Lonestar Memories features an almost overpowering smoky leather note at the beginning, like a leather jacket tossed onto a campfire. Its black, rubbery thrust might seem too monolithic were it not for the minty geranium leaf and an orangey myrrh shooting though it, letting down the density of the smoke to an acceptable level. The opening is thrilling and evocative, but there’s no beating around the bush here - it’s wild enough to scare the horses.
But Lonestar Memories isn’t a perfume built purely on the shock value of its topnotes. The smoke note here is rich, full, and rubbed with sage, so despite the general industrial bent to the leather note (tar, creosote, tarpaulins, motor engine oil), there is a refreshing whiff of the great outdoors too. It’s a macho, dry perfume built on a HUMONGOUS scale, as broad in scope as a prairie. A fragrance for dreamers and wanderers.
For me, Lonestar Memories only really hits its stride when it enters the dry down. The smoke note settles, and becomes just one more layer in the rich leather, a tiny prickle of birch tar there to remind us that this is no ladies’ glove type of leather. There is real beauty in the quality of the myrrh here. It is soapy, antiseptic and slightly bitter in that black, oily way that myrrh oil is, so one gets the pleasant impression of having washed one’s hands with coal tar soap. If you are someone like me who grew up with that soap, then this stage will be a real rush to the head. It also has a licorice-like facet to it.
Teamed with the smoky but now smooth leather, and a gummy floral note (jasmine?), the myrrh provides a shot of almost bitter soapiness that reads as very necessary against the white, creamy amber in the background. The opening is riveting, but the delicious, long dry down is what keeps me coming back for more.
Would I buy a bottle? Probably not. Not because I don’t think it is beautiful or striking, because I do, but because it is such a strongly “environmental” fragrance, by which I mean that it conjures up an entire slice of Americana – a prairie, a dust bowl, a tire shop with oily mechanics – and so I feel it doesn’t really fit in with the type of life I lead.
But I treasure my sample of it. Now, rather than wearing it on my skin, I prefer to soak a blotter in Lonestar Memories and place it into my jeans pocket or underneath the desk lamp in my office so that I can enjoy its rich, smoky, cowboy-chaps scent all day long without the commitment of skin time. Perfect.