Perfume Reviews – Dior Leather Oud & Granville (La Collection Privée)

John Wayne riding through the arid desert canyons of New Mexico. Gary Cooper in a suit in the bracing, brisk air of Normandie. Two very different images of two very different men stemming from two very different fragrances in Dior‘s prestige La Collection Privée line of perfumes. (The line is sometimes called La Collection Couturier on places like Fragrantica and Surrender to Chance, but I will go with the name used by Dior itself on its website.) The fragrances are Leather Oud and Granville, and both were created by François Demarchy, the artistic director and nose for Parfums Dior, to reflect different aspects of the life of Christian Dior.


Dior Leather OudDior describes the scent as follows:

Christian Dior searched the world, looking for the most beautiful fabrics that exist. Like the Designer, the Perfumer chooses the most beautiful raw materials, one of which is Oud Wood from Indonesia. Highly powerful, vibrant and deep, Oud Wood is rare and particularly recognizable by the leather scents that it diffuses when burned. Using this unique wood, François Demachy created an intensely masculine fragrance, with strong character in which Leather notes intertwine with those of Gaiac Wood, Cedar and Sandalwood.

The notes for the fragrance, as compiled from both Dior and Fragrantica, include:

Cardamom, Clove, Leather, Indonesian Oud wood, Gaiac Wood, Civet, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Birch, Cedar, Vetiver, Amyris, Beeswax, Amber and Labdanum.

According to Wikipedia, Amyris is a type of flowering plant or tree that is sometimes called torchwood, and whose trunk emits a type of balsam resin that is often also called elemi. Civet, as many perfumistas know, can have a very musky, animalic aroma that can border on the fecal if used in excess, but which can also lend plush warmth to the depths of a perfume if handled right. 

Leather Oud is sometimes described as an intensely animalistic fragrance, redolent of civet, but the Dior Privé line is not known for extreme, sharp, forceful, or loud notes of any kind — and Leather Oud is no exception. On my skin, it is almost entirely a dry, dusty, woody fragrance with nuances of dry leather and the subtlest inflections of oud, all barely sweetened with a dusty, dusky cardamom. Animalic? Not by a long shot.

Gaiac Wood via

Gaiac Wood via

Leather Oud opens on my skin with a sour note like lemons, followed immediately thereafter by varying degrees of dry oud, bitter cloves, dusty cardamom, peppered and dry cypress, and slightly smoked gaiac wood. The top notes in the initial minutes smell a little rancid, though never fecal or wholly civet-like. There is a subtle, feline urinous edge, but it doesn’t last very long, either. Instead, Leather Oud starts pulsating out different layers of dry, smoky, peppered woods. There are subtle tinges of a rooty, dark vetiver, along with an equally dark, almost sour-smelling patchouli, and the merest suggestion of a herbal, floral element. The latter makes me think strongly of clary sage whose dry, lavendery veneer has a leathery undertone. The thing I find unpleasant in Leather Oud is the sour citric note that remains throughout much of the perfume’s development, and which impacts most of the remaining notes.

Dry, antique leather. Source:

Dry, antique leather. Source:

As for the leather, well, it’s there, but it is incredibly subtle. It’s not soft, warm, supple, sweetly aged and rich, but it’s also not black, raw, fecal or pungent, either. It verges on rawhide at times, feeling slightly phenolic and tarry due to the birch wood, but it’s a lot milder than I had expected. It’s also incredibly muted on my skin, overpowered in large part by the cornucopia of dry woods. In fact, the woods impact the feel of the leather to a large extent, turning it into something that feels dry, cracked and antique, instead of anything supple and rich.     

Forty minutes into Leather Oud’s development, there are subtle changes, though never to the perfume’s primary core. The agarwood (oud) which initially felt a little sharp now softens and takes on a slightly creamy feel, almost like cheese, before it eventually turns into something that is simply dry in feel. It is completely overshadowed by the dry gaiac wood with its smoky edges and which evokes images of burning leaves. Accompanying it is a peppered cedar. In the background, the cloves add a touch of bitterness around to the wood notes, and the cardamom brings in an extra layer of dustiness. 

Soon after the one-hour mark, Leather Oud turns softer, creamier, and smoother. It’s very much as though someone had buffed and polished all the rough edges out of the wood. The thread of sour lemon remains, but all the other notes, right down to the bitter cloves, seem more refined. The leather and the oud are mere flickering touches — so much so that I’d never consider Leather Oud to be either a true agarwood fragrance or a leather one. Their muted nature reminds me strongly of By Kilian‘s oud fragrances where the element is a mere background suggestion; if you’re expecting an oud like those offered by Montale, or a serious leather fragrance, then I think you’ll be sorely disappointed. As always Dior offers an extremely refined, smooth interpretation of notes in a well-blended fragrance that is meant to be rather discreet, unobtrusive, and the epitome of moderation. Leather Oud is no exception, right down to its sillage which becomes moderate-to-low around the 90-minute mark.

"Dry Lake Bed" by *VickyM72 on

“Dry Lake Bed” by *VickyM72 on

Though parts of Leather Oud, like the cardamom become slightly sweeter, the perfume’s essence remains unchanged for the remainder of its lifespan. It is a dusty, arid, woody fragrance infused with dry smoke and sprinkled with barely sweetened cardamom. Around the sixth hour, the bouquet of woods is joined by warm beeswax, but it does little to enrichen the fragrance. Leather Oud evokes, in part, the scent of a dusty bookstore with reams of old, dry paper and, visually, a desert in the old Wild West. For some reason, I keep seeing John Wayne in my mind’s eye. And he stays there for the next 12 hours, until the perfume starts to slowly fade away. In its final moments, Leather Oud is a simple cardamom muskiness, and nothing more. All in all, the fragrance lasted just under 14 hours on my perfume-consuming skin, with soft sillage throughout.

John Wayne in "Hondo" via

John Wayne in “Hondo” via

Leather Oud is far, far too dry for my personal tastes, but I think it’s a beautifully crafted, well-blended fragrance that is a highly refined take on dry, smoky woods. It seems to be one of the more beloved Dior fragrances, and men go crazy for it, though some on Fragrantica bemoan its dusty nature. A few commentators talk about intense civet notes, but most seem to find it quite manageable and muted. One commentator who is well used to civet, can “sniff it out a mile away,” and loves it wrote that he couldn’t detect any at all; in contrast, another noted a “creamy, fecal” undertone to the fragrance, while a third who despises civet says it is done so beautifully in Leather Oud that it is the first civet fragrance he loved. Obviously, this is a fragrance that you have to try for yourself in order to assess how the note will work out for you. I will say this, however: my skin tends to amplify base notes, especially the more animalistic ones, and I don’t think the animalic dirtiness was strong by any means!

Plus, it simply isn’t the Dior style or signature. None of the Dior Privé line of fragrances are meant to be extreme in any way; they’re meant to be the epitome of refinement and smoothness. And that certainly seems to the majority consensus on Leather Oud on Fragrantica. Their raves are simply too effusively long and gushing for me to quote in any coherent way, so I’ll just say that men who enjoy super dry fragrances (think Tauer‘s L’Air du Desert Marocain levels of dryness) with the subtlest tinge of oud, leather, and musk should definitely try out Leather Oud. I don’t think this would really work for most women, however, as the fragrance definitely veers towards the deep end of the masculine spectrum.


Granville is technically supposed to be a women’s fragrance, but its deeply aromatic, invigorating, herbal, woody nature makes it much more suitable for a man, in my opinion.

Granville, Normandie. Source:

Granville, Normandie. Source:

Dior describes the perfume and its inspiration as follows:

The House where Christian Dior spent his childhood is located in Granville, in the Normandy region. Built overlooking the cliffs, it is surrounded by pine trees and has a view of the sea. Inspired by this site that is so dear to the Creator, François Demachy chose to create a fresh, invigorating and aromatic fragrance. “I not only wanted an aromatic fragrance, as the estate has an abundance of pine trees, but also one that is exceptionally invigorating and extremely fresh. The gusts of wind, the waves that are constantly breaking against the rocks… Nature, in Granville, is anything but serene. This fragrance is like the wind that blows through Granville.”

Dior GranvilleThe notes in Granville, as compiled from both Dior and Fragrantica, include:

mandarin, Sicilian lemon, White thyme, rosemary, pine needles, black pepper, sandalwood and gorse.

I’m used to “gorse” being another name for a Scottish bush or brushwood, but Fragrantica tells me that it’s also called Dyer’s Greenwood which has a dry, bracken-like aroma similar to “broom” (which, in itself, has a dry, hay-like scent). Either way, I don’t think it’s a prominent part of Granville which is dominated primarily by a strong eucalyptus-like, mentholated note infused with lemon and herbal touches. 

Granville opens on my skin with beautifully sweetened lemon. It has a sunny, bright, fresh warmth to it that is simply lovely. Within seconds, it is infused by strongly aromatic, herbal notes from the thyme, to a subtle glimmer of rosemary, and something quietly floral which feels very much like dry lavender. Granville has a strong resemblance at first to Dior‘s Eau Sauvage, but that quickly dissipates under an onslaught of fresh, camphorous pine with a decidedly eucalyptus-like character. It feels extremely sharp in comparison to the smoothness and richness of the lemon aromatics. Dry, slightly honeyed, hay-like elements from the broom/gorse and cracked black pepper are the final elements to round out the invigorating bouquet. 

Eucalyptus leaves.

Eucalyptus leaves.

Granville’s primary essence remains the same throughout most of the perfume’s lifespan. The only difference is the degree to which certain notes can compete with each other, though they have no chance to overcome the piney, mentholated, eucalyptus top note at all. Around the forty minute mark, there is the introduction of ISO E Super which eventually fades away after a few hours. Later, there is a much stronger impression of a faintly floral tinge to the herbs lurking in the background. In fact, I can’t help but think that herbaceous lavender is a hidden note, and its combination with the slightly tarry, mentholated pine note strongly calls to mind Santa Maria Novella‘s cologne, Ambra, which is dominated by an extremely similar, tarry, mentholated birch note atop lavender and citrus.



At the start of the second hour, Granville becomes smoother, softer, better rounded. It loses its sharp edges, but it retains a certain fresh briskness. It feels rather old-fashioned, conjuring up images of a very refined, classical, suave, debonair gentleman — like Gary Cooper — in a bracing, outdoors environment like the coastal cliffs of Normandie. At the same time, however, it also evokes a very old-fashioned European pharmacy, which is a distinctly less appealing impression. As a whole, Granville is a very linear fragrance that never changes much from start to finish. In its final hours, it’s nothing more than an abstract, woody muskiness with faint flickers of pine. All in all, Granville lasted just over 11 hours, and the sillage after the first forty minutes was moderate-to-low.

Granville doesn’t seem to have a very enthusiastic reception on Fragrantica — and I don’t blame them. I do think it’s better than some of the extremely negative comparisons to scrubbers, hospitals, bathroom cleaners, medicine, chemical astringents, and Ayurvedic Tooth powder that are listed, but it’s not a fantastic, super-duper fragrance nonetheless. It’s not terrible, but it’s far from great, either. I think the fairest (and, certainly, the most positive) description for Granville comes from the commentator, “alfarom,” who writes:

An high-end version of Pino Silvestre aimed to the ladies (well, sort of).

I’ve to admit the above sentence may sound disencouraging to someone but let me say Granville is terrific. It’s a classy herbal/citrus with resinous undertones that opens with a sparkling lemon joined by leafy green citruses. In this phase it may somehow bring to mind of classic Eau De Cologne type of stuff but when you’re just about to dismiss it because of this, pine and some culinary herbs (thyme and rosemary) join the party leading the fragrance to other territories. Slightly minty (menthol), bitter, dark green and much closer to Pino Silvestre than to an EDC.

That being said, Granville is not exactly up my alley, but if you’re into bright piney fragrances this is an extremely solid option. Originally aimed to the ladies but definitely more masculine.

I’ve never tried Pino Silvestre, and I smell eucalyptus far more than mint, but his description is pretty spot-on as a whole.  And Granville isn’t up my alley, either. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend that you rush out and try it unless you are really obsessed with mentholated pine or eucalyptus notes. In all honesty, I think Granville is a rather mediocre showing in the Privé line.

Leather Oud is available exclusively at Dior boutiques or on Dior online. So is Granville. Dior Privé perfumes come in two sizes: the 4.25 fl oz/125 ml costs $155, while the 8.5 fl oz/250 ml costs $230. In the U.S.: both fragrances can be found at Dior’s NYC boutique, and the main Las Vegas store [call (702) 369-6072]. If you’re really interested, however, what I would do is to call this number instead — (702) 734-1102 — and ask for Karina Lake, the Dior Beauty Stylist at the Las Vegas store. She is an amazingly sweet lady who will also give you a free 5 ml mini bottle of the Dior perfume of your choice, along with 3-4 small 1 ml dab vial sample bottles, to go with your purchase. Even better, you will get free shipping and pay no tax! Tell her Kafka sent you. Elsewhere, New York’s Bergdorf Goodman and San Francisco’s Neiman Marcus also carry the Dior Privée line collection of perfumes, though I don’t know if the SF Neiman Marcus carries all of them.
Outside of the US: you can use the Points of Sale page on the Dior website to find a location for a Dior store near you. You can also navigate the Dior website’s International section to buy the perfume online. The problem is that the site is not very straight-forward. If you go to this page, look at the very far right to the bottom where it will say, in black, “International Version” and click on that. You should see options for Europe, Asia-Oceana, and South America. Within Europe, there are different sub-sites divided by country. The one closest to you should have Leather Oud available for sale.
Samples: If you want to give Leather Oud a sniff, samples are available at Surrender to Chance where prices start at $3.00 for a 1 ml vial. Granville is also available for the same price. If you’re interested in trying the whole Privée line, Surrender to Chance sells all 13 fragrances in a sampler set for $35.99.

36 thoughts on “Perfume Reviews – Dior Leather Oud & Granville (La Collection Privée)

  1. I liked both perfumes when I tested them (and I agree that Granville is more into masculine territory) but I do not want to wear them – though I wouldn’t mind smelling it on somebody next to me.

  2. Maybe I’m just to easy to please, or maybe its just my personal taste, but I love every fragrance François Demachy creates, even if some of them are quite commercial… My nose tends to agree with his. Even though I do enjoy a variety, I love these macho scents and I thoroughly enjoyed your reviews. Thank you so much.

    • I think it’s fantastic that you love the Dior fragrances so much, Mike, and I don’t think you should implicitly put yourself down for that love. Everyone has one perfumer or house that either just works perfectly for them and that always wows them. For you, it’s the refinement of Dior & Demachy! 🙂 Believe me, I think you could do far, far worse. lol 😉 For me, personally, however, given the degree to which I love his Mitzah and the extent to which I find it radiantly glorious, complex and rich, I did find Granville to be much less stellar. Leather Oud is a fantastically refined fragrance but, for me and my personal tastes, too dry. That’s just me and my tastes, though. I still think it’s gorgeously masculine, and would smell super sexy on guys who like dry fragrances. 😀

  3. I had a chance to try both of them courtesy of a Basenotes friend who sent me a decanted sample of Granville and a miniature bottle of Leather Oud.
    I like Granville very much. It’s so mediterranean, citrusy, piney and herbal – I like all those aspects of perfume so if I had luck I wouldn’t mind if a bottle of Granville landed on my lap someday.
    Leather Oud was a whole different story. I enjoyed the first 20 minutes of the opening but then it rurned into a monster on me. Not a fecal or civety thing, but too much oud and patchouli, too much dryness.

    • I’m glad to hear that you didn’t get any civet or fecal notes in Leather Oud, either, but, yes, it’s not a perfume that meshes with your personal style or tastes. Granville might, but I thought you didn’t like the super mentholated, chilly, almost eucalyptus-like notes in Serge Lutens’ Tubereuse Criminelle? Or, in that case, was it the combination of those notes with the tuberose that was the main problem?

      • I didn’t get the mentolated feeling from Granville. Tubereuse Criminelle was too much of a tuberose-bomb and immortelle.

  4. “…another noted a ‘creamy, fecal’ undertone to the fragrance…” *wretches* *dry heaves* Something about the words creamy and fecal together sends chills down my spine! With that said, I liked Leather Oud well enough (for an oud scent) but didn’t find it compelling either way. I have Granville but haven’t tried it yet. I do love the smell of eucalyptus though, so perhaps it will be appealing!

      • I’m wearing Granville today. Meh. It reminds me of…something. And I don’t know what. I can’t really decide if I like it, which I think means I probably don’t. I don’t dislike it, but it’s a bit strange and boring at the same time. I want more from it, but it’s somehow lacking in a way I can’t quite put my finger on.

  5. I have not tried either one of these. After reading the word ‘sour’ four times in the Oud review, I think I will pass. And as much as I love the scent of eucalyptus, which I use in my massage lotion blend along with bergamot and lavender, I am not sure I want it in a non-therapeutic setting. Still, I am curious about the Granville.

    Oh, and totally off topic, have you tried Comme des Garçons Black? Or Olivier Durbano’s Heliotrope?

    • The citrus note was odd and, for me, clashed a little with the rest because it was sour and bitter in a slightly jarring way. It was actually the part of the fragrance that I liked the least. As for Comme des Garçons Black or Olivier Durbano’s Heliotrope, no, I’m afraid I haven’t tried either one. Are you a fan? 🙂

      • YES of both. I will send you some of the Heliotrope because I have a FB. No other perfume I have ever worn has garnered this many complements from complete strangers and from friends. Today running errands I had 3 men and 1 woman stop me to ask, “what is that wonderful scent??” Luckily I carry a decant of Heliotrope in my purse and sprayed each of them a bit on their wrists. Then, of course, I had to write down where to buy it. I used up my sample of Black in 2 days because I just fell in love. Black is a total surprise. It just smelled so amazing on me. I wanted to bathe in it. But I can see how some may not like the vague hints of BBQ, or tar, or licorice. It has a lovely soft powdery and interesting dry-down. My husband loved it also. I would love to read your breakdowns of these scents……

        • Oh my word, the Black sounds utterly divine!!! Did you say licorice?!!! With the smokiness of BBQ and some tarriness that then turns powdery? Fascinating! I will definitely try to order a sample if StC has it. You know, the funny thing is that, just today, I read someone on a blog or some site somewhere raving about Black. Your comments have solidified the deal!

          As for the Heliotrope, how fantastic to have such a compliment magnet! But is it gourmand? Some sorts of powder I can take in small (small!) doses, but totally gourmand powder is a bit of a riskier proposition. And heliotrope as a note is often nothing more than pure almond marzipan powder. I truly wouldn’t want you to waste all your amazing perfume on a heathen like myself who can’t appreciate it properly. It would make me feel terribly guilty if it didn’t work for me, since I’d feel as though I were picking on your baby. LOL. 😀 😉

          • Heliotrope is not powdery. That was the Black… It is frankincense with a floral bent. It dry and piney and super good. I already made your decant, so just wait and see!!!!

  6. Lovely review! It’s always nice to see reviews from a house I´m so familiar with, and both these fragrances sound very interesting to me, even if I couldn´t wear them anyway. I really couldn´t expect anything less than refinement from Dior, and particularly the Granville’s perfume inspiration is really sweet. Nothing better, than a perfume that makes come back childhood memories, and it sounds to me that Dior had a very privileged place to grow up in 😀 .

    • Dior’s Privé line has some great stuff. If there is a Dior boutique near you, try to stop by and see if you can get samples. (The line is only carried by Dior boutiques and a handful of department stores around the world.) One of my favorites is Mitzah which is being discontinued. 🙁

  7. I was hoping to love the whole La Collection Privee line after falling for Mitzah, but I haven’t been overwhelmed by Oud Ispahan or Amber Nuit, at least not yet. But Leather Oud, I am digging this. To me, it joins the pantheon of Coromandel, Bois des Iles and Mitzah: Coromandel representing Benzoin/woody, Bois des Iles sandalwood/aldehyde and Mitzah rosy/resin, Leather Oud unsurprisingly represents the leathery/oudy branch. They all share a common ancestor to my nose.

  8. Just my luck, I have a mini of Granville, which I haven’t tried; scent twin Lucas likes it so I’m thinking I will, too. I also got the whole La Collection Privee line (except Gris Montaigne) sample set from Karina and will need to move Leather Oud to the top of the list to try. Nice reviews, dear Kafka!

    • Karina is a sweetheart! I’m glad you have more of the line to try out and, hopefully, you’ll fall for a few more. I’d be very curious to see what you think of the dryness of Leather Oud and the piney-eucalyptus of Granville! Do let me know when you get the chance. 🙂

  9. The more I try from the Christian Dior Privèe Line, the more I fall in love. I really love Leather Oud. It’s dry, spicy, woodsy, with a touch of animalic, all the things I like in a fragrance. I agree with you in that the animal side of this fragrance , civet, is a bit muted which is kind of disappointing, but you can’t have everything right? Lol Some people say it smells like sh*t and other nasty things but I do get that at all. Overall it’s a very nice scent that I may consider adding to my collection after my decant runs out. Granville on the other hand is something I would run away from, far away. That’s one way to keep me from coming to your house, spray your entryway with Granville, instant repulsion. LOL Anyway it sounds very weird and not something I would go for . Especially the pine, eucalyptus and lemons? Who are they kidding? Yuck. Sounds like nasty cough medicine that my mom would force down my throat. Great review K!

    • Nice to see you again, Ferris. I can definitely see you in Leather Oud, and even Amber Oud to some extent, but no, not Granville. LOL! You know what you would like? Profumum’s Ambra Aurea. I think you’d enjoy that one quite a bit. Look up the review when you have the time. 🙂

  10. Leather Oud is rapidly becoming one of my favorite scents. To me it suggests total self-confidence–a man who does not need to accommodate himself to anyone. I normally detest Civet (it is my least favorite note in perfumery), but it is so perfectly balanced in Leather Oud that I find myself admiring it! At any rate, it recedes into the background quickly, making room for Leather Oud’s spectacular drydown of leather, smoke, oud, and labdanum.

    I think I’m going to have to go in for a FB!

    • LairdAngus, We both are on the same page, Leather Oud is quite enjoyable. I love it myself. This is one of the Christian Dior Privee Line that I would definitely get a full bottle of. Woods, civet, spices, oud, labdanum.What’s there not to love? Until then, my decant will suffice.

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  12. Kafka, have you tried Oud Ispahan? I feel it “corrects” some of the issues I (and it seems you) had with the Leather Oud. I like Leather Oud, but it is far too dry for me to wear. I most certainly do get an almost constant civet note through the life of the fragrance (which is about 12 hours). Oud Ispahan on the other hand starts with a delicate sweetness from a short lived raspberry note that transforms into a beautiful red rose. There is a bit of Oud, used mainly to underpin the large rose, and lends a metallic, almost silvery quality to the overall effect of the perfume. It’s really quite beautiful. It gradually dries down to a more refined version of Leather Oud, except all the more beautiful and vivid thanks to the pared down rose. I find the animalic parts of this perfume (most of the drydown) all the more seductive due to their juxtaposition of the beautiful top and heart.

    I think you should certainly try it if you haven’t yet. It’s as refined as Leather Oud is rough. I made sure to purchase a bottle of it and Ambre Nuit before the price increase in late summer. Now that the temperatures are dropping I find myself reaching for it more and more. It, along with my newly arrived Ambra Aurea, will suffice to keep me warm throughout the winter. Especially when garnished with Mitzah from time to time.

    • I haven’t tried it yet, Hunter. I generally don’t ever sniff something unless I’m ready to test it and write a review on it, because I don’t want to be influenced by fleeting, passing perceptions that may actually be misimpressions. I prefer to come at something with at least 8 hours to devote to it, and with a full focus, so that I’m not influenced in the wrong way. Does that make sense?

      I’ve heard a LOT of raves about Oud Isphahan, and I know a lot of people include it as one of their top Dior fragrances. What you’re describing certain sounds wonderful, even for someone like myself who isn’t always the biggest rose fan. I hope to get to the fragrance soon. 🙂 BTW, very smart move in purchasing both this one and Ambre Nuit before the price increase!!

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  16. I know this is late, but I just wanted to say thank you! I got a decant of granville and fell in love but right now it’s unavailable on the Dior website. I called Ms. Lake at the Vegas Dior store and she was able to help me, and she gave me some samples!

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