If you think leather fragrances are heavy and iris is a sad note, Andy Tauer is about to change your mind. His latest release, Lonesome Rider, features leather and iris but has little in common with what your typical leather and iris perfumes.
The idea for Lonesome Rider was not thoroughly new. This fragrance is the reincarnation of another perfume Andy Tauer created shortly after his most successful composition, L'Air du Desert Marocain, hit the market. The name of the original fragrance was Orris and, according to Andy, it featured iris and a very high quality oud among other notes.
Building off of the idea of Orris, Andy wanted to create something similar and yet original by leveraging everything that he had learned in perfume making over the last ten years. This is how the idea of the leather-iris fragrance was born.
Lonesome Rider, however, is more than just a plain leather fragrance with a bit of iris note rubbed on it. Andy's vision of the fragrance was more complex. He saw Lonesome Rider as a cleaner, neater version of Lonestar Memories - his previous release, which very creatively depicts the aroma of a cowboy sitting by the campfire after a day of work. In an interview with Sebastian from Looking Feeling Smelling Great, Andy says that Lonesome Rider is a cowboy wearing a clean white shirt. It is not as dirty and smoky as Lonestar Memories but shares the same ruggedness and meditative nature.
What Lonesome Rider Smells Like
Lonesome Rider is blended so well that it took me several wears to decipher the composition. Off the top, I detect leather - not the bitter, tanned one, but softer, worn in kind. There is a certain oily richness to the scent, which I have smelled in Mitsouko (Amazon) before.
The leather's roundness and softness is tempered by spices, which I pick out only after I concentrate on the fragrance. Fragrantica lists citrus notes in the opening, which seem to stay in the background, giving some freshness to the composition.
To be completely honest, I don't smell any citrus in the composition. The typical citrus opening of many masculine fragrances is not present. I am thankful for this switch in composition because it keeps things interesting and Lonesome Rider does a great job at it.
The iris character of Lonesome Rider is clearly detectable from the very beginning. The quality here is extraordinary. The iris is rich, natural and very buttery. It almost smells like an orris root to me. The buttery density of the iris plays very well against the sharper character of the spices and leather in the composition.
As a note, iris can be very versatile. It can be light and ephemeral (Florentine Iris), dry and powdery (Dior Homme (Amazon)) or dense and buttery. The iris in Lonesome Rider is the latter. The iris not here doesn't have the light feel similar to violet leaf or the heavy powderiness, which I'm not a fan of. It is mostly rich and buttery. It smells like Andy didn't skimp on quality here.
I've always associated iris fragrances with melancholy, loneliness, and contemplation. Lonesome Rider is no different. The iris definitely puts me in a contemplative mood and the leather and smoke notes remind me of an old world voyage. I picture the vast openness of the American prairies and, at the same time, I envision the leather diary of an European aristocrat who has spent his life traveling and searching for the meaning of life.
To put it simply, Lonesome Rider is a luxurious fragrance that could easily put you in a pensive mood.
Where to Rock It
Robin from Now Smell This says she wasn't a fan of the original Orris. She, however, finds Lonesome Rider to be "fantastic". She says that "Lonesome Rider is a scent memory and doesn't easily fit into any of my usual fragrance categories".
Mark Behnke from Colognoisseur advises us not to look for a mash-up of Orris and Lonestar Memories in Lonesome Rider. This is how he originally approached Lonesome Rider and was disappointed.
When, however, he looked at the juice as a stand-alone piece, he realized Andy's idea was "to delight us all over again by returning to a style of perfume he hasn't done much recently".
Sam from I Scent You a Day says "this stuff has muscles and a sensitive side". She explains that "the combination of orris, citrus, leather, and spices make this a fabulous fragrance".
The Bottom Line
Overall, Lonesome Rider is a winner. It is one of those fragrances that bring you inner peace and, therefore, you want to wear for yourself.
Would you buy Lonesome Rider?
It is on my list to buy this fall. I see it more as a fall/winter fragrance, so I will wait for the right season to purchase.
Would I get compliments wearing Lonesome Rider?
You might, even though for me, Lonesome Rider is a fragrance you wear for yourself. If you are looking for a crowd-pleaser, this is not the one for you.
What rating would you give Lonesome Rider?
I think Lonesome Rider is a solid four out of five. It is very close to L'Air du Desert Marocain, which is a 5-star fragrance for me.
Citrus, Spices, Pepper
Iris, Leather, Incense
Vetiver, Ambergris, Sandalwood
Where to Buy It
Lonesome Rider comes in a 50ml bottle. You can get it at etiket.ca.