THE BURNING HILLS ~ Leather Oud La Collection Privée by Dior


It was the end of the world. Streaked of radiant raging red that swirled and boiled the sky had turned from indigo night to the roof of hell, the hills were on fire.  From the last street in town and across the vineyards where the Jurupa Hills climbed up from the inland basin they burned. For as far as I could see from the west off into the darkest blanket of night that was the east there was fire.

The entire neighborhood had turned out to line Jurupa Avenue to watch, and even more people were coming in cars from the center of town. It was oddly quite. Kids sat on their fathers shoulders, teenage girls leaned on the flaring finned fenders of cars, boys stood with bikes between there legs, and all looking south at the savage spectacle that was the great wild fire of that summer.

 Fire Night California

   No one was up there in the flames, not even the firemen from three of the nearest towns. There was nothing to do as the great Santa Anna winds drove the fire up towards the summit but let it burn out. I had never seen a California wild fire before, the only way I could comprehend the mass and savagery of it was to see it as a movie. As the fire reached the top I could see in the flames flagellated by the winds lick the walls of Troy, A city burned for the love of a woman. The wind shifted and pushed hard up and over the exposed rocks near the top causing the flames to shoot into the sky and the image before my ten year old eyes changed to the burning of the railroad yards as Atlanta by Sherman. The dancing sheets of fire raged and the billowing smoke rose so high and then spread out across the arc of heaven like the plume of Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Yes it was the end of the world.

Then there was the smell, the sage and the short tough gold grass that came from Spain with the Spanish to California and what ever else grew on those hills were consumed that night. When they died in the flames they created an incense that infused everything including my brain for days after the great conflagration of the summer of 1959. I haven’t thought of that fire or that smell for years,  that is until I smelled la collection couturier Parfumeur Leather Oud Dior. The burning hills came up from the ashes of my mind the moment it touched my skin.


House of Dior 30 Avenue Montaigne Paris

Leather Oud opens with Cardamom, sharp vetiver, rich birch, sandal wood and sumptuous patchouli. Somehow for me this combination of notes by perfumer Francois Demachy sparks the fires of my memory. The heart of the fragrance is built on cloves and honey and the woody Amyris flower, Virginia Cedar finds a home here in the warm heart of the fragrance along with amber and lush labdanum from France. The heart of the fragrance is banked in the glowing embers which are created by Oud from Indonesia, civet, and a very refined fine and supple leather.

The fragrance has depth and longevity. It enters a room with you not ahead of you and lingers lightly in passing. The lasting impression stays on my skin a good six hours. Brilliantly blended from the finest source ingredients the house of Dior under its perfumer Demachy has a smoky mysteriously dangerous winner in Leather Oud. This is a great fragrance for a man of commanding presence and style. Pervasively masculine without being overtly aggressive it would also work very well on the skin of a woman. Who knows what conflagrations that combination of Woman and this Dior masterpiece might ignite?

Dior Leather Oud



  1. Fires and flames to warm up these cold winter days and nights… Thanks for the post! Merry Xmas and a Happy 2013!!!

    • Roberto!
      Buon Natale e felice anno nuovo. Yes warmth to everyone this time of year. That is why I like this fragrance…it is so warm and cozy.

  2. All I can smell right now is eucalyptus, clary sage, menthol, did I say MENTHOL, rosemary, peppermint, clove, and maybe a hint of pine — and it’s smeared all over my collarbone, under my nose, and at my temples. I will NOT be sniffling on Christmas day — and maybe someone will give me a nice bottle of perfume. Especially if I show him your posts — and direct him to GUERLAIN AQUA ALLEGORIA HERBA FRESCA. Subtle? Not me!
    Love, love, love!!!

    • Everything but the Menthol sounds nice! Yes that Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca is very nice…I got it for Christmas last year! It is a classic eau de cologne. One of my favorites… The Eau de Cologne Imperial by Guerlain (created for Loretta Young…I mean the Empress Eugenie) has a slight hint of…ready? Corn Tortilla!
      Well here is hoping Mr. Maine will take the hint and get you a bottle of Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca, (And not a can of Fresca instead)

  3. What a beautiful post. You write very evocatively.

    • Thank you so much Kafkaesque. I am very pleased that you find beauty in my scribbles.

  4. This does sound warm and cozy. Merry Christmas! I hope Santa is good to you.

    • Thank you Poodle! Santa has been very generous this year and it isn’t even Christmas yet! I hope there are wonderful things in store of you on Christmas morning too!

  5. Oh, you make me want to go try that, too. Lovely notes!

    • Yes Mary it is very unusual and I love it. Looks like you might need to plan a visit with our Hilary at Dior!

  6. In late spring, where I grew up, the farmers set the high heath lands alight to char the ground for the showers of early June whose rains in turn charged the earth with rich black nitrogen: rocket fuel for a new growth of summer grass.

    My mother, avoiding all advice, would persist in taking the short cut home even during these great pyres for the dying season.

    Windows wound tight we would hurtle through the swirling storm-like blackness, the flames, so it felt to my childish heart, almost lapping at the wheels of our rusted powder blue Skoda.

    I held my breath until we were almost through it and then inhaled one huge draft, like the smokers last before the umpteenth kicking of the habit. The intoxicating, chocking almost burning air was as if not more guilty and satisfying a pleasure than tobacco could ever be.

    I have never forgotten the smell and your review brought the very scent of those fiery fields back to me.

    Just great, as I trust the perfume, which of course I must now try, is.

    • Assiduosity, we have so many things in common. Isn’t life funny that way. I love your story, YOU took me there. Thank you .

  7. Leather Oud doesn’t work for me but smells absolutely wonderful on my vSO. But if I hadn’t known that already a horde of lemmings would have been joining the crowd admiring that fierce spectacle you’ve described so evocatively.

    • Yes it is not for everyone. Who knows if I would have liked it with out that fire in my childhood!

  8. Gorgeous ‘scribbles’ Lanier…tried this in Paris and loved it….but decided to splurge on Eau Noire instead….adore it. (Am now on a journey to try more of the Francis Kurkdjian fragrances.) The entire Dior private collection is magnificent don’t you think. How wonderful I’ve found your blog….lots to enjoy here. Merci beaucoup, Robyn.

    • Robyn how very kind you are. Yes I am in love with the entire Private Collection! It is lovely to have you here.

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