There are brands that have no clear idea what they want to stand for. Their sole reason for existing is to throw something out there and wrap it in a lot of PR. This is the cynical side of independent perfumery. What makes independent perfumery great is when a brand does know what kind of perfume they want to make and get down to doing it. Trusting that their vision will find an audience. Ten years ago the owner creative team of John and Clara Molloy had me working overtime to find their perfumes. I had heard about this amazing oud perfume. When I finally got a sample, it was everything I had heard. Ever since I have admired The Molloys. Their clear-eyed ability to create a line of perfumes which live up to an idea instead of down to a bottom line. Memo Sicilian Leather brings me back to when I first encountered the brand.
Early on The Molloys decided to have distinct collections within Memo. The first was called Cuirs Nomades. The simple concept was to create leather perfumes from a geographic location. This has been a largely successful effort because they have found ways of encouraging the perfumers, they work with to think of place as well as leather. For Sicilian Leather they turn to perfumer Yann Vasnier to continue this.
In the press release there is a lot of talk about volcanoes and Mt. Etna. So much so I was expecting a scorched style of leather. There is a warm, even hot type of leather here, but it comes courtesy of the sun not the volcano. What kept floating through my mind was an inappropriately dressed hiker in a leather jacket on the slopes of Etna in the summer.
That summer sun comes from a fantastically focused citrus accord of cedrat and bitter orange. This is that sunny citrus with some bite. A noonday sun versus one at either end of the day. The trees and the vegetation come though a heart accord of violet leaves and balsams. This again carries a high noon feeling as if everything is just a little faded by the sun. The leather accord comes next. Using the biologically fractionated patchouli known as Akigalawood along with patchouli. This also follows this overheated effect that has led here. The leather is rich with just a hint of sweat underneath.
Sicilian Leather has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
Noel Coward tells us “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun”. Sicilian Leather shows there might be something worth smelling in that heat.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample supplied by Memo.