In the world of fragrance, leather notes are in a category all their own. For starters, leather isn’t a scent that occurs in nature — it doesn’t grow in a forest, field, or jungle. It can’t be harvested, expelled, cold-pressed, or cultivated. In short, it’s the manmade equivalent of the scent of animal skins preserved with tanning chemicals. (In perfumery, bitter isoquinolines or smoky rectified birch tar are used to produce the effect.)
But that’s not the only thing that makes leather notes unique. Unlike say, rose, patchouli, or jasmine, because of its varied uses, leather doesn’t mean one thing to every person. Some of us want to smell like an expensive handbag. Others, a plush armchair in a gentlemen’s club. And then there’s the girl who smells leather and thinks of boots and saddles. Or maybe it’s the scent of a lover’s guitar strap. Or the smell of a football, or the chairs at the library, or a harness at an S&M club. The moods and memories leather conjures are limitless. Here, 15 options for every type of leather-lover.