Aiiyy! We are having That Midwest Weather Thing again. Hummingbirds and margaritas one minute, Dorothy Gale and heavy socks the next. (at this rate we will have sweet corn in September). Dang (stomping back up the attic stairs to pull the hoodies back out). I was all set to review some classic leathers in the heat but Nature has other plans – so I’m going to review niche leathers in the blustery weirdness. Leather is a note I absolutely adore but don’t always want to wear (except vintage Diorling which I hope to die in sometime way down the line). And for me they, like oudhs, work best in extreme heat but your mileage may vary. I’m reading the latest issue of Shotgun News, hence the gun references.
So let’s start with Heeley Fine Leather. I didn’t even know this existed – I was in Barneys, sniffing Oranges and Lemons Say the Bells of St. Clement’s which, btw, bears a shocking resemblance to 4711 – a reverse “If You Love _________”. Musette says: save your simoleans, go to Loehmann’s and get the Real Deal for $19.99.
Sorry. Where was I? Oh, yeah. Heeley Cuir Pleine Fleur, aka Fine Leather. Bradley spritzed this on me and I was pleasantly surprised! I’ve had troubles with Heeley in the past, with Ophelia boring me to tears, Cardinal making me sneeze, etc…and then O&LStBoSC just insulting me….but this one, Fine Leather? It’s really nice. It’s a soft, flowery leather, not chilly, not oily and there’s a nice powdery aspect to this that makes it a bit more ‘femme-y” than some other leathers but has just enough of the butchy stinkeye to keep it interesting.
Gun quotient: If someone stuck a shotgun in my face and said I had to buy a Heeley this would be the one.
Notes: violet leaf, bergamot, mimosa, aubepine (acaccia), hawthorn blossom, birch, suede, vetiver, cedarwood, castoreum.
Mark Buxton Hot Leather. I got this in a split – tres cheap, thank Floyd. Oh, Mark. I expected way better from you. ‘tis neither hot nor leather. It’s a lukewarm attempt at ‘cool’, like somebody threw one of those cheap cowhides on a shiny vinyl floor and tried to make it look Bauhaus. It’s not bad-smelling, don’t get me wrong. It’s a very nice Generic Masculine-Pretty that has some pretensions to elegance – Tony Curtis wore something like this in 40 Pounds of Trouble, I’m sure of it. Only his was cool.
Gun quotient: It would have to be a Very BIG gun.
Notes: citrus, bergamot, coriander, mandarine, orris, jasmine, patchouli, cedarwood and vanilla. March reviewed it here
Tom Ford Tuscan Leather. Maybe I’m just crabby…but Tom Ford gets on My Very Last Nerve. I want him to stop preening, take a shower, put his clothes on and act like he’s got some sense. Then I smell something like Tuscan Leather and I’m reminded that the world is full of non-greasy, sensible people – and very few of them would have the huevos to create what he does. Love him or loathe him, we need narcissistic freaks like Tom to keep things interesting. Tuscan Leather is interesting. A smoky-woody leather, it’s bling-free, elegantly dry and simple, with all the complex bits on the inside, like a bespoke suit or a vintage Roadster or a swan. For women this is the perfect leather to wear with an Anne Fontaine pintuck blouse at work and a black sheath and some chunky gold jewelry come nightfall. For men, it’s a perfect scent, period. Thanks, Tom. Sorry I skeeved on ya.
Gun Quotient: No ammo need apply. I would happily wear this, though I would rather save for a new 12-gauge than for a full bottle.
saffron, raspberry , thyme, olibanum , jasmine, leather, black suede and amber.
Liz Zorn Sonoran Leather. Yeah, y’all know me as the Liz Zorn FanGirl Absolute. So it’s always a surprise when I put this one on – and am immediately freaked out. There’s a whole lot going on here, upfront. I get jams and plums, cowhides and smoke andfireandtarandsoundandfury(pant!pant!) and it’s terrifying and I always want to cry because I’m so used to loving her stuff and I love leather and……and…then I scrub it off so I don’t have to think about it anymore.
A mistake. And one that I’m glad I was forced to rectify last night. Wore it après-bain. I was so whupped that I could barely crawl into bed. Forget getting up to scrub. Too early to sleep, too tired to think….I read some more Shotgun News and a Brad Thor novel and about 40 minutes into my settledown I brought my wrist up to my nose, wondering ‘what the heck is that incredibly beautiful…?” …It smells exactly like a Baja California night or how March always describes New Mexico. Mesquite? No. That’s barbeque. Pinon! Yes, pinon. Or juniper. That oily-citrus tang. Just a touch, with those little flowers that always dot the desert floor whenever it rains. Butter-tan cowhide drying by the fire. Rough but so rich. Then just smooth and beautiful. This is a challenging one to wear, going in but I do think it’s worth the effort. Give it time to drydown and smooth out – once it does it will transport you to a midnight-blue, starlit desert sky.
Notes from Liz:
Leather (suede) Choya Nakh, Birch Tar, Tobacco, Cinnamon, Cloves, Animal Musk Accord, Rosewood, Sandalwood, Tolu.
It also has Jasmine and Rose in lesser amounts.
Gun Quotient: Her prices are sane. No armed robbery necessary. Shotgun (and Shotgun News) safely back in the cabinet.
What are your leathers? Do you have a particular Leather Weather? I know lots of folks love ’em in the winter cold – not meee! I like ’em HOT!
ps. I was going to rave on about the leather note in Tommi Sooni Tarantella but I’ve never been able to replicate that first experience, where the leather just glided in, midway, and gobsmacked me. I’m starting to wonder if I made that up…