Do you think that Covid pandemic will permanently change our habits & behaviors? I have been vaccinated with both doses of Pfizer vaccine but still there’s a lot of hesitation inside me when it comes to go back to travelling abroad. For now I’m still staying on a safer side and limit my voyages to the ones within Poland. Especially that the shadow of the 4th wave is looming nearby. Of course I miss friends who live abroad and I miss the opportunity to try so many new fragrances at the perfume shows but it is what it is. That’s why I was happy to see Memo introduce Sicilian Leather – a promise of wonderful trip without leaving home. Does it smell like one of my past summers?
Smelling Sicilian Leather really does bring back memories of my past vacations. On my skin the leathery tones come righ up but they are not the only ones that my nose can pick up. Tangy citrus notes brighten up the opening like the rising sun – a symbol of Sicily. Bitter orange with its mouth-watering juiciness starts an energetic dance when Italian bergamot & lime join this magnificent performance of smells. I feel caught in a vortex of yellow, orange and green-ish hues as my nose registers the hesperidic smells of various type. Some of them are more zesty, the others are more dry like a gin. But at least for me it’s that beautiful orange scent that leads the rest of the notes.
Not much later the bright citrus opening becomes more low-key and at that point some spicy notes become more pronounced. Coriander and cardamom introduce a grainy texture to Sicilian Leather and they make the perfume venture into spicy direction in a way that feels very dry to my nose. When I smell it what comes to my mind is the smell of old paper, old books, parchment but also of the cracked clay ground that has been scorched by the Mediterranean sun. It’s a specific type of smell but to me it’s very pleasant and what I think better defines this new fragrance as “sicilian”.
Over time the character of Memo Sicilian Leather shifts its character towards more aromatic side. Balsam fir is what gives this perfume more dimension as depth by emanating the slightly coniferous smell that I perceive as “warm & cold” at once. It’s warm because the noter per se is quite balsamic and enveloping. Cold because it gives me this weird feeling of solitude in the dark & deep forest. Violet leaf breaks away from this vision as it introduces a fresh verdancy, a crunchy and dewy smell of the flower leaves. There’s something elegant and sophisticated about it, I must admit.
The drydown of this composition is when the leather accord really shines. The leather becomes particularly soft and suede-like in Sicilian Leather but there’s also something a bit rough and austere to it. It certainly does carry the scent reminiscent of tanning and colorants. The scent is rich but not overpowered – and it smells like a brand new bag from an expensive artisan. Cedarwood gives more density while gaiac wood provides an effect that I’d compare with waxing. The scent is woody, deep but also oily, with some heft. Patchouli introduces some earthiness that is a fitting effect for a perfume of this sort. Akigalawood which is a woody-patchouli molecule completes the picture.
I was writing this review on a particularly ugly day – it was raining heavily and the temperature dropped by 10 degrees compared to the previous day. It really made me wonder if the end of summery weather is near. Sicilian Leather from Memo and perfumer Yann Vasnier rekindled the memories of super hot days I spent in Taormina, Palermo or at the hills of Etna couple of years ago. I’m grateful any perfume that has the ability to brighten up the day and make you feel warm when it’s cold. Whenever I’ll want to remember those days again I’ll reach for Sicilian Leather, it’s such a great fragrance. (but Italian Leather still remains my number one among Cuirs Nomades series)