Neil Morris Leather Garden

by the Sizzling Musette








Yeah, we’re back to that whole ‘I love Summer’ thing – I am possibly insane (or maybe I was a snake in an earlier life) but I love the idea of a 90F afternoon, spent under an umbrella, drinking ice water and waving a fan.  A little trickling fountain nearby.   But let’s not conjure up any visions of some Ice Princess – there’s a fine sheen of sweat on every inch of my corpus and moving Is Not An Option.  I am not wearing any cooling cologne, either.  Nope, these are the days for heavy scents, stuff that can take a punch from a solar blast furnace.  Big-ass flowers.  Hot, tanned leather.  Smoky vetivers (helps keep the bugs away).   As I write this, at 8pm, it is 92F.  That’s right.  Ninety. Two. Degrees.  I’m wearing Neil Morris’s Leather Garden, a gift from my darling Perfume Fairy.    This stuff is gorgeous!  I’m going to get the notes (from his website) out of the way right now because I want to tell you how this unfolded during this absurdly hot day.

Top: blackberry, basil blossom

Middle: narcissus, hyacinth, peony, rose, lily of the valley

Base:  vetiver, redwood, agarwood, leather

I spritzed this early (around 9a) after a cooling shower – it was 74F.  The blackberry wasn’t very noticeable but I did get a hint of the basil.  There is a coolness running through the initial spritz that reminds me of that eucalyptus trail in Carnal Flower – not that they smell anything alike – more the idea of that cool, medicinal thread weaving through.    But those resiny woods (maybe that’s what I’m smelling?) are never far from the surface – not ‘woods’ as in forest, rather ‘woods’ as in several kinds of cut wood, with that piney-sap thing going (see?  it was just a matter of time before I got it! y’all are so good to me :-).  Overlaid is this lush rose, like stepping on rugosa rose petals while you’re some really sexy guy is chopping wood  in the forest (why should you get all sweaty?).   Or maybe you’re rolling around in a bed newly built of rough-hewn logs, strewn with rose petals.  Take your pick.  Or create your own  wood/rose fantasy.  But the rose is only one of the flower notes – it’s not all ROSE, knowmean?  I think even the rose-averse could enjoy this scent.


The leather, oddly enough, is a background player rather than Bam! In Yo’ FACE!   But it bridges the gap between the wood and the rose, pulling this slightly animalic suedealiciousness, with a hint of oil to keep the wood from dying out.   The rest of the notes are best left to more astute noses than mine.  All I know is, Neil has me on this one.  I could wear this for a long time and not get bored. And I did –  It’s got excellent lasting power – I wore it through the entire day today and only reapplied after my (third) shower.  And it’s still gorgeous!


Neil Morris is a great proponent of men wearing some jammy floral scents (he turned me on to the notion of a guy in Fracas – and I’ve never looked back.  My ultimate fantasy is me rubbing Carnal Flower Body Butter…oh, never mind…).  Anyway, I could totally see some buff Big Poppa,  dressed in a suit with a crisp white shirt, rockin’ the daylights out of this.  I’m gettin’ all schwetty just thinking about it!


btw – I know I can’t be the only heat-freak out there.  Are any of you rocking Big Scents in this triple digits weather? 


30ml/$70 at


photo:Mano Bello leather flower collection from


  • jen says:

    90 deg. sounods so nice. Its 109 here and Im wearing Mitsouko. Its stronger than sweat!

    • Musette says:

      Mitsouko is incredibly beautiful in the heat. If you wear the perfume, it will envelope you in a cloud of fabulousness that will keep the sweat and gnats at bay all day long.

      xo >-)

  • Kit says:

    Another one here soldiering on through the DC heat and humidity, although I used to live in Houston, so this sort of seems like humidity lite. Anyway, I much prefer strong orientals in the heat. Fumerie Turque is my go-to heat and humidity scent and this past week I’ve fallen in love with Arabie, which I think is also divine in the heat.

    • Musette says:

      I once spent 3 weeks in Houston. In August. I foolishly thought I would walk from my hotel to this cute little shop about a block away. It was 11am. I was the only person on the street. There was a Very Good Reason for that. x(

      My sandals actually stuck to the sidewalk!

      xo >-)

      • rosarita says:

        I lived in Houston for 11 yrs, and all my friends who had grown up there would walk outside in August and whimper, *MAN, it’s hot* over and over. You just never get used to that much humidity. I think this summer feels like that to most of the US. This scent sounds delish; I haven’t sampled as many NMs as I’d like. I like Messe de Minuit in this weather, but I’d like a strong Canadian cold front more. Enjoy your shade tree, my friend

  • Rappleyea says:

    Oh Musette… I need the ROTFL guy for your review! Love it! And you’ve definitely created a lemming here. I am embarrassed to say that I have never sampled even one Neil Morris scent and I mean to correct that asap!

    My introduction to big scents in the heat (I’m in central Ky. – nuff said!) was back when I received my sample of Vol de Nuit extrait in the dead of summer and in my excitement, I immediately put it on. Ruh roh… I thought it would probably kill me, but I have scent glue skin so there was nothing I could do. Well, you know the rest of the story – it bloomed beautifully in the heat.

    Lately I’ve been wearing Cuir de Russie, SSS Incense Pure, Bois d’Armenie, Samsara and L’Heure Bleue, and they’ve all been great in this unbearable weather. The usual summer fair of citrus or light florals just doesn’t stand up to the heat.

    • Musette says:

      Yay! on the Cuir de Russie. I’ve been wearing the parfum. Yum! VdN extrait is gorgeous in this weather, too. You must smell amazing!!!

      xo >-)

  • Kate S. says:

    Hmm. Do I like the heat? Washington, DC. Put your hand here under my arm…

    I do look, however forward to trying this new Neil Morris. It sounds gorgeous. He’s an artist. And a damn fine fellow to boot!

    • Musette says:

      Yeah, you guys take heat and humidity to ridiculous levels…8-|

      Come back and let us know what you think of the LG!

      xo >-)

  • Disteza says:

    Um yeah, I’ve been dipping in to the heavy hitters here in DC too–not much else will stand up to the heat. Yesterday it was Sarrasins, today its Le Maroc Pour Elle. I (rather foolhardily) planned a day trip to NYC for this Friday to go see the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met and get some shopping done. I’m planning on wearing Absolue Pour le Soir on my forced death march through the 100+ degree streets.

  • grizzlesnort says:

    I like everything I’ve tried from Neil morris and loved many. Samples are cheap. Current faves are Midnight Forest and Ghandara. Eager to try Leather garden now.

  • mals86 says:

    Hot here, too. Very humid. Bleargh.

    The house is air-conditioned to 77F, which is bearable. I’m staying IN IT. Been wearing lots of aldehydes, roses, and BWFs.

  • dleep says:

    Your review of this scent was wonderful and now I need a sample. I am not a fan of this hot/humid weather. Even after spending 10 years in Atlanta I never got used to it. It just sucks the life out of me.

    • Musette says:

      sweetie, I think it sucks the life out of everybody (me, too) – but that’s the whole point: to just give in to it, whenever possible.

      Of course, if you can’t give in to it (like, if you’re laying asphalt at noon in 100+ heat) then it really blows. b-( x(

      Otherwise, break out that umbrella, grab a lemonade and throw on some Leather Garden!

      xoxo >-)

  • Meg says:

    It has been an oldly cool year where I live, hovering around 70. I have mostly been loyal to Back to Black light honeyed sillage. Although I haven’t been coping with crazy heat, I do have a funny anecdote about men in skankey as scents. A couple weeks ago my boyfriend got in an accident and had a severe concussion. It made him (temporarily, we hope) lose his sense of taste and smell. Every morning since then, as soon as he wakes up he goes over to my perfume collection to see if he can smell anything, even letting me to spray him with something to see if he can detect it throughout the day. So, I have been, erm, spraying him with my most “manly” scents… like Tabu. Maybe it is cruel but I get a pretty big kick out of it, plus if he’s going to smell anything it’s going to be Tabu, right? and, mostly oddly of all, I think it smells pretty good on him!

    • Musette says:


      That’s terrible about your bf’s concussion – but great re the Tabu. NOT cruel. Sexy.

      I lost my sense of smell once, following a reflexology session – it was gone for about 3 days, then came back. I lost all urge to eat during that time, so it was a plus on a separate level. I could’ve used 120 days or so without a sense of smell, I think. ;))

      xo >-)

      • Meg says:

        I agree! What could be so bad about not wanting to eat, right? If only I had his problems! Unfortunately, though, he does not need to lose any weight, and he has also lost his sense of taste so food is REALLY unappealing. It is interesting learning to cook for someone based on texture and sensation alone.

        • Musette says:

          That’s the part that makes me :(( on his behalf. I hope that he gets that sense back asap. Really nice of you to try to accommodate his current situation.

          xo >-)

  • Vasily says:

    Wearing Guerlain Vetiver today (115F heat index predicted), also like when it’s hot ‘n’ sticky Fou d’Absinthe, Mechant Loup, Habit Rouge (the original), L’air du Desert, Aramis Havana, Incense Extreme. My full bottle of Eau de Gloire is arriving today and I plan on giving that a workout the rest of the week. Got my eye on bottles of SMN Acqua di Cuba and Tom Ford Italian Cypress, both of which would be great in the heat, I think.

  • Daniela says:

    Oh Musette, I love this weather too. It’s a nice 77 degrees here in south-eastern Canada, but with the humidity, it apparently feels like 88. Tomorrow, with the humidity, it’s supposed to feel like 115! Definitely weather during which moving is Not An Option.

    I’m stumped every morning as to which perfume to wear since I spend about half of my day in an air-conditioned office and the other half in delirious humidity. Today, I opted for Chergui, which seems to work well in both cases. TF’s BO was also out the other day and smelled rich and lush in the heat. I wish I had some Fragonard Vetyver left because that would have been perfectly refreshing. Bois des Iles, mentioned above, would work too. I also spritzed some Habanita a few nights ago and was left gasping for air. That one is just killer in the heat!

    • Musette says:

      I’mo try Habanita tonight! 😮

      xo >-)

      ps. BO ends up smelling like grape jelly on me, alas. Beautiful on others, tho.

  • Lisa D says:

    Where I live (Mojave desert), the term “sit outside” doesn’t really get bandied about in summer. When it is used, it’s usually in reference to an object that’s no longer viable, as in, “…that old tire that’s been sitting outside, you know, with the rubber that’s all melted into the sand, kinda’ looks like a big-ass amoeba? Yeah, that one. Sitting outside.”

    Like Olfacta, my choice yesterday was L’Air du Desert Marocain, and it was perfect for me, too. I like a cool, dark incense on these days, rather than a light fruity floral.

    • Musette says:


      do you know, I was laughing so hard I couldn’t even click on the emoticon!!! Had to whack at it a couple of times, in between heaves!

      xo >-)

      ps. I imagine your insane heat just 8-x a light fruity floral…

  • Maureen says:

    I like the sun and the heat and especially the beach, but due to a little bout with skin cancer, have to stay outta the sun(so sad, now a former beach baby). I am here in hotter than hades Philly suburbs, and yesterday I tried to wear Donna Karan Gold, which I like, but I got stuffed up and such a headache I don’t think I’ll try that again until October. This is the second time I wore Gold this summer and got stuffy & a headache, so I may be allergic to something in it. If it happens again I’ll have to donate…darn it all, I really did like Gold, so pretty.

    (Buff Big Poppa and Fracas? Wow!schwetty indeed!)

    • Musette says:

      Uh….sun, no. Heat, yes. I am not one for being out in the sun and I am blessed with what we could call a ‘permanent tan’ 😉

      You be VERY careful, okay? And don’t sweat the Gold ;)) – leave it alone for awhile and then come back to it. Sometimes it’s just a confluence of events – that happened to me with Cuir Ottoman – it was beeeyooooteeeful! Until it turned into Pine-Sol. I freaked but hung onto it. A year later, it’s back to normal.


      xo >-)

  • Teri says:

    I was just saying to another Chicago ex-pat this morning “Did we move back to the Midwest when we weren’t looking?” Ever-dry Denver is in the midst of what they call a monsoon season — upper 90s in degrees AND in humidity with a spectacular lightning and hail-infused thunderstorm every day during rush hour. I’ve been here 9 years and never seen anything like this. Denver is usually very hot and very dry this time of year. I love the dry heat, but it is a scent-eater. Scents last forever on me in the humidity.

    Since I can’t change the weather, I’m embracing it. In total disregard for my office mates, I’m working all the tropicals and great whites in my inventory. If I could get away with wearing a sarong, a flower in my hair, and going barefoot, I’d do it.

  • k-scott says:

    I find that Bois des Iles parfum wears beautifully in the hot Florida summer. I have been wearing the heck out of it!

    • Musette says:

      oooh! that sounds lurvely! 😡 I wonder why more people don’t wear actual perfume in the heat – imo, it’s made for that very thing.

      xo >-)

  • Neil says:

    Thank you, Musette, for your great review of our perfume! I also get tired of the light, fruity, perfumed lemonade that is so ubiquitous during the hot summer months. I’m going to wear Leather Garden today in your honor! It’s going to be 90 degrees here in Boston today and 96 tomorrow! 63 sounds great right now, Dinazad!! And yes, Musette, a buff Big Poppa could easily wear Leather Garden.

    Thanks again for the review!


    • Musette says:

      Well, sweetie, YOU are a Big Poppa, cute and sweet as the dickens and you are gonna ROCK that!

      And thank YOU for creating it!

      xo >-)

  • pam says:

    I’m with you–I really enjoy the big scents in the extreme heat. Sitting in the screen porch with the overhead fan going, a glass of ice water, and the smell of L’Heure Bleue. Yesterday it was even Rumba, and that’s a scent that goes on forever. Love the leathers, too.

  • Catherine says:

    It’s been triple digits every day for the three weeks I’ve been in Oklahoma, with no end in sight (except possibly in September). I tend to spray on something light like Guerlain Cologne du 68, but a number of times I’ve worn A la Nuit (sprayed LOTS) and Mona di Orio Carnation (sprayed even more than LOTS) and Mona di Orio Nuit Noire (yum). I’m not so interested in leather scents, but big, sexy flowers are best in this kind of heat. Bring em on.

  • Debbie R. says:

    I love Leather Garden. It is a really beautiful fragrance.

  • Bevfred says:

    It’s super hot here as well and I love it. When it gets really hot I too haul out the big guns. Yesterday was Carnal Flower, today will be Le Maroc poue elle and Miss Dior is another good one. I’m big on tuberose all of a sudden so Fracas is back in regular rotation.
    Perfume is soo much fun, isn’t it?

  • Marsi says:

    I detest temperatures over 50F degrees. Nevertheless, I don’t have a separate summer wardrobe of fragrances. I wear Coco and Shalimar all summer long.

    • Ann says:

      I feel your pain, ladies! This heat just gets to be too much. I never used to like any kind of leather, but am slowly coming around to the idea (Tabac Blond, Cuir de Lancome, SL’s Daim Blond). And this one does sound nice — will have to try. Not sure I can handle anything heavier than an eau de cologne in this heat, but we’ll see.

      • Musette says:

        You should try Going BIG! Next time you’re going to be out (as in OUTSIDE) in high heat, spritz one of the Great Whites – or a heavy leather – or an attar. Seriously. See how it opens up.

        The worst that can happen: you have to shower. Again. But I find those scents just blossom in this absurd weather.

        xo >-)

      • mals86 says:

        I wore Cuir de Lancome for our spring community choir concert, when they forgot to turn on the AC or even open the windows in the church, and I was mizzzzerable. Temps were in the mid-80s. I have a feeling everybody around me was miserable too…

  • nozknoz says:

    This sounds GREAT! I have some Neil Morris samples but have not got around to thorough testing yet. Will need something to distract me on Friday from the predicted DC heat index of 116 degrees! :o Keep cool, Musette!

    • Musette says:

      you, too! this heat is terrifying!

      Enjoy the Neil Morris fragrances. I think he does excellent scents and he’s such a lovely person.

      xo >-)

  • Olfacta says:

    I wore L’air du Desert Marocain to bed last night. It was….perfect.

  • waftbycarol says:

    I jes’ knew you’d get on w/this one !
    The heat ? I work in the yard before 7 AM then go back inside where it’s air conditioned…
    I’m really into Claudie Pierlot Mon Premier these days , got a sample then a decant from Dixie – girl . Lovin the spicy powdery stuff goin on .

    • Musette says:


      I will love you forever for this one, Perfume Fairy! Well heck, I will love you forever anyway. 😉 This was a stunning surprise! I could see a FB in my future and we all know how often That Happens.


      what’s with the dense powders in the heat? You and Melauriga, back to back with that notion…. Must investigate…:-?

      xo >-)

  • Melauriga says:

    You’re not the only one…I love the heat as long as I don’t have to do anything in it! It’s been very hot and humid here too, and for some reason have been craving dense powdery scents. I’ve been wearing some classic Carons: N’aimez Que Moi and Pois de Senteur.

  • dinazad says:

    ss-s-s-s-summer? Those are my teeth chattering. 63 and raining over here. I’m wearing Andy Tauer’s Incense Extreme to get the illusion of warmth…. If it were warm, I’d be wearing Incense Rose. Or Messe de Minuit. Incense is always perfect!


    • Musette says:


      If we could, the entire Midwestern US would pack up your rain and 63 and hijack it over here – at least for a day or two. We are desperate for rain, which is insane since it did nothing but rain the month before. Nature is weird. But Man is weirder. My neighbor still cuts his half-acre lawn twice a week, even though the grass went totally dormant about 2 weeks ago. /:)

      Stay warm.

      xoxo >-)

    • nozknoz says:

      Where are you, dinazad? We are projected to get a heat index of 116 on Friday in the Washington, DC, area – you are welcome to join us!

  • Jared says:

    Man, I always forget about this Neil Morris line! It’s one of those entire lines that slips under the radar in that tidal wave of endless scents to smell out there! I know there’s a Rumi-inspired scent in the Neil Morris lineup that I really need to get my nose to. At any rate, I’m glad you brought this up so I can get the line back in sight. And I heart leather. And heavy florals in summer. I’m testing patchouli’s as well: animalic, heavy patchouli’s. I like that you’re going for the leathers, too! Me, however, not a fan of this liquid air that I’ve been walking through. Too. Darn. Hot.

    • Musette says:


      Where have you been all my life? 😮

      xo >-)

    • Rappleyea says:

      Rumi inspired?? Sounds wonderful. Let us know if you figure it out.

      • Jared says:

        Now that I think about it, it would be an interesting scent to smell, given the current move toward the Middle East in perfumery these days. So many scents have “gone there,” what with lines like Montale or Amouage, so I wonder how the Rumi scent will compare!

    • Sharon C. says:


      I have a sample of Rumi I’d be happy to send your way. It’s well-done, but “not me.” Reach me at snchamness at msn dot com.