“Angel leather,” inspired partially by Hermès’ iconic bag and luggage creations, lies at the heart of Cuir d’Ange. It is Jean-Claude Ellena‘s newest fragrance for Hermès’ luxury Hermessence Collection, an homage to the brand’s most famous products, and was ten years in the making. For me, Cuir d’Ange is the very best thing that I’ve tried from Jean-Claude Ellena thus far, though it’s not without the usual problems stemming from his minimalistic, wispy aesthetic. It’s a truly beautiful recreation of leather that oozes elegance and refinement. In essence, it bottles the very smell of the leather department in an Hermès boutique, capturing it to an astonishing degree.
On the Hermès website, Jean-Claude Ellena describes Cuir d’Ange and his inspiration for the scent as follows:
The softness of leather, a promise hovering over the skin. Engaging, bewitching, hazy.
“For a long time I’d wanted to reveal the importance I attach to literature, and where it meets perfume. More importantly, I wanted to evoke my connection with the work of Jean Giono. Two words from a passage in Jean le Bleu came back to me: ‘cuir d’ange’ – angel leather. Using the smells that are my words, I wanted to write a poem to rekindle the love duet between leather and the skin. Its softness and lightness, its tension and its caress. Heliotropes and hawthorn, leather and musk.”