Perfume Directory

English Leather (1949)
by Dana (originally by MEM Company)

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English Leather information

Year of Launch1949
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 162 votes)

People and companies

HouseDana
Originally byMEM Company
Parent CompanyPatriarch Partners > Dana Classics

About English Leather

English Leather is a masculine fragrance by Dana. The scent was launched in 1949

English Leather fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of English Leather

A relative of mine gave me an English Leather(by MEM at the time) giftset one year for Christmas.They wore this cologne and I thought it smelled good,so it was to be my first scent.So likewise, probably five or six years in a row...always an English Leather giftset was under the Christmas tree.Looking back on English Leather I'd say men born between 1950-1985 came in contact with this cologne from their dad,uncle,or grandfather.Though it was significantly cheaper than say Aramis,Dunhill for Men, or Polo Original..it's still in the foundation of masculinity that forged a man's fragrance.

English Leather by MEM:
Out of the bottle and when this cologne dries down...it smells very nice!Drying down though it's one to be patient with.On initial splash you'll get white soap and aged leather,a bit of lemon oil,and wood.But you get this odd smell in the mix that reminds me of a cross between a rubber band and hay until it dries.After that it remains constant of leather and gets much lighter in soap and the citrus becomes a ghost so to speak.Develops a warmer character to the wood and gets a little powdery.Not baby powder though as it gets a little sweet...possibly a hint of vanilla.Strangely with the wood it has a kind of pipe tobacco tone to it that reminds me of an old smoke shop.I got about 6 hours from English Leather,but it was a low projection scent.I could smell it very faintly,if the breeze hits just right,or someone close was beside me.

English Leather by Dana:
I don't get soap from this one,but a base of lemon oil.Still a good amount of leather and wood though.The Leather is a tad different as it seems to be fresh and new leather rather than an aged form like the MEM formula had.Either that or the lemon oil lends a cleaner form to it.It still develops the wood and slightly vanilla powder stage,but I think the leather gets a little lighter in the background...yet the citrus is still detectable as a light note.In my opinion Dana's formula doesn't last longer than the MEM formula.But I do find the juice is just a little bit stronger in projection.Dana's formula has a different feel.You're in a empty Victorian era house and the hardwood floors were just cleaned with lemon oil.You sit in a leather chair and notice the end table's finish is worn off and can smell the wood with the sunlight beaming down.On that table is a marble ashtray supporting a pipe with freshly lit Captain Black pipe tobacco in it that you smelled the moment you entered.


I think when it comes to both versions of English Leather...it's hard to say which is better.If Dana's formula was the original English Leather?I'd be just as happy with it.The MEM formula though I liked that under the soap resided a dirty and dark leather.Dana's formula is fine...but try the original English Leather by MEM if you get the chance.
10th January, 2017
mkpunk Show all reviews
United States
I tried this about a year ago after seeing it was still around as I remembered the "some guys have it all" commerical playing in constant rotation for ESPN. The first time I tried it, I didn't like it. So I did few more times to see if the bad smell from my first trial was simply bad luck, however I found it wasn't. This is the definitive "wet dog" cologne. I'd only suggest it if your body chemistry works with it. Mine don't.
22nd May, 2016
It's such a simple old-school lemon/bergamot top, a little bit of oak moss in the middle, and a cedar-y leather base.

It's really easy to overdo it with the cologne, which has been stated by several reviewers. My technique is to splash the aftershave (after shaving, of course) and put small dabs of the cologne behind the ears and on the wrists. That's all you need for a full day of awesome scent.

No geritol, cardigan wearing, velcro shoes and liniment, just a classic manly smell (when done correctly).
08th September, 2015
Undistinguished dry, mossy, woody aftershave for the man who is not really into scent.

Bergamot, Lemon, Petit Grain, Orange, Lavender, Rosemary
Rose, Orris, Honey, Fern
Cedar, Tonka, Vetiver Musk

It's a nice fougere, but with the above ingredient combo, one expected a lot more.
04th June, 2015
A review of English Leather led to an emotional argument on the Basenotes forum, so I need to be a little careful with my words: this cologne smells like senior citizens. I want this to be old fashioned, I want it to be retro, I want it to be back-when-men-smelled-like-men but it's just a convalescent home. Medicinal, powdery, orange-scented institutional-strength professional-grade floor cleaner. It's not a barbershop, it's a hospital. No leather, no moss, just baby powder, citrus and alcohol. It's not charming, it's depressing. No disrespect to the original formulation from the '40s, which I'm sure was just grand.

This smells nothing like English Leather deodorant, either, which is a spicy delight.

There's no reason to douse myself in a liquid reminder of my inevitable death.
10th June, 2014
When I was in college, I shared a huge old house with a bunch of guys, mainly biology and chemistry majors. In the midst of some of the big parties we had, they'd exclaim, "let's do science!", and would run to the kitchen to create new outlandish cocktails, or snacks out of Cheez Whiz, hot sauce, and whatever was in the pantry. It was a crazy culinary experiment par excellence.

Dana's English Leather is the same way, except that it's now more of a science experiment than a cologne. For me, it in no way resembles the EL I loved in the '70s and '80s. I do get some citrus and then a pencil-cedary leather scent that can be tolerably pleasant. But that's just from a couple of dabs. Any more than that and I'm asphyxiated by a huge hit of what I can only call petroleum. I swear a splash of this is literally an environmental disaster. And as it's still sold in a large glass bottle, I shudder to think what would happen if it ever broke. I'd have to move out and raze the house to get rid of the smell.

I give it a "Neutral" out of respect for what English Leather once was. Even though I sometimes dab it on for old times' sake, it's definitely not the fragrance it used to be.

29th April, 2014 (last edited: 07th May, 2014)

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