FRAGRANCE | Vial trial: Italian Leather EDP by Memo Paris
One of the initial releases under their Cuir Nomades line, Italian Leather by Memo Paris is a fairly green take on leather. The opening is sharp because of pepper, which, aside from basically anything sweet, seems to be a favorite in leather-based fragrances. That said, Davidoff Leather Blend and ScentSmith Perfumery's Pink Pepper Leather come to mind.
Sharpness aside, it's a familiar, bitter, green accord that really got me. By now I've come to realize that it's tomato leaf, which is something I don't normally see with leather. But what's good here—at least for me—is that unlike in Sisley's Eau de Campagne, the tomato leaf in Italian Leather lasts longer, its beautiful bitterness playing seesaw with the pepper. At this point the leather is just lying in the background, still half-asleep.
After about 30 minutes to an hour a certain sweetness creeps in, and the pepper and tomato leaf start to grow tired of playing. They're still at it, though, but with decreasing intensity. As the sweetness gains strength, the leather comes to life yet it doesn't trample on everything else in its path. Instead it picks the pepper up, lets the tomato leaf ride on its back, cradles the sweetness, and together they go gallivanting around town. They're never boisterous, their noise just enough to get noticed. Only after a few hours does the leather let go of its company, first the pepper, then the tomato leaf. Then it bails out, leaving the sweetness alone, which by now is a soft and smooth vanilla skin scent.
Italian Leather does provide a rather uncommon take on leather with its bitter green accord. It projects quite well for a few hours before mellowing. It lasts from morning till night although the tailend is understandably a skin scent already. So is it worth a full bottle? That highly depends on whether you dig bitter greens and leather, and of course if the cost of a bottle is not an issue for you, as Memo fragrances don't come cheap.