Byredo Cuir Obscur
‘Cuir Obscur is the interaction of opposites, masculine and feminine, exotic and romantic… powerful, strangely hypnotic and alluring’
Top Notes: Amaretto, Nutmeg
Heart Notes: Ylang-Ylang, Arabian Rose
Base Notes: Black Leather, Golden Patchouli, Midnight Musks
I used to always see Byredo in the perfume halls of Harrods. However, I never really knew where to start with them, I loved the branding (obviously!) but I just didn’t know where to start. I’m such an idiot, I really should have just spoken to the SA and had a sniff around. Cuir Obscur is my first foray into the world of Byredo and it leaves me kicking myself that I didn’t start sooner as it’s a stunner!
I have worn this for the past week and every time I wear it I discover new notes and tones within it. Sometimes it feels more rich and masculine, other times it feels romantic and feminine. It’s not like any other fragrance I can think of, it’s beautifully balanced throughout the fragrance, for every note you find, you discover another element of the perfume which contradicts it, then the top and middle notes combine to contrast with the base notes. It’s special. At the top, you have a sweetness of amaretto and for a split second, you might be fooled into thinking this is a gourmand fragrance, but it’s not. The sweetness of the amaretto is balanced with the spice of the nutmeg. Very quickly the floral heart is revealed; rich, velvety rose which contrasts with the sharp, white floral of ylang ylang, it almost smells like there is a little jasmine in there too. Together the top and heart notes have a sweet, spicy and floral feel to them, which are balanced by the base notes of rich, leather, smoky base notes of patchouli, musk and leather. Whilst it’s not mentioned, I would guess that there is some additional base notes of incense, oud and resins, as there is a really rich, dark undertone to this fragrance. I love it on my skin, it’s rich, glamorous and smoky with floral notes, sweet caramel and cream, powdery tones and hints of spice.
As for my boyfriend, he also loves it, on his skin the florals are far less prominent and instead the dark leather notes shine through along with the incense and amber, it has a far more dark woody feel to it, with the warm, slightly boozy sweetness of the amarreto instead. Byredo Cuir Obscur is right up our street, it’s rich, deep, dark and complex. It is a slightly exotic feel, but it’s also very modern. Make sure you pop into Harrods and try it out!
Byredo Cuir Obscur is exclusive to Harrods and will be available from July 15th 2016. It is priced at £135 for a 100ml bottle.