"We made vows inside the church to forgive each other's sins. But there are things I have to endure, like the smell of another man's skin. If that's not loving you, I don't know what is."--Sting, Loving You, The Bridge.
Last night, as I was returning from the office, I listened to Sting's recent work, The Bridge, specifically the song Loving You. The lyrics made me think of the cologne I had been wearing since the morning: Ombré Leather by Tom Ford. Yes, because the way the perfumer treated the leather here is like the smell of another man's skin, a verse extracted from the text. I love leather accords, no matter if they are suede, Nappa, or rawhide. It's stronger than me. Here the skin is not brittle or demanding; it is soft and inviting. Ombré means having colors or tones that blend into each other, faded into color. And I like to imagine that in this context, it means shaded skin.
When I smelled the paper on which I sprayed the essence, I really liked the fragrance I was smelling. And I'll tell you why. Ombré Leather opens my skin with an enormous freshness, like morning dew, with a slightly more indeterminate greenish tip reminiscent of dusting violet leaves sprouting around the blackened skin. An alcoholic and camphoraceous voice denotes an inky and leathery soul similar to black shoe polish. What you get instantly is cardamom, but the keynote is leather, a smooth and pliable suede. The opening is a combination of fresh spices and some flowers too. The nose has granted the spicy and minty tone of cardamom in a rumba with the sweetish flowers of jasmine. It has a smoky, slightly tarry, and dry smell. The nuance of the skin is not that of a new jacket, a briefcase, a wallet, or a new pair of boots, which lingers a bit in the air, makes you close your eyes and take a deep breath, but a rubbery, inked, and with an oily machine shop environment feel. Powerfully animalistic, earthy, and with a touch of smokiness. A light sprinkling of spices hovers all around, mainly consisting of saffron with a slight peppery smell. Saffron smells strong, leathery, earthy, hay-like, reminding slightly of rubber. I also have a kind of creaminess, which sounds like a contradiction, I know. An excellent suede effect feels beige and marks the fragrance as a much softer and calmer version of its holder material.
This inviting overture slowly morphs into a heart of earthy and slightly pungent leather notes that is well tempered with a hint of amber in the bottom to keep things light, airy, and a little sweet. A drop of indole jasmine envelops the black leather, lightens, adds a floral sweetness to the composition, and allows Ombré Leather to become more unisex. The amber note brings warmth and color, while the airy jasmine gives a diffusive intensity, creating a bold and luminous clash of leather and flowers. It is not an old cracked leather jacket or the side of the horse's saddle. The leather is soft and buttery, with only a simple hint of smoke and dryness. This is leather that offers comfort because it is wrapped in a veil of pale amber and patchouli.
Eventually, the skin fades into the background, allowing mosses, woods, and amber to take center stage. Slowly it smoothes to a salty and musky with a little earthy spice in the base. A masculine cut. What's left on you is patchouli, which isn't very heavy but adds some depth of character to Ombré Leather, an all-day greenish moss, with small patches of earthy vetiver similar to Encre Noire Eau de Toilette
. The notes blend quickly and read more of a generalized green at this point. The amber here is honestly not that intense, even if it's an old-school composite amber note. It hides in the background without being intrusive and provides friendly support.
On me, I get jasmine, white musk, and leather as important notes, the scent of leather is powerful. Even if the consensus for this fragrance is more oriented towards the winter months, I am making the most of this splendid scent by enjoying it in the evening and in the day's cooler autumns. This is my new fall fragrance to count this year in my fall rotation. It's so sexy and sophisticated and not overwhelming at all. But it's not subtle either; it stays in the air when someone passes by and smells so good. If you care about longevity, it lasts all day on my skin. It's a very dark type of fragrance but not an overwhelming monstrosity with heavy, opulent spice. Ombré Leather is definitely unisex with a masculine, dry and warm cut, Overall, it's an ideal type of perfume, but it has that rough-dirty side. If you can't stand leather, then this is obviously not for you.
I base the review on a 100ml bottle I have owned since April 2021.