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The Smells of Leather

Leather skins

"And why is there an YVRA perfume pad in my Travelteq delivery..?" Besides the fact that it smells truly amazing there's a story behind it...

You may be familiar with the smell of fresh leather. That overwhelming, rich, deeply leathery smell that fills your nostrils upon entering a shoe shop, or smelling your new Travelteq bag for that matter.

This may come as a surprise, but the real smell of fresh leather is in fact utterly unbearable. It is the chemicals involved in the tanning process, combined with artificial scents, that cause the smell we are all familiar with today. The original smell of tanned leather, prior to the modern-day chemical processes, was indeed so intolerable that an entire perfume industry was established with the sole purpose of disguising it.

Which takes us to the quaint town of Grasse in southern France. Nowadays Grasse is famous - in equal measure - for its proximity to Cannes on the Côte d'Azur, and for its vibrant perfume industry. However, today's rosy perfumes were but a distant dream for its 16th century citizens, where numerous tanneries formed the heart of France's leather and glove making industry. Gloves that were, of course, destined for royalty and aristocracy.

According to the NY Times "A Grasse tanner presented a pair of scented leather gloves to Catherine de Medici, the queen of France from 1547 until 1559, and an industry was born". Chances are high that most royalty preferred not to saunter about between courts with foul-smelling gloved hands, so gradually it became common practice to add locally sourced flower scents into the gloves. Soon enough, this became perfume and was added to the leather or gloves directly. The perfume industry thrived and heavily outperformed the glove industry in Grasse, and continues to thrive today.

We are excited to honour this tradition of coupling leather and perfume. In keeping with the royal tradition, each Travelteq bag will be delivered with a luxurious scented pad by master-perfumer YVRA, to excite and stimulate your senses upon opening your box. You will be greeted by "L'Essence de L'Essence", the original fragrance by YVRA. Devised after years of research and exploration, this alluring scent presents notes of orange blossom, cedar wood, pepper oil and patchouli. The result is a scent as elegant as it is transparent with a touch more pizzazz than the great classics.

More information on YVRA perfumes can be found here.

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