Moroccan Leather

Memo Paris black white and gold promo card and test spray on a jade dyed leather wallet bought in Marrakech.

If leather grew on trees, with patent leaves on on suede stems–
This is the finest full grain, sultry green, almost pulpy, tanned by smoke bark plants and orange blossom, with smooth iris and ginger underneath.

Both animalic and verdant, yet also clean and polished. I really like it.
Lasts half the day a few inches off the skin, and turns all clothing to mossy nubuck hide for a week.

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A great tune by Moroccan artist Chawki-

Urban Hero

Mini flask of pale green eau on a brown leather jacket.

Leather with nice manners.

Peppery sweet limes ease into smooth wood, wrapped in a bomber jacket with a satin ambergris lining.

Not pushy, but not a pushover, either. The spicy citrus stays light and refreshing in personal space, but the animalics laying just above the skin have some weight.

I’d chat him up if he sat next to me on the subway–

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Zut

Mini bottle shaped like bare-from-the-waist-down legs with a dress puddled at the feet, and a pink and green box with gold accents. The original bottles had frosted panties with polka-dots and stripes.

Such a fun surprise!
I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this clever little multi-faceted cassis that shifts to vanilla leather and jasmine incense then powdery tonka musk and back again.

Bergamot makes for a fresh opening, with ylang-ylang and lily-of-the-valley keeping it sweet and licorice-ish for a good half hour. Then the florals get complicated and ever changing–a bit of suede from the marigold, rose tinged sandalwood, creamy orris dust–held to personal space for half the day by the black currant jam.

Unisex, cheerful, and very high end.
There’s a Guerlain vibe to the airy sweetness, yet the base is grounded with an earthy Chanel weight–and it’s all combined with a quirky hit of Lolita Lempicka gourmand.
I can’t help but love it.

Elsa Schiaparelli–a French designer who worked with surrealist artists Marcel Vertes and Salvador Dali–put this out in the 1940’s (though I’ve seen it cited 1937, too) as the bottom half to Shocking’s torso. It was re-released in the late nineties, and is apparently out of production, but unopened boxes are still available at reasonable prices.
I may have to get a big bottle.

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Qaa’ed

Gold diamond stamped sleeved bottle and matte black canister.

Lattafa Perfumes (out of the United Arab Emirates) can be found fairly easily online or in the beauty section of import shops at great prices–Qaa’ed cost me less than a tub of pistachio halva.
And while the eau doesn’t exactly smell rich, there’s some good spiced leather packed in the glitzy bottle.

Opens with a big dose of amber cinnamon sweetened with vanilla, then five minutes in cardamom carries in the leather–new work boots with rubber soles and saffron suede car coats lined with polyester–a bit synthetic, but made to last.
And the woods on the bottom do last, even through a hot bath, spicy oud and buckskin still sweet the next day.

Could be an affordable alternative to Bvlgari Black, especially in autumn–the cool florals replaced with warmth.

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Love this collaboration from these two Dubai based musicians.

Autumn Rhythm

Paper test cutout of Chris Collins black and copper bottle, sample spray and fallen leaves.

Dry sweet musk over soft leather and woods, dusted with gourmet hot cocoa powder.
Comforting yet elegant–there’s a lovely walk-through-the-arboretum feel, with city bustle not too far off.

(If Tauer’s L’Air des Alpes Suisse is your winter in a bottle, Autumn Rhythm might be your fall.)

Greener on skin than on clothing, and makes rough cotton feel like fine spun cashmere.
High end prices, but big boss performance–two small sprays fill social distance and beyond with trailers that last all day.

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An autumn song:

Italian Leather

Memo black, white and gold promo card with sample spray, held in a white leather glove.

The ad says a lot of pretty things involving fancy car interiors and the Roman countryside, but I get old diner next to a truck stop–chocolate ice cream sundaes, chrome and red leather bar stools, cigarette smoke and Trident gum–in the best way.

Brash and loud at the start, then melting into sweetness, the leather is almost edible, but for the marvelous hit of car-exhaust labdanum.
I can find the tomato leaf after I know to look for it, a twang of green with a metallic discord, but it fades after the first hour, drowning in the syrupy resins at the bottom of the dish. I wish it lasted longer–the sharpness is interesting, and cuts through the vanilla.

The benzoin and myrrh stay half the day on skin, and whisper the next morning on cotton.
Lots of fun.

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Chuck Berry’s “You Can Never Tell” is a diner jukebox staple–

Gardener’s Glove

Sample vial and my gardening gloves on St. Clair promo photo.

“Gardener’s Glove was a finalist in the 2019 Art and Olfaction Awards within the artisan/independent category,” according to the St. Clair Scents website, and yep, this stuff is magical.

The tomato leaf opens loud, the way I like it, jolly green with a nice hit of citrus peel–
And then leather eases in, holding crushed herbs, bruised fruit and flower prunings, a pretty chaotic mess that gets super sweet with black currants and jasmine for several nice hours within personal space.
There’s a dust-up of saffron and vetiver as it settles, then some pleasant animalics and benzoin linger with apricots for the evening, subtle on skin and all night on the cuffs.

Somehow this all adds up to a fairy-tale–a Folavril pixie wearing Land of Warriors armor–but not about royalty, this eau is about the groundskeeper who trained the thorny rose forest, pruned the poisoned apple trees, cultivated the giant beanstalk seeds.

Niche quality, with prices to match, but absolutely worth saving up for–I feel like I could grow moth orchids that flew and ferns that actually fiddled, while wearing it.

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Robert Smith (of The Cure) and Steven Severin (of Siouxsie and the Banshees) got together in The Glove to do a new wave album called Blue Sunshine. This instrumental tune also starts chaotic, then gets super sweet.

Journey Woman

Red faced gold Amouage mini bottle with domed cap, and apricots.

Opens with opulent spiced honey mead and elegant jasmine, then slices fresh apricots and sprinkles them with a bit of pollen dust.
But Journey isn’t delicate–there’s a solidity on the bottom, like sturdy hospital clogs, leather and wood and rubber soles–that keeps her from being frivolous.

The dichotomy reminds me of my grandmother, who loved rich and exotic things, but didn’t hesitate to tie on a smock when nurses aides were needed during the war.

Stays within personal space for most of the day, then fades to the skin with sweet tobacco musk for the evening.
I like it–though my wallet is a little too lighthearted for this kind of gravitas.

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Really feeling for healthcare workers right now. May their shoes never, never, never let them down.

Riding Crop

Black riding crop with braided handle, white satin rope, and Demeter mini splash with black tall-top cap.

Demeter Fragrance Library’s Riding Crop is not the stuff of Bluegrass tack shops, with clean virgin hide goods and polished silver bits, nor of stables full of equine sweat and clover hay.

This unisex cologne is a quick trip to the sex shop.
Tops with leather and latex, changes position with high end water-base lube and a hint of drying spice–cardamom, perhaps–and bottoms with pleasant musk and a post-coital smoke.

Fun.
Doesn’t last long, and stains the clothes a bit.

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Lots of folks have covered this Velvet Underground song, but The Kills’ acoustic cover turns it intimate and consensual.

Cashmere Mist

Curved, clear, cut crystal mini bottle that could possibly look like a flowing scarf?

Mid-nineties musk.
Opens with sneeze-worthy powdered nail polish remover and leather flip phone cases, then softens to vanilla SoBe soda on the skin.

Wear with a slip dress over a tight t-shirt, and ankle boots.

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Aaliyah’s debut album also came out in 1994–this was my favorite song.