Alan Cumming clearly has a sense of humor as the fragrance’s name in this case is “Cumming”, quite simply. The name has wrinkled noses the world over who don’t see exactly how high-brow the humor behind this scent actually gets. Whether you share the humor or not, you can at least give Cumming a try. I’m rather surprised that the nose, Christopher Brosius of Demeter and CB I Hate Perfume fame, didn’t take this fragrance more literally. Okay, okay, I’m done with the jokes. I promise.
In Bottle: Earthy and leathery up top. Very surprising for a celebrity fragrance composed in 2004. But we are talking Brosius here and say what you want about the man, but he is not one to conform to expected norms.
Applied: Loud opening with an earthy leather and whisky combination folding you in, making you think things will only get stronger from there. But the fragrance heads into its mid-stage in a surprising twist. The pepper takes up a bit of fight from opening to mid-stage lending the fragrance a hint of spice. The scent then goes from heavy to light, something that I didn’t expect this fragrance to do as the mid-stage smells of warm and smooth nuttiness, woods and earth. Nicely done, I don’t smell any of the heavy leather from the opening but there’s a minor trace of it giving this scent a bit of complexity during the mid-stage. This is an oxymoron of a scent, and surprisingly lovely as a result. Over the years of smelling celebrity perfumes, I’ve come to expect predictability but Cumming is a pleasant left fielder. The interesting bit at the end of this fragrance is a smooth earthy scent. Quite personal, and–dare I say it?–rather sophisticated. This fragrance isn’t for everybody mainly because the opening does turn a lot of people away. If you like the opening, or can stick it out for about an hour, the fragrance does take a turn for the very interesting and very wearable.
Extra: I had to stop myself halfway into that introduction paragraph and wonder why I can find humor in Cumming and it’s ad campaign when I found Marc Jacobs Bang and its ad campaign an eye roller. There are several reasons why, but the one that comes readily to mind for me is the fact that Cumming knows its name, knows it’s funny, and runs with it. Bang seemed to be named thus to sell itself as sexy or shocking. This, this is just in good fun and I can more readily appreciate that far more. If you’re interested in the Cumming fragrance, there’s 2nd Alan Cumming also by Brosius. You can read up about it on Brosius’s site here.
Design: Simple rectangular bottle with a tall cylindrical cap. The name on the glass written in a slight bit haphazardly and–let’s not kid ourselves–it was obviously designed with the name in mind. I can get on board with funny things like this. Perfume is all together too serious sometimes.
Fragrance Family: Earthy
Notes: Bergamot, black pepper, scotch pine, whiskey, cigar, heather, douglas fir, leather, highland mud, peat fire, white truffle.
Probably one of the best celebrity fragrances that I can commend out there. And it’s been described as an anti-celebrity fragrance. Heck, I’m on board with that. It’s interesting, it doesn’t take itself too seriously, and it’s one of the few that can stand on its own as a fragrance.
Reviewed in This Post: Cumming, 2006, Eau de Parfum.