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What is it about the scent of leather? As soon as you walk into a lounge with leather sofas, you can smell it in the air; that warm, indulgent aroma that’s relaxing and enticing. Climb into a vintage car with leather seats and you’ll notice exactly the same.

Put simply, it’s a scent that people are seriously addicted to. It’s little wonder then that leather perfume is such a popular choice of fragrance.

If you’re keen to find out more about the history of leather scent, and why it’s so popular today, read on.


We often think of leather as a modern smell, but actually, it’s one of the oldest perfume notes in history.

Rewind to the 16th century. Perfumed gloves were all the rage, mainly because personal hygiene was so poor back then, and people had to mask the smell somehow. These gloves, crafted for the rich and wealthy, were naturally made from the finest leather. And that’s where the world’s love affair with leather fragrance began.

These leather gloves were scented with all sorts of oils, not to mention ambergris and musk – two scents that are often paired with leather notes to this day.

But when was the first leather perfume officially launched? It was actually King George III who inadvertently started the world’s fervour for leather scent. He loved the fragrance so much, that he asked Creed (who were making his gloves at the time) to create a signature leather scent for him. Naturally, the great perfume makers agreed, and the iconic fragrance, Royal English Leather, was born.


Originally, there were two forms of leather notes – the ‘Russian’ and the ‘Spanish’. Russian leather was celebrated for its rich, authoritative scent, and Spanish leather was much loved for its softer, warmer aroma.

These days, leather is far more complex. For starters, although a fragrance may be described as having ‘leather notes’, that doesn’t mean it actually has any leather in it. In fact, many ‘leather’ perfumes are actually vegan-friendly!

Perfume-makers use all sorts of other ingredients to capture that iconic scent; such as juniper, myrtle, cistus labdanum and styrax. Sometimes, they also ‘sweeten it up’ slightly with the addition of tonka bean or vanilla.

Leather perfume oil remains popular, even after all this time. It’s such a rich, indulgent scent that it’s not hard to see why.


There are a few leather-based scents out there, but not many perfumes actively promote themselves as featuring this ingredient – so they can be hard to track down. Here’s some information about two of ours.

Attar Al Ghutra Eau de Parfum (for Him) is one of the few scents that openly shouts about its predominant aroma! If you’re looking for the epitome of leather-scented fragrance for men, this is undoubtedly the one to choose. It not only features strong leather notes, but also a gentle hint of Frankincense, Jasmine and Patchouli. These ingredients serve to elevate the scent, preventing it from becoming too heavy. As such, it’s a great option for day-to-night wear.

Attar Al Sheila Eau de Parfum (for Her) is an exotic blend of woody, floral and oud wood notes with just the right amount of leather. Sultry top notes of honeysuckle, violet and freesia, which gives it a powerful floral bouquet opening – but not too powerful. A rose heart is mingled with Jasmine, Iris and Magnolia… Bliss! giving it that aura of the fragrance niche standing out boldly from the rest. The heart of denser leather, mingled with patchouli and vanilla… a gem for those who love deep base notes.

Not sure if perfumes with leather notes are right for you?

There’s only one way to find out… get testing! Swiss Arabian offer samples of just about all our best seller perfumes. The sample bottles contain plenty of applications for you to trail in a range of different situations. Road test our versions of Attar Al Ghutra or Attar Al Sheila, and see if they work for you. Then, if you love them, come back for the full-sized bottle!

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