OLO Portland Violet/Leather Perfume Review

Olo Portland Violet/Leather Perfume Oil Review

A couple weeks ago, I visited Knows Perfume in West Seattle. It was awesome, but I’ll save my post for them another day… I was familiar with all of the luxury and niche lines carried there…so I thought. On a shelf, glimmering back at me, I saw plain and simple bottles of oil labeled “ORO Portland”. Hmmm…never heard of this one before. Actually, I thought that Portland General Store changed their label to something more Deco. Nope. After asking the wonderful owner, Christen, she let me know that OLO is a super small brand. They are carried in small boutiques in Portland and Seattle. I sniffed and I liked what I sniffed. A few caught my nose’s attention, but I had to have Violet/Leather being that I’m, once again, going through a leather stage.

Edwardian Leather boots from etsy

Violet/Leather is unbelievably simple and linear. It’s what the name implies. Since I bought this, then and there, no sampling, I misjudged Violet/Leather at first. I thought it was an “innocent” leather. I thought I picked up on powderiness. It seemed less sultry in comparison to  rose/leather combos out there like BPAL Whip. I was wrong. The more I wear Violet/Leather, the more that I realize it isn’t “sweet” or “girly”. This perfume oil has an Edwardian gothic vibe and not some cheezy modern day garb. Like actual Edwardian/Victorian. The violet in Violet/Leather is not candied and it isn’t sweet. It’s green, crushed violet leaves. Slightly old-fashioned, very astringent. This perfume oil was inspired by a Mark Twain quote and yes, this violet seems like it would fit right in with Twain’s era. The violet and leather are together. The leather is new leather reminding me of new black moto jacket or new cowboy boots. The leather isn’t “powdery”. There is no sweetness in this oil at all. So what you have is a mix of two colors: green, crushed violet leaves and a black leather jacket. With time I do get a bit of woods in the mix, like a lacquered jewelry box kind of woods under the leather and violet. On some skins, I notice that the leather shows up more towards the end, a black and new leather that smells exactly like a new leather jacket. But, on me the violet and leather wear together even towards the very end.

So, yeah, Violet/Leather is super simple but that’s why I like it. Sometimes I just want simple. You may go for your L’Eau Serge anti-perfume 😉 but not me. I like to get my simplicity from linear and likable notes. I need to add that because of the leather and astringent greens, Violet/Leather feels like an old-fashioned barber shop. So, this is more masculine, but still easily unisex. I wear this and like it. My husband wears it and works even better on his skin. This is the perfect “green leather”; a leather than one can even wear in the spring and summer. This leather is unique because there is no softness from notes like vanilla or amber. There’s no rose! And this is why I like it.

May Hutton in top hat
US & PNW suffragette, May Hutton

Notes listed include: violet, leather, and rosewood

Give OLO Portland Violet/Leather a try if you like green and/or leather scents. Or if you like perfumes like Heeley Cuir Pleine Fleure, Creed Green Irish Tweed, Piguet Bandit, and/or Heir fragrance oil. But, mainly you have got to like “green”. I’m sure one could sweeten this fragrance with a spritz of vanilla perfume, something sheer like Annick Goutal Vanille Exquise or a dab of vanilla perfume oil from The Body Shop.

I paid $35 for my 9mL bottle. The bottle is that kind that has a glass wand, like BPAL or Smell Bent. Currently, you can get select OLO products on-line at Nationale. OLO also has a website.

Product picture is from OLO’s website. Boot pic from Etsy, could not find any info on the seller, please share if you know. May Hutton is from Wikipedia

19 thoughts on “OLO Portland Violet/Leather Perfume Review

    1. Oh, this OLO and Bandit aren’t very much alike, but I can see someone that wears Bandit being able to wear Violet/Leather very easily.
      There was a change in formulation with Bandit, right? Do you know which formula you will be sampling?

  1. Sounds very interesting! Sometimes a few notes are all you need.

    What’s funny is I feel challenged by simple fragrances. I have AbdesSalaam Attar Zafferano which is just saffron and sandalwood (and totally gorgeous), and I can’t review it because there really isn’t anyting more to say!
    JoanElaine recently posted..We Three Kings- The Gift of Myrrh

    1. Simple fragrances like simple recipes are the most difficult! I felt the same with this fragrance, that it was too simple to describe. But, it deserves some Internet love. Plus, I don’t mind reading reviews of simple fragrances. I have never heard of Attar Zafferano, so you should write a review!

  2. Thanks so much for the lovely Violet/Leather review! It is my most simple blend and one of my most popular. The Twain quote, “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”
    I really just wanted to make the smell of that quote. I would wear it around while I was working on it and people would ask to buy it. I didn’t feel like it was ready but I would blend one up when asked. I made several versions but people kept asking for the original blend. I’m glad you like it!
    Also, Knows Perfume is an amazing store!

    OLO fragrance

    1. Thank you Heather for commenting and sharing the Twain quote.
      Violet/Leather is wonderful, simple, but unlike anything else that I own. I knew I had to have a bottle. In fact, I’m very impressed with the entire OLO line and can’t wait to try more. Foret, Erastus, and Victory Wolf are real gems. I’m so happy that Knows exposed me to your line.

  3. 😉 sounds like a very likable scent. I personally want to travel through perfumes in time.. especially to the edwardian era, till the 20s. Recently when I tried Flapper by Opus Oils I felt that I was in a far distant time. Not the flower scent or anything, but the mixture gave me this emotion. Happy 2011!

    1. This one did take me back in time. It wasn’t like “oh, this smells like an Edwardian perfume”. It was more like an atmosphere of how I idealize that era. It’s very nice.
      I have yet to try Opus Oils but the descriptions sound very enjoyable. I was tempted by Flapper. Now I have no excuse not to try!

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