Preface: For those not familar with Russian Leather fragrances, the golden age of these colognes and perfumes was the 1920's and 30's. The height of their popularity was in the 1950's and 60's, when the scent trickled down from the perfume houses and became cheap drugstore brands. It's enjoying a bit of a resurgence, as people are gravitating towards loud, unapologetic scents once again, and away from sweet, generic, non-offensive florals. Russian Leather is not a "leather" scent. It is a smokey Birch tar scent that is associated with the smell of actual russian leather goods, tanned in the traditional manner. I am a huge fan of vintage Russian leather colognes as well as the more modern (yet vintage inspired) Barrister & Mann Cologne Russe which is a thowback to the original Farina Gegenuber's Kolnisch Juten (or one of that cologne's many copycats). I thought that one of these days I would try some of the blends others have come up with, and saved these recipes years ago. After losing them, refinding them, and losing them again, I've opted for a slightly more permant (and easier to find) place to store them, the links to them, and excerpts from the websites. Spelling and grammatical errors in the following recipes are the fault of the respective authors, and not mine. The following two recipes are from http://www.basenotes.net/huddlerarchive/378957 PLANofMAN: The first formula appears to be based on Chanel's Cuir de Russie, a feminine fragrance. The second formula is either also a Chanel reproduction or is based off of the later men's aftershaves like Imperial del Oro. "Cuir de Russie - (Chanel 1924) Cuir de Russie - (Chanel 1924) - If perfume allows the imagination to paint vivid pictures, Cuir de Russie is a fragrance that seems to embody a whole story. From the shimmering dry aldehydic top to the warm leathery base, it unveils one image after another. One can almost envision an elegant woman reaching into a black leather handbag, her hand rummaging through its contents: red lipstick, powder compact exuding an aroma of violets, a silver cigarette case... The owner of the fragrant handbag also seems to be fond of listening to jazz in smoky clubs since Cuir de Russie has an alluring note redolent of soft tobacco pervading its leathery smoothness. It is indeed a scent of the fine handbag and the warm skin of its beautiful owner. Cuir de Russie, "Russian Leather" was a popular theme at the end of the 19th century, with similarly named fragrances offered by houses like Guerlain and LT Piver. Created in 1924 by Ernest Beaux, the fragrance was intended to provoke and shock, being dedicated to the woman who is not afraid to neither smoke in public nor speak her mind..." Formula - Cuir de Russie Elements Grams 15 Solution Iris 1.5 Vanilin 70 Bergamot 8 Bulgarian rose 20 Artificial Rose 40 Birch tar 6 Lemon 12 Ambra - (Amber) 50 Ketonmoschus solution (Musk Ketone) 75 Ambrettmoschus solution (Amber Musk) 12 Rose liqued 5 Jamin liqued 10 Orangeblossom 20 Resinoid Opoponax 3 Sandal 5 Cassie ligued 2 Cumarin 2 Civet artificial 5 Patchouli solution 10 Neroli 4 Macis - (Mace) Subtotal: 375.5 CCM (unknown unit of measure, perhaps cubic centimeter? Both these measurements and the above subtotal are added together at the end, so I will assume that these are also in grams) 500 Vanilla tincture 120 Moschus tincture (Musk Deer tincture) 200 Civet tincture 300 Castoreum tincture 3500 Alcohol Subtotal: 4620 375.5 + 4620= Total Count 4995.5 Cuir de Russie (Russian Leather - Jellinek) PLANofMAN: 'Jellinek' probably refers to one of two people, both authors. Dr. J. Stephan Jellinek "The Use of Fragrance in Consumer Products" "The practice of modern perfumery" or Paul Jellinek "Psychological Basis of Perfumery" All measurements in grams Birch tar oil 60 Castoreum 10% 150 Rose otto 20 Styrax resinoid 100 bergamot 100 sandalwood 10 Patchouli 5 jasmine absolute 50 musk ambrette (use ambrettolide) 50 musk ketone 80 exaltolide 10% 20 vetiver acetate 100 tonka resinoid 30 vanilla resinoid 20 vanillin 50 labdanum resinoid 100 clary sage 5 oakmoss decolorized 10 tuberose absolute 7 acetophenone 3 cassie absolute 10 lemon oil 20 The following two recipes are from http://www.whitelotusblog.com/2011/12/russian-leathercuir-de-russie-recipes_13.html?m=1 "After reading through the early history of Russian leather and its scent, I thought to create a perfume which might capture something of its beauty as well as the spirit of the times when it was in vogue. The purpose of this Cuir de Russie recipe is not to copy any existing perfume, bouquet or cologne of that type but simply the feeling I got from reading about the subject. There is then a simple version of Russian leather which does not have any of the floral notes that later came to be associated with this category of perfumes. This is my idea of what a book bound in scented Russian Leather might smell like." PLANofMAN: The first formula is what I think of as a "Russian" leather. Smoky and heavy on the Birch Tar. Of all four formulas, this is probably going to be the closest to a 'pure' russian leather. The second formula is another Chanel homage. I am intrigued by the author's statement, -"The purpose of this Cuir de Russie recipe is not to copy any existing perfume, bouquet or cologne of that type but simply the feeling I got from reading about the subject." Who knows what the end result smells like? A fascinating mystery to be sure. Cuir de Russie-Simple 2 ounces Labdanum absolute 2 ounce Choya Loban(cedarwood based) 1/4th ounce Birch Tar Essential oil 1 ounce Virgina cedarwood 1/2 ounce Tonka Bean Absolute "It is thought that by 1830's, the French perfumers had discovered the secret of Russia's scented leather and had commenced distilling it themselves. A lot of effort was devoted to producing it as this particular aroma some how captured something of the spirit of the times as one encountered it in many different forms(books, clothes, furniture etc) At this point though the perfumers created a whole new branch of perfumery, the so-called "leather notes". Drawing on their already extensive knowledge of natural perfume materials such as tuberose, violet, jasmine, orange blossom, rose etc, they incorporated birch tar, and related materials into them to create their version of Cuir de Russie. During the ensuing years several Cuir de Russie type perfumes came into being which gained more less popularity. It wasn't until the 1920's when the House of Chanel introduced their Cuir de Russie that a sophisticated perfume with a leather base became truly popular... Many other perfume houses followed with their own versions of Cuir de Russie and the fragrance remains popular to this day. I decided to make an attempt at this sophisticated type of perfume as well drawing upon the light citrus notes topnotes, sweet floral heartnotes, and deep leathery, smoky, amber notes that give this essence its character." Cuir de Russie Supreme 1 ounce Petitgrain Combava essential oil 2 ounces Lime essential oil 1 ounce Neroli essential Oil 1/4 ounce Rose Otto 1/2 ounce Jasmin grandiflorum absolute 1/2 ounce Ylang Extra 1/2 ounce Labdanum Absolute 1/2 ounce Amber essential oil 1/8 ounce Birch Tar essential oil "Please note that those who are interested in creating the above two perfume concentrates need to allow them to age for 6 months after they are blended. Then they can be further diluted in an appropriate base(alcohol or carrier oil) for making cologne, perfume, toilet water, etc * Perfume extract, or simply perfume (Extrait): 15-40% (IFRA: typical 20%) aromatic compounds * Esprit de Parfum (ESdP): 15-30% aromatic compounds, a seldom used strength concentration in between EdP and perfume * Eau de Parfum (EdP), Parfum de Toilette (PdT): 10-20% (typical ~15%) aromatic compounds, sometimes listed as "eau de perfume" or "millésime" * Eau de toilette (EdT): 5-15% (typical ~10%) aromatic compounds * Eau de Cologne (EdC): Chypre citrus type perfumes with 3-8% (typical ~5%) aromatic compounds. "Original Eau de Cologne" is a registered trademark. * Perfume mist: 3-8% aromatic compounds (typical non-alcohol solvent) * Splash (EdS) and After shave: 1-3% aromatic compounds. "EdS" is a registered trademark."