For those who are not familiar with the brand, I should tell you up front: Floris has a very particular aesthetic. Though it was started by a Spanish perfumer, over time its fragrances have become iconic in their representation of British style. Sheer, elegant, and never loud, Floris fragrances are a joy to wear for the fragrance traditionalist. Leather Oud is no exception. Yes, it contains the exotic note of oud, and yes leather can be loud, but this is still a Floris fragrance.
To an oud lover, from the first spray, it becomes clear that the Floris take on oud will be something familiar. Upon first whiff, it comes across like a typical rose and oud fragrance, but if you take the time to explore Leather Oud, you’ll find something much more interesting. Unlike Dior’s Leather Oud, which to me smells
like a cow pie rotting in the sun quite dirty and unpleasant, the Floris take on the pairing is not only palatable, but also pleasant to the average person (sprayed in moderation, of course).
It would be pointless to describe the opening separately from the dry down. This fragrance does evolve, but rather than a clear shift from the top to the mid and base, it unfurls like a flower, in thin, individual layers, as it begins to reveal itself note by note. The oud is the dominant note to my nose, and it is a very high quality oud that smells neither synthetic nor wholly natural. Paired with the oud is a beautiful leather accord, which smells like another Floris fragrance: Mahon Leather. Through the combination of these notes, the fragrance smells masculine and rich—characteristics that are further accented by the aloof and aristocratic notes of carnation and geranium. A dripping, ambered sweetness is present throughout, lending a slight unctuous, sticky quality that comes and goes throughout the life of the scent (if you love this aspect, the sister fragrance to this one, Honey Oud, is also worth a try). In terms of its other qualities, Leather Oud is also slightly woody, marginally smoky, but altogether unique and interesting.
If you are a fan of oud, do not miss this one. But this will probably be pleasant even to folks who typically do not enjoy the harshness or the exotic, sometimes stifling nature of oud. I’d prefer to wear Leather Oud in the evening, at a professional event of some kind. That said, this fragrance is versatile enough to work equally well in the day and in most other occasions.
Personally, I’ve found myself tired of the many rose/oud combinations that have flooded the market for the past few years. If and when I recommend a particular oud, it is because I find it to be worth a try whether or not one is experienced with the many offerings in the genre.
Leather Oud comes highly recommended. Be sure and find a sample. But don’t confuse it with the Dior by the same name. For your own sake… save yourself.
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