Reviews of English Leather by Dana

    Find out more about English Leather by Dana in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


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    wjlamp's avatar

    Greece Greece

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    Lady Luck is beautiful but blind.

    Yesterday, while I was browsing at the local bazaar, downtown Athens, I stumbled upon a pile of cheap Chinese made perfumes $3 ,a piece.
    Shiny colors fancy packaging and all the assorted paraphernalia.
    Excusing myself to the poor seller,I tried to get out ,carefully,without damaging the merchandise.
    Accidentally,a small brown cube of glass with a round wooden cap,fell off the pile.
    Yes it was an English Leather cologne.Not Dana's,mind you,It was a MEM.!!!
    Holly ones, a vintage EL,in a pile of garbage...
    To cut a long story short,the seller found only 4 of them in the whole lot. He asked $ 10 for all,wholesale price (sic).
    Needless to say I bought them.

    The last time that I had one original MEM English Leather,was in 1981,a leftover in a small,local, going out of business store,

    A lovely fragrance.

    As I always say,it's up to the individual. The perception of an airy fragrant wave, is always a matter of a momentarily lapse. The smell of that elixir,is heady,from minute one. As all the fragrances of the leathery kind,and I had a lot of them including KNIZE 10 , this beauty lasts on me, a good twelve hours give or take one,with no change. May be my pH is neutral,or leathery,( smiles). I don't know.

    What I do know, is that I have 16 oz, of an old precious juice, seasoned like vintage wine,that boldly rhymes and rhymes.
    A thumbs up, I hear you say? Not only....

    29th September, 2008

    wallager57's avatar

    United States United States

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    One of my all time favorites. This stuff is just righteous!

    06th September, 2008

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    The stuff out now is revolting and doesn't smell like leather or tanning materials to me. More like a feminine leather chypre with army boots. The graphic on the bottle looks like an upside down hat.

    29th August, 2008

    ortho123's avatar

    United States United States

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    I gave this one a try again. And grateful I did. The after shave is smoother, not simply lighter, more balanced. This is still IMO one of those light/heavy scents where moderation is defintely the best policy. Too much of the cologne, especially on the chest, a somewhat cloying depressing effect. But 2-4 shots of the cologne distributed, at least for me, is not only fine but somewhat refined.

    This is indeed an improved reformulation where in the past I never applied EL cologne with a spray but with fingertip drops. This new and improved EL (except in the minds of purists) allows for expansion/retention of the citrus (a clean mixture of maybe lemon, some orange blossom) and the woods at some point with olfactory illusions? of a kind of raw mint or sage, flashes here and there, of that "hint of mint" of a long ago promo, with also more room for what appears when passing back and forth between notes, ah yes, brief hits of leather. There are even moments before the citrus fades when things seem slightly lime.

    Clean, retro with a drydown much less outdated than many other classics. The new EL evolves into a very wearable natural scent with a calculus that defies its synthetic ingredients. Slightly sweet, dry, fresh, with enough warmth.

    My only edit is to add this: the new EL is one of the most underrated scents out there in any category.. Call it a poor man's everyday niche scent if you will. English Leather rocks!!!

    28th August, 2008 (Last Edited: 07th July, 2011)

    tnamey's avatar

    United States United States

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    The first cologne I ever purchased. I must have a leather fetish and consider this a more basic scent than the sophisticated Knize Ten, the "sumptuous" Creed. It remains a standout, by any measure. Who cares if it is inexpensive and a drug store purchase. I agree it a casual, all around scent that almost everyone likes.

    10th August, 2008

    tanto's avatar

    United States United States

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    This is one of my all time favorites. I wore this back in high school 40 years ago (it was very popular then). To this day, I feel very comfortable wearing EL. Yes, I have more expensive brands but EL to me is always right for almost any occasion and any time of day. It is clean smelling and very manly. Whenever I wear EL, people will always ask me what cologne I have on. Many times, the "old classics" are more favorably appreciated than the newer ones (which are often very strong, synthetic, and over bearing). If you're a guy who just wans to smell clean and fresh, English Leather will never let you down!

    18th June, 2008

    trewornan's avatar

    England England

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    The first scent I've bought based on basenotes reviews - so I wanted to start with something inexpensive. What a bargain! I'm amazed that it's possible to buy such a great aftershave for £6 ($12) a bottle.

    Goes on with a quite unpleasant and powerful chemical twang but this dies quickly and within half an hour is undetectable. It's been replaced by a really gentle warm scent which lasts ages and has good sillage but is not overpowering. It's clean and masculine in a nothing to prove sort of way and does indeed smell of cheap brand new leather. An easy to wear comfortable scent for days when you just want something relaxed and pleasant. At the price you can't go wrong.

    18th June, 2008

    Magnulus's avatar

    United States United States

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    This a definite classic. Think of a fragrance like Aramis, though much more complex, lively, and well-rounded. Sandalwood and oakmoss seem to dominate the base, with just a hint of sweetness. The middle and top notes seem vaguely citrus, but I cannot place the rest of them. Despite the name, I don't think it is particularly "leather" scented, it is more of a "woodsy" fragrance.

    13th May, 2008

    tvlampboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    Warm, woody and masculine stuff, but minus the "gasoline" notes of Knize's leather and the price tags of Tabac Blond and REL. Am I comparing it to those giants? Not really -- only marginally, maybe, as it IS a leather frag. But for the guy seeking a "man's man" frag with excellent sillage and very good longevity? I don't know why I'd hesitate to recommend English Leather.

    13th January, 2008

    Carl999's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Nice, clean and very leathery.

    Unfortunately, I can't find it ANYWHERE!

    Grrrr!

    This is probably best for an at-home comfort scent, to splash around after a shower in the morning, or to freshen up in the morning.

    I would not recomend it, no matter how much I love it, as an "outing" fragrance, but sometimes I wear to the shopping mall and to classes at uni.

    A nice, well-rounded cologne. Just wish it were more readily available.

    Cheers.

    11th June, 2007

    narcus's avatar

    Switzerland Switzerland

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    I have been sampling quite a few leather scents lately including some famous ones. I love leather notes in perfumes and bought this one blind from a vintage sale for very little. This is the old class, less sweet than often now, flowers omitted. And it is not one of those oriental leathers either. This, to me, is like an uncompromising rendition of a lasting cuiron. It's not smooth and chique like a ladies handbag. It lacks the brilliance and floral richness of Knize. But such simplicity can be a virtue! There are times when you do not want extravagance, just walk through the hills with your most comfortable boots and your favorite old leather jacket. What a find!

    17th April, 2007

    GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    How can you go wrong with this? Soap and Leather, classy and masculine, gentle.

    There is kind of a cheap bitter chemicals aspect to it if you pay attention, but it only costs $10, and most people just notice how nice it is.

    Since it's so inexpensive, I like to use it to freshen up my pillows and bedsheets. It would make a wonderful shaving cream as it immediately brings that to mind, along with an old fashioned shaving brush.

    Don't be too snobby to enjoy this one!

    16th April, 2007 (Last Edited: 11th April, 2008)

    Jon_Remy's avatar

    United States United States

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    I love English Leather. I wore this at a time when I also wore Pierre Cardin and Old Spice Herbal cologne (which unfortunately they don't make anymore, as well as the original Jovan Ginseng). This is a wonderful fragrance for those who ride horses and love the country life. Excellent for the handsome burly lumberjack.

    10th June, 2006

    zenpiper's avatar

    United States United States

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    It's a fine scent, fairly unique too. I wore it often to high school dances and parties and I am darn tired of it now. Still, for an inexpensive fragrance, it's better than most.

    10th March, 2006

    moondeva's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Light classic leathery cologne, quite fresh in nature for such a 'heavy' type of scent. Unfortunately, especially after all the raves I have seen on here for it, I am finding it very 'meh!’ I live in a very cold climate though and believe that it may come more into its own in spring / summer. Not sure I like the spray version (too much aerosol) and may have to seek out a splash bottle to decant. (I will also look into getting a vintage vintage bottle, with the darker liquid to see if there is a difference in the formulations).

    18th January, 2006

    NaturalBornThrilla's avatar



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    Smells ok last a long time and for the price thats not to bad. It reminds me of my grandfather I think thats why I bought it anyway it's worth the $10 bucks they want for it not gonna catch many fish(so to speak)with it but won't make any ofem run away from ya either.

    25th December, 2005

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    I bought a bottle of this recently not for nostalgic purposes but to find out why the reviews of it lacked the playful sarcasm that I thought English Leather deserved. What I discovered is that the English Leather being sold today is NOT the English Leather that I used for a while back in the sixties. This is softer, lighter, and more refined. It is not that in-your-face, leather accord that was so vibrantly 1960s: this one is has toned down that “leather” ambiance considerably. I had overdosed on the ‘60s version of English Leather and I still have a strong memory of how cloying it could be… But the cloying element seems to have been eliminated for the most part… Gone is the stupendous sillage that announced “English Leather” to the people three apartments down the hall (I remember this happening)… Gone is the epic longevity that made applying it more than once every three days totally redundant...

    The current English Leather is less potent. In the most recent version I can smell the citrus top that I never smelled in the ‘60s version. The leather? I get an echo of the leather accord only occasionally, mostly I get an undetermined wood dominance. I get an unidentifiable but amiable citrus in the opening, which gradually changes to a discreet and civilized mossy / wood / maybe leather accord for the rest of the fragrance. The citrus is non-spectacular, the moss is competent, the woods are somewhat generic / somewhat synthetic, and the leather only occasionally raises its head. The leather Superbomb of the ‘60s has become a mild mannered Clark Kent of a fragrance – competent, unassuming, a bit shy, and sometimes quirky. For the price, this one is a deal to be considered: sometimes those reformulations are for the better. (Edit of 01 December 2005 review. Changed from thumbs down.)

    01st December, 2005 (Last Edited: 24th July, 2009)

    Badger's avatar



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    Opening citrus note that soon disperses and settles down to a soft woody smell that somehow reminds me of old wooden railway dining cars. You can smell the nostalgia in this.

    05th September, 2005

    Naed_Nitram's avatar



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    I agree, this is OK. According to my nose, a genuinely nice opening salvo is a bit let down by a slightly cheap-smelling development. A sort of 'mundane mass fragrance' meets 'I coulda been a contender, Charlie, I coulda had class'?

    14th December, 2004

    Dack's avatar



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    English Leather is probably the most masculine of the classic men's fragrances. It is warm, woody, sexy as heck. I was introduced to it in the 1960's, smelling it on my dad and I wear it myself today. It never goes out of style and is a great cologne for all seasons and for all occasions. I never get tired of this scent; not over-powering yet long-lasting. I cannot say enough good things about it. Big thumbs up!!

    24th August, 2004

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