen FlickrCommons

Considering how quiet Cuirs is the tenacity is extremely good, well over the 6 hour mark and holding on. Cuirs is interesting and extremely pretty (going from saffron/amber through pretty, sweet woods and then to a well worn leather and smoky amber, the ride is muted but gorgeous) and perfect for anyone who likes the idea of leather fragrance but dislikes the harshness and heft of many leather-centric fragrances on the market today. I think it an excellent gateway scent for newbies or young people keen to experience fragrance, a wonderful office scent and I bet it sells well in some Asian cultures where scent is meant to work with your own body chemistry to create something lovely and different for every user, a wash of fragrance over and weaving through you. To be 100% honest, I want my fragrance to have a certain strength and projection so I will pass on Cuirs by Carner but I am giving the rest of my sample to Jin who I know will absolutely adore it.

Thinking about Cuirs, the price is not outrageous for a well produced and lovely niche fragrance, this could very easily become a go-to for many people. Spritz and forget luxuriousness that will give you mini wafts all day. Even if you are a huge over spritzer like me it’s nearly impossible to skunk with such a subtle scent and you get the joy of lavish spraying. On clothes the tenacity is awesome and a scarf could go for weeks and you would continue to smell Cuirs.

Maybe Cuirs is not for you, for a lot of the perfumista community I can see that Cuirs is a strength let down, for you I offer Cuir Ottoman by Parfum d’Empire, Cuir de Russie by CHANEL, Lonestar Memories by Tauer, Bottega Veneta, Leather Oud by DIOR, Cuir by Mona di Orio, Oud Cuir d’Arabie by Montale, Cuir Amethyst by Armani, Black Rosette by Strange Invisible Perfumes, Cuir Mauresque by Serge Lutens, Tuscan Leather by Tom Ford, Knize Ten and you may even like the plush leather in my favourite Shalimar. This is only the tip of an enormous leather iceberg and you could spend your lifetime enjoying the note and not be done.

Cuirs Carvan Leather MorgueFilePhoto Stolen MorgueFile

Further reading: Ca Fleur Bon and The Scentualist
Min New York has $130/50ml with FREE USA Shipping
Bloom UK has £81/50ml
Surrender To Chance starts at $6/.5ml

Have any of you held the bottle in your hand? I love the look of them, I wish I had searched this out actively on my travels. Next year.
See you all tomorrow,
Portia xx

12 comments on “Cuirs by Sonia Constant for Carner, Barcelona 2011

  1. lucasai says:

    I love, love, LOVE this one! Well, I love all Carner Barcelona perfumes 🙂
    I just got a decant of Cuirs 😀

  2. laniersmith says:

    I love the snap of a good butch leather in my perfume from time to time. Cuirs by Sonia Constant for Carner, Barcelona 2011 sounds a little tame to me so I am sticking with my Cuir de Russie and Leather Oud. But Portia dear I so enjoyed your take on this perfume.

  3. Janice says:

    Yes, I have seen the bottles in person (although not Cuirs, unfortunately). They are very solid and heavy. I will have to find a sample of this because I tend to like saffron, and “muted” does not sound like a bad thing to me. Although I also have just tried (am wearing it as I read this in fact) Cuir Tartaro by La via del Profumo and liking it very much–have you tried this one?

    • Not yet, I have a little box of samples just ordered recently to replenish my last near empty box. I don’t think Cuir Tartaro is in there though, is it big?
      Janice, I love muted for other people and understand also the need for it during work times, close quarters etc. That’s why I review the ones that stand out to me. Portia xx

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