30 Days of Scent – Day Six – Cuir Pleine Fleur by James Heeley   Leave a comment

Yesterday, I wore Cuir Pleine Fleur eau de parfum by James Heeley.  It’s a decant I bought from The Perfumed Court.  In fact, I bought an entire Heeley “sampler” from them because I love Sel Marin and am hoping to find other fragrances by James Heeley that I like just as much.

Fragrantica.com lists the main accords of Cuir Pleine Fleur as leather, woody, smoky, floral, ozonic, and musky.  The manufacturer’s description of this scent notes:

“…The originality of Cuir Pleine Fleur lies in the introduction of floral notes to create a scent of luxurious, soft fine leather. Mimosa, acacia, aubépine, rose and honeysuckle accompany the more traditional leather notes of castoreum, vetiver and birch wood. 

♂ An English sports car and Autumn leaves. The Great Gatsby.
♀ An equestrian abounding in natural grace. Faye Dunaway in Roman Polanski’s Chinatown.

Violet Leaf . Italian Bergamot . Cinnamon
Mimosa . Aubépine . Suede . Rose . Honey
Vetiver . Castoreum . Birch . Atlas Cedar”

I…get what Heeley was trying to do with Cuir Pleine Fleur, and on one hand he succeeded: this eau de parfum is a blend of the scent of tack and boots with a variety of florals, and on a tester strip all of the notes work in harmony to create something amazing.  I never would have thought that this particular mix would be anything I’d want to wear.

On the other hand, Cuir Pleine Fleur is horrible on my skin – the multifaceted composition moves from harmony to dissonance and is first all leather, then all floral-musk, and finally a noxious mix that made me want to wash it off.  And although I didn’t, the temptation to cover it with ladies’ restroom soap scent stayed with me until it dried away to nothing.

There are no brick-and-mortar retailers of Heeley’s scents near me, and so there really wasn’t any other way to try this scent out without getting a decant and wearing it…and I’m not sorry that I did.  I am sorry, though, that there’s not an easier way for me to determine whether their fragrances work on me without leaving me with something I will never wear again.  For my readers, though, there are retailers that carry the perfumes of James Heeley in Beverly Hills, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami Beach, New York, Portland, Sag Harbor, and San Francisco.  If you are anywhere near one of them, I suggest going into the store and sampling before buying, especially given that these perfumes are not inexpensive.

I’d recommend Cuir Pleine Fleur for anyone who is looking for something complex and intricate if you can also carry off musk with aplomb.  I can’t, but there are those who can, and I’m envious.



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