We all have a lot to be grumpy about when it comes to Christian Dior Parfums. Not only must we be giving them the evil eye for the dwindling quality in classics such as Diorissimo, we must also be narked about the shoddy reformulations of modern classics like Hypnotic Poison, Pure Poison and Dior Homme/Homme Intense. So yes, it may just be me, but Dior could do a lot more to get in to many a fumehead’s good books.
One area where Dior isn’t letting us down is in their relatively recently launched (2010) “La Collection Privée”, which saw the original Dior Homme Cologne collection (Eau Noire, Bois d’Argent and Ambre Nuit) bumped up to a total of 9 fragrances, before being joined by two new fragrances; Leather Oud and Patchouli Imperial. My interest in in the former was officially piqued at Perfume Lovers London “Evening of Leather“, in which it was described by Lila as a “Sex God”, a moniker which is not to be ignored!
Leather Oud is definitely a stand out within La Collection, and I would argue that it is also a stand out amongst the onslaught of oud based fragrances that populate the market. On the creation of Leather Oud, Dior says: “Christian Dior searched the world, looking for the most beautiful fabrics that exist. Like the designer, the Perfumer (François Demachy) chooses the most beautiful raw materials, one of which is oud wood from Indonesia.”  It is this haute couture approach that makes Leather Oud such a success, it is a wonderful example of what happens when quality and artistry collide.
Top: Clove and Cardamom Seed
Heart: Oud, Amyris, Sandalwood and Animalic Notes
Base: Leather, Labdanum Ciste and Birch 
How Does it Smell?
Leather Oud starts out really spicy, skanky and Nasty with a capital “N”. The spices, namely cardamom, clove, cinnamon and cumin (a quartet of “Cs”) give the impression of hot, sweaty bodies rolling in the hay. It’s obvious from the beginning that Leather Oud is definitely more of an ‘Oud’ than it is a ‘Leather’ and the aforementioned oud makes an appearance early on in the development.
The oud in Leather Oud is rich and intensely honeyed. It strikes a nice contrast between sweet and sour that gives the impression of warm skin in, erm, “southern places”. This honeyed, sour quality is bolstered by strong, dry woods, namely cedar, sandalwood and gaiac wood which, along with the tar and smoke of the leather really compliments the oud rather nicely.
Despite their absence in the notes list I could swear that there are some white flowers lurking beneath all that wood and smoke. The flowers add a slight hint of indole, which amps up the raunch just beyond the acceptable level of politeness, although Leather Oud never becomes so raunchy that it couldn’t be worn in civilised situations, it’s versatile in that respect.
The base consists of a perfectly enjoyable blend of spicy amber, labdanum and woods. The smoke and animalic raunch persists right through the dry down, in fact they become more pronounced and take centre stage as things progress. It’s one of those fragrances that you find yourself liking more and more with time, and by the time it has completely disappeared (which is a good 12 hours +, it may not be loud but it is tenacious) you’ll be reaching for the sprayer again…
Leather Oud says “sex” louder and more accurately than any other fragrance, forget about Sécrétions Magnifiques, forget about the over-sexed and “sex-by-numbers” marketing of mainstream perfumes, this is the real thing – this fragrance is positively pornographic, it is the smell of unwashed sheets, warm and ruffled and stained with the imprint of the night’s passions. It truly is a “Sex God”.
The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to Oud
Leather Oud now takes pride of place in The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to Oud as “The Pornographic Oud”.
Leather Oud is part of La Collection Privée Christian Dior and is available in 450ml, 250ml and 125ml Eau de Parfum. Prices start at £125.
This review is based on a sample of Leather Oud sourced myself.
Image 1 diegoporcel.com
Image 2 bonbrand.com