This is the best leather I've ever smelled, and, honestly, it is not particularly close. Its aggressive, dark, spicy, and has sillage like an atom bomb. I would wear it all the time but people will think I've lost my mind.
What makes leather the connoisseur's preferred genre of sniff, of course, is that it is so hard to pin down. I know because after I received B683 - terrible name, btw - as a gift, I fell in love and decided I must love leather scents! So I went on a bender through niche, designer and related 'leathers' of all kinds. It turned out that what smelled good and leather-y to me really doesn't to other noses. So rather than simply extol the virtues of B683, I am going to include some specifics because it will help you determine if you have a nose like mine. This, in my experience, is far more helpful than just a list of adjectives.
My other favorite leather is Bel Ami, vintage first, and then the current reformulation. However, as I smell it, BA is much less leathery than B683. The vintage is smooth, weird, otherworldly and awesome, but its initial hit is as much citrus to me as leather. The reform is clear, sharp, charming and professional - but similarly is one of the great "leather-and" or "leather +" fragrances. I also love puredistance M, which definitely comes close to the vintage BA but is more confident and much sweeter. It is a great smell, but friendlier and less mysterious.
Newer to my collection is Mona di Orio's Cuir, which is leather and smoke. I adore it but holy shit is it smokey. Similarly, another favorite, Anubis is leather and incense. It is incredible but the leather is really not the star.
Now comes the weird part - or really, the part that I think will help you determine if your nose is calibrated like mine. Two sets of other leathers land very strangely for me. First, what I call the soda pop leathers. Tauer's Lonestar Memories smells for all the world like root beer. It's not bad! But it's just root beer, at least at the top. Other people hoot and holler about its going on all hard & loud but for me it's A&W all the way down. Another one is Dior's Cuir Cannage, which is cherry soda when it is warm out. When its colder, I get a lot more of Chanel's Cuir Ruisse, but the Dior still smells basically like soda to me.
Second are the hay leathers. Heeley's Cuir Pleine Fleur smells *exactly* like fresh hay to my nose. It is incredibly strong and evocative.... of hay. And much more disappointing for me personally, vintage (92) Farenheit also smells pretty much like hay. Maybe I just don't know what diesel smells like?? But for me both of these are hay scents. I read other people talk about these and think there must be something wrong with me. But if whatever it is is wrong with you too, try B683!
Knize Ten, for some reason, includes powder and fruit. Vintage Cabochard is an ashtray spilled on soiled chaps. Azuree is actively rotting in the way of all the late Chant stanks. 1740 is good and strong but should really be called "leather & raisins." Sarrasins is apricot by way of apricots.
B683 in contrast with all of these is pure leather. Nothing else doing. I truly don't understand why it doesn't get more love, especially now with Ganymede blowing up. Which, fine, okay, I like Gany too, but maybe not more than vintage Madame Jolie, which is a similar hold-my-beer leather 'n floral party trick. B683 however is on another level. Just try it, especially in something that sprays.
A long-overdue proper sampling of Marc-Antoine Barrois B683, the house's first release, the initial version of B683 from 2016 in EDP concentration, not the more recent Extrait released in 2020. The original instantly hits as a modern gentlemanly creation, a woody, leathery, spicy blend with just a hint of sweetness, slightly fresh but still appropriate for a night out. Its note variety is interesting, a mix of spices (peppers, nutmeg), resins, woods, patchouli, and violet–providing the sharp and fresh bits, along with ambroxan and musk. It's a very fashionable yet still classic-enough signature scent for a man, a more toned-down alternative to something like Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme, which, by many accounts (albeit not mine), employs leather and patchouli in excess to the point of smelling petrol-like. Now, 683 has no listed leather note, but the effect is that of a leather fragrance but with a slight pivot toward sweetness and freshness.
This is an easy recommendation for all to try–it may not be groundbreaking but it incorporates useful elements and achieves a very nice, agreeable blend. A modern men's signature scent is an appropriately moniker.
Marc-Antoine Barrois fragrances are sold at great boutiques like Perfumology, and the B683 EDP pricing is $195/115 for 100/30ml (Ganymede's pricing is the same; B683 Extrait's is higher).
I look forward to sampling the Extrait as well as Ganymede (I'm behind on my sampling!), which I've both smelled in store but have not done full samplings of.
This is nice. At first I get pepper - and then the freshness comes in, the kind of freshness that you find in men's colognes - I'm not sure what it consists of, citrus peel, cool spices and ambergris/ambroxan maybe? It also has some more spices, but they are cool and mild. B683 is apparently an asteroid somewhere adjacent to Exupery's Little Prince's planet, so I was expecting rose and maybe some musky sheep wool, maybe a hint of baobab, but I'm not getting any of them. The Little Prince has grown up, forgot his beloved rose and showers daily with lots of marine/peppery shower gel and uses an aftershave and some nice cologne before going out nowadays. Ah, but what am I talking here - it's the *adjacent* asteroid, so it's probably not the Petite prince himself, it's probably some other cleanly shaved guy anyways.
Not very enthusiastic as it's just mostly "oh, nice" to me, especially for the price, but still a thumbs up. Would be nice to smell it on the street some day.
Contemporary WAC nonsense amplified by Ambroxin. Bland landscape results in what amounts to all style and little substance. The nose needs a little time with Geza Schoen to understand the Art. Ganymede shows a little more promise, however proves little more than Laundry Musk.
Top notes of Photo In GQ Of Handsome Man In Suit hit you like a brick at first, but after dry down there's a Reagan Era Dinner Party Absolute that comes to the forefront and dominates.
It's VERY classical. Nothing unique here, it smells like what an alien would think cologne must smell like after studying scans of human magazine ads. I guess if you need one in the rotation for extended family get-togethers or forced fraternization work events, you could do worse. Inoffensive. Boring.
This is a pleasant scent right of the bat. I am smelling fruits, violet leaf, spices and a pale suede and it's kind of addictive at first. It's also fresh and green despite the sweet fruitiness and, although I am smelling so many things, the blend is really nicely put together and everything has its place.
It's getting more woody and spicy as time goes on with the suede disappearing and now it feels also a bit thinner. The dry down is not as rich as the beginning, but overall it is warm, smooth and refined.