Paolo, I love your blog. Leather is also one of my favourite scents. I recommend you give “Galop” by Hermes a try. It is the embodiment of a beautiful long haired woman astride an exquisite Palamino horse. Her high tan riding boots give a gentle kick to the glossy chestnut side of her horse. They ride off. Their golden manes floating in the wind, blowing the scent of fine, delicate leather through the hot dry air. It’s warm, sexy but in the most sophisticated way possible.
Then there is Bulgari’s Man in Black which shares the idea of YSL’s “Noble Leather” with its leather notes and the use of sweet notes. NL gets its sweetness from the candied fruit, instead MIB uses notes from “brandy”. Although MIB is priced and marketed as more of an affordable main stream fragrance compared the exclusive Noble Leather, the public have not caught on. It is too specific and niche, more like NL than it intended. It has a lot of leather and the hope that its sweetness (which is the current trend in perfumery) will please its fashion conscious audience, is not prominent enough to balance out the smokiness of the tobacco and “bois de Guaiac” notes. These two notes (tobacco and Bois de Guaiac), instead, incites the leather into a bombastic old boy at the “men’s-only-bar” at the “Old Edwardians sporting club”. This is by no means a criticism. If you like leather and don’t want to spend a lot of money on Noble Leather, Galop and Ombre Leather; Man in Black by Bulgari is a great value for money leather fragrance.
Conversely, if you have smelled Tom Ford’s Velvet orchid you will be surprised to know that it too has that sweet fermented fruitiness, this time in the form of “rum” (which I find very similar to brandy…especially when mixed with Coke) and suede which is leather? I accept that rum is sweeter than brandy and suede more delicate than leather, and I suppose this is the reason you get a totally different feel to the fragrance. I really like it but not at all because of the suede or the rum, rather because I find it a rich formulation, reminiscent of Tom Ford’s Black Orchid but more feminine and delicate on the nose. It is, however, by no means a pale fragrance. Velvet Orchid is a full-bodied fragrance for a confident woman who does not like to go unnoticed
I love all leather fragrances whether it takes me to a high society stud farm, a gentlemen’s cigar lounge, or a loud bar at a sporting club. I love it so much that if I won the lottery, I would buy all the products mentioned in your (Paolo’s) blog (yes at the risk of smelling the same as you) as well as the fragrances I have mentioned in my installment here.