Perfume Directory

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

English Leather information

Year of Launch1949
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 144 votes)

People and companies

Originally byMEM Company

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 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)
english leather is the best of the drugstore colognes out there along with pierre cardin which is the strongest I have worn. english leather is a very masculine strong fragrance that last for hours. it has a macho sex appeal to it that one can't help feeling in a sexual mood. it's a classic that seems to hardly changed unlike other drugstore colognes I have tried.
06th January, 2014
Haven't used this stuff in a while(since the '70s, when I was a child....TWICE!!!), but it's certainly a classic!
06th December, 2013
Ahem!, my first review on Basenotes...

This review is for the MEM company after shave. First off, I'm quite enthusiastic about this after shave for it has absolutely no burn, therefore it has little alcohol content. Some alcohol is good in an after shave for it's anti-septic qualities but too much alcohol in an A/S can feel like liquid fire. Anyways, this is absent of any appreciable amount of alcohol

In the opening going on I get a light lime (citrus) note, some leather and what smells to me of sandalwood. Could be the leather and moss playing together. Through the dry down the woods come out to mingle with the rest of the cast. Just lovely IMO. Longevity isn't there for me nor should it in a discreet after shave
25th April, 2013
This is based on the English Leather after shave or cologne of 1976, whatever an awkward teenager would borrow from his older brother for his first semi-formal dance.

I was the awkward kid's dance partner, and I remember snuggling my head onto the lapel of his suit and smelling sandalwood and something else comfortable and mossy that made me want to keep my head there all night. It might have made me think of a library in an old house - leather and pipe tobacco? I don't remember any citrus notes. According to other kids he told later, I kept saying he smelled good, then sneezing.

Since I was awkward too, we both just waved goodbye, and that was the end of things. The smell of his suit still makes me happy after 36 years. It's just now occurring to me that maybe he never put on the English Leather himself. Maybe he borrowed the suit from his big brother, and I was just getting the leftover scent from the week before.
19th December, 2012

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