leather fragrances: 6 posts

Leather Scents with a Soft Focus

Although classical leather notes in perfumery are dark and dramatic like Robert Piguet Bandit and Grès Cabochard, this theme offers many variations, including the soft and creamy ones. In my recent FT column, Leather Scents with a Soft Focus, I describe different ways in which leather can be interpreted. I also talk about my idiosyncratic behavior at the vintage shops.

Unconventional is the leather collection of Serge Lutens. The line has a number of fragrances with leather accents, whether Sarrasins, with its interplay of leather, jasmine and musk or Fumerie Turque, which weaves leather into tobacco leaves and rose petals. Cuir Mauresque, however, makes this tanned note the star player. It is buttery and rich, oscillating between the darkness of amber and the spicy bite of clove. What makes its leather tender and luminous is the clever addition of orange blossom and mandarin. Inspired by the old tradition of perfuming gloves with fragrant pomades, Cuir Mauresque conjures up vintage handbags and well-worn armchairs in old libraries. To continue reading, please click here.

Where do you fall on the leather spectrum, dark or light?

Image via FT

Leather Perfumes for Cool Days

Elisa gives an overview of her favorite leather perfumes, from floral suedes to dark, smoky hides.

I don’t rotate my perfume collection seasonally; all [undisclosed number] of them are at my disposal year round on a big étagère in my closet. But if I did, here’s how the rotation would break down: ambers and orientals up front for winter; chypres and green florals up front for spring; white florals and beachy coconut scents up front for summer; and leather fragrances up front for fall.

leathers_1

One recent Friday, I went over to a friend’s house for drinks; it was the first really chilly autumnal night, and we lit an outdoor fire and sat around it drinking red wine, wearing boots and scarves for the first time and making plans for Halloween. This is exactly when I start buying candles in bulk and craving all my smoky leather perfumes. Here are a few of my favorites for fall.

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Hermes Cuir d’Ange : Perfume Review

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Cuir d’Ange is the most recent addition to the Hermès Hermessence collection, a line of fragrances sold exclusively at the house’s boutiques. The idea is to capture the nuances of famous Hermès leather, which smells of flowers and musk. The perfumer behind it is Jean-Claude Ellena, a master of the most ethereal and delicate compositions, and as you would expect, Cuir d’Ange, Angel’s Leather, stays true to its name. It’s wispy and sheer, as if the leather that inspired it was polished to remove any traces of animal funk and made to smell like someone’s clean skin.

cuir hermes

Cuir d’Ange is pure comfort. Although I like to think of myself as someone unafraid of the raunchiest animalic scents, my favorite leathers in perfume bottles are soft and cuddly. I’m more in the camp of Bottega Veneta than that of Robert Piguet Bandit on most days. So, here you go. For this reason, the first time I smelled Cuir d’Ange, I felt that I discovered my ideal leather–creamy, suave, and mild. On the other hand, if you want the odor of a beaver in heat and don’t wish to settle for anything less, Cuir d’Ange will strike you as wimpy and bland.

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Parfums Retro Grand Cuir : Fragrance Review

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Elisa on breaking with the niche formula and on the masculine retro glamour.

There is a prevailing trend in niche perfumery toward unisex scents. Often, the “unisex” quality is communicated through a combination of (supposedly masculine) woody notes, such as sandalwood, cedar, and patchouli, and (supposedly feminine) sweet notes, such as vanilla and benzoin, to the point that when mainstream scents hit on this combination, we say they “smell like niche.” I love sweet woody scents, but this formula is starting to look like a niche cliché – mix up booze, tobacco, resins, a touch of leather and some vanilla until it’s the color of cocktails in a cigar bar. Does it smell good? Then ship it!

grand cuir

Parfums Retro is a new niche outfit that seems to be taking a different approach. Their first three scents are all clearly targeted at the men’s side of the aisle. And yet, Grand Cuir (a sample of which I received as part of an Olfactif gift box) doesn’t smell like the typical men’s offerings at department stores, radiating powerful synthetics like sexual-chemical warfare. Instead, it truly smells retro: reminiscent of the dry, bitter leathers from the first half of the 20th century, when women comfortably wore perfumes like Lanvin Scandal and pre-reformulation Caron Tabac Blond.

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Atelier Cologne Gold Leather : Perfume Review

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Patricia takes Gold Leather to task.

In the first two offerings of their Collection Métal, Silver Iris and Gold Leather, Atelier cologne gives us two fragrances that have many things in common. Both are Absolues, which means they have a higher than usual concentration of perfume oil, 18 percent, giving them a depth and longevity more similar to an Eau de Parfum than a cologne.

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Silver Iris and Gold Leather were created by perfumer Jérome Epinette. Both have over-the-top bottle designs in real gold or silver and “handcrafted leather caps.” The 200 ml size of these bottles comes with complimentary engraving. Both fragrances are accompanied by overwrought ad copy promising the wearer of these fragrances the “absolu” man or woman of one’s dreams.

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Latest Comments

  • MK in Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Giveaway: Hello, I recommend Ambre Fetiche by Annick Goutal. It’s a long-lasting amber and a comfort scent great for fall days. I also recommend Serge Lutens Vetiver Oriental. It has a… October 15, 2019 at 12:18am

  • Vani in Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Giveaway: Thanks for the lovely giveaway. Hermès Ambre des Merveilles and Eau des Merveilles edt are both lovely in the autumn! Ambre des Merveilles especially has a lovely drydown without being… October 14, 2019 at 11:29pm

  • rickyrebarco in Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Giveaway: Tara, I would recommend Teo Cabanel’s Barkhane, a woody, spicy amber that is totally warm and comforting. Also you may wish to try Nicolai’s Ambre Cashmere Intense, a beauty. Yes,… October 14, 2019 at 10:39pm

  • Armando in Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Giveaway: Hi Tara, I would recommend Woodissime by Mugler, from their Les Exceptions line. It is woody, warm, balsamic, but not too sweet and entirely inedible. It has great sillage and… October 14, 2019 at 9:51pm

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