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The toils of the stage
Similar to Penhaligon's, Floris is one of those houses where you hardly notice when perfumed silverware is brought to the market to be placed on the dining table from the proceeds of minimalist chique, where design is everything but substance is nothing. The suspicion is not unfounded, since Penhaligon's has proven that treading water in an attempt to remain relevant produces an unmanageable number of sometimes really questionable scents. And what more could one wish for in an old British house (whether fashion, cars or perfumes) than restraint and prudence, just to be able to make a confident bull's eye at the right time? After all, the cousins on the other side of the Atlantic are already shooting with cannons on sparrows. But now down with the eyebrow and bravely sprayed.
The top note pulls out all the stops and adds a glockenspiel and a harp: Leather Oud" is bright and radiant, yet full and round at the same time, and delights the reviewer with a syrupy, slightly "limy" herbal lustre (e.g. Ricola dissolved in retsina) on the one hand, and the balance between medicated, woody and discreetly fecally clean (artificial) oud on the other.
The leather that gives the fragrance its name is found at best associatively, but not as an actual note, as modern fragrances unfortunately so often do with "leather" in their name. Here Floris remains true to tradition: leather scent is not recreated true to nature, but only conjured up through the back door. Very pleasing!
After the top note has faded away, the composer as well as the orchestra unfortunately quickly runs out of breath. One of the previous speakers attested Leather Oud a honey character (actually strange, if the sister scent from the same house is called Honey Oud of all things...) - but I found it a bit more prosaic than "Grafschafter Goldsaft-Note", with a slightly medicated woodiness. That doesn't smell bad in itself, only the knot sinks too clearly after the triumphant overture: You drag yourself through the stage a little tough and instead of real bee honey the field cook can only serve with substitute products.
The basis is reconciliatory: the existing is pleasantly ambry without sticking together. So far, so good. But has this institution of Anglo-Saxon perfumery succeeded in making the digression towards the oud?
To be honest, I struggled a little through that review. Oud or contemporary woodiness as a whole seems to be reluctant to fit into a classic European fragrance concept. Whether AdP's "Colonia Oud", "Marylebone Wood" by Penhaligon's or even this attempt: Somehow the picture remains a bit expressionless despite all the power and opulence, intermediate tones are covered up. Yes, Leather Oud is definitely one of the more distinguished oudlers I've had the pleasure of testing so far, but it looks a bit as if the distinguished great uncle had bought a rattling BMW in his old days to impress the village youth. It's a little touching, but somehow you smile a little pitiful.