Thursday, 23 August 2018

LEATHERBEAR by Maître Savonitto

There are two things that I love above all others when it comes to the fragrance industry, candles and Cuir de Russie. The latter is a fragrance that many companies have released, from Chanel right through to Molton Brown, but recently they have all become shadows of their former selves due to ingredient restrictions and changing tastes. One company that has risen to the challenge however is NiceBear, which is part of Maître Savonitto. They have released a candle called LeatherBear and if you imagine muscular legs in leather boots then you’re definitely on the right track. Describing it as “sexy” would be an understatement!

Maître Savonitto was founded in 1997 by Aldo Bessone and Christophe Savonitto. Originally specialising in soap manufacture, their goal was to create high quality products which used the finest ingredients. Success saw them expand the range into liquid soaps, again using a base which was designed to be hypoallergenic and luxuriously soft, but the best was yet to come. Continued demand from the public, and also from companies that they manufactured for, saw Maître Savonitto move their factory to Seillans in Provence, which also gave them the opportunity to open it to visitors.

With the introduction of their candle range Maître Savonitto truly became self sufficient, but the challenge was how to continue to attract new customers to the brand. The existing catalogue was firmly geared to the Provençal tourist and so the company decided to branch out into a completely different market. The continued attraction of artisanal boutiques gave Christophe Savonitto the idea to launch NiceBear, a store which would allow their liquid soaps to be dispensed from stainless steel urns, would carry amended ranges that appealed to both tourists as well as the home design customer, and which would also carry their exclusive Bear range.

SirBear, SportBear, ForesterBear and LeatherBear were all released in both a candle and a soap with a fragrance that was suited to its character. From “the power of precious woods” to the “freshness of white tea,” there was a Bear for everyone. LeatherBear promises a scent that is “virile” and will “reveal your animal side” but does it deliver? The candle is actually described as Cuir de Russie and this fragrance would originally have contained a huge dose of birch tar. Fashion has meant that many fragrances that share the name just don’t have the power anymore, but how does LeatherBear fare?

When you smell the candle cold you get a huge hit of the smoky tar note that made these fragrances so famous, but once it’s lit the magic really happens. The birch tar aroma continues and is joined by a tonka bean and cocoa sweetness mixed with a peppery heat, and which puts you in mind of hot, boot-wearing skin. There seems to be a light touch of orange blossom in here as well, which adds to the sensual quality, but it never detracts from the image of a road-weary Cossack standing at the door.

LeatherBear is available as a candle and also a soap from www.nicebear.fr and also from their boutiques.

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