Cuir Ottoman deserves praise simply for trying to do something new with the leather fragrance genre. First off, it's the most transparent leather I've ever smelled; leathers usually smell heavy, but this one has an ethereal quality I've never smelled before in a leather.
Secondly, it's not just leather happening here - iris is a dominant note in Cuir Ottoman, yet it doesn't give it the dark, dusky smell that iris usually contributes to a fragrance. Lastly, this is the first leather fragrance I've smelled that literally smells like the leather moccasins I've been buying and wearing for the past twenty years. The leather here has a subtle smokiness lurking in the background, which I also smell in the leather on my moccassins.
The only problem with Cuir Ottoman is that it's totally not my taste. I love leather scents, but I like them thick, oily and heavy. When I'm in the mood to wear something transparent, I certainly don't reach for a leather scent - I'll go for a woody citrus scent for that. Cuir Ottoman is light and very sweet. There's vanilla in this, and it gets stronger the longer you wear it; I don't like vanilla, and it particularly smells out of place here.
Cuir Ottoman smells very much like Dior Homme, which is a very sweet fragrance containing leather and iris, and which I prefer to this. If I want to smell like Dior Homme, I'll pull out my bottle of Dior Homme. When I want leather, I want leather, not Dior Homme.
Even though Cuir Ottoman isn't my style, I'm going to give it a thumbs up. It's unique in the leather genre, it's well balanced, and the leather that's in it smells very much like real leather. I just find it too sweet for me to wear. I think it would make a much better feminine scent than a masculine one.
MY RATING: 8/10
Fragrance House: Parfum d'Empire