digging (into) vintage: Leonard de Leonard, 1989

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Perfumer Roger Pellegrino

I was introduced to Leonard de Leonard on a Basenotes thread about underestimated fragrances current and past.

Leonard de Leonard is a fruity, green-floral chypre. And every time I think it’s a little too sweet for my taste, I get the purr of the leather and reconsider. For a green chypre it’s light on leather, not usually my preference, but Leonard uses its sweetness smartly. It’s not a counterpart to the admittedly light leather note. Rather, it matches the tone of the florals. Green plum-like notes gibe with the watery sweetness of the lily of the valley and hyacinth. The leather actually seems to fit with a spiciness that becomes more noticeable in the drydown. This is the part that won me over. I feared Leonard might be headed for a bad, sweet soapiness, but the leather and spice steer it away from soap and toward a lightly mossy chypre drydown.


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