Leather Fragrance in Perfumery, Roots of the Natural Perfumes

December is definitely the perfect month to tell you stories on perfumes and fragrances.

leather-fragrance-in-perfumery

I spent a lot of time in South of France and numerous stays and trainings in Grasse, the Capital of perfumes and essential oils.

Why is leather the first note in the history of perfume:

In 2000 BC, leathers were treated and perfumed with the barks of kumquat trees against strong smells.

In Spain, hides were perfumed with different substances such as rose floral water, amber , campher, cedar wood essential oil or musk.

In the XVII century, Italian leather was perfumed with a scent of sweet almond, or even better with violette , iris, musk or amber.

img_1197

Grasse, Once upon a Time, was the capital of Leather

Tanners got installed in Grasse in the XIIth Century to trade their leathers and hides with Genoa and Pisa in Italy.

Grasse turn famous thanks to its leather

Street in Grasse, capital of perfumery
Grasse is the Capital of leather and essential oils  for perfumery for centuries

However, leathers are still smelling bad, which is not to please Nobility.

From XVI to XVII th centuries, gloves;the “must have accessories” were therefore perfumed with different natural essential oils and resins: amber, musk, rosemary…

The Princess of Neroli (Catherine of Medicis) gave her name to the bitter orange flower essential oil in the 17th century. Her husband was perfuming his gloves with neroli essential oil.

Perfumed gloves got very famous in Courts. The French King even introduced the title of “Perfume and Glove-Maker Master”. The city of Grasse gained its renown in the field of perfume and gloves maker Master all over the World.

Nobility even worn gloves for sleeping.

But before the French revolution, taxes applied on leather were so high as well as the strong competition extinguished  the Community of Perfume and gloves makers to perfume- makers only.

At the end of the 18th Century, Grasse became the Capital of perfumery, flowers were therefore growing everywhere around Grasse, and the activity became a real industry.

At that time, all the perfumers were creating a fragrance named with leather , such as: Leather from Russia (Guerlain, Chanel, Piver, Creed…), the inspiration is for sure coming from the leather’s boots worn by the Russian Ballet Dancers, which were treated with birch trees’ tar.

russian-ballet-boots-leather

Some perfumes got their leather’s note from tobacco.

Step by step, perfumes containing leather’s note are not as trendy as they used to be, they are replaced by marine’s notes.

But…Tadaaaammmmm…..Hermes recently created a new, limited edition perfume called “Galop” (Gallop), for a very singular leathery perfume, though still extremely feminine thanks to its “Rose” touch…

What else could I say….I am very lucky, I (already) got it for Christmas.

It slightly reminds me to Kelly from Hermes….and the bottle is just to die for, especially if you are fond of horses and horse back riding: the shape, no mystery: a stirrup.

a-leather-note-in-perfumery

This is definitely a great….great gift…for a beautiful woman!!!!

Would you wear a leathery kind of perfume?

What is your favorite note in your perfume…flower, marine, wood…???

Thank you for your visit

Xx

France