Leather Perfume – Comprehensive Guide to Best Leather Perfume

Best Leather perfume.  What a paradox, when you consider that originally perfume was used to mask the scent of hides used for gloves, boots and garments.  And the long, exalted history of leather glovemakers scenting their creations that evolved into perfumery itself.   Leather is  a difficult note to recreate in perfume and is usually trumpeted in fragrances for men, often in the name (English Leather (then), Tuscan Leather (now) while women’s leather-centric scents usually (but not always) tuck the leather note in the fragrance and leave the perfume name to the imagination.  Perhaps because, to the non-perfumista leather = Unladylike??  I don’t know if that’s a proven fact but I can tell you that on more than one occasion I’ve been complimented on my perfume (let’s say Cuir de Russie parfum, shall we?) only to have the complimenter recoil, when told it’s LEATHER, as if I’d just butchered a cow in her living room.  Done right, leather scents can be stunningly gorgeous.  Done……well..underdone?  undone? …they can give you nightmares for weeks!   But that’s a personal thing so I’m going to steer clear of bashing – I’ll just categorize them as they appear to me (a couple of them fall into more than one category).  Feel free to argue the point – but leave the whips in the drawer, okay?  I’m beat up enough!!

Normal rules – Leather centric, not just be a supporting note.  We will do a giveaway of all/most of the leather perfumes referenced in this post, and this will include some vintage treasure that you definitely want to have a shot at winning.  Details on  how to enter (more than once!) at the bottom of the post.
Bucket List Leathers: I thought  I would have a whole bunch of hard-to-find vintages on here but with the exception of vintage DiorlingBalmain’s Jolie Madame parfum, all the rest are current and have not suffered to horribly in reformulation.  The Gold Standard:  Chanel Cuir de Russie PARFUM.  It is the epitome of perfection in leather perfumery…or any perfumery, for that matter.  It doesn’t scream ‘leather!’ – it whispers ‘quiet elegance’, like a vintage Hermes Kelly handbag or a vintage Packard automobile.  Do not confuse this with the Exclusif version which, though lovely, is a totally different animal, lighter and thinner, with all the notes right up front, then boom!  you’re done.  The parfum takes its sweet time unfolding, with a burnished gold base that carries through for hours on end.  Get a sample.  See what all my fuss is about.  If you hate it, send it on to me!  Piguet Bandit.  Just because.   Germaine Cellier audaciously combined leather and jasmine (which, in her composition, reads as ‘lemon’ to my nose) to create one of the most compelling leather perfumes of all time.  Love it or hate it, it’s one you must try.   The vintage is stunning but current Bandit still has enough  structure to make it worth your while.   Mainstream Marvelous (Easier, Breezier Leathers) I’m no perfume snob but I confess to being stunned at the number of extremely well done leathers in upscale mainstream perfumery (I’m defining ‘mainstream’ as being largely available in department stores like SFA, Nordstrom, etc.  (Barneys doesn’t count – they have 9 stores).    Here are some of my favorites: Tom Ford Private Blend Tuscan Leather.  This gets  a lot of love from women and men – and deservedly so. Smooth leather, with a touch of ‘rough and ready’ sliding underneath.     Hermes Kelly Caleche.  This is one of the more ‘ladylike’ leathers around, a floral-scented handkerchief in a Kelly handbag.  I spent a lot of time trying to sneer at this one because I felt I should (don’t ask).  In the end, I gave up.  It’s pretty.  It’s also pretty interesting, too!  I found out something else kinda interesting:  you cannot wear too much of it.  Something about Kelly Caleche melds with skin – I put 4, then 8 healthy spritzes on El O…and it was there but always as a thin veil of scent.  Not so   Estee Lauder Azuree (the original – I have not tried the flankers)..a gorgeous leather chypre.  I am wearing the current (last 3 years) iteration as I type this and, another leather/jasmine combo,  it is stunningly gorgeous, with a Bronze Goddess in the Sun vibe (yah, I did the tie in).  Typical EL,  Azuree is a whole lotta lotta – administer with caution.  Two Armanis Prive: Cuir Noir and Cuir Amethyste. I would happily wear the Amethyste with the candied leather violets note – it’s Jolie Madame’s glam beauty queen cousin.   Cuir Noir gets a bit messy – there are better rose/leather combos out there but it’s still pretty – applied sparingly this could be a great ‘office leather’ scent.

On the Hoof  (Hardcore)

Some leather scents just say ‘oh, feck it’ and go straight for the skin(s).  Still on the animal?  No problem!  L’Artisan Dzing! takes you Way Past Cow, throwing the whole circus in the bottle, laughing like fiends all the way through – and you can’t help but laugh right along with ’em! Fun as it is,  Dzing! is NOT an office-friendly scent, btw.   Unless you work for Ringling.  Andy Tauer’s Lonestar Memories is a moonlit sky on the range, wrapped in a buckskin blanket.    Two Demeters: Leather and Russian Leather, go straight to the point.  If you want to smell what leather smells like, this is the place!   Bulls to the Wall?  Etat Libre d’Orange Vierges et Toreros –  this is one that should be eased into, like a matador’s pantalons.  The hybrid?  Italian leather.  i Profumi di Forenze Cuoio di Russia, more commonly known in my world as Espresso Leather.  High octane stuff!  PhD (Seriously Advanced) Leather:  Keiko Mecheri Bespoke Cuir Fauve.   Knize Ten.  (this should be on the Bucket List as well – it’s definitely a  Try).

Comprehensive Guide to Best Leather Perfume

Sweeties. The idea of ‘leather’ and ‘sweet’ – does that freak you out?  It used to freak me. But leather does really well paired with sweeter notes – done right, it can round out the edgier aspects, without turning it into a scary dessert. Among the best:  Soivohle (Liz Zorn) Leather Krem, with a rich vanilla note. Serge Lutens Sarrasins has a big ol’ load of jasmine in there, that’s true…but it’s  the leather and honey hat makes for a really intriguing pairing (this one should be spritzed lightly unless you’re an old hand at the sweets table). Lubin Idole de Lubin is bourbon-glazed leather. That’s a beautiful thing, btw.   M. Micallef Vanille Cuir is a spicy-sweet suede that is perfect for those looking to back into the schweets.  Indult Reve en Cuir is my favorite sweet leather  It’s marketed as a masculine, aggressively guyed-up in a Wooden Box for Guys.  They’re wrong.  This is perfect for a woman!  And…oooh!  a new whip on the block!  Naomi Goodsir  Cuir Velours: Brandy Alexander in a leather goblet, which sounds disgusting but only if you had to drink it.  It’s divine to wear! Flowers Pretty much all the leather perfumes have some flowers in them (well, duuuh, Anita)…but there are a couple where the flower is..leatherized.  Kelly Caleche, of course.. Neil Morris Leather Garden, a cool, rainwashed leather bouquet.  Soivohle Cordovan Rose which gorgeously juxtaposes lush red roses on Ricardo Montalban’s rich, Corinthian Leather car seat. Thierry Mugler Angel Fragrance of Leather is flowers in a leather vase. Smooth Operators If I were introducing someone to leather  and I wanted to make sure they fell in love, this is where I’d start.  And I’d start with Daim Blonde (Blonde Suede – he is NOT swearing at blondes!  I swear!)  Luscious apricot-sueded leather, it’s a soft, classy, warm scent, very accessible.  It’s got just enough of that cool Serge note to keep it from being ‘too’ friendly. It’s my favorite of the smoothies.  Cuir de Lancome is another lovely, warm scent – this time without the cool edge.  It’s one of those you reach for time and again without really knowing why – then you take a minute to really sniff it and you realize it’s a perfect leather skin scent.  This is one you can wear to the office, even if you have a crabby coworker who hates perfume.  Christian Dior La Collection Couturier Parfumeur Leather Oud.  This is typically elegant Dior, smooth and composed.   The Cool, Smooth Operators: Christian Dior Eau Sauvage.  It’s been around since The Flood – and with good reason.  It’s a perfect classic masculine that never puts a hoof wrong.  Women smell divine in this, too (I’m joking with the ‘hoof’ – this is as far from ‘hoof’ as you can get.  It’s the epitome of elegance). Caron Tabac Blond.  The woman who wears this fears nothing.  The man who wears this is one I want to know.  How Caron made tobacco and leather smell cool without smelling like Kools is a mystery – but this is another classic that is a perfect gateway into leather scents. Serge Lutens Boxeuses.  Serge does cool leather like nobody’s business – he doesn’t overplay the cool hand here, either.  It’s woody leather but not all yelling in your face! Uncle Serge can be challenging, ’tis true – but not in these scents.  They are gorgeous without being hyper-aware of themselves.  Call me crazy but I think I could wear these to an office.  Then again, I haven’t worked in an office in awhile… Once you are out of the office you might want to slip into something a bit more….S Perfumes S-eX says it best (though you can wear this in public, too – with a tailored suit it send an intriguing contradictory message), Signature VIP Room!  MPG Cuir Fetiche…like rolling around in leather sheets.

Comprehensive Guide to Best Leather Perfume

whip it!


Exotics.  These are the WOWZAs of Leatherworld, those scents that don’t persackly fit into any other category but are so stunningly different/weird/quirky/fabulous/wackadoodle that they need to be KNOWED!, y’know?   Some of these I love, some of them give me the heebejeebes…but all of them are worth getting to know.  Here are a few of my favorites:  AbdesSalaam Attar Cuio Tartaro (Tartar Leather).  With a name like that I was expecting Cossacks to come stampeding out of the bottle – instead I get a rich, complex scent that softly tickles the underside of animalic.  Montale Oude Cuir d’Arabie – this one doesn’t know whether to purr at you or bite your arm off!  That indecision is part of what makes it so interesting.  Nasomatto Duro.  I don’t like their bottles (those wooden tops are a hazmat waiting to happen) but this scent is just….stunning.  Leather, woods, spice – on a man, it goes buck-wild!  I put it on El O and it’s a damn shame he’s pissed me off so bad cuz…well, you know!  He coulda got hisself luck-ayyyy!

So that’s my list of best leather perfumes.  I’ve left a ton of scents off this post but I figured your eyeballs are dried out now – I know my fingers are worn out, as is my nose!  I’d love to know how you like your leathers.  Are there any Sacred Cow scents out there? (you know I couldn’t resist).

Enter by leaving a comment (must leave a comment to get an entry). You can get additional entries by doing any of the below listed on the widget.  Entries are closed on 3/6/13 at midnight!  Winners will be determined by a random draw.

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art: usgraphics.com

photo: longhorn cattle www.assadtexaslonghorns.com

  • elvie says:

    Ooooh finally, a leather guide! Thank You, I’m so, SOO delighted:))). I’ve only just read it through because my browser was crazy for days. You mention some irresistible ones to try.
    My favourite category these days, I find so much comfort (the sensual kind, if that makes any sense:) )in them. I love my leather spicy and a bit strong, so my favourites are Mona’s Cuir, Montale Cuir d’Arabie and also Ramon’s Mon Cuir, but sometimes I wear sweeter-softer ones like Ottoman and Dzing! too. And Bulgari Black, but I like that one more on the Man. Some days JhG Calamity J does the trick as well. But Mona’s is the one I can never tire of, it’s like a lovely slap of a gingerbread whip in my face:). Almost finished a 10 ml decant and just got another tiny one from StC, I guess that is a one-way ticket to a FB, right?
    Smoother ‘suedes’ don’t work on me, though I wanted to love Cuir de Lancome, Cuirelle or Daim Blond so much… Maybe I ‘ll grow to like them eventually.
    Okay, just decided what my SotD is gonna be. Guess what?:)
    I LOVE these guides, guys. Keep them coming!

  • Katherine says:

    Great list of leathers! One of my fave leathers not listed here is Chanel Antaeus Sport.

  • Steve Tsotras says:

    Leather is up there as one of my favorite notes, especially when it’s the prominent one. Golden Boy, Charles St., two of my favorites. And not to forget the top dog, Tuscan Leather. Would love to get my nose on some of these other fragrances. (Except Dior Leather Oud, you can definitely keep that one)

  • Laura says:

    Great post! Bottega Veneta Eau Legere is my latest favorite leather — I like it a bit more than the original.

  • Dana says:

    I’m absolutely crazy about leather. Adding some favs from my collection – In Leather Etienne Aigner (a sweet fruity leather), Hot Leather Mark Buxton (pretty much resembling Cuir Amethyste). One of my favourite suedes along with Tom Ford and Daim Blond is Citta di Kyoto by Santa Maria Novella.

  • Catherine says:

    Oooooh I have been waiting for this one!! And I saved this page when I saw it on reader and it’s taken me FOREVER to get a chance to read it! But now I’m super excited! 😀 Leather’s always been a really hard note for me (or so I thought haha) so I’m really excited to use this as a sniff guide! Daim Blonde sounds like a fabulous place for me to start 🙂

  • Caroline says:

    I really like Heeley’s Cuir Pleine Fleur.

  • CM says:

    Thanks for the leather overview! I love touch of leather in my perfume and am looking forward to exploring the ones on your list that I haven’t tried – there’s a lot there!

  • mim666 says:

    Thanks for the overview and reviews, and draw!
    I like PG Cuir d’Iris, and love Cuir Amethyste! Have none of it though, but have a decant of Duro which is awesome but sometimes a little too round, sweet, and smooth. I love layering it with Tauer Incense Extreme. Lonestar Memories just doesn’t work on me, sadly.

    I don’t get ‘leather’ from Cuir Beluga even though it’s in the name, it’s a big fluffy heliotrope-vanilla cloud with a certain smoothness which is I guess suedelike? doesn’t smell like actual suede, more of a texture. Bottega Veneta is lovely too.

    But have not tried most of these.
    AbdesSalaam Attar Cuio Tartaro is probably the most intriguing to me….I feel like I’mm biased against the ‘classics’ and in favor of exotics, but then reading about Knize Ten and Leather Krem…hmmm….all the sweeties really, Cuir de Russie too just to know what everyone is talking about…

  • Emily S says:

    I agree with Angelique– this blog is an enabler! I’ve been contemplating Cuir de Russie (is it for me? Isn’t it? Can I afford it?), but your beautiful words pushed me right over the edge; I’m getting it!

  • Karen Kinkel says:

    My favortie leather scents are Cuire de Lancôme for the sweet conforting part you can use whenever you need a soothing scent. Bandit if I need to be taken seriously by people who do not know me (for example a banker). Cuir de Russie combined with féminité du bois before a public performance. Azurée d’EL if I need to chase away depressing bad wheather.

  • Das says:

    Another great compilation that I’ll use as I explore this note. Thank you! I’ve only sampled 2-3 leather scents so far, so many more to go!

    I never categorize Dzing!, one of my 5-star perfumes, as a leather, but yes, it’s got that.
    I do Not pick up on in-your-face animal notes, so it makes me nervous that other people do … but not nervous enough, because I wear it whenever and wherever!!

  • kizzers says:

    Late to the party, sorry! Bandit is my first leather, and I love it and wear it often. I also have Bottega Veneta, the body lotion is divine too. I have tried to wear Kelly Caleche but something in there gives me a whopping headache. I have a sample of Cuir de Russie (new Exclusifs line) but haven’t given it much time, now I’m curious to get a sample of the Parfum…

  • Sonia says:

    I am new to the perfumista world but am loving it. I do love Bandit, especially the Vintage one. Want to try Tabac Blond and yes, you have added many others to my must try list. Thank you (I think?).
    I wanted to mention Ramon Monegal’s Mon Cuir- It is definitely on the more approachable side but I have had people stop and ask me what are you wearing? Trust me that does not happen often to me- perhaps I am only in my perfumista infancy and more is to come but it does seem to be lovely and yet has the leather- to me it is a way to sneak in the cuero (leather)!

  • Elia says:

    My favourite leather is Montale Aoud Cuir d’Arabie.
    I like Leather Oud. Tuscan Leather is okay but there’s a sickly sweetness in the undertone.
    M has that brutal opening to it. And Roja Dove’s Fetish pour Homme is a lovely leather.
    Knize Ten is rightly a staple.

    Lonestar Memories is all smoke no leather. I don’t see how birch tar can be classified as leather.

    I look forward to trying Chanel Cuir de Russie most. There are others on the to try list obviously but the Chanel is so highly regarded that I feel left out.

  • Kacey says:

    Leather is one of my very favorite notes! I haven’t tried most of the ones you’ve mentioned, but I’ll toss out another shout out to Bottega Veneta (very popular in these comments!). I find Guerlain Cuir Beluga also falls along those same lines of lovely ladylike suede. Other faves include Bvlgari Black – hot leather carseats, rubber, and vanilla – and it’s slightly quieter, more sophisticated, un-rubberized sibling VC&A Midnight in Paris (and gosh is that bottle gorgeous). You’ve got me REALLY curious about the Cuir de Russie parfum! Thanks for the drawing and awesome post. : )

  • Jennifer Smith says:

    I like leather quite a bit .Usually not the kind found on the girls side though . However my Dad and my brother have “taken over ” a couple of my “finds” Both wear Quarum and Dad also wears Bvlgari Black. As I don’t think they would like it if a girl was wearring “their scent” I refrain when I’m around them.
    I like EL Azuree from the ladies side .Somehow my nose doesn’t seem to pick up suede all that much in scents , I usually smell amber &/or flowers. Apparently I need Birch Tar for a proper leather ‘fume.
    Thanks for the drawing .I thought I had posted a reply on here yesterday but I didn’t see it when I scrolled up and down. So I probably got distracted on ebay or something…

  • TaffyJ says:

    I second Chambre Noire mentioned above. It is gorgeous; the leather isn’t front and center, but more like wafting from a well-worn leather leash. (I am a dog lover; that’s a compliment.)
    I love Ann Gerard’s Cuir de Nacre…on me, it tends to be a skin scent with divine little pops of leather loveliness.

  • Maria B. says:

    Someone mentioned Lanvin Scandal in the vintage leather category. I second that. And Jolie Madame (vintage version) and Diorling, mmm.

  • CC ... says:

    What a great list. Of the leathers I’ve tried (need to try more of them) my favorites are Cuir de Lancôme, J’ai Osé and Cabochard. I would love to sample these and thanks for the generous draw!

  • Thalia says:

    I LOVE leathers! Bottega Veneta is really lovely, but my holy grail (until I find a holier one, of course) is plain old Cabochard EDP. I own a giant bottle of the modern version, and a micro-mini of the vintage — and shamefully, perhaps, I like the modern more. The old is beautiful but less distinctive; the leather is there, but it’s in a plush bed of vintage perfmuniness. The modern is very sharp, with loads of leather and pipe tobacco.

  • bridget C says:

    I would LOVE to try a bunch of these! Here’s hoping lady luck looks my way

  • Anney says:

    I also love Villainess – very sweaty leather!

  • jerrica says:

    my first and only leather perfume was liz by bpal, from their hellboy collection. i would love to try these others!

  • I need to find my perfect leather. I’m one of those oddballs for whom Cuir de Russie didn’t work at all. Bandit may be a bit too green for me, too. And Montale’s Oud Cuir d’Arabie wasn’t a hit either. I’m hoping Boxeuses or Lubin’s Idole might be it but I have to get samples. Thanks so much for the useful guide!

  • Perfumista8 says:

    I found out about Dzing! not being office friendly the hard way. I may have even shared the story here a couple years ago when I was a really new newbie. Let’s just say I learned quickly not to sample a new perfume on my way out the door, going to work. I love leather perfumes and now I have 4 new ones on my “to try” list. Thanks for the comprehensive list & descriptions!

  • Dubaiscents says:

    I used to be one of those people who would avoid leather scents like the plague but, it was more the idea of them not the scent. Now I can’t get enough. I love Cuir de Lancôme and Parfums de Empire Equistrius. Thanks for another wonderful guide!

  • cj says:

    Cuir de Lancome is possibly my favourite scent period. So gorgeous. Leather is definitely a favourite note, and I’ve liked most of what I’ve tried, other than a few that had too much of a smoked sausage thing going on. I really need to try the parfum version of Cuir de Russie because, while the edt is really beautiful, I find it a bit too clean, austere and sharp. I definitely don’t get the barnyard effect that some others do. The parfum seems like it could be perfect. I love the sound of its “burnished gold base,” as you describe it! I would also love to get my hands on a few drops of vintage Tabac Blond to try some day. There’s a bottle on ebay right now, with bidding starting at $500. yikes. Thanks for all the sampling ideas, and the wonderful draw!

  • Gisela says:

    Chanel’s Cuir de Russie is my favorite – I love to layer the extrait over the EdT.

  • cesar says:

    have you tried Xerjoff Homme?

  • thegoddessrena says:

    Cuir d’Iris, Costume National 21, Mythique, Robert Piguet’s Calypso, and L’Hetre Reve are all on my to-buy list. Anxiously awaiting my tax refund so I can go perfume shopping

  • Audrey says:

    I think Lonestar Memories is my favorite leather scent. Patchouli 24 by Le Labo is also leathery!

  • Joani says:

    My favorite leather would have to be Mona di Orio Cuir

  • wefadetogray says:

    I dont know much about leather in perfumes so thanks for this comprehensive list. I have only tried cuir ottoman, bottega bentta and mona’s cuir. I would love to try S-eX 🙂
    thanks for the giveaway

  • Maureen says:

    I love Bottega Veneta and Chambre Noir. i have not tried any of the other scents, but would love to, especially the Chanel and Lancome. Great Post!!!!

  • Jane says:

    Hmmmm, love them all! Still looking for the one that stays raunchy on my skin, which tends to sweeten things up. Thanks for the draw!

  • Holly F. says:

    I LOVE leather, and Kelly Caleche was the one that made me realize this, years ago. From there I went straight to Bandit, with no looking back! I adore many from this list, and all those I don’t adore, I just haven’t tried yet, it seems!

  • l ryan says:

    yummmm, leather. recently sampled Cuir de Nacre and TF’s White Suede. i’ve been layering both with A Dozen Roses ‘Gold Rush’…guess i can’t leave well enough alone! Daim Blond is my next FB. which probably means i should try the Bottega. also, very interested i the violet/ leather combo. please enter me in the super- generous draw.

  • Alexandra says:

    Oh I do like alittle bit of leather in my scent! Cuir Ottoman is an absolute favourite, closely followed by the Tom Ford and I save Cuir de Lancome for quiet days.

  • Lorinda says:

    Leather scents got me interested in perfume…now I have a small amount of some of the one mentioned above in vintage, but never feel like it is the right time to wear them! But yet again after reading one of the reviews I have a whole new list for samples.

  • Eloise says:

    Strange Invisible Perfumes’ Black Rosette is my favorite! Lasts forever on your skin, unlike some of the natural perfumes, too. Interested to sample some of these you mentioned…. Great post.

  • Amy V says:

    I’m embarrassed to say I don’t think I’ve tried a single scent on the list! Man, I hope I win the sample pack so I can remedy the situation.

    A few leathery scents which I have tried and liked: Eau Sauvage Fraicheur Cuir (although a certain someone commented I smelled like an old man, excuuuse me!), ELDO’s Rien, and Smell Bent’s Violet Tendencies, which is deliciously butch and I’d wear it for the name alone…

  • Demeter actually has three leathers in its current lineup: Russian Leather, Saddle, and Riding Crop. Russian Leather is the best of them, sweet and rich and deeply floral (though with little development).

    Etat Libre d’Orange has a great leather, Tom of Finland, very friendly and approachable.

    Jacomo’s Art Collection #2 smells like a birthday cake made of leather, complete with vanilla frosting and freshly extinguished candles.

    I consider Goutal’s Eau de Fier to be (among other things) a leather scent: all that birch tar amidst the black tea and burning tires.

  • Katrin says:

    I used to think that leather is not my thing. (Based on perhaps CdR), but then I tried Daim Blond, and was carried away. All in all, I prefer drier leather scents, like Bandit, Jolie Madame (vintage extrait is one of my all time favourites) and of course, Cabochard!!! I just ordered a bottle of MIss Balmain and can’t wait to try it. I am also curious about some other leather scents like PG’s Cuir d’ Iris and Lonestar Memories, Dzing and Azuree.

  • Anna says:

    Cabochard Gres is one I hesitate to wear to work, but you best believe I douse myself on the weekend and let the scent waft liberally around me in a cloud of sharp leathery goodness.

  • Dionne says:

    Leather and I don’t always get along (it’s one of the great travesties of the universe that CdR is all outhouse-y on my skin) but I love it when I find one that works. Cuir Ottoman and Bottega Veneta are on opposite ends of the spectrum from each other, but both are woooonderful.

  • shaney says:

    THANK YOU FOR THIS POST! I’ve needed this guide forever! I’m definitely a fan of Cuir de Russie, but I’ve never tried the parfum. I have been DYING to try Dzing!, Daim Blond, and Bandit for some time, Thank you for the draw!

  • Whitaker says:

    One of my leather faves has to be Jules!

  • Lynley says:

    I do believe, that after all is said and done, that leather is my favourite perfume note. In any form. And despite the probably 10-15 fb leathers I have and love (even though some tend to make me wheeze a little), there are still a decent amount on your list I’ve yet to try! It’s also the type of frag I initiate most of the men I know into wearing (you ride a huge bike, have tats, wear leathers, and smell like ‘One Million’?! Huh? Come with me I want you to try this… 😉 ) so far I’ve spread the love and made the world a better, leather-smelling place with Vierges et Toreros (I think the name sold it), Lonestar Memories (he calls it Brokeback Memories. Lol), Knize Ten, and Cuir Ottoman. Some of my faves are the above, and Memoir, cuir fauve, mdo’s cuir, cuir de lancome, CdR… Hmm, I guess I’m kinda easy pleased when it comes to leather 😉

  • EileenS says:

    Great list! You’ve given me a lot of ideas. I’ve tried one or two from each of your categories but haven’t found the perfect leather scent yet. Just means i need to try more scents! 😉

    You haven’t listed Psychotrope by Parfumerie Generale which was my gateway leather scent — it has enough going on that the leather sneaks up on you before you have a chance to run away…

  • jirish says:

    Love leather! To the ones you’ve already mentioned, I would add Cuir Ottoman and Cuir Mauresque.

  • EchoCharlie says:

    Bandit..is the only one I own and have smelled. I bought myself a wee bottle of the extrait for my birthday last year and I quite love it..I think I am a leather type of gal..I would love to explore it some more. 🙂

  • Amer says:

    I was surprised that Doblis and Chambre Noire didn’t show up in your list.

    • Em says:

      Is THAT what Chambre Noir is? I need to re-smell my sample, clearly!

      • Amer says:

        leather and labdanum all the way. Some people get a powerful sandalwood as well but on my skin it is not the star of the show.

        Sorry for the late reply

  • solanace says:

    Jolie Madame is one of my all time favorites, and the current version kills me inside. These people hae no values. It’s good to work, and I don’t mean that as a compliment. I’m gonna try Cuir Ametiste, hoping it will be the Armani for me. Also love Cuir de Russie EDT, but I’d need a bucket of it. You got me thinking about the parfume, now I’ll have to try it, among a few others in this very interesting list.

  • poodle says:

    I’m another one who wears Dzing! to work. I am just starting to explore leather in fragrance and Lonestar Memories is a keeper as is Cuir de Lancôme.

  • julie says:

    Thank you for doing these guides by note. I am a perfume newb and I love having a starting point. The only one of these I have smelled is Tuscan Leather and it was very interesting.

  • Lynne Marie says:

    Love Leather ( mostly, although Bandit had me sneezing the minute I took the cap off the bottle, first time THAT has happened). I just wore Daim Blonde to work yesterday, it brings out the German Ice Princess in me. I also recently fell head over heels for Cuir Fetiche and am eking out the small sample that I have. Great guide, Anita – I’ve added a bunch to my “must smell” list!!

  • MariaA says:

    Cuir de Lancome and Bandit are my absolute favorites and very soon Daim Blonde will find her way to my cupboard! Lovely selection of leather fragrances!!

  • Farouche says:

    I’m a leather lover and have bottles of the following: Cuir de Russie, Cuir de Lancôme, Tabac Blonde, Daim Blond, Bandit, and Jolie Madame. It is such a great note in the fall and winter!

  • Austenfan says:

    Lovely post, but I think Dzing! is perfectly office appropriate. I wear it it work quite regularly and haven’t had any odd comments.
    Some leathers I would add are: Etat Libre d’Orange Rien, which can clear a room if over applied. This is strong stuff, utterly lovely and very memorable. Histoires de Parfums 1740, an immortelle leather with a wonderful ambery drydown.
    Most of the others I love have already been mentioned.

  • More good sweet leathers: Midnight in Paris, Cuir Mauresque, Visa (which I just tried for the first time on skin, what a crazy perfume)

    My HG leather is Cuir de Lancome, hands down.

  • Kelsey A says:

    I also really love Bottega Veneta! Mmmm leathery goodness…

  • Thanks for the draw! The leathers I’ve tried and really liked so far are Bugari Black, Cuir Venenum, Idole (though get more saffron and woods than leather), Cuir Fetiche, and Boxeuses. I was sniffing around at Neiman Marcus last weekend and revisited Bottega Veneta, and I think a bottle will be coming home with me.. I don’t know when, but it will.

    My Boxeuses sample accidentally went through the wash in the pocket of my jeans, and I didn’t realize it until I was putting my laundry away and noticed that one of my shirts smelled particularly good. Then I found the empty vial nestled in said shirt. Damn shame a bottle is like $300 on SL’s website, so it will probably not be mine anytime soon.

    I’ve been really wanting to try Daim Blond, Cuir Mauresque, and Cuir Ottoman. And Cuir de Lancome.. and Cuir de Russie.. and Bandit. And I need to revisit Jolie Madame. I’d tried it a couple of times before but found that the violet overwhelmed everything else for me. But I could take the violet in Boxeuses, so it might be worth a sniff again.

  • Marie C says:

    Love this list! I’m definitely going to make it a point to try several of these. Would love to be entered in the draw!

  • rosiegreen62 says:

    I love Jolie Madame.I have an older bottle of the parfum. I didn’t realize till I read your post that it is considered a leather perfume. Kelly Caleche was beautiful in the bottle but headache inducing on my skin. Now you have made it impossible for me not to try some leather perfumes. I always enjoy your posts.

  • Tiara says:

    Leather isn’t a note I seek out. Ever. Don’t like walking into a leather goods store and always avoided the tack room at my uncle’s farm unless forced to do so. The only one of these I’ve ever liked and worn more than once is Leather Krem but the smoke note at the top made me anxious for the first 20 minutes or so. I do like Traversee du Bosphore but it’s such a wimpy leather I’m not sure it even counts.

  • Liz K says:

    I used to think I liked leathers until I tried Lonestar Memories (sorry, but it just makes me gag. is it the birchtar?). I do like Bottega Veneta and Kelly Caliche but find very little leather in the KC. Guess I have a bunch I need to try.

  • E.Lime says:

    I love Dzing! And my co-workers have never complained… 🙂

  • Tora says:

    As always, I just love reading your Best of Series. Your writing makes me laugh and learn! I have a few drops still of Vintage Tabac Blond, which is transportive and so nostalgic. I look forward to a whole new sample/decant order to explore this leathery world. Oh, and I think Le Labo Patchouli 24 has a bit of a lovely leather accord, at least for me it does. Thank you for all this great information!!!!

  • dinazad says:

    I love and wear Knize Ten, Bandit, Jolie Madame, Bottega Veneta, Cuir de Lancome, Lonestar Memories….. I just love leather! But Dzing? Leather? Big leather? Huh??? I generally get a gentle whiff of….. cardboard?…. for a split second, before it disappears – still within that split second. Ah well – I still have Knize to cuddle up with.

  • turquoisewater says:

    Mmmmmm…. I looooove leathaahhhh…! Cuir de Russie has to be my current favorite, although I do not have a fb yet, and now I must, must must try (and then, therefore will probably have to have) the parfum. So many on this list I need to try! Of bottles I own, Azuree and Daim Blond are my faves – in fact, I will wear Daim Blond today. Thank you for the draw!

  • fleurdelys says:

    Bal a Versailles is a favorite leather fragrance; it’s got that horse-saddle-in-a-bottle note that Dzing! also has. Thanks for the drawing!

  • tammy says:

    Dearest Musette, are you trying to see how much Coke my laptop can have spewed all over it before it succumbs?? Bulls to the wall..I am laughing so hard I’m wheezing over here…

    I should love leather scents, because I adore the scent of leather in all forms. I huff my leather gloves especially on a regular basis. But the leather perfumes I’ve tried so far go sour on me. Sharp maybe a better word than sour. Iris goes sour on me, leather is more sharp. Since so many leather scents have iris in them, I wonder if that’s the issue?

    Now one perfume I wore the absolute hell out of in my younger days was the original Fendi. (Pauses a moment to wipe the tears away) I was shocked last year to see this classified as a leather, since I don’t remember it as such at all. Lawd lawd LAWWD did I love that. I’d give my left nu….I’d really love to smell it again.

    Thanks so much for such a fun post! Would love to sample some of these!

  • Merlin says:

    I’m one of the exceptions as I’m not all that fond of Daim Blonde – there is something too standoffish about it. I like the iris-soft-leather combo in Cuir Ottoman but find Bottega Veneta a bit more upbeat. I too find the Chanel Exclusif thin and short-lived and would love to try the parfum. I would also love to try the Lancolm but I cannot find it anywhere in my country!

  • Anna says:

    I’d love to sniff/douse myself in some vintage Jolie Madame. The current EdT is so readily available and the price so attractive, but I’ve resisted as I fear it would only serve to tease me and last on my skin approximately 3 minutes. I do love Cuir de Lancome and have no regrets owning a full bottle, though it is so close to the skin and fades on me quickly. I feel like a million bucks wearing it, however.

  • Irina says:

    I love leather scents, my favs are Cuir Ottoman and Daim Blond and I dream to try the Cuir de Russie in perfume
    beautiful list, Musette, thank you

  • Michelle says:

    My fickle nose has been turning up at leather lately. My beloved Cuir de Lancome went awry! Or maybe I’m just getting better at knowing the difference between a scent I love in the bottle and on my skin. Oh, the ups and downs of burgeoning parfumista!

  • malsnano86 says:

    Am a Leather Wimp. I love my Cuir de Lancome (should I go buy a second backup bottle? because really when I don’t know what to wear, it’s the one I wind up choosing. and it’s d/c. and my first bottle is half gone, even with all the other stuff I wear.), and I adore vintage Jolie Madame parfum (currently have four leetle bottles in the cabinet), and I like that PdE Cuir Ottoman, though I think that’s more about the amber than the leather anyway. But Bandit skeers me, and Cuir de Russie is still Virtual Cattle Working Pens for me – I know fer sure because I retested it a couple of weeks ago, thinking that perhaps my nose had matured somewhat.


    There’s a leather note in Tabac Aurea that goes a long way to recalling my high school boyfriend for me, via leather bomber jacket. And I do love the leather-animalic bits in Memoir Woman.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Mals! So glad you mentioned the Memoir Woman — I’d forgotten it has that bit of leather vibe to it. (Of course, what DOESN’T it have in it? I lovingly call it the “everything but the kitchen sink” Amouage, ha!).

  • Cybele says:

    For leather I love Cuir de Russie and Rien by Etat Libre Orange

  • Ramona says:

    I have and love both Daim Blonde and Bottega Veneta and my next leather will be Parfum d’Empire Cuir Ottoman. There are many on your list I need to have a sniff of. Thanks for the great post- I have just gotten into perfume in the last couple of years and have been amazed at the fact I tend to gravitate towards leather, spice, and tobacco.

  • Diana Ross says:

    I’ve been saying for a few months now how I need to delve into the leather note a bit more.I’m a fan of TF Tuscan Leather, but the dry down is just a little on the sweet side for me. I sampled AT lonestar Memories and liked that one enough that it went on my Buy List last year (doesn’t that list excede life expectancy or what?!)

    I have a coworker who wears bandit… so that’s all hers. I love Azuree, and bought a knock-off oil at a stand in the mall. I should find the real deal of that. And the Chanel is now on the sniff list.

    What about Botega Veneta? My perfumista Jedi Master fell in love with that last year, but this padawan can’t get much leather out of that one. Anyone else think that’s a leather scent?

    • Connie says:

      I have some vintage Azuree at home and both that and the current version have definite leathe rnotes on both me and my mother (who is the owner of the bottle).
      Bandit, huh? Sounds like your coworker has good taste.

  • FearsMice says:

    I blame Andy Tauer, really. It was his Lonestar Memories that got me started down the whole niche/perfumista path in the first place… Now, I love leathers of all kinds: smoky, sweet, floral, smooth… Now I want to try those Exotics, and definitely must try the CdR in parfum!

  • lucasai says:

    I’m not a leather lover. The only leather I truly love is Parfum d’Empire Cuir Ottoman.

  • Barbara says:

    Have not explored leathers, so if I won the draw it would be a start.

  • RuthF says:

    Carner Barcelona is nice. I’d love to try all of these!

  • Joan says:

    Another vote for Cuir de Russie. Also Cuir de Lancome, Dzing!, Patchouli 24 (it’s at least as much leather as patchouli), Cuir Venenum, Bottega Veneta, and vintage Jolie Madame.

    And this: “S Perfumes S-eX says it best (though you can wear this in public, too – with a tailored suit it send an intriguing contradictory message)”. It took me a while to appreciate S-eX, but I think 8 mL spray decants of both are in my near future.

  • Matt says:

    I like leathers in any form: Dior Homme, Bvlgari Black, Daim Blond, Traversée du Bosphore.

    But the one I bought for its leather is CUIR D’IRIS, from PARFUMERIE GÉNÉRALE.

    What a gorgeous thing. It’s dry, animalic, sharp and a little flowery on the opening, but after a while it becomes so smooth and warm… Love!


  • Lisa D says:

    I’m chiming in with some more love for Bottega Veneta, which was a very pleasant surprise. I was expecting much more pretty, much less leather, but it turned out to be a very wearable (i.e. no hardcore hoof or skin) yet clearly leather scent. I think Kelly Caleche is quite pretty, too. Cuir de Russie and Cuir de Lancome are definite classics.

  • Millions says:

    ooooh, so many loves of mine in this post – starting with Bandit and Idole…. the few others I’ve missed were Mona’s Cuir, the beautiful mainstream of Bottega Veneta, Heeley Cuir Pleine Fleur, Frederic Malle’s Parfum de Therese and Parfum d’Empire Cuir Ottoman.

  • Allison says:

    LOVE cuir de russie

  • Janice says:

    I avoided leather scents for a long time—a few like Bandit and even Cuir de Russie were intimidating the first time around. But I’ve started exploring, and favorites so far are Sharif, Cuir Ottoman, Cuir Velours, Cuir Fetiche, Ann Gerard Cuir de Nacre (iris and suede), and Cuir Noir (I find a sort of odd synthetic-woody note in the drydown that’s annoying, but the opening is just gorgeous, as smooth as whipped-cream-covered hot chocolate). And I confess I’ve worn Dzing! to the office. So many more to try…

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Janice! So glad you mentioned the Cuir de Nacre. A perfume pal sent me some of this to try and I really adore it. Thanks!

    • Connie says:

      I completely get what you mean about Bandit being intimidating. the first time I tried it, maybe three years ago, I was repulsed. The second time, maybe a few months ago, I was only weirded out. And then I tried it recently (I’ve only really gotten into perfume in the past year) and it was great! It felt so strong and brutal, but still beautiful.

  • Jackie b says:

    I love many of these fragrances, but BR (before rabbit hole) I didn’t get what it was I loved…leather!
    From Cuir de Russie… must try the Parfum, Cuir Ottoman, Bottega Veneta and Knize on my husband.
    But have never sampled the Wowzas on your list.
    OK, time to graduate to grownup leathers!

  • FeralJasmine says:

    Love Knize 10, deeply love Bandit. I can’t wear Tuscan Leather myself, and find it way too masculine for me, but it’s my favorite thing to dab on my husband on special occasions or fireside evenings. Thanks for hosting the draw.
    BTW, Sarrasins is my favorite jasmine and one of my favorite perfumes, and I never consciously realized that leather is part of the dark growl. For someone who started with light soliflores, I’ve rapidly developed an obsession with the animalics.

  • hajusuuri says:

    I’m still exploring leather but I do own several FBs – Kelly Caleche, Bottega and apparently, Prada Infusion d’Iris EDP Absolue is considered a leather at least according to one of Angela’s posts over at NST a few months ago. I have samples of SL Daim Blond and Boxeuses and love them both, but alas, not FBs as yet. Cuir de Russie did not work for me – too barnyard smelling.

    • ojaddicte says:

      I had no idea Infusion d’Iris Absolue is considered a leather. It’s a spring\summer staple for me. Hmmm, I must re-sniff.

  • Tony says:

    Leather scents! Thank u for this article , it’s one of my fav notes in perfume, together with incense , oud, tobacco and amber! I would love to try all the ones u listed!!! Thank u for the wonderful draw, fingers crossed.

  • Nemo says:

    I’ve been meaning to explore leather scents for a while, starting with Cuir de Russie just because I have heard so much about it. Thanks for the ideas for other perfumes to try, and thanks for the giveaway!

  • PianoGirl says:

    I don’t own any FB of leather-centric scents yet. Still looking for the perfect one. But sampling is so much fun! Among the favorites so far are: Cuir de Russie and Dzing! Last weekend discovery – Mona’s Cuir. Stunning. I am very curious about 2 Santa Maria di Novella leather scents: Peau d’Espagne and Nostalgia.

  • nozknoz says:

    I really, really love leathers! In addition to some already mentioned, I have to praise PG Cuir Venenum and Heeley Cuir Pleine Fleur, and I’d add Lanvin Scandal to the vintage category. I think I’d count the wonderful Via del Profumo Sharif as leather, too. Random thought: I really wish Amouage would do a leather! Please!

  • lorrainetao says:

    Some leathers smell synthetic to me (Bandit) and others smell incredibly realistic (Lonestar Memories, Cuir Ottoman). I favour the realistic ones and love the ones where leather is a part of the composition, not the only point (Cuir de Lancome, Cuir de Russie). Thanks for the draw!

  • Amy K says:

    My favorites are Cuir Beluga and Cuir Ottoman. I prefer my leathers to be more of a soft suede with lots of vanilla, apparently.

    • Mariekel says:

      Leatttthhhhherrrr…..One of my very favourite notes. i will almost always jump at a new perfume if I see references to the ol’ buckskin. Odd, since I have been vegetarian since the age of twelve…

      My dearest M, where is the extraordinary Tabac Blond?? To me, far more leather than tabac. I adore the parfum from any year (so there Tania!). And Cuir Ottoman is a must: an absolutely perfect iteration of the theme. I also love Bandit parfum — one big horsewhip of a fragrance! Honorable mentions go to the deliciously skanky Dior Leather Oud, Azuree and Cuir Mauresque. And, of course, no leather list is complete without the near mythical Doblis…

      • Mariekel says:

        OOPS. I apologize fully for slandering you — missed the Tabac Blond in your wonderful post. That’s what I get for reading when I should be sleeping.

  • Ninara Poll says:

    “Eased into, like a matador’s pantalones”… that made me giggle. And remember that my abuelito took me to a bullfight in the D.F. when I was a teenager. It turned out to be one of the worst in the history of the sport (the bulls were sick to the point of near death, and from what I heard after the matadores didn’t want to fight them but went ahead and did so very unhappily), but afterwards, walking from the arena to the car, one of the matadores, who was only a few years older than I was at the time and quite handsome, kept flirting with me. 🙂 Anyhow, I’m not wanting to start a debate on the ethics of bullfighting, I just wanted to pass along a memory… as to the actual perfumes, I know I’ve sniffed Cuir de Russie and Bandit, but bizarrely I have no memory of them at all! Azuree is fickle on my skin; sometimes it is GAWHGEOUS, sometimes it beats me into migraine-ridden submission with olfactory shards that never quite coalesce into that GAWHGESSNESS. Thank you for hosting the draw!


  • alyatse says:

    Type B by Henrik Vibskov is a smoky leather and Traversee du Bosphore by L’Artisan Parfumeur is a sweet delicate feminine leather. Have to try lots from your list – thank you for writing it!

  • chelsea says:

    Reading this makes me want to pull out my bottle of daim blonde! I’m reaching more for my springy scents right now, hoping to force the season, but you’re making leather sound really good.

  • Civet says:

    Hey ojaddicte,, I love Bottega veneta and Cuir de Lancôme too. All these leathers sound wonderful.

  • spiker says:

    Now I definitely need to wear Cuir de Russie tomorrow. The only problem is that after that lovely description, I’m going to need to try the parfum!

  • ojaddicte says:

    I love Bottega Veneta, (more suede than leather, I guess), and Cuir de Lancome. I need to expand my leather repertoire. 😉
    Thanks for the draw!

  • David Herkt says:

    Good list. I’m a fan of both the Chanel Cuir de Russie and Germaine Cellier’s wonderful Bandit (reformulation included). Cellier is one of my favourite perfumiers and vintage samples are worth while seeking out. Bandit is one of her best.

  • Ann says:

    Hiya, sweetie! Hope you’re doing better and hanging in there! Several of those on your list, namely Daim Blond and the Lancome, were what finally got me on the leather train. I’m still not a fully card-carrying leather lover, but I’m a darned sight further along than I used to be. I also like the Bottega Veneta. Just tried the Eau Legere the other day and it didn’t grab me so much, so think I’ll just stick with the original. Thanks, dear M, and of course, no draw for me.

    • dinazad says:

      Seconding Bottega Veneta. It’s like a Bottega Veneta bag – goes with anything, looks/smells good in any situation. It’s just a mite less expensive than the bag….. I find it similar to Daim Blond, but not as sweet and fruity, thankfully (there are definitely too many overrip apricots in Daim Blond’s suede bag for my taste).

  • Nancysg says:

    I have a sample of Bandit. Never realized it was a leather scent. Must give it a try now.

  • Rina says:

    Hmm..I got Kelly Caleche, and just couldn’t bring myself to wear it. It just didn’t sound like me. After this, I will have to reexamine. Love me some leather! Question: I’ve only seen the CdR in l’Exclusif. Where would I find the parfum? And Dzing! is on my bucket list… Thanks!

  • Angelique says:

    One of these days, I’m going to HAVE to stop reading this blog. I’m already up to 60 scents that I just MUST try, and my budget is going buck wild. Still, it won’t be today that I stop reading because Leather … well, that’s just My Thing … an essential part of who I am and what evokes memories of me (yep. Lash of Whip included.) The Chanel Cuir de Russie Parfum … that’s an Absolute Must Try. Lovvvvveeee the very idea!

  • Cat Schultz says:

    I love Tom Ford’s Tuscan Leather and thanks to your post I have a ton more leather scents to try!!!

  • Connie says:

    I really like Habanita, its very comforting, warm, a bit smoky. Dangerous in a 1920s sort of way. I also like ELO’s Putain des Palaces. But not to wear. More because it tells a story, the way you feel when you wander around someone else’s room and see all their things and have a peep into their life. Knize 10 and Bandit are pretty great.
    Thanks for the post!

  • Wendy says:

    Just ordered a decant of Bandit. I have typically avoided leather as a note, but I think I could easily fall in love with a sweet leather perfume… Just have to find the right one.