Savile Row by Richard James (2003)

Nose: Yves Cassar

The early version of the apparently reformulated Savile Row is a stunning masterwork which shows most of niche brands how a rich, fruity, deep contemporary floral-leather fragrance should be made. Following the ideal creative path started by Givenchy Insensé, it takes the richest, darkest and most “masculine” floral notes with no compromises on quality, and pairs them with a modern fruity-suede vibe amplifying and giving depth and strength to the “smooth contemporary leather accord” that inspired many relatively recent (and so much inferior) “soft leather” scents – from Cuir Ottoman to Tuscan Leather, via Lutens’ Daim Blond and even a hint of modern Visa by Piguet. So don’t expect any dry, well-worn leather à la Knize Ten, as here it’s all more about a tobacco-infused smooth and bright suede accord. Smooth, but not light at all. Savile Row is powerful, immensely sophisticated, and contrary to many similar scents, finally bold, clear, thick in a distinguished and mannered way. It has the grace and the pastel palette of a dandy portrait thanks to its juicy, luminous accord of sweet notes (from rose to ambery peach, and from tea to sandalwood) paired with “The Dark Force” of many classic masculine fougères – leather, tobacco, lavender, patchouli, oakmoss. And tuberose, of course, the main altar of this Baroque cathedral. There’s quite some complexity going on, or better say, a kind of extremely harmonic – again, I’d define it Baroque – golden intricacy which still leaves me speechless every time I wear this. Classic, but smoothly contemporary – by this I mean crisp, refined, bold but unobtrusive. Slightly linear but that’s all you would wish from something so perfect. Nothing else to say: just brilliant.



  1. I've been enjoying your perfume pieces so much.

    I am curious to try this one, as I quite enjoy borrowing from the boys, but how does the new version compare to the old one??

    1. Thanks for your apppreciation. Honestly I have no idea as I haven't tried that new one. I only know the juice is greener in the new one, but that may just be caused by colorants. Most of the times I smell no big difference in alleged reformulations, especially with very recent perfumes, so maybe they're the same thing!