The Monday Mail ~ help Jessamy find a new fragrance for Robert

Jessamy is an internal medicine resident who lives in Minnesota, and she's looking for a wonderful leather scent for her boyfriend, Robert, who is also a physician. Robert does not regularly wear fragrance, but he recently layered two fragrances from the Tom Ford Private Blend collection —Moss Breches and Tuscan Leather — and the result made Jessamy swoon. So! She wants to find something similar that she can buy him for a honeymoon gift for $150 or less. It should have mild to moderate sillage (nothing too heavy), and it does not have to be marketed as a masculine. She's happy to order samples online.

Robert is...

Bookish, academic, Latin- and Greek- reading, Braves-loving, and a blank slate in terms of perfume tastes. Nary a foray into Old Spice or High Karate for him. Leather seems suited to him, from a leather-bound Dickens collection to a figure-of-eight stitched baseball.

Notes Jessamy likes on Robert include leathers (Tom Ford Tuscan Leather, L'Artisan Dzing, Etro Gomma, Comme des Garçons Zagorsk), booze (L'Artisan Fou d'Absinthe, By Kilian Beyond Love, Lubin Idole), and incense (L'Artisan Passage D'Enfer, Hotel Costes, 10 Corso Como), also musks, honey and gourmands. Other fragrances Jessamy likes include Bvlgari Black, Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan, Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur, Annick Goutal Musc Nomade, Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely, Ginestet Botrytis, MAC Wild Honey, L'Artisan Bois Farine.

She'd like to avoid bright citrus, lavender, boxwood, anything medicinal. She also doesn't want anything fresh, mentholated or astringent. Fragrances she either doesn't like, or doesn't like for Robert's signature scent, include Carthusia Mediterraneo, Chanel Cristalle, Caldey Island Lavender, Annick Goutal  Mandragore, Heeley Espirt du Tigre, Frederic Malle Geranium pour Monsieur, Davidoff Cool Water, Le Labo Rose 31, Tauer Lonestar Memories.

What say you?

Note: image is Postbox [cropped] by rebel rebel at flickr; some rights reserved.

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  1. Julia says:

    I like Parfum d’Empire Cuir Ottoman. It might not be leathery enough, but I think it is worth a sample. I get leather and smoke with rich woods in the back.

    • jirish says:

      I second this suggestion, and also think she might want to check out their Ambre Russe.

      • snowcrocus says:

        Julia and jirish,
        How does Cuir d’Ottoman compare to Cuir Bengale in terms of sillage? Because Bengal had some serious BITE on me! And I think I can get these via Luckyscent, right?

        Jessemy (snowcrocus)

        • Butting in to answer — Cuir Ottoman is quite smooth, and you can order samples from Aedes. (Cheaper than Luckyscent).

          • Julia says:

            Agreed. I purchased a large decant of it when it was on special at TPC, mostly to go along with the decant of Ambre Russe I was purchasing during an amber phase. I think these are marketed as masculines (?), but I find them very wearable. I do wear many masculine scents myself including Old Spice which is one of the best carnations on the market.

  2. Philippe says:

    I would suggest Musc Nomade.

    • Philippe says:

      By Annick Goutal.

      • snowcrocus says:

        Philippe, I love that idea. I’ve worn Musc Nomade many times, in fact burned through a couple of samples…never thought of it for Robert but think I’ll get my mitts on another sample. Thanks!

  3. Suzanne941 says:

    Chanel Cuir de Russie…on a Latin-reading, Braves loving physician! Gotta love that. Sample it first because it’s spendy, but if it works for him, it’ll be great. Happy hunting!

  4. Rappleyea says:

    My first thought was Chanel Cuir de Russie. She (he) also might like some of Sonoma Scent Studio’s offerings, especially the new Incense Pure or some of Laurie’s musk scents. Happy wedding!

    • snowcrocus says:

      Suz and Rap,
      You know, I did try Chanel Cuir de Russie after my intense first russian leather experience with Zagorsk. Think it might be time for round II. Thank you!

  5. k-scott says:

    I would suggest Heeley Cuir Pleine Fleur or Knize Ten. Ineke Field Notes from Paris also has a nice leather note if you like tobacco and orange blossom too.

    • snowcrocus says:

      Gosh, maybe Field Notes could be my honeymoon perfume! I really do like orange blossom. Thanks!

  6. datura5750 says:

    Estee Lauder Azuree

    • snowcrocus says:

      Was Azuree a Tom Ford creation for EL? Interesting…

  7. AnnS says:

    MIller Harris makes Cuir d’Oranger which is a really nice warm leather. You may also want to try the Dawn Spencer Hurwitz DirtyRose which is a big whallop of rawhide, spices, etc. Don’t let the name get in the way. And I’ll second Chanel Cuire de Russe – it smells like old and new leather. As well as Azuree above – in the right dose would be great on a man.

    How about Mitsouko edp?

    • snowcrocus says:

      Thanks Ann. I’m starting to realize that a browse through DSH should be in my future. Someone else mentioned DSH Erotica too :)

  8. Rictor07 says:

    I am looking for a great leather scent as well but here are some of my current faves.

    Leather – Nasomatto Duro
    Booze – Eau de Italie Bois D’Ombrie
    Incense – Comme des Garcons Incense Kyoto

    • boojum says:

      Bois d’Ombrie was the first to come to my mind, and also their Sienne l’Hiver. No idea if you’re staying here in MN long-term, but both of those scents are great in our fall/winter weather, and into early spring. (Most years…this one hasn’t been typical!)

      • snowcrocus says:

        Whiskey and wild carrot sound intruiging…

  9. monkeytoe says:

    Etat Libre d’Orange Rien–Dry, incense leather
    Hermes Equipage–Dark, close to the skin, spicy leather
    Lancome Cuir de Lancome–Elegant, slightly floral, leather
    Piguet Bandit–Leather chypre

    • snowcrocus says:

      Thank you for mentioning Etat LdO. I love that house, such a sense of humor. Equipage sounds old-school, but I do love a clove and carnation scent.

  10. Abyss says:

    MY two favourite leathers (Cuir de Russie and Bandit have already been mentioned) so I’m going to add Hemes Bel Ami to the suggestions. That’s a nice masculine leather and within budget too, I believe.

    • snowcrocus says:

      Per Robin’s review of Bel Ami,
      “I sprayed on Bel Ami and it knocked my socks off; I felt as if I had been submerged in a tub of turpentine, mineral spirits, caustic saps and resins. I was so stunned by the “Bel Ami Effect,” I bought it. ”
      And she was in Tijuana of all places. Love it. Turpentine seems to be a theme here. Hmmmmm.

      • Giggling because I’m going to bet–without looking it up–that this is from Kevin’s review. I recognize those scare quotes… ;-)

  11. mindxpandr says:

    How about L’Artisan Havana Vanille? I haven’t smelled it yet, but the notes read like it would be a perfect fit.

    • snowcrocus says:

      I actually had a sample of HV and alas! it wasn’t for me. Mind you, I was not really thinking of it for anyone but myself. Wish I still had it so I could send it to you :)

      • mindxpandr says:

        It must have been really not for you if you already tossed the sample! Thanks for the thought though. I’d be delighted to relieve anyone of samples they don’t want. : )

      • Julia says:

        oooh – not for me either. Havana Vaniille seems to be either a HG vanilla, or just a weak boozy note with no follow-up. I am in the latter category.

  12. 734elizabeths says:

    I second Hermes Equipage. I’m bookish, academic, and Greek- and Latin-reading, and it’s my favorite leather.

    Another one to try might possibly be Estee Lauder Azuree. I can’t make any EL work for me, but others love it.

    • snowcrocus says:

      I didn’t realize Azuree was leathery. Considering how many votes this one is getting, I’ll have to get a sample!+-

  13. SmokeyToes says:

    I would third Hermes Equipage, and the Estee Lauder’s Azuree. I sprayed it on my hubby and it smelled great.
    I would also recommend Guerlain’s Jicky. It’s got that musky-green leather animalic note that might just fit the bill. It wears relatively close to the skin and lasts well (5-7 hours on me) I would also recommend trying Guerlain’s Coriolan. Beautiful woodsy chypre. Can be found for a song at discounters.

    • snowcrocus says:

      Jicky! Of course! AND he’s into history so the story of the fragrance would be interesting to him…it was named for a young relative of the perfumer, right?

      • Julia says:

        Supposedly the perfumer’s (Amie Guerlain) first love, left in England when he was called back to the family business. Jicky was also his nick-name for his favourite nephew, Jacques, who went on to make many amazing Guerlain classics in his own right.

      • SmokeyToes says:

        I think Jicky was created by Aime Guerlain and was named after a girl whom he loved while living in England? I love both the edt and extrait. Kevin did a nice review a while back on NST.

  14. Robin R. says:

    This guy of yours has superb taste. Can’t believe nobody’s recommended Andy Tauer’s stuff yet. Samples are easy to get on his website and his compositions are amazing. In particular, I’d recommend l’Air du Desert Marocain (dry, rich resins galore) and Lonestar Memories – a leather, sandalwood, cedar and myrrh beauty. If he likes Serge Lutens MKK already, I’d imagine he’d find others in the line that would do the trick. Cuir Mauresque is incense and leather saddle and has the intensity that Robert shows he can handle easily. ;-)

    • Rictor07 says:

      Lonestar Memories was already listed as one she doesnt like.

      • TallulahRose says:

        The first 2 times I tried Lonestar Memories, I HATED it. Passionately. Smelled like a Canadian Tire store to me. But then, something happened, and now I think it is one of the sexiest leathers around (and it smells nothing like Canadian Tire). So, I would urge Jessamy to try it a few times before writing it off.

    • snowcrocus says:

      According to the Non-Blonde, C Maresque has a turpentine top note…interesting! Did I mention his mother is an artist, so that might be a good note on him. Speaking of turpentine, maybe I should try good old CdG Hinoki.

  15. bjorn says:

    – Paul Smith Story: Grapefruit, smoked vetiver and a hint of leather-bound old books. As Robin said in her review, it’s very easy to like.

    – Miller Harris: Figue Amere: though it doesn’t match your scent profile for Robert, I’m gonna recommend it anyway :) it’s a salty, juicy, green fig, what’s not to love?

    • snowcrocus says:

      Smoky vetiver AND books!?! Ygads!!! Gadzooks! I forgot to mention my vetiver obsession (my first was Vetiver extraordinaire back when Malle was giving away 2.5 mL samples online)…SOLD to the tired girl in scrubs :)

  16. Ericgmd says:

    Hi Jessamy,
    I did my residency myself. It was in the 90’s…One year of Internal Medicine followed by 4 years in my current specialty. I won’t disclose more :-)
    I am so pleasantly surprised to know that there is actually another physician who missed her calling as a “nose” like myself and who is so knowledgeable about scent. In my days, the guys who wore Drakkar Noir were seen as the cat’s miao!
    Robert is so lucky to have you.
    I like Equipage but I don’t know if it is leathery enough, so I disagree with the previous members who recommended it. Equipage also smells very citrusy in its opening and can be a bit dated nowadays. Bel Ami on the other hand has a very nice leathery drydown.
    I would like to suggest Guerlain L’art et la matiere “Cuir Beluga” but it is more than $150 unfortunately.

    • snowcrocus says:

      Just the name Cuir Beluga makes me want to try some. Yeah, the friend that introduced me to NST is a physician too (who also did an internal medicine prelim year). Funny!

  17. pyramus says:

    Je Suis Un Homme by Etat Libre D’Orange ($69 at Luckyscent) is CRAZYSEXY. Citrus on top, leather underneath, some patchouli in there, warm and animalic, just total yum.

  18. asuperlongusername says:

    Montale’s Aoud Leather is what I’m wearing today and it would be what I recommend. It’s an aoud, so it’s got a touch of medicinal, but it plays really beautifully with the warm leather. It has a little sweetness but it smells of lived-in, still-retaining-your-heat leather that just blows my mind. :3

    • snowcrocus says:

      You know, he spent some time in Egypt teaching English as a second language. I wonder how he’d like oud as a note. Okay, I think I’ll need to try a few, maybe it will take him back….but not too far back :)

  19. dissed says:

    Still love DSH Erotica edp.

  20. eckerd says:

    how about Miller Harris Cuir De Orangeur or Feuilles De Tabac?

  21. Santemon says:

    Second Heeley Cuir Pleine Fleur and Hermes Bel Ami (leather bound Maupassant?) and a thumbs up for Histoires de Parfums 1740 Marquis de Sade, another great ‘literary’ perfume! Robert also sounds like a Guerlain Derby sort of man …

    • snowcrocus says:

      Oh my gosh those all sound so good. Maupassant indeed…and I’m sure the MdSade reference would amuse him greatly.

  22. nozknoz says:

    I’ve never sniffed the two scents that you layered that worked so well, but a lot of my likes and dislikes coincide with yours. I second many of the suggestions above and will add Serge Lutens Daim Blond, a leather with the apricot note of osmanthus; Bond No. 9 Chinatown, described in The Guide as a gourmand chypre; and Nicolai pour Homme, a beautiful lavender scent. You are SO fortunate to have a guy who’s willing to try beautiful scents! Why not give Mitsouko or Vol de Nuit a go, too?

    • snowcrocus says:

      Daim Blond sounds super, and I know he likes peachy/apricot because he requested Chinatown be my wedding day scent! I wonder how he’d smell with Chinatown on. Great ideas…

      • If he likes peachy/apricot and leather then you must add Parfums d’Empire Osmanthus to your list. It is a lovely smooth leather with a gorgeous osmanthus (apricot smelling flowers) opening. I like to wear it myself, but I think it would be drop dead delicious on the right man, especially after the top notes fade.

        As with Ambre Russe and Cuir Ottoman above, from the same line, you can get a sample from Aedes.

  23. Rick says:

    Most of the Serge Lutens fragrances seem suitable. A unique one would be Douce Amère, which has been discontinued, but a few bottles are available through Luckyscent.

    A great leather is Pascal Morabito’s Or Black, which you can get direct from their website, although the international shipping costs almost as much as the bottle.

    A great new scent with some boozy notes (along with a lot else) is D. Ropion’s Costume National Homme.

    • snowcrocus says:

      Good ones, I really really like Douce Amere. Woods would be good on Robert. If Dominique Ropion did Costume National Homme, I need me some. He made me fall for Vetiver in a big way with Extreme. Oh boy, I think I’ll be dipping into the dress budget :)

  24. AnnE says:

    So many great suggestions here! I would 2nd lots of them, especially Derby and Knize Ten. And do give PdN Vie de Chateau a try. Super-sexy, warm leather. Yum. Think of a roll in the hay with the dashing master of the castle. :-)

  25. justaguy says:

    Oud Cuir d’Arabie by Montale. May come off a bit medicinal to you, but it doesn’t on me. Beautiful smooth woody leather with animalic undertones. Gorgeous.

  26. SmokeyToes says:

    This suggestion may be out in left field, but how about Jean Desprez’s Bal a Versailles? It is a smoky, dark vanilla with opoponax, orange blossom, civet, animalic musks, and leather. It is inexpensive, and lasts at least 10-12 hours. Beautiful, dark and evocative.
    If you want a high brow version, Miller Harris’ L’Air de Rien is very similar, perhaps more refined, and quite a bit more pricey too.

  27. perfumelaydee says:

    Noir Epices by Frederic Malle and Cuir Mauresque by Serge Lutens I would definitely recommend.

  28. snowcrocus says:

    Wow, thanks everybody and especially Robin…I will be ordering some samples this week. So nice to have the support of a knowledgeable and fun group of people. Now I’m off to clinic for my “real” job :) More comments soon!

  29. AnnieA says:

    I second the suggestion of Rien. I also suggest Guerlain’s L’Instant Pour Homme simply because it’s one of the nicest men’s perfumes around. All men should at least try it and I would then get to smell it more often.

  30. TallulahRose says:

    My favourite men’s scent of all-time is Frédéric Malle’s French Lover. It’s what I bought my own husband (who is very picky about scents), and he loves it. I think it smells a little different from the American version of Bois d’Orage — and so does Marina…

    Another recommendation for Ineke’s Field Notes From Paris, which to me, was a bit more masculine (and very sexy).

    My other favourite men’s scent is Let Me Play the Lion — a very dry wood scent.

    And I’ll say it again, since you probably won’t see my comment above, I hated Lonestar Memories the first 2 times I tried it — passionately. But then something happened, and it is now the most beautiful, sexy, leather scent… maybe that will happen to you too — try it a few times before dismissing it. I think it changes based on body chemistry, seasons, and other factors.

    Have fun!!

    • TallulahRose says:

      Err, make that “Ineke’s Field Notes From Paris” is more of a masculine than feminine scent, although you *could* argue it is a unisex scent. It’s sexy on men ;-)

  31. snowcrocus says:

    Sorry I missed you! French Lover sounds divine. I think I may have a bit of Lonestar somewhere….okay I will give it another shot!

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