African Leather fragrance notes

  • Head

    • bergamot, saffron, cumin
  • Heart

    • geranium, cardamom, leather
  • Base

    • oud, patchouli, vetiver, musk

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Latest Reviews of African Leather

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I don't get cumin at all, which I'm grateful for, because I hate cumin in fragrance. It always smells like body odor on me. WHat I get instead is a lovely spiced sueded feel, with a lemon over tone that keeps it bright. It's not particularly strong on me, wearing almost sheer, and that may be because of the gutting updates in the current fragrance industry. I'm trying the current version in 2023. REALLY liking this a lot.
15th May 2023
Like others I also heard the online hype about African Leather by Memo, and my interest was piqued enough to give this fragrance a try. So I purchased a sample of African Leather and having worn it a few times my impression is that it is an okay fragrance with very strong projection. It seems to be blended with good quality ingredients, but ultimately I'm not impressed enough with it to pay the asking price for a full bottle. African Leather opens with massive and overpowering blast of cumin, the leather, musk and cardamom are also there but in the opening the cumin dominates. Fortunately as the fragrance settles the cumin dies down which is good because I don't want to walk around smelling like last nights chicken khorma. The best thing for me in this fragrance is the quality of the leather note, it is a nice masculine, aged leather, something you would smell in a good quality saddlery. The bergamot, oud and cardamom are also there in the dry-down providing a nice backdrop to the leather. I get an old school fougere vibe from African Leather, I'm getting accords from it that bring both YSL Opium pour Homme and Davidoff Zino to mind. Be aware that African Leather by Memo is a super projector, especially in the first hour, definitely not something to over-spray. Longevity is about 6 hours on my skin and then it becomes quite intimate. It's not a bad scent overall, but too heavy on the cumin for me, a little bit cloying and I feel that it adds nothing to my collection that some of the classic fougeres do with more subtlety and class. I rate African Leather by Memo 3.5/5.
4th December 2022

Fantastic fragrance and doesn't smell like anything else I have. This is my first Memo. This is a Cardamom bomb. Both Cardamom and Saffron is very noticeable in the opening with the Leather which is not the animalistic kind to my nose. The Cumin, to me, smells like more of a supporting note. I'm not a typically a huge fan of Cumin, but it works here. It's got a spice market vibe in the opening as others have described. Vetiver comes out a little more after the initial spraying as it starts to settle down. The Patchouli here is very chocolatey more so than the hippie variety and musk is helping it push off skin pretty strongly. I didn't notice any Bergamot or Oud until i knew they were there and was specifically looking for each of them.

Performance on this is outrageously good. I'm typically an over-sprayer, but I won't be doing that with this one cause I might just choke someone out. I wouldn't wear this in the peak of summer unless you are in a climate controlled environment. The longevity l get is 10-12 hours on my skin. I imagine this on clothes will last 24 hours or more. Sillage and projection is strong for the first hour or two and you'll get wafts for the life of the fragrance after you get into the full dry down.

I got this for $155 so about half off full retail. For that price, I'm very satisfied. I don't think its worth the full $300 retail price. This is not for everyone. I can't see newbies or younger folks who like blue and mass appealing fragrances liking this all that much since leather and some of the other notes may be a little polarizing. Frag-heads will likely find this a safe blind buy, but for everyone else, probably not until testing or buying a decant. I personally love it.

Scent - 9/10
Longevity - 10/10
Projection - 8/10
Sillage - 7/10
Price (from discounters) - 7/10
28th October 2022
Harsh opening, wow. What a medicinal bomb of a scent. I'm not the biggest cumin fan, for example I don't like Tauer's LADDM, but the cumin in here has its place.

That said though, where's the leather? This is just an ethereal spicy, earthy, medicinal woody scent to me. You have to dig really deep which isn't a given with a scent like this since you have to go past so much harsh notes.

Definitely not a crowd pleaser and even though looking at the reviews on here it seems to be quite the "niche pleaser", I'll have to chime in a negative rating here even if it was just for the sake of counterbalance. First negative rating this gets? Really? I can imagine of all the niche crowd out there that the majority will just not put up with this scent.

In order of magnitude I get: cumin, patchouli, geranium, musk, vetiver and more of an impression of oud than leather deep down.
9th April 2022
A hot chai tea, laced with dark caramel honey and deeply aromatic of cardamom, ginger, clove nutmeg and peppercorn… Somehow manages to veer far enough from holiday offerings and pumpkin spice pairings. A green wood, too wet to burn. dried cherry. almond milk, no dairy. A sturdy structure, patina polished to a low matte glow. A cocoa-brown leather jacket, sueded and supple, a second skin.
4th April 2022
African Leather goes on with a very brief dash of bergamot citrus, with smooth cardamom and cumin warm spice as the focus with just a hint of underlying barnyard oud rising from the base detectable before transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the subtle oud enhanced warm, soft cardamom spice remains in full-force with the cumin remaining early but fading and ultimately replaced as co-star, as soft aromatic woody patchouli and dulled fruit-like floral geranium meld with the cardamom creating an overall focal accord with supporting soft suede-like leather detectable after a couple hours. During the late dry-down the supple leather takes the fore, adding a slightly powdery vanilla-like facet as the warm spice and geranium finally vacate, leaving remnants of the patchouli to add support through the finish. Projection is excellent and longevity outstanding at nearly 24 hours on skin.

African Leather has been on the market for over a handful of years now and I confess it wasn't on my radar when released at all. In fact I probably would have never sought it out believing it to be "just another overpriced niche leather offering" had I not gone to my local perfume shop and had them spray it on a card for me, unsolicited. What I sniffed that day on the card immediately showed there was more to the composition than leather. As a matter of fact, the thing that stood out on the card was an amazing smelling soft, aromatic woody patchouli not wholly unlike the one used in the spectacular Javanese Patchouli by Zegna. Further investigation on skin was necessary, and here we are...

On skin that fabulous smelling woody patchouli is still there, but it meshes with some pretty dense warm cardamom spice and what can best be described as almost "fruity" geranium. The geranium is very different smelling than the normal "green" presentation of the ingredient, with this stuff presenting more warm, smooth and deep to match the spice and woods perfectly. As an aside, it took a few wearings before the officially listed oud could easily be detected... Once I honed in on it (as it is really used sparsely, more as a woody binder to the patchouli and warm spice) it is indeed there and works in subtle support as intended. Those seeking an oud forward perfume should continue past African Leather, as oud is definitely not the focus and detecting it may slip past even the most sensitive of noses with only passing exposure. Speaking of slipping past the wearer with only passing exposure, at first I thought "Where's the Leather?" when wearing the perfume the first time. The soft leather really is faint at best until the wearer gets to the latter part of the heart where it becomes more detectable as support, then during the late dry-down when it is the focal note, showing why it is included in the perfume's name. I don't know if the perfume really conjures up "African Leather" in my mind, but I never was much for perfume imagery anyway - all I can say is the composition smells damn good to me! The bottom line is the $300 per 75ml bottle African Leather may puzzle many early about how what they are smelling fits in with the perfume name, but the perfumer successfully composes a warm spicy/woody concoction early before the "big leather reveal" late, earning it an "excellent" 4 stars out of 5 rating and a strong recommendation to warm spice and supple leather lovers in particular.
26th February 2022
Show all 19 Reviews of African Leather by Memo