Perfume Pen Pals: Indult Reve en Cuir and My Favorite Masculine Scent


Today I'm wearing Indult Rêve en Cuir, the one Chandler Burr gave five stars in the New York Times, but sounded like he wanted to give twenty stars. It's definitely leather. Yep, that it is. And, like the other Indults I tried, it's surprisingly sweet. It's entirely pleasant and I want to emphasize that. But I also want to emphasize my arm smells like a recliner. And I don't know how I feel about that.

Here's the conflict: I like the smell of leather but I don't quite like it on me. And I definitely don't like the added sweetness, in Rêve en Cuir and in most masculine colognes. Sweet male scents always seem a little sleazy to me, not inherently sleazy but sleazy by association. I can't help imagining some guy in a suit trying to snuggle up to his secretary after a couple martinis.

The kind of guy about whom my father would say, "I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him." (My father was an utterly unostentatious man who wore overalls and Irish Spring, but because he owned a large wholesale nursery, he'd occasionally have to trouble himself with men in suits.) I wonder if this is why young men favor those empty aquatics, because they don't want to smell like sleazy old guys. That's the best defense I have for empty aquatics. That it's an intellectual defense surprises even me. When it comes to leather scents, I think I prefer the more modern synthetic ones, like S-ex or Etat Libre d'Orange Rien. Neither is sweet in the least and because they both smell so new, they don't relate to any of the men my father knew not to like. Of course, none of this is the fault of Rêve en Cuir. It's a fine fragrance and Chandler Burr isn't off his rocker for loving it (he's off his rocker for loving Britney Spears Midnight Fantasy), but I'm just not a Rêve en Cuir man. My father would be proud. Dan

Dan, Rêve en Cuir: I didn't understand this one. It was over my head. I need to revisit it. Katie

Katie I'm surprised Rêve en Cuir was over your head. Are you sure it wasn't under your head? Or beneath your feet? It's not all that complex. It's a slightly sweet leather and that's all. At $250, I wouldn't recommend revisiting it before you've made a billion dollars and decide you want to own everything. Dan

Dan, Got this message on YouTube: "I'll only watch your channel if you tell me what your favorite masculine scent is. Thanks.” I immediately thought, "Oh goody, a perfume challenge! I'll bet this guy's a Creed nerd. I should probably say some Creed thing. Or Lalique Encre Noire." For more intel, I Googled him, and up came this comment of his on Cubby's “Fragrance Talk" YouTube channel: "Can't you review Encre Noire by Lalique or maybe Silver Mountain Water by Creed?” So there ya go. Smelling Silver Mountain Water back when it came out practically turned me off the whole line with its sneezy charmlessness. Anyway, I don't know what to tell this fellow. I'm not sure what my favorite masculine scent is. Maybe Divine L'Homme Sage? Bulgari Black? Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Man? Christian Dior Eau Sauvage? Old Spice? Anyway, my real answer is: my favorite masculine scent is not a perfume -- it's the man. I really only want to smell the man. If it's my man, that is. All other men can wear what they like. As long as it's not Silver Mountain Water. Katie

Katie, People are predictable, aren't they? I have a theory that there are only nine or ten people in the whole world and the rest of us are just duplicates. Well, not a serious theory. Still, there does seem to be a lot of repetition. You could call his bluff and say you'll only tell him your favorite masculine if he tells you his favorite feminine first. But don't say Silver Mountain Water. That was one of the Creeds I tried and found it entirely charmless, too. There's something blankly masculine about all those Creeds. Like the only thing you can gather from them is, "Yep, this was definitely made for a man." I'm wearing Chanel Coromandel tonight and loving myself! Tell him Coromandel and fuck with his head. Dan

Dan, One of my viewers tells me she sneakily puts Coromandel on her husband's undershirts when he's not around, so he unwittingly wears it. I know what you mean about loving yourself in Coromandel. Putting on that perfume makes you complete. Like you're in the best relationship ever, and it's with yourself. Katie

Fumies -- which perfume completes you?


  1. I have the same theory as Dan (9 or so types of people, tops). We should compare notes. :)

    Katie, Dan, you are always entertaining. And with this as my favorite morning read, Coromandel will be my scent of the day... a tribute of sorts.

    PS: my captcha was "snatosse", which is what I'll name my next pet. Or first perfume. Or next kid. Whatever.

  2. *jen - glad to have entertained you, and to wear Coromandel with you. Perhaps you, Dan and I are one of the 9 types of people?

    Snatosse ya later...

  3. Coromandel is one of my favorites. It's so wearable. It's tomorrow's choice!

    Today I have on Opus III. (my DH is now accusing me of "huffing" my perfume as I write...okay, he's right!) Have a fragrant day!

  4. Katie,
    what do you think of Chanel Egoiste, it's on a sweet side, to me. Does it give you that sleazy vibe?

  5. Hmmm, I've honestly had to give this some thought and the one 'fume that I came up with is Tom Ford Tuscan Leather. I guess it's because it's easy to wear. It doesn't require any thought or planning, I can wear it day or night, casual or dressy. The fact that it lasts forever is just a bonus.

    Oh and I agree with Dan. You should totally give that guy the name of something unisex or just all-out feminine. Startle him out of his comfort zone.

  6. I am so glad Dan wears Rien> It is in my challenging but love scent pile...Happy New Scent Year to you.

    xo Michael and Mirabelle

    ps..Mirabelle was playing with a lovely lady in my neighborhood and then someone stopped by and Mirabelle wearing perfume? I said of course..only the best...and for those of you who don't know who Mirabelle is...she is my star dog.

  7. I thought Bulgari Black was a scent for me until my boyfriend appropriated it. Now he wears it all the time (and I love it more on him than I do on me) but I don't like the trend he's setting (appropriating what he feels like). :) Well, at least he doesn't smell sleazy. Or of those aquatics. *shudders*

  8. I think Encre Noir is the only men's fragrance I've ever liked (I should smell some more). There are some things one might consider masculine, like some Demeter one-notes, which I like. But single notes are all unisex, even if it's a supposedly "masculine" note.

    I smelled Bulgari Black for the first time! I was so excited, all the rave reviews in my head, and when I finally put that scent card to my nose, I was AMAZED by how disgusting I found it (it smelled like vanilla flavored vodka and nothing else!). The SA saw me gagging and spluttering, and said "Oh, that happens all the time. Loads of people come in here expecting it to smell good." I laughed at that. I guess it goes to show, there's no accounting for taste.

  9. Hummmmm... I'd say probably 100 people, but its all debatable.

    For fragrances, I'm finding common ground with Etat Libre d'Orange's Don't Get Me Wrong Baby... I Don't Swallow, Penhaligon's Elisabethan Rose, and Pilar and Lucy's Tiptoeing Through the Chambers of the Moon... Funny, I don't think any of these perfumes have ANYTHING in common!

  10. LadyD777 - 100 people sounds about right. That gives room for more distance between dictators and serial killers and...the rest of us.

    Hey! I'm having a Penhaligon's Elisabethan Rose moment, myself. It hits that Perfumer's Workshop Tea Rose spot for me.

    xaryax - Encre Noir is a pretty darned fabulous inky vetiver. I'm glad it's blipped up on the Creed nerds' radar.

    The SA's reaction to your Bulgari Black splutter is funny. But you only got vanilla vodka, and not the plastic doll-head accord? Well, try it again in a few years, and see if the goalposts have shifted in your nose. I find that I often come around to former splutter-inducers. And if you don't, well, there are thousands of other perfumes in the world to potentially bring joy.

    Having just written "thousands", I'm thinking that perfume can also be boiled down to the "100 different types" paradigm. Or maybe even Dan's "9 or 10."

  11. pklagrange,

    Opus I is the Opus I enjoy huffing. And really, huffing is the best way to experience and understand a fragrance. There are different ways to huff, but the classic method is to stick your nose down the front of your shirt and to breath in your body-warmed perfume with short pony inward-snorts.

  12. Marina,

    I love Chanel Égoïste (as does Dan, after I nudged him towards it), and it's on my longer list of favorite masculines.

    I mention it in my Fall Picks post:

    Certainly not sleazy as far as I'm concerned. A rich, rosy/spicy sandalwood for boys and girls to enjoy.

  13. Spike,

    I went dashing to my samples case to see if I had some TF Tuscan Leather, but I don't. I wonder if Dan has tried that one? He seems to have felt his way around quite a few Tom Fords, so to speak.

    But yeah, the right leather or musk can really be an all-the-time, any-time fragrance, when it melts right into your skin.

    I was cracking up at being subjected to what felt like a perfume test by this guy. Give the wrong answer, and he wouldn't frequent KP Smells. I never found out if I "passed" or not.

  14. onesmalldog - I've been meaning to bring in Rodrigo to review a selection of dog perfumes I've managed to accumulate. Truly the best one is Sexy Beast, which the company director tells me she had made to resemble her favorite perfume, Flowerbomb! The mind boggles...

    Ines, the consolation for your boyfriend's acquisitional nature (when it comes to your perfume collection) is that you still get to enjoy the fragrance. My husb has nabbed Bulgari Black and Amouage Jubiliation XXV for his own use. Which is fine. I've got a big bottle of Portrait of a Lady to busy myself with, anyway.

  15. Holy Moley--I thought of sneaking some Coromandel on a man just tonight as well. It was my SOTD. Fabulous. I actually wondered if I could wrestle down this fine scentless gent and just force it on him.

  16. marion,

    That's quite a coink! You could go the wrestling route and "innocently" rub your own coating of Coromandel off on him.

    But it lives forever on clothes, and smells so deep and inviting, you could certainly spritz some on in his absence. Not quite as fun and tactile as the wrestling method, though.