Friday, June 06, 2008

Dana English Leather

I've written about it quite extensively in previous posts but decided it deserved its own post. It's a good fragrance and worthy of having many fans. The only notes I could find online for Dana English Leather (1949) are citrus, woods, moss and leather, but I also smell a powdery white musk, and a clean (not indolic), delicately sweet note of orange blossom as you'll find in 4711. It has an acidic, tart opening that makes me think of tarragon or basil, something herbaceous and sharp, then it turns into a warm and woody, spicy tobacco scent. It's not a thick leather scent but more or less a thin, cologne splash-type of sheer (but still in the heavy range notewise) leather blend, although in certain weather, I think it could come across as being much heavier and spicier. I really like this easy-to-find classic in the Tobacco-Leather fragrance family, and feel glad I tried it again before writing it off. I'd recommend this to people who are looking for an everyday cologne who want something leathery but also a bit nuzzly warm and powdery soft. It's not as sweet as I once thought, either, and rather tart, but again, different weather might bring out any aspect of this sharp, woody (heavy) fragrance. It's a very traditionally masculine and old-fashioned scent but women could so easily wear this, if you want the antithesis of the sweet traditional flowery thing and like it dry and woody with a good deal of retro.

To compare to other leather scents, Dana English Leather is less like a saddle and more like citrusy floral tobacco. Without animalic notes such as honey, civet, castoreum or heavily indolic jasmine, it's the easiest to wear among the leathers I've tested this past month. Imagine a spicier, woodier Canoe and I think you get the picture. It's a bit "aftershavey" to me, but then, so is Canoe.

By the way, leathers and heavy woods seem to have been the trend in the late 1940s-1950s. I wonder why that is, but it makes sense that scents like Dana English Leather (1949) and Hermès Doblis (1950) would set the stage for the launching of Cabochard by Grès (1959).