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  1. #1

    Default Does A Real Leather Fragrance Oil Exist?

    Hi I recently bought some top grain leather and I found myself really liking the smell of them. It gave me the idea of wanting to buy a fragrance oil that would smell like it. I read the posts on here and went out and smelled many fragrances (including some very expensive ones) as well as ordered some samples of fragrance oils titled leather. All of which in my opinion do not smell anything like what I consider decent leather. In fact I think the leather fragrance that comes from the car wash smells more similar to the scent added to my top grain leather. May I ask you with experience in dealing with oils why this may be?

  2. #2
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    pkiler's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Southern California

    Default Re: Does A Real Leather Fragrance Oil Exist?

    Well, Since Leather is my specialty, with three Leather Frags out, and more to come I can help with this, but won't give away some hard fought for bits.

    Tanned Leather, like from the Tandy Store, doesn't have fragrance added.
    there are some excellent bases that mimic the scent, but none duplicates it.

    I've done more than 5X my share of research into the smell of real tanned leather. A 1970's era Headspace GCMS study that I found, studying just this, tanned leather from a store like Tandy's revealed the constituents. When I sent this study back to the present day GCMS specialist at this large fragrance house, and he did more research, and talked around with their perfumers, what he found is that almost all of the constituents aren't allowed to be used in making perfumes.

    So then, the smell of leather must be approached form different directions, and with different methods, than trying to reconstruct it from an actual headspace GCMS.

    And in all probability, the leather fragrance oils that you have access to are going to have only a general direction to leather, and won't actually be all that faithful to the odor profile that you seek.

    The best ones I've found have taken me almost six years to find. One of them is listed in a book published online, but is nowhere to be found on the internet, except in that one book as a reference. It took me three years to find it after I even knew of it's existence. It is the same odor used for the Zaino "Leather in a bottle". reconditioner for leather car seats. But that version isn't cosmetic safe. There is another version that is though.

    For non fragrance oils or bases, The Leather Scent profile comes through now with some quinolines, Birch tar, Cade, Castoreum and Civet, and a few other things like safraleine.

    So, My recommendation to you seeking to find an FO that duplicates the scent of tanned leather, that you probably will not find it in an accessible material. And you should make do with what you CAN get your hands on, and then reshape it in the way you want to.

    Last edited by pkiler; 30th November 2013 at 08:20 PM.
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    In addition to Our own PK line, we make Custom Bespoke Perfumes, perfumes for Entrepreneurs needing scents for perfumes or products, Custom Wedding Perfumes, and even Special Event Perfumes.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Does A Real Leather Fragrance Oil Exist?

    I'm not surprised that the majority of the constituents that come from tanned leather are perfumery dont's

    Most of what I have smelled when it comes to tanned leather, results from acid dyes, tanning chemicals like various acids and formaldehyde's, vegetable and or bees wax and other conditioning agents also depending on the application, animal fats, and or petroleum distillates for water resistance. Not to mention the heart of the leather would carry some subtle hints of it once having been an animal.

    Thinking on it, if I were to build a leather frag, I would probably use bees wax abs as an element in the fragrance.

    Also out of curiosity is there such a thing as indigo EO? because that might also have a place in the frag.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Does A Real Leather Fragrance Oil Exist?

    Thanks to PK for the post.

    I will just say I have used a contemporary leather accord commonly used by perfumers, and found it very very close to leather. Further, I've stumbled on a couple things (an herb EO, for example) that smelled leather like in context, other than the most common ones named. So it's eminently doable, generally, to make a leather scent.

    It's also worth mentioning that human skin is somewhat analogous to leather, and can be used to assist one, in terms of trying things on skin.

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