Thursday, September 30, 2010

Leather & Perfumery - PART THREE

OBS: If you wish to read the previous chapters - click HERE for ancient times, and HERE for The Middle Ages & Renaissance.

So, continuing...

With the improvement of the sanitary conditions and the development of the cities, the use of gloves to disguise the stench coming from the streets, and from its citizens (remembering that Church had forbidden bathing) became less and less fashionable.
As the Crusaders returned from the Islamic world, the belief that bathing could lead to diseases, to sin and to hell, also began to fade away. But the stinky clouds were still disturbing the noses of Europeans.

In the XVIII Century, the profession of master glover was separated from the production of perfumes. The art of perfumery received more status due to French King Louis XV.

The first leather perfume

In 1780 an English perfumer by the name of James Henry Creed created one of the first documented (in history) leather perfumes, developed for King George III. The other one was Cuir de Russie, created in 1875 by Aimé Guerlain, inspired by the leather of Russian boots (that were rubbed in birch to be preserved and shinning). Many Cuirs de Russie followed these ones: perfumer L.T. Piver launched his, Chanel had hers in 1924, Cuir de Russie by Vonna was launched in the 50's, Cuir de Russie was also developed by Robert Bienaimé (1935), by Un Jardin Retrouvé, etc..etc...etc... everybody wanted to have his piece of Russian leather boots!

Leather notes contains richness, fullness and an animal quality. Whether natural - from birch tar, castoreum, styrax, cedar atlas; or from synthetic compounds with names such as - Suederal (IFF), Castoreum Givco 169 or Iso Butyl Quinoline - 2 (both by Givaudan), they can have flowery accents, smoked facets, honeyed auras, powdery delicacy, round heavy oily touches, etc...whatever combination you can think of, leather perfumes are one of the oldest notes in perfumery still pleasing so many.

Many other sites and blogs have given their list of classical leather fragrances, many articles are defining the most beautiful ones from the past (early XX century), such as Tabac Blond, Bandit, etc... I see no point in being just one more. I will bring you a different list of leather perfumes. Perfumes that I think explored leather in an exquisite way, perfumes that brought new combinations this beloved note.
As leather is very versatile, it can be explored in many ways, for unisex, masculine and  also feminine fragrances. 
The list has a random order, so do not take it as one is better than the other because it came first. They are different concepts, therefore will please many tastes and genders. ...But from these 05, if I had to choose one, NOIR PATCHOULI would be my choice.


1.English brand - MILLER HARRIS  with their FLEURS DE SEL EDP:
A woody, earthy, salty leathery fragrance, with red thyme, coriander, angelica, rosemary, sage, iris, narcissus, rose, ambrette, bark, vetiver, moss and leather.
Perfumer Lyn Harris launched this fragrance in 2007 with a combination of herbs de provence, soy bean, silent tobacco strokes and a rich combination of vetiver, moss and leather. The leather here is loud, very masculine in contrast of the flowery-aromatic delicate accords. It is cozy and smoked, in contrast of the cold wetness of salty breezes.
The contrasts are a delicious concept, and I loved  the combination of the crispiness and salinity of the salt flowers with the animal soft masculine  note of leather.
One more thing to add about this fragrance, it is in constant movement. There is no particular order to follow, they will hide under others and than come back in a surprising way.

You will find all Miller Harris fragrances at Essenza Nobile. com/ and you can read a full review of this perfume written by me back in February, by clicking HERE.


A sensual, earthy, sweaty, leathery perfume that brings the memories of cowboys. A loner riding their horses in the savage forests and field of the old american days, with notes of geranium, carrot seed, clary sage, birchtar, cistus, jasmine cedar wood, myrrh, tonka, vetiver and sandalwood.
The great idea of this perfume is that you real feel you were dragged to a chapter of Bonanza or to Broke Back Mountain. You will be able to experience the ride into the forests, you will camp near the fire and you will sweat under the hot sun of the prairies. It is a genius perfume, intense, very masculine, with a jolie gay touch.

You will find Andy Tauer's fragrance in his website by clicking HERE/You can read my complete review, written back in FEB 2009 by clicking HERE.


This french brand has the merit of gathering together the most beautiful and amazing fragrances in one collection. All their fragrances are delightful and worth every € spent.
Noir Patchouli is a patchouli-leather combo that  has capture my heart. Every time I wear this perfume I keep sniffing my wrist as a mad dog looking for a hidden bone. To describe it better - I get into this narcissist ego trip where I fall in love for myself (LOLOLOLOL!!!).
A chypre, woody, unisex fragrance with notes of Patchouli, coriander, cardamom, black pepper, juniper berry, a flower bouquet, musk, vetiver, moss, leather and vanille.It is very Parisian, very bohemian and very nocturne. It is also very dandy, very powdery and sexy. Could be dark and heavy and rather introspective, but instead it is delicate, light but still bohemian. Patchouli and leather goes so well together like cheese and wine, croissant and tea, pears and brie, can't get enough of these two.
One final obs: Ida Delam's Nº6 for her and Noir Patchouli, for him and glass of champagne for both, will lead to an explosive chaude evening. You won't even notice that the Eiffel tower is not there!

You will find all the collection at their website by clicking HERE./I haven't written a full review yet, but I promise I will!


4. French brand LE LABO with PATCHOULI 24 EDP:
Same delicious combo here, of patchouli + leather, but the smell of manilla envelopes is a very exquisite touch!
Created by perfumer Annick Menardo, it has notes of patchouli, birch, styrax and vanilla.
Smokey, leathery and curiously round, this fragrance is hard to wear and also hard to leave. Once you have sprayed this perfume on your skin, you will get highly addicted.
Shocking as it might be, the animal tone is a loud MOOO, but so sexy, so comforting, so fulfilling that no wonder Luca Turin loved this fragrance. Me too!! 

Patchouli 24 from Le labo is like crazy sex in a cold afternoon, with Josh Harnett's detective character in "Black Dahlia", between piles of files and manilla envelopes.

You can find all Le Labo fragrances in their website and this one, by clicking HERE.


Perfumer Pierre Guillaume has mastered a delicate suede perfume with delicious alcoholic notes of rum. 
With notes of saffron, cardamom, iris, daim, rum, amber and musk, this perfume is sensual, velvety, soft and very warm. The spicy combination of saffron and cardamom is really unique and it is really an unisex fragrance. The combination iris-leather is really amazing. I love it so much, that I usually mix Patchouli 24 with Iris 39 of le labo - once I showed that to a French perfumer and he not only agreed with me, but I even saw sparkles in his cold little eyes.

Daimiris feels like touching real skin. It is elegant, it is chic, but it brings urges to be a little bit of a cannibal (LOL). It is creamy and rather edible ( a gourmand touch that I find very pleasant). What started with a smooth suede, became more intensified and more edible. The transition from one to the other is mastered by the perfumer, and all I can say is BRAVO!
You can find Daimis and Laboratorio Olfattivo at their website by clicking HERE.

to be continued with:

Idole by Lubin
Cuir Pleine Fleur by heely
Cuir by Mona di orio
and 1740 by Histoires de Parfums.

Stick around, grab a leather chair, 
Take a sip of a glass of rum, tea or cacao
Smoke a cigar etc..., etc... 
they all go well with leather!!

and wait for our next animal encounter!

For a Russian Cossack dance click HERE

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