My leather selection.
Leather. The note that inspired generations of perfumers. It’s one of the perfume themes that you can trace back to the origins of perfumery. Also, you can’t find a perfumer that didn’t try to recreate leather. Funny thing is that leather as the raw material doesn’t exist in singularity, meaning that you can’t get it by distillation. You don’t strip off some animal and you boil the skin. Leather is very, very subjective perfume note because it is a composition of several raw materials that in combination give the “leather”. Birch tar is in the basis of every leather effect, with opoponax, labdanum or other stuff. That’s why every perfumer has its own leather.
I did a selection of leather perfumes that are monumental in my opinion. It’s the perfume group I enjoy the most with fougère perfumes and makes me feel dominant, like I have a message to deliver to the others. Although they’re not on the photo, I would enlist Knize Ten and Etat Libre d’Orange Je Suis Un Homme. Both are very similar and have really nice, wonderful leather scent with aromatic citruses.
Let’s start with the legend. After decades, Guerlain’s Habit Rouge is still hot perfume, beautiful in every aspect and has gorgeous leather-citrus-floral combination. Since 1965, this perfume inspire other perfumers and many would want that they were behind this creation. This is the statement perfume for me because it brings special aesthetics and leaves beautiful scent trail behind. I always wear it with white shirt and black leather jacket. Makes me feel powerful.
When I was invited to TEDx conference as the talker on the art of the perfume, I took Puredistance M with me because I wanted to show to the audience how luxurious and rich some leather perfume can be. What I like about Puredistance is the embodiment of luxury and rich, high quality smell. I noticed that M is even more gorgeous on winter air, when it develops the spices and animal tones from the base. Classic, rich, deep leather creation.
I am amazed by Histoires de Parfums because I can’t find unsuitable perfume from them. If you read Luca Turin’s guide, you will see that he reviewed around 10 perfumes by HdP and all of them are praised. To me, this is one of the best perfume brands that exists and I recommend you to try them all. One of my all-time leather favorites is 1740, inspired by the birth of Marquis de Sade. It’s dark, dry leather with aromatic tones of immortelle. Absolutely amazing. The perfume lingers on the skin, announces the presence and leaves the trail behind. Really wonderful perfume.
You need to meet Mert & Murat, very nice duo, creative force behind Nishane. My first love, and I believe, my all-time Nishane favorite is Pachuli Kozha. It’s like when you open Aladin’s lamp and you release intoxicating notes. This is, how I call it, the perfume of a hero. Very strong, dominant, dark black leather immersed into earthy and dry notes of patchouli. When I want to feel special, I wear this perfume. I feel like I have a shield that protects me.
The most famous line within Memo range is “cuirs nomades”. I am deeply in love with Russian Leather, but not because of leather, but because of beautiful fougère. When I want to feel light, aromatic, free as a wild horse, I put Irish Leather. I couldn’t imagine that a combination of galbanum (cut grass, hay) could smell so gorgeous in combination with leather.
Burnt woods, darkness, rum, tobacco and strong leather. Welcome to the club! Naomi Goodsir Cuir Velours is only about beautiful, hedonist things that make life more beautiful. It’s composed by talented Julien Rasquinet who is growing into perfumery’s superstar. This is impeccable creation that can offer you new olfactory experience. It starts dark and dry, but it develops into smooth creation. It’s the perfume that gives me special sensation and tingles, I feel mighty, different, particular, strong, determined. Extraordinary!
As soon as it came up, BeauFort London did a lot of noise with specific creations that please die-hard perfume fans like me. The latest release, Iron Duke is strongly different than the collection “Come Hell or High Water”. It’s the soapy-leather, inspired by the soap that cleans the saddle. I adore animal notes in it and it’s something close to the original Habit Rouge formula.
I don’t know why, but Stéphanie Bakouche is the perfumer working “undercover”. She is not in the spotlight, but her creations are extraordinary. She did one of my favorite perfumes, Invasion Barbare for MDCI, which is incredible fougère. Since then, I follow her work and when I heard she created for Jul et Mad, I went crazy. She did Mon Seul Désir which is beautiful leather-aromatic creation with nutmer, pepper, coriander… This perfume is so well-composed, so nicely balanced and rounded that it must be your to-try list. Beautiful, soft, bright leather perfume!
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