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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Cuir de Russie by Chanel c1924

Cuir de Russie: originally created in 1924 by Ernest Beaux, who was assisted by Constantin Mikhailovich “Kot” Weriguine. Probably introduced in America around 1936. Named Russia Leather for the American market. It was available in parfum extrait and eau de cologne. Discontinued in the mid 1970s.

Russia Leather: this is the Americanized version of Cuir de Russie, first seen used in 1936, still sold under this name in 1960. A tangy, tantalizing odor originally created to wear with tweeds and sports clothes.

Fragrance Composition:

So what does it smell like? It is classified as a leathery tobacco fragrance for women. It begins with a dry, fresh top, followed by a dry woody floral heart, resting on a warm, balsamic, leathery base.
  • Top notes: orange blossom, bergamot, lemon, mandarin, clary sage
  • Middle notes: clove, orris, carnation, rose, ylang ylang, jasmine, cedar, vetiver
  • Base notes: juniper wood, frankincense, leather, amber, opoponax, styrax, heliotrope, vanilla

American Druggist - Volume 95, 1937:
  • "CHANEL - After Bath Powder $6.50 
  • Eau De Toilette (Cube Bottle) Gardenia, Ambre, Chypre, Rose, and Magnolia. 3 1/2 oz $6.00, 8 oz $10.00, 15 oz $19.50, 28 oz $37.50. 
  • (Cylinder Bottle) Jasmin and Bois des Isles. 3 1/2 oz $5.00, 7 1/2 oz  $10.00.
  • Perfumes: Gardenia, Jasmin, Cuir de Russie, Ambre, Chypre, Iris, Rose, Magnolia, and Special. 
  • Chanel Eau de Cologne perfumed with Chanel No. 5, Gardenia, No. 22, or Russia Leather. 3 sizes. 
  • Talcum Powder scented with Chanel No. 5, Gardenia, or Russia Leather. Generous size, $1.50, Large size, $2.50."

To open the classic Chanel crystal parfum flacon, use the following tip provided by Parfums Chanel in 1963:
Remove cord and paper; with index finger as cushion, tap underneath sides of stopper lightly with glass object (glass on glass being the scientific method) while turning the bottle steadily between fingers, so that the stopper will be loosened evenly.

Fate of the Fragrance:

Cuir de Russie was reformulated by Jacques Polge and Christopher Sheldrake in 2007 as part of the
Les Exclusifs de Chanel collection.
  • Top notes: orange blossom, bergamot, mandarin, clary sage
  • Middle notes: iris, jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, cedarwood, vetiver 
  • Base notes: styrax, leather, amber, vanilla

From Chanel:
"Evocative of wild yet elegant world of Russia, this warm Oriental fragrance — first composed by Master Perfumer Ernest Beaux in 1927 — captivates with its sensual presence, expressing sumptuous leather and rich, exotic woods. Now, this rare composition is offered in a parfum; the most powerful, concentrated form of fragrance and the fullest expression of the perfumer's art."

By 2011, Cuir de Russie was reformulated:
  • Top notes: orange blossom, bergamot, mandarin, clary sage
  • Middle notes: iris, jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, cedarwood, vetiver 
  • Base notes: styrax, leather, amber, vanilla, juniper wood, frankincense

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