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quarta-feira, 10 de fevereiro de 2016

LEATHER BY FRANCK BOCLET (2013)




Nose: Melanie Leroux

I recall I tried this once a couple of years ago and was more pleasantly surprised than I would have liked to admit – it’s niche, it’s quite overpriced, for a die-hard “anti-niche” like I was (and partially still am) it’s sometimes hard to admit that something smells nice. Now I got the chance to smell this again and yes, it smells definitely good. By “good” I mean here my favourite interpretation of the term, applied to perfumes: “solid and creative”. This is in fact something quite different and finally, quite more unusual than the majority of today’s niche leathers (which smell either like bitter rubber or whatever other ill, unwearable idea of leather, or just like Tuscan Leather clones). It opens with a sort of medicinal-nutty accord of amber, mild patchouli and some quite good saffron, mixed with a delicate sort of salty, salicylic-musky “polished” leather with a hint of rubbery oud, topped with a crisp, very mild yet perceivable “fresh” balsamic whifff of woody-floral notes. Quite unusual, as I said: it blends some clean, musky-modern leather as in Lang’s Cuiron with M7’s “nutty-medicinal amber” (actually, the resemblance to M7 is quite bold here for many aspects, and that just hits a soft spot for me), perfectly blending them under a sheer floral-balsamic light. The result is extremely pleasant, compelling, flawless and totally nice to wear. It feels nutty and woody (or better say mostly “cedary patchouli”), quite spicy but in a smooth crisp way, at the same time also feeling “musky” clean with a hint of salt. Overall it does convey a sense of modern, clean, freshly-polished “leather” without involving the usual clichés of these types of scents (and without basing the concept on a load of uncooked rubbery aromachemicals). I’d also mention Cuir d’Ange as a distant reference for the musky-powdery leather part, although Boclet’s Leather goes on a totally different path – nutty, ambery and medicinal as I said. But in a way, it also has this “breezy” powdery side which definitely echoes Ellena’s masterpiece, too.

Just to be clear, I dropped some really big names here – Cuiron, M7 and Cuir d’Ange. It’s not that Boclet’s Leather can be compared to them, as it definitely can not: it’s just that the inspirations seem to me recalling these works, whether that’s intentional or not, and that’s really a plus since the majority of leathers today seem often pointing towards other, vastly more trite directions. This one instead tries at least to think leather out of the box and do some - at least, partially - creative work on it, with just the right touch of 2000s nostalgia. And the materials work fine too, it smells very nice, rich enough yet totally smooth and discreet as a proper “modern refined leather” should. Partially synthetic too, sure, but it fits the concept and there’s some work around it. Still a bit overpriced and with a slightly disappointing longevity, but a more than worthy addition to any leather fan’s wardrobe.

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