Perfume Review: Tom Ford Private Blend Tuscan Leather

next-tuscany-leather-sofaAh, leather. I am late to the leather bandwagon, and am still blaming Chanel Cuir de Russie for that.  (I did have something of a revelation with regards to CdR recently,  in that one afternoon I tried the same masochistic retest that I periodically attempt, and CdR did NOT smell like our cattle working pens. Instead, it was smooth leather, iris and a very buttery ylang, really lovely. However, the next day? Back to cattle pens. And the parfum? CATTLE PENS. I can’t win for losin’, as they say.)

But the leather scents that I like, I really like.  I adore Cuir de Lancome, which smells like the inside of my mother’s good leather purse, ca. 1975. I have swoony love for Balmain Jolie Madame in the parfum, which is like wearing a kick-butt pair of leather combat boots and carrying an enormous bouquet of violets, complete with the leaves and maybe one gardenia in the center (you only need one gardenia to be able to smell it).  Parfum d’Empire Cuir Ottoman, which I like to call “Odd Footstool” because it makes me laugh, is a delightful mix of leather followed by caramelly amber. Yum.

tuscan leatherTuscan Leather, from Tom Ford’s pricey Private Blend line, was recommended to me as a straight-up leather scent, and I have to say that it does smell like a leather sofa to me – soft, polished, comfortable.  The notes, according to Fragrantica, are saffron, raspberry, thyme, olibanum (frankincense), jasmine, leather, suede, amber and woody notes.  The scent does actually carry on with leather all the way through, unlike some other leather fragrances, which have a leather stage but don’t seem to stay there. Instead, Tuscan Leather is pretty literal. I do not smell raspberry in here, though other people seem to catch it. It is a little on the sweet side, especially compared to the ferocity of the green-leather classic Bandit, but I rather like that TL has the feeling of a cozy nook rather than a rawhide whip. There is a creaminess to it, which I’m attributing to the saffron because that note seems to offer a creamy effect in other scents with saffron.  I do smell a bit of incense, which melds with the woody notes toward the base, and as the fragrance goes on, more and more amber.  It never winds up as ambery-sweet as Cuir Ottoman, though, and the general effect is of a men’s club, with multiple leather sofas and a vague whiskey-and-pipe-tobacco hint.

A friend of mine shudders when she smells this, insisting that it reminds her of cocaine. I don’t have any reference for that in my personal life, so I’m at a loss. Sure, it may actually smell like sniffery-jollies in a 1980s nightclub, but I would never ever know.

Tuscan Leather is on the masculine side, and it’s unusual for me to thoroughly enjoy wearing a fragrance geared toward men*, but this one I do.  Sillage is moderate and longevity average; I typically get 3-6 hours of wear from an eau de parfum, and I get about five hours’ worth out of TL. Toward the end it becomes quite sweet and ambery, having finally left behind the leather and the woody-incense notes, but I don’t mind so much.

It’s ridiculously expensive at $225 for 50ml, or $280 for 100ml, at major retailers such as Nordstroms and Neiman-Marcus, just like the rest of the Private Blend line, so I’m not going to buy any, but it is wonderful, and I would love to smell it on a man.

(*I have notoriously girlified taste.  I can usually wear unisex fragrances easily but I simply cannot manage anything even vaguely fougere, or anything with a shaving-cream angle.  It’s like wearing cotton Y-front briefs. Just NO.)


20 thoughts on “Perfume Review: Tom Ford Private Blend Tuscan Leather”

  1. I don’t wear a ton of leathers, but funnily enough I am today: Parfums Retro Grand Cuir. This stuff, for all the world, smells like my dad in the early stages. Something about a vague note of motor oil and the cold-cream-like product he uses to cleanse his hands of oil and grease when he comes in from the shop. And maybe a slight cumin-y edge of body odor. I know that doesn’t sound good but it’s feeling very nostalgic and nice today… really surprised by how much I’m enjoying it.

    There are some really nice Private Blend Tom Fords, but they’re so pricey! Overprice in most cases, I think.

    1. I agree on the TF price structure. Ridiculous. And most of the time not worth it.

      I should have mentioned – there’s a hint of what reads as “machine shop” to me in the Tuscan Leather as well, something oily and metallic. Doesn’t last long.

      Should look up that Grand Cuir thingy. Testing Memoire Liquide Daim Blanc to day and not enjoying it. Something really acrid in there.

  2. I can’t do really intense leathers, so I’m saved from any regret about this one and its ridiculous price. But, I did think it was nice when I smelled it in store. My only TF Private Blend purchase came from an Estee Lauder factory store, and was half the normal price, bringing it in at “very expensive, but I’m willing to go for it.”

    1. Yes. I was unaware of that before testing this, so I was a little taken aback. I think there’s something about it on Blogdorf Goodman, too.

  3. What a coincidence- I just made my husband wear his sample of tuscan leather yesterday and it smelled glorious on him.. My husband doesn’t wear perfume but insists that Tuscan leather is his favorite which is why I even have a sample of this (it wasn’t my fave)..but after yesterday I am regretting not getting in on a split of this. As you said it smells very classic leather, manly (in a non aftershave way) yet with a bit of sweetness..

    1. Very classic. I’d love to smell it on a guy – but failing that, I will just wear it myself. It’s not one of those masculines that I’d feel weird in.

      So good you found one for the hubs to wear, too.

  4. oh and I was wearing my sample of lyric (which i finally tried on skin..swoon) and there was a breeze and these two fragrances smell so good together!

    1. Huh. I assume that’s Lyric Woman? I HAVE some o’dat. It’s lovely (I like to wear it for classical music concerts) – I might have to try Lyric and TL on the same arm, just to see how they would play on me. I can see the pairing, though.

      1. Yup- Lyric Woman! I’m so tempted to get a bottle at one of the discounters (less than 200 for 100 ml) but I’ve never spent that much on a single bottle..Also suddenly my husband claims he likes Memoir Woman better which surprised me..And my inlaws also seemed to love Memoir yesterday which surprised me even more (and reminded me of your experience wearing it to the mall)..To me it was reminiscent of the frankincense in Jubiliation for men which I really like so I wasn’t blown away by Memoir Woman but maybe I need to give it a fair testing?- the smell is addictive..But I usually always fall for the ‘interesting’ perfumes- I want one that is just pretty/beautiful like

        1. Lyric is so EASY compared to Memoir, I think. And yet I wear Memoir more often. I have a 15ml decant of Lyric, but I sort of shudder to think how much Memoir I’ve gone through since I bought it.

          I like Jub for men. haaaaated the women’s one.

          1. I can imagine..Lyric is a very ‘special occasions’ perfume more so than Memoir. Will you kill me if I say that Lyric sometimes reminds me of Cashmere Mist (in a good way- i used to like it and wear it)- though that’s just one aspect of it..
            I no longer can wear cashmere mist and have often tried to get rid of my bottle so I’m not not sure if the comparison makes me too happy

  5. I love this perfume on my vSO!

    I do not try to influence you or anything but I think that you can buy 10-30 ml from a split of a bigger bottle in one of the FB or Youtube split groups and it gets MUCH more reasonable (e.g. now in Frgrance Swap group $15.25/5ml, $25.85/10ml, $37/15ml, $69/30ml, $111.75/50ml – all prices including S&H).

    1. OH YEAH swaps are so much more reasonable… I, um, have a 5ml decant of TL from a swap and I’m going to enjoy it. But to be honest, I love Jolie Madame in the parfum (vintage grrr) so so so much more, I think I’ll just save up for more of that. It hits eBay pretty often.

      I don’t think I’m part of the Fragrance Swap group – is that through MUA? I am in on Scentsplits, on Google, and that’s how I got the Tuscan Leather. Splits are nearly always reasonable enough for me to swing.

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