Saturday, August 18, 2012

Black Suede Leather

Avon's classic Black Suede is a great fragrance, but unfortunately its flanker, Black Suede Leather, is disappointing.  It's not terrible by any means, and it actually does smell pretty good, but poor blending, poor longevity, and a complete lack of any leather notes drag it down.

This should have been called Black Suede Tobacco, because that's really what this is - a warm, spicy oriental with a smell resembling sweet tobacco.  Black Suede Leather smells a lot like a watered down version of The One Gentleman by Dolce & Gabbana.  I think I smell a mild brown oiliness in the beginning that sort of resembles leather, but it's gone after about a half hour, and is certainly not strong enough to call this a leather fragrance. 

The tobacco accord in it smells pretty good - dark, sweet and spicy - but I think I know what is creating that smell.  A company called Perfumer's Apprentice sells essential oils and base accord blends online to people who make their own perfumes (it's a side hobby of mine), and they sell a base called "Tobacco Key Accord".  It contains no tobacco absolute (i.e., a highly concentrated essential oil), and is basically a blend of several different synthetic and natural oils, like amber, synthetic sandalwood, saffron, vanilla, etc., meant to replicate the smell of tobacco.  I have a bottle and it does smell pretty good, but it replicates the smell of flavored pipe tobacco, not cigars or pure tobacco leaf.  Professional perfumers use these kinds of bases in their compositions, but a good perfumer will only use it as a foundation on which to build a perfume.  Black Suede Leather, by contrast, smells like it's nothing more than Tobacco Key Accord poured in a bottle with a ton of perfumer's alcohol.  I'm not impressed.

The problem with this kind of "cheating" is that the fragrance has no spine to it, and it falls apart after a few hours.  Black Suede Leather smells nice for about two hours.  After that, it loses all of its woody and spicy facets, and it starts to smell more like a sweet brown blob.  By the fourth hour, the scent is gone completely from my skin.

I'm giving this scent a 6.5 out of 10 rating, and not a lower rating, because I do like the way it smells for the first couple of hours, even if there's no leather in it.   I've read other reviews of this on Basenotes, and apparently other people have had much better luck in detecting the leather and getting this fragrance to last, so maybe my skin just doesn't work with this fragrance.  However, I can only review what I'm smelling, and based on my experience with Black Suede Leather, its many flaws prevent me from giving it a better rating.

MY RATING:  6.5/10

Fragrance House:  Avon

1 comment:

  1. Back in the sixties Avon had a fantastic leather scent,I just don't know what it was called, but i might own a bottle of this vintage stuff.You see, a few years back I was handed this by a friend of mine,who got it from his granddad. Soon afterwards, the label came off so that I'm left with the bottle plus the fragrance. I do recall, however, that it was quite a well-known brand, could have been Avon, maybe Faberge, maybe...

    Have searched all over the net, but couldn't really find pics for this vintage scent.Any idea ?