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Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget: Cremo Leather & Oud

Price, performance and packaging will hit the sweet spot for many…

Cremo Leather & Oud is the second men’s solid fragrance to be reviewed on this blog, but it was actually the first men’s solid fragrance that my husband tried. It was a blind buy for both of us. When we came across the brand on a Google search and saw how nicely priced the Cremo solids were, we perused reviews on Fragrantica to help us select a scent for purchase.

Dupes or knock-offs are not something I intend to cover on the blog. However, sometimes the line between “dupe” and “fragrance inspired by popular/trendy notes” is a little blurry. I see that Leather & Oud is often compared to Tom Ford’s Tuscan Leather, which is a scent neither husband nor I have smelled, so we can’t comment in that regard. However, the notes are not identical, and the fragrance is also noted as similar to no less than six other men’s scents, and one women’s scent, by Fragrantica reviewers, so it doesn’t look like it was necessarily intended as a dupe. It was likely inspired by several 21st-century men’s fragrance trends, oud being chief among them and the fragrance trend that just won’t die.

This is our first experience with the Cremo brand, which has generally favorable reviews and offers a wide variety of fragrances and products at excellent price points. Solid fragrances that are both affordable and easy to find here in the United States are not as common as they should be, especially when we get into fragrances designed for men. Fortunately, there’s a lot to like and I don’t think this will be the only Cremo product we try. Let’s dive in!

Cremo Leather & Oud Solid Cologne Review

Size: 0.45 oz./12. 7 g.

Packaging: Slide-top tin embossed with a crown, with a paper label on the bottom. The tin is housed in a printed cardboard box with a clear plastic clamshell for display purposes. Tin is reusable/zero waste and could hold coins, paperclips, fish hooks, etc. Box and clamshell are recyclable.

Base: Caprylic/Capric trigycerides, hydrogenated vegetable oil, jojoba esters, C30-45 alkyl methicone, C30-45 Olefin, BHT.

Vegan-friendly: Yes.

Color and Texture: An off-white solid that was firm enough to crack when I accidentally spilled it out of the tin (oops!), but soft enough to remain in one piece even after it hit the floor. It melts easily under fingertips and spreads well across skin, without leaving an oily trace.

Natural perfume or mixed media: The ingredients list includes only the catch-all “fragrance.” This is presumably mixed media or perhaps entirely synthetic.

Fragrance description and notes: on the front of the box and also from the Cremo official website: “An old-world leather scent with a rich blend of saffron, incense and smoky notes.” The side of the box lists slightly different notes of a bitter orange top note, Tuscan Leather middle note and agarwood base note.

Longevity: Excellent at six hours or more. As I have noted on other men’s/unisex fragrances I have reviewed, this works very well as a beard scent and will last even longer when applied there.

Sillage: Beast mode (for a solid, which is tamer than liquid beast mode) upon application; noticeable at arm’s length or greater for an hour or so. Intimate at a few inches above skin thereafter. Three swipes were enough for almost-all-day performance.

The experience: My husband enjoys this one but admits he may have chosen differently if he had an opportunity to smell all of the Cremo scents before purchase. Strictly as a matter of personal taste, he’s moving beyond traditional masculine aromas and seeking out different fragrance experiences at this stage. (His recent faves include 4160 Tuesdays Ealing Green and Zoologist Squid.) After working through an oud-themed Mancera sampler, he declared he’s a bit burned out on oud. However, for the oud-weary or oud-shy, it’s important to note the oud in this one follows a more Western tradition and dosing–no funky barnyard aromas or musty woods here–and the leather and spices are actually the dominant notes. The saffron in particular is noticeable. A faint, smoky wood note appears only after several hours of wear.

This is a warm Oriental fragrance, probably best reserved for cooler weather. Leather & Oud smells tasteful and expensive, and is contemporary but not out of the realm for men who enjoy more traditional men’s colognes, too. If this were not a solid, it may have been a bit much for occasions like the office and shared spaces, but the solid format makes it more versatile and wearable, especially if you (or your guy) don’t want to distract others with a strong fragrance.

Leather & Oud solid cologne offers remarkable bang for the buck at a price of $14 to $15 on average. It’s an affordable crowd-pleaser with (way) better than average sillage and longevity, in an attractive tin about the size of a classic Zippo lighter. Price, performance and packaging will hit the sweet spot for a lot of people, making it an excellent choice for those with champagne taste on a beer budget.

And while Leather & Oud definitely strikes all the right notes for a manly, masculine fragrance, ladies who enjoy old-school leathers and oriental scents like Estée Lauder Azurée or Robert Piguet Bandit may appreciate this one, too. As always, ignore the gendered marketing babble and wear what you love!

Where to buy: available on the Cremo official website, Amazon.com, locally or online at Target and Walmart (which also has exclusives of several of the Cremo scents) and on Ebay.

Additional notes: This is one of six solid cologne fragrances produced by Cremo. The scent was previously also available as a liquid cologne, but has now been discontinued (and accordingly, the liquid’s prices are soaring on Ebay). However, several other scents in the line are also available in soap, hair and body wash, wet shave accoutrements, etc., and all the products could be assembled into an excellent gift set.

All photographs by me. All links because I love.

By Jodi at Solidly Scented

A lover of all things fragrant

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