Going Elle For Leather

I am an olfactory outsider in the beauty biz. You see I don’t wear perfume. Oh yes I might have won a few Jasmine Awards in my time for writing about perfume, but I have never found one that is really me. And I am constantly frustrated in my search.

I have favourites for sure. I am partial to catching a whiff of Clinique Aromatics Elixir and Agent Provocateur on someone because they remind me of women I have admired. I also like Narciso Rodriguez and Michael Kors on my friends, but would never wear them myself. But that’s because what I really love it the dry down of most scents. That’s insider speak for the smell that is left hours after a perfume has warmed and softened and melted into the skin; when the pretty, accessible top notes have long gone and all that is left is the sensuality of a scent that you have to nuzzle someone to smell.

This is why I am currently trying out leather scents, because they tend to smell like that more quickly. I know that leather conjures connotations of whips for some, but for me it is all about luxe goods like Louboutin shoes and Hermes bags, and so I am trying Chanel Cuir De Russie (formulated to smell a little like the leather Boots of Coco’s Russian Count lover) Serge Lutens Daim Blond (which smells like soft blonde suede) and Lancôme’s Cuir De Lancôme (which has been reworked and I suspect made too pretty for me). But so far Tom Ford’s Tuscan Leather is my favourite.

The trouble is that they all have a hidden note or notes somewhere that disturbs me; that smells not quite right on my skin. And so I am off to Meet Lyn Harris of Miller Harris fame, to have a perfume custom blended for me. This is the perfume equivalent of Haute Couture and I want to end up with the equivalent of an YSL Le Smoking; something that can be worn alone without any accessories and still make a statement. Something that smells like a soft leather bag left out in the forest on a damp autumn day. I know, I know that makes me an outsider – you see I told you.

I shall let you know how I get on.


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