I always look forward to the launches of Memo, the brainchild fragrance house of Clara Molly who carefully researches each of her launches inspired by her travels and destination led and then turns them over to perfumer, Alienor Massenet, to turn them into scent laden flights of fantasy.
The latest release is Irish Leather (the first of Memo’s ‘Cuirs Nomades’ collection), inspired by Molly’s frequent visits to her husband’s homeland.
Irish Leather encapsulates the feeling of freedom and openness and seems to combine the feel of lush grass, wet earth, galloping horses and the sight of distant sea. What comes over more than anything is the rush of brisk, icy wind that stimulates and enlivens. This is Ireland, or indeed, the Scottish West coast in a bottle with it’s biting winds, its stark charisma and proud Celtic beauty.
The wetness of the land, the long grass, the upturned mud, the freshness of soil and sky and how this clings to leather (saddles, boots, oilskin clothing) is relayed in Irish Leather’s verdant lush airiness. Scratched leather, moleskin trousers and rough-hewn hiking boots are the feel of the backbone of this fragrance. Horses hooves and wind-blown hair is evoked in this blend of musk, styrax and iris concrete that helps makes such a powdered smokiness with big raspy breathes of dryness.
More simple and direct that deliberately complex, Irish Leather also uses the piercing uniqueness of green mate absolute that adds to the juniper berry gin clean dryness of the feel of this fragrance.
Massenet says that she only used 32 ingredients in this fragrance, enjoying more and more working with short formulas. Saying that, quality is everything and the make-up is powerfully pungent.
Massenet and Molloy’s first release from Memo’s ‘Cuirs Nomads’ collection gives us a wild and weather-beaten taster of things to come from this niche perfume house. Always interesting and definitely different, they’re worth seeking out.
Irish Leather from Memo is available exclusively from Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge at £160 for 75ml (EDP).