Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Cuir Fetiche ~ fragrance review

Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Cuir Fetiche

Maître Parfumeur et Gantier Cuir Fétiche, a new women’s perfume, just launched. According to house perfumer Jean-Paul Millet Lage, he was inspired to create Cuir Fétiche on a scouting trip to southern France where he was looking at (and apparently sniffing) leathers for a new line of Maître Parfumeur et Gantier gloves. (As Robin said last week; I’m pretty tired of “creation stories.”)

Cuir Fétiche tries to be “racy;” it’s advertised using a woman wearing nothing but leather gloves (that make her hands look a tad masculine!), and the Cuir Fétiche bottle comes wrapped in a red corset.* Though Cuir Fétiche’s ads may be “suggestive” for Maître Parfumeur et Gantier, the perfume is far from “sexy;” it’s “bound” by convention, not leather handcuffs. Cuir Fétiche is a classic leather fragrance: elegant, calm, well-dressed (not, well, “un-dressed” for sure). 

Cuir Fétiche contains fragrance notes of red mandarin, lemon, bergamot, geranium, leather, ylang ylang, jasmine, rose, iris, vanilla, musk, ambergris, patchouli, cedar and sandalwood. Cuir Fétiche goes on bright with glints of citrus and aldehydes, and it’s strong (almost “syrupy” in intensity). Aromas of geranium, sandalwood and leather dominate the opening, but I can also detect iris and rose (not dainty or “womanly” in the least).

Cuir Fétiche has a lot in common with Chanel Cuir de Russie, but it’s less smooth and floral than its famous predecessor. (Though I love both scents, I prefer the more masculine Cuir Fétiche.)

Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Cuir Fetiche advert

In mid-development, Cuir Fétiche dusts its leather with light vanilla and soft musk. In the base, Cuir Fétiche’s leather is joined by amber, rich but not cloying, and birch. Though Cuir Fétiche does not achieve (and maybe isn’t aiming for) originality, I enjoy it from start to finish. If you need a new leather perfume, or want a “tougher” Cuir de Russie-type fragrance, give it a try.

I’m surprised that Cuir Fétiche is presented as a women’s fragrance; it could easily have been marketed to men as well, thus, one assumes, increasing sales. Perhaps Maître Parfumeur et Gantier does not expect its fans to worry about such masculine/feminine labels, or maybe they don’t think very much about marketing at all. (Maître Parfumeur et Gantier is a rather “hidden” niche brand these days, certainly not discussed often; during the last several years, I’ve never heard anyone speak with excitement about an upcoming Maître Parfumeur et Gantier launch, have you?) All this is sad, since Maître Parfumeur et Gantier makes some wonderful fragrances.

Maître Parfumeur et Gantier Cuir Fétiche is currently available in Europe in 100 ml Eau de Parfum — €110 in the plain bottle, or €165 for the corset-wrapped bottle. For buying information, see the listing for Maître Parfumeur et Gantier under Perfume Houses.

* For an additional 55 Euros.

Note: top images (left and right) via Wikimedia Commons.

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  1. breathesgelatin says:

    So glad to see this review. I have come to really love MPG. I have recently got to learn more about the house because a small boutique in Austin carries the line. What you say about them as a house rings true. I would agree that their perfumes aren’t trying to break new ground – in fact, their brand is all about the classical traditions of perfumery and are often (very good examples of) ‘types.’ I feel like all of their fragrances exude quality and a certain classicism.

    My impression is that the gender lines with MPG are very fluid. Certainly I could see myself wearing most if not all of their masculines. The men’s fragrances do have different bottles but that’s the only distinguishing characteristic in my mind. The salespeople at the Austin shop definitely show the men’s to women as well, at least when I’ve been in there.

    I agree MPG could use some better PR. Their website could definitely use improvement.

    I’ve been wanting to try Cuir Fetiche, thinking of making a trip to see if the shop has it soon. I feel like I’m slowly becoming a booster of this line. But I think my taste may tend a bit more toward the classical.

    • Kevin says:

      breathesgelatin: I don’t know when Cuir Fetiche is due here in the U.S….I’d assume SOON. *and you are right, the MPG website has not been re-done in YEARS!

    • Sapphire says:

      If you don’t mind my asking, which boutique in Austin? Maybe next time I am down there I can try the line. Thanks!

      • breathesgelatin says:

        Absolutely, the place is called Enchante and is located downtown on Congress. I would say that the store is a bit more specialized in men’s shaving products, but they have an interesting collection of niche perfumes as well. The owner is a great character and sort of pushes his favorite fragrances and his own philosophy about fragrance, but if you are a confident shopper who stands up for what you like it can be a lot of fun. The MPG line is one of the owner’s favorites and I let him spend a lot of time introducing it to me. I ended up with a FB of their Tubereuse and he made me a sample of their Jasmin as well (which I love, I just wish it had better lasting power!). I want to go back soon and try some more.

  2. Anne from Makeupwoot says:

    It sounds yummy, though I’m not loving the print advert.

  3. Abyss says:

    Thank you for the review, Kevin. Mentions of leather never fail to pique my curiosity and this sounds very good indeed.

    MPG used to have one stockist in the nearest city here but even then it was almost impossible to try them because they had very few testers available which was ridiculous. That said, I do agree with the post above that they seem to do ‘types’ and while some are pretty good examples (Ambre Précieux, Rose Opulente) they somehow seem a little too straight forward/obvious and don’t quite make me swoon.

    • Kevin says:

      Abyss: but then they have Route du Vetiver, which, to me, smells like nothing else on the market. Baime is great too.

      • Abyss says:

        Oh, that’s good to know since I love vetiver as much I love leather and it sounds like MPG do both that are worth trying. Of course, now that there’s no longer an easily accessible stockist in the area it might be a while until get my hands on them.

  4. Queen_Cupcake says:

    I do want to try this, but really: 55 euros for a little red corset that would fit but not flatter a mouse…?

    • Dilana says:

      Besides, if a lady wants to wear nothing but elbow length gloves, why would she want to pay a heft sum to accessorize her fragrance bottle. (Minnie Mouse,however, would look lovely in the corset).

      • ggperfume says:

        Minnie would look delightful in that corset – accessorized with her trademark white gloves.

    • Kevin says:

      Queen Cupcake: I’d skip the corset for sure.

  5. Dilana says:

    Amazon hasCuir de Russie EDT at about $244.00, about $100.00 more (less international shipping) than the Cuir de Fetiche. (Assuming you chose to not buy a corset for your bottle, and put the money to good use, perhaps a leather corset yourself or your loved one).
    Is Cuir Fetiche a good choice for someone who wants a cheaper (but not foul smelling knock off) of the cuir de russie mood?

    • Kevin says:

      Dilana: Cuir de Russie can be had (at regular pricing) for $110 for 75ml. (Even the almost 7 oz Les Exclusifs Russie is $210 (so I don’t know where the Amazon pricing comes from). I prefer Cuir Fetiche, and it is, to my nose anyway, in the Cuir de Russie mode.

  6. Rick says:

    Queer Fetish? I may have to get this for the name alone.

    You compared this to the birch tarry Cuir de Russie. How does it compare to the leather fragrances with quinoline like, say, Knize Ten?

    If a perfumer ever comes up with a creation story like “I felt like having some fun with cis-3-hexanol,” then I’d buy a bottle immediately.

    • Kevin says:

      Rick: Cuir Fetiche hovers in the land between Cuir de Russie and Knize Ten…a nice place to hover!

      • Dilana says:

        Oh my. I wonder if Les Maitres were aware/intended that their fragrance might be pronounced that way by Americans? Quite a pun! (Much sexier and daring than a leather vest for the bottle).

        • Dilana says:

          Ooops, that was intended as a response to Rick’s comment that he regards this scent as being named “Queer Fetish.”

    • ggperfume says:

      That would interest me more than any perfume backstory I’ve ever heard.

    • austenfan says:

      Great PR idea for a perfume, it nearly made me spill my tea!

  7. nozknoz says:

    I like MPG’s other vetiver, Racine, for fall, and I have Iris Bleu Gris (but think I’m somewhat anosmic to it). So I’m very glad you reviewed this because halfway between Cuir de Russie and Knize Ten sounds great, and I might otherwise have skipped this.

    • Kevin says:

      Noz: ah, forgot about Racine…I like that one too.

    • austenfan says:

      I love Racine and own a bottle of it. My most elegant vetiver fragrance.
      I’ve got a sample of this, which I haven’t yet smelled. As I have a cold at the moment Fétiche will have to wait till that goes away.
      MPG has some lovely fragrances. I haven’t smelled a whole lot of them, but Iris Bleu Gris is good, as is Fleurs des Comores. Route du Vétiver has one of the most interesting perfume top notes I have ever smelled.
      I don’t like their packaging though. Such a shame they don’t do smaller bottles. Even Histoires de Parfums has 60 ml. bottles now.

  8. This is the first review of this that I read and I am very happy to hear that a. it is good and b. is not hard for a man to wear. I expect it to be close to Parfum d’Habit. As soon as I get my hands on a sample or a tester here in Athens I am going to try it!

  9. Tama says:

    Thanks for the review, Kevin! I am a fan of the MPG line (I have Secrete Datura, Rose Muskissime, and Jasmin so far). I find them sometimes a bit difficult, but I am growing into them.

    I have a sample of this but haven’t done more than a cursory sniff. I have to say that I would definitely buy the corset – it’s my favorite part about it. It’s silly spendy for that kind of thing, but whatever.

  10. sniffmeallover says:

    Powdery sweet floral leather. Reminds me more of Cuir de Lancome than Cuir de Russie in the opening. And somehow it dries down to Apres L’Ondee. Very nice scent although not what I expected from the corset bottle. Pretty and tame.

  11. sweetgrass says:

    Cuir Fetiche is the first MPG I’ve tried. I don’t get powdery in this so much. It starts off floral and just a bit soapy from the iris, but once the leather emerges, the iris is still there but the leather tames the soapiness. From there I get a lovely floral leather that isn’t too edgy, but on my skin doesn’t feel exactly genteel either. I have only smelled Cuir de Russie on a card once, and I haven’t tried Cuir de Lancome yet, so I don’t have a frame of reference for how this fits in. I just know I like it and will probably use up my sample. There is a shop not too far from me that sells MPG, but I’m not sure if they have this one.

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