There were two very different formulas for Persian Leather. The first dates back to the 1920's. The old Caswell Massey catalogs used to mention it was a favorite of Cole Porter.
To me, Persian Leather had citrus top notes, tarragon or anise for the middle and oak moss, light patchouli, vertiver and birch tar to make a more Russian Leather type scent. It was a warm, long lasting scent that reeked of happiness and the promise of sex.
In the early 90's, Caswell Massey discontinued the scent. To me, this marked the beginning of C.M.'s continuing downward spiral. Ten or more years later, they reintroduced a pretender. Some of the basics were there, but they added nag champa and something that clawed the back of the throat like grandma's Emeraude. The oakmoss and tarragon were non-existent. It dried down to something more reminiscent of talc and nag champa.
Thankfully, they discontinued this new version around 2005.
If you can get an old(pre-1990) bottle, it's a fine scent.
I'll give a thumbs up only in memory of the old version.
10th January, 2011 (last edited: 26th January, 2011)
Not leather.... unless Persian Leather is a variety that doesn't smell like any other leather on earth. I found this to be watery and a light smoky fragrance at best. It's somewhat bitter and totally linear. This isn't in the same league as Knize Ten - or any other well established leather - not even close. If you're a leather fan don't even bother because it's not worth it, which is unfortunate because usually C-M puts out good stuff.
Linear leather with a touch of bittersweet citrus to it. I find this leather scent bearable. This smells like a good leather to me.
I agree with tvlampboy, that there's a bit of Mitsouko-likeness in here. Maybe because in the opening, I smell peanuts, just as I do with Guerlain's Mitsouko and L'Heure Bleue. Then it calms down into an aromatic with leather, reminiscent of Caron's Yatagan, to me. So, in summary, peanuts + aromatic + leather. Nice!
Surprisingly good for such a reasonable price. Light, fresh, warm, and with a good kick of leather thrown in without being too dry. I wouldn't wait in line in the rain for it, but if the opportunity came about to get another bottle, I'd definitely do it.
I agree with MisterK -- Zino is SO much better than this mixture of sweat and saddle leather. This one reminds me of a Knize Ten, but sans the pleasantness. Very animalic, very dirty smelling stuff - kinda like a Mitsouko for men, only with more flophouse sweat. Give me Zino any day of the week. (Funny, too, as I'm normally a huge fan of almost anything Caswell-Massey.)