New Perfume Review Ferragamo Spicy Leather What a 2021 Powerhouse Smells Like


There are days when I reach for one of the 1970’s powerhouses that I feel I am showing my age. I don’t care but fifty years on these old warhorses feel like a relic. They remain great perfumes just not part of today’s fragrance landscape. In the current transparent world of scent I’ve been wondering if you could convert one of those older styles into a 2021 version. Ferragamo Spicy Leather comes close to doing that.

Earlier this year the brand released Intense Leather. I found that an interesting effort to lighten up a leather accord as part of a spring floral. Perfumer Antoine Maisondieu crafted a lightweight leather accord that fit the intent. He is also the nose behind Spicy Leather. This time he takes some of pieces of the 1970’s and re-assembles them into a modern analog.

Antoine Maisondieu

M. Maisondieu achieves this concept by again featuring a lighter leather accord. This is a more compelling version than what he used in Intense Leather. It has a little more grit. Just enough to be an interesting nucleus.

The leather accord is present from the start. He adds in saffron to create the early contrast. The saffron shimmers over the leather instead of impregnating it. What does penetrate the leather accord is a healthy dose of black pepper. Most of the time this would get pushed to the side by a fuller leather accord. Here it adds the promised spice. Clary sage and nutmeg attenuate some of the rougher parts of the pepper. The base is a fraction of patchouli and dry sandalwood. This completes the opaque construction.

Spicy Leather has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.

This is a smart modernization of those classics of fifty years ago. It doesn’t necessarily smell like any one of them. What it does is offer a 2021 perspective on a similar recipe perhaps leading to today’s version of powerhouse.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Salvatore Ferragamo.

Mark Behnke