Leather scents go as far back as the origins of modern perfumery. Centuries ago, French gantiers dipped calfskin gloves into fragrant oils to mask the hides' (and people's) unpleasant odors. But today's creations aren't meant to make you smell like a car seat. Instead, they give off leathery impressions obtained through subtle combinations of spices, woods, and animalistic notes that are best appreciated as they dry. The result is an invitation to up-close sniffing, be it a twist on classic barbershop clean--Gucci's Made to Measure or Francis Kurkdjian's Masculin Pluriel--or one of the more pheromonal, dirtier concoctions. The friskiest are Tom Ford's Tuscan Leather, Michael Kors's latest, For Men, and the aphrodisiac Cuir Fauve, an erotic blend of vanilla, ambergris, and oud. Consider this the season every man goes hell-for-leather.
Photography by Koji Yano.
Clockwise from top left: "Tom of Finland, The Complete Kake Comics" edited by Dian Hanson (Taschen); Masculin Pluriel by Francis Kurkdjian, 2.4 oz., $185; Cuir Fauve by Keiko Mecheri, 1.7 oz., $275; Lonestar Memories by Tauer, 1.7 oz., $130, available at MiN New York; Tuscan Leather by Tom Ford Private Blend, 1.7 oz., $215; Michael Kors For Men by Michael Kors, 4 oz., $78; Nappa and cashmere gloves by Versace, $925; Made to Measure by Gucci, 3 oz., $88; Black leather codpiece by Versace, price upon request; Burberry Brit Rhythm by Burberry, 3 oz., $80.