Updated: Sep 6, 2022
Thanks to brands like Louis Vuitton, Coach and Chanel, many people associate the smell of leather with luxury. Imagine sliding across the sweet smelling seats of a Rolls-Royce. You reach into your Louis Vuitton hand bag to retrieve an orris scented Tom Ford lipstick. The aromas of luxury envelope you. Discover how the perfumer paints this picture in this months perfume: Lux.
Dreams of Leather
There is a specific face behind this months perfume. Her skin is ivory white and flawless, her hair an ebony black and her lips a deep red. She is the kind of person who wears a corset and stilettos just because. She threw away her small town, farm girl persona, and now she is Dita Von Teese.
For those that are unfamiliar with this celebrity, Dita is a burlesque dancer known for her glamorous old Hollywood style shows. These shows generally feature an abundance of rine stone studded leather costumes and feather boas. Dita is also known for her eclectic and expensive taste in vintage fashion, and she is rarely seen without a pair of red bottom Louboutin heels, or something more impressive.
The inspiration for Lux, comes from more than just Dita's aesthetic, but also her ideals. When discussing the message in her work, she said " I think that the idea of creating one’s own myth and using glamour as a transformative power resonated with others that were also looking for a way to feel confident and glamorous in their own lives." Perfume can be an invisible part of that transformative costume that gives people confidence. You may not be carrying a fine leather hand bag or climbing into some fancy car, but you sure can smell like it!
As a perfumer, it is hard not to imagine what a day in her life would smell like. So many different expensive bags, shoes and cars. Vintage orris smelling makeup, cigars, fine liquor, old varnished furniture. If this doesn't paint a picture for you, then you can tour her house with Architectural Digest here: https://youtu.be/rHyIOIstYRA
With that being said, Lux was formulated to smell of rich leather, liquor, and dark violet perfume. A spray of this perfume should take your imagination into a closest full of the finest money can buy, while you sip something good through the cosmetic bouquet of your lipstick. The lighting is dim and warm and you are feeling fabulous.
Saffron, Suede and Safraleine...
As it's name might suggest, the featured synthetic raw material for this month, safraleine, smells a lot like saffron. Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the "saffron crocus". It has held the record as the world's most expensive spice by weight, at $5,000 per Kg or higher.
While Safraleine exhibits powerful characteristics of saffron, it is also reminiscent of warm leather and tobacco. A perfumer, Arcadi Boix Camps, describes Safraleine as “....a great master chemical imparting subtleness, delicacy, refinement, intricacy, velvetiness and great class wherever it is used. ..." Sounds like a good material to use in a perfume representing luxury!
One of the great advantages of Safraleine is that it is highly substantive and strong without being overwhelming. It can easily be perceived at doses lower than 0.5%, but is still very pleasant at 10%.
Compare the (+) and (-) Perfume...
In this months perfume Safraleine is dosed at 1.5%, and I find its effect very obvious when comparing the (+) and (-) perfume. In the (+) perfume, Safraleine pushes the leather and cardamom notes into a fancy purse type of leather, while keeping the plum berry aspect of the perfume from being too edible and juvenile. Not only does it underline the overall leather character, it almost seems to push the fragrance off the skin so the (+) perfume seems stronger. What do you think?
Notes of Lux...
Violet, Morello Cherry, Cardamom, Liquor, Painted Leather, Saffron, Oud, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Labdanum.
Lux opens with a bust of purple violet and red berry character then quickly transitions into a sweet syrupy amber liquor. The boozy effect here is achieved with a combination of fruity materials like raspberry ketone, ethyl-2methyl butyrate and rose alcohols. The dark animalic character of leather runs through the whole formula giving of the impression of an oud. Notes of cardamom and saffron blend together to emphasize a brushed suede effect in the middle and base notes. The dry down leaves you with a hint of dark plum, suede and cedarwood.
So now that you have trained your nose to identify Safraleine and its effect(s) in perfumery, what do you think? Do you perceive it as suede? Do you prefer the (+) or (-) perfume?
Feel free to share any questions or comments you have! I would love to hear your thoughts! As always, thank you for subscribing. I work very hard to make this subscription as fun, engaging, and educational as possible, but I am always seeking suggestions for improvement.
If you like what this perfume has to offer, I do suggest sniffing the perfumes listed below: