I’m incredibly excited to announce that LM Parfums has generously offered a really huge giveaway of ten (10!) prizes. Ten winners will each get one 5 ml glass decant of Hard Leather, the perfume I fell for so hard last year and which I put as #1 on my list of Best of 2013. It is also ranked #1 on my list of Favorite Perfumes from all current, non-vintage fragrances on the market. For reasons explained below, I’m afraid this giveaway is for U.S. readers only.
I loved Hard Leather from the very first instant that I smelled it. It was immediate, automatic, and visceral, with the sort of reaction I haven’t felt in years. I’m rather aloof in public or with people who I don’t know well, but, as I wrote in this story of meeting Laurent Mazzone, the founder of LM Parfums, his Hard Leather made me completely lose my crackers in public, and in one of the most constipatedly snobbish, haughty places in Paris. So, what does it smell like? You can read my detailed review, but the short list of Hard Leather’s notes may help in the meantime:
Iris, Honey, Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Oud, Frankincense, Styrax and Vanilla.
For me, Hard Leather is as much about the lusty animalic aspects and the dark woods as it is about the actual leather. It has very expensive aged Laotian oud, but the true beauty is the massive amounts of very genuine Mysore sandalwood. Regular readers know how I consistently go through modern “sandalwood” fragrances with a curled lip, and a dismissive “not real Mysore” response. Infact, one reader has vowed to get me a t-shirt with the words “Sandalwood Snob” on it, and I would wear it gladly. But Hard Leather has the real stuff.
The use of such a rare ingredient in such vast amounts makes complete sense when you meet Laurent Mazzone. He is a man who began his career in fashion, loves opulence, has the highest standards for everything he does, and is intensely passionate about his perfumes. He wants to his fragrances to be a luxury in a way that harkens to the golden time of perfumery through the use of the richest ingredients possible, only done with a nod to modern tastes. He talks of the legendary Guerlains with love, but he is far too aware of current fashions to create something dated or old-fashioned in feel. He always goes for the best, from his choice of the Hotel Costes for us to meet, to asking his friend, the late Mona di Orio, to create one of his fragrances, or insisting on the most expensive raw materials from Robertet. (They are a fragrance ingredient company known for the highest quality naturals, and whose focus is on “cultivating the real thing.” Mr. Mazzone would expect nothing less.)
yet, for all its refined, sexy lustiness and opulent Mysore sandalwood, Hard Leather is not for everyone. It is dark, animalic, musky, slightly raunchy, smoky, and skews very masculine. I happen to think that it is the most refined take possible on animalic leather, but how you fare will depend strongly on skin chemistry. For the lucky ones, like one or two Basenotes commentators, Hard Leather is as good as the revered Puredistance M, and the best release of 2013. Others, however, experienced a fecal note to the leather in Hard Leather’s opening 15 minutes, and really struggled with the scent. So, I repeat, Hard Leather is a complex, elaborate scent that isn’t for everyone.
Hard Leather is not currently available in the U.S., though you can order it from either LM Parfums or Premiere Avenue (which is also owned by Laurent Mazzone). (See, the Details section at the end for full retail information.) Osswald in NYC is the exclusive LM Parfums distributor in North America, but they don’t have Hard Leather listed on their website and I don’t know when they will get the fragrance. None of the decanting services offer Hard Leather. In short, U.S. perfumistas have very limited access to the perfume at this time, unless they pay an expensive shipping fee from Europe.
This is the main reason why I’m limiting the giveaway to U.S. readers. In addition, however, I will be shipping the decants to the winners myself, so I’ll be honest and say that the high international shipping rates charged by the U.S. Postal Service played a small role in my decision as well.
Ten (10) readers will each get ONE (1) 5ml glass dab bottle of Hard Leather which is an Extrait or Pure Parfum. Hard Leather retails for €295 for the 100 ml bottle which, at the current rate of exchange, comes to roughly $406. The retail price of the 5 ml decant is €19, but with shipping, you’re looking at spending well over $50 for the decant being offered here. In short, LM Parfums was unbelievably generous.
There are two requirements to enter:
- You are in the U.S.; and
- You have to leave a comment down below, perhaps letting me know your favorite animalic scent or if you have tried anything from LM Parfums.
As a side note, I usually respond to each and every comment left in one of my Giveaways, but I won’t be doing so this time, for reasons of time and a really hectic schedule this week. I hope you won’t think me rude. Rest assured, I’ll be jotting all your names down and answering any questions that you may have.
WHEN DOES IT END:
The entry period lasts until the end of Friday February 21, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time (CST) in the U.S. which is -6:00 GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).
WINNERS, EMAILS & SHIPPING:
The 10 winners will be chosen by Random.org, and will be announced sometime the next day on Saturday, February 22nd.
Once I post the winners, you have THREE (3) days to contact me with your shipping information. Deadline is end of the day, my time, on Tuesday February 25th. Please send an email to Akafkaesquelife @ gmail . com (all one word, scrunched together) with your shipping details.
If you don’t contact me, and if I fail to hear from you within the deadline, I will give your prize to the next person on the list.
Please be aware that I am not responsible for items accidentally lost or destroyed in transit for some reason. I will bubble-wrap like mad, but one never knows what may happen. The prize cannot be replaced.
I’d like to express my enormous gratitude to Laurent Mazzone of LM Parfums, as well as to Fabienne who assists him in these matters. He is truly one of the nicest guys you’ll meet in general, but this is an incredibly lavish gesture. I really don’t have the words to properly thank Mr. Mazzone for his generosity, kindness and thoughtfulness in offering such a huge number of decants of such an enormously expensive, but utterly fantastic, perfume. I wish you knew how ridiculously excited and happy I am that more of you will get to try my beloved Hard Leather. I know it won’t suit all of you, but I hope a few of you buckle to your knees as I did. Given Hard Leather’s price and the fact that it isn’t even available in the U.S. yet, this is a unique opportunity for all of you to try the scent, an opportunity which wouldn’t be possible at all without Mr. Mazzone. So, again, my deepest thanks to him.
Good luck to everyone!
Cost & Availability: ParfuMaria or
As a result, I’m limiting this Giveaway to