Pell Wall Perfumes Sticky Leather Sky: Fifty Shades of Tan



I love perfumes with a good back story and the story behind the creation of Pell Wall Sticky Leather Sky is so whimsical I simply had to share it with you.

I have often thought that perfume and poetry have much in common:  both are open to interpretation.  For example, a poem I love may not move you at all, and my revulsion towards, say, Theirry Mugler Womanity may not be shared by its fans, but nobody is wrong.  Both perfume and poetry are open to personal response, as is the Charles Ives concert  described in the poem.

Sticky Leather Sky was inspired by a poem by Claire Trévian, which was written for a poetry festival called Penning Poems, the brainchild of Odette Toilette and Claire herself.  This artistic collaboration set a chain reaction in place which resulted in a fragrance : Sticky Leather Sky. The poem is beautiful and reading it whilst wearing Sticky Leather Sky puts the experience into a new dimension (my son would call it 4D).

I have reproduced Claire’s poem in full here, because it is too beautiful to cut short.


Listening to Charles Ives
The street vainly imitates a theatre,
dropped pennies and reflectors footlight my walk
the rumble of a crowd gathers and storms.

Beats rain down and hide in the gutter,
rivulets form around the clutter
of the pavement’s percussion orchestra.


Sticky leather sky.

The air vibrates still
through drum-buildings.

I think of us listening to Charles Ives.
You heard cacophony, I heard the silence
after the tempest, when the bells

had ceased, but their ripples
reached to our seats like
the promise of a tomorrow.

©Claire Trévien


Now you can see where the scent got its name, but what does it smell like?

My first impression was that of walking through a market (think Camden- raw and noisy) where the belt stall gives off an almost nutty, animalic waft as you walk past.  Wait a bit longer and it is the smell of the hint of chest hair belonging to a man who has just arrived on a motorbike.


In amongst all this is a bit of vetiver and bergamot to give the opening that manly, just-got-out-of-the-shower feeling ( I can definitely smell Palmolive Soap!).  However, this is equally good on women and hangs around a lot longer than a bad boyfriend. In fact, I couldn’t help thinking it ties in rather nicely with the current Fifty Shades of Grey Meme.  Sticky Leather Sky may well bring out the animal in you.  This is dirty leather, not sensible shoes.

sticky leather sky
Pell Wall Perfumes


Giveaway news!

I have one boxed 30ml bottle of Sticky Leather Sky to give away.  Simply tell me the name of a poem you like.  It can be anything at all from Spike Milligan (who is one of my favourites) to Shakespeare, from John Donne to Wendy Cope.  I will pick a name randomly on Tuesday 24th February so do get your answers in by midnight that day if you can.  Please note that due to posting regs, the giveaway is UK only.

 Stockists:  The Pell Wall perfumes website sells bottles of Sticky Leather Sky and two types of great sample packs too if you want to try before you buy.   My bottle was provided by Pell Wall perfumes, for which, many thanks.


13 thoughts on “Pell Wall Perfumes Sticky Leather Sky: Fifty Shades of Tan”

  1. For once my English Literature has some use 🙂

    By John Donne entitled Elegy iV – The Perfume.

    Once, and but once found in thy company,
    All thy supposed escapes are laid on me;
    And as a thief at bar is questioned there
    By all the men that have been robed that year,
    So am I (by this traiterous means surprized)
    By thy hydroptic father catechized.
    Though he had wont to search with glazed eyes,
    As though he came to kill a cockatrice,
    Though he hath oft sworn that he would remove
    Thy beauty’s beauty, and food of our love,
    Hope of his goods, if I with thee were seen,
    Yet close and secret, as our souls, we’ve been.
    Though thy immortal mother, which doth lie
    Still-buried in her bed, yet wiil not die,
    Takes this advantage to sleep out daylight,
    And watch thy entries and returns all night,
    And, when she takes thy hand, and would seem kind,
    Doth search what rings and armlets she can find,
    And kissing, notes the colour of thy face,
    And fearing lest thou’rt swol’n, doth thee embrace;
    To try if thou long, doth name strange meats,
    And notes thy paleness, blushing, sighs, and sweats;
    And politicly will to thee confess
    The sins of her own youth’s rank lustiness;
    Yet love these sorceries did remove, and move
    Thee to gull thine own mother for my love.
    Thy little brethren, which like faery sprites
    Oft skipped into our chamber, those sweet nights,
    And kissed, and ingled on thy father’s knee,
    Were bribed next day to tell what they did see:
    The grim eight-foot-high iron-bound servingman,
    That oft names God in oaths, and only then,
    He that to bar the first gate doth as wide
    As the great Rhodian Colossus stride,
    Which, if in hell no other pains there were,
    Makes me fear hell, because he must be there:
    Though by thy father he were hired to this,
    Could never witness any touch or kiss.
    But Oh, too common ill, I brought with me
    That which betrayed me to my enemy:
    A loud perfume, which at my entrance cried
    Even at thy father’s nose, so were we spied;
    When, like a tyran King, that in his bed
    Smelt gunpowder, the pale wretch shivered.
    Had it been some bad smell he would have thought
    That his own feet, or breath, that smell had wrought.
    But as we in our isle imprisoned,
    Where cattle only, and diverse dogs are bred,
    The precious Unicorns strange monsters call,
    So thought he good, strange, that had none at all.
    I taught my silks their whistling to forbear,
    Even my oppressed shoes dumb and speechless were,
    Only, thou bitter sweet, whom I had laid
    Next me, me traiterously hast betrayed,
    And unsuspected hast invisibly
    At once fled unto him, and stayed with me.
    Base excrement of earth, which dost confound
    Sense from distinguishing the sick from sound;
    By thee the seely amorous sucks his death
    By drawing in a leprous harlot’s breath;
    By thee the greatest stain to man’s estate
    Falls on us, to be called effeminate;
    Though you be much loved in the Prince’s hall,
    There, things that seem, exceed substantial.
    Gods, when ye fumed on altars, were pleased well,
    Because you were burnt, not that they liked your smell;
    You’re loathsome all, being taken simply alone,
    Shall we love ill things joined, and hate each one?
    If you were good, your good doth soon decay;
    And you are rare, that takes the good away.
    All my perfumes I give most willingly
    T’ embalm thy father’s corse; What? will he die?

  2. Oh Margaret! Oh wow! You have managed to get John Donne poetry onto my blog and I am so pleased! He has written several of my favourites and I can never read them without hearing a lute and seeing a nudie Tudor lady in the background. “Licence my roaming hands…” Filth! I’d never heard this one that you have reproduced here and I am so glad that you have introduced me to it. Thank you.

  3. “Somewhere someone is traveling furiously toward you,
    At incredible speed, traveling day and night,
    Through blizzards and desert heat, across torrents,
    through narrow passes.
    But will he know where to find you,
    Recognize you when he sees you,
    Give you the thing he has for you?”
    — John Ashbery–

  4. Strawberries

    There were never strawberries
    like the ones we had
    that sultry afternoon
    sitting on the step
    of the open french window
    facing each other
    your knees held in mine
    the blue plates in our laps
    the strawberries glistening
    in the hot sunlight
    we dipped them in sugar
    looking at each other
    not hurrying the feast
    for one to come
    the empty plates
    laid on the stone together
    with the two forks crossed
    and I bent towards you
    sweet in that air
    in my arms
    abandoned like a child
    from your eager mouth
    the taste of strawberries
    in my memory
    lean back again
    let me love you

    let the sun beat
    on our forgetfulness
    one hour of all
    the heat intense
    and summer lightning
    on the Kilpatrick hills

    let the storm wash the plates

    By Edwin Morgan

    Normally I say I like poetry in the same vein as ‘ I like a nice cup of tea’ (Sorry) But I adored Claires poem as it reminded me of this one by Edwin Morgan.

    1. Thank you Jay- I know what you mean- there is a lovely rhythmic stream of consciousness to both. Thank you for introducing me to this beautiful poem.

    1. Thank you Stephen. I hadn’t heard this one before. I’m going to copy it here so other people know how beautiful it is. Warnest wishes Samantha

      When I have Fears That I May Cease to Be

      When I have fears that I may cease to be
      Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,
      Before high-pilèd books, in charactery,
      Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain;
      When I behold, upon the night’s starred face,
      Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
      And think that I may never live to trace
      Their shadows with the magic hand of chance;
      And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
      That I shall never look upon thee more,
      Never have relish in the faery power
      Of unreflecting love—then on the shore
      Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
      Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

  5. One poem I keep coming back to is by Simon Armitage

    To His Lost Lover

    Now they are no longer
    any trouble to each other

    he can turn things over, get down to that list
    of things that never happened, all of the lost

    unfinishable business.
    For instance… for instance,

    how he never clipped and kept her hair, or drew a hairbrush
    through that style of hers, and never knew how not to blush

    at the fall of her name in close company.
    How they never slept like buried cutlery –

    two spoons or forks cupped perfectly together,
    or made the most of some heavy weather –

    walked out into hard rain under sheet lightning,
    or did the gears while the other was driving.

    How he never raised his fingertips
    to stop the segments of her lips

    from breaking the news,
    or tasted the fruit

    or picked for himself the pear of her heart,
    or lifted her hand to where his own heart

    was a small, dark, terrified bird
    in her grip. Where it hurt.

    Or said the right thing,
    or put it in writing.

    And never fled the black mile back to his house
    before midnight, or coaxed another button of her blouse,

    then another,
    or knew her

    favourite colour,
    her taste, her flavour,

    and never ran a bath or held a towel for her,
    or soft-soaped her, or whipped her hair

    into an ice-cream cornet or a beehive
    of lather, or acted out of turn, or misbehaved

    when he might have, or worked a comb
    where no comb had been, or walked back home

    through a black mile hugging a punctured heart,
    where it hurt, where it hurt, or helped her hand

    to his butterfly heart
    in its two blue halves.

    And never almost cried,
    and never once described

    an attack of the heart,
    or under a silk shirt

    nursed in his hand her breast,
    her left, like a tear of flesh

    wept by the heart,
    where it hurts,

    or brushed with his thumb the nut of her nipple,
    or drank intoxicating liquors from her navel.

    Or christened the Pole Star in her name,
    or shielded the mask of her face like a flame,

    a pilot light,
    or stayed the night,

    or steered her back to that house of his,
    or said “Don’t ask me how it is

    I like you.
    I just might do.”

    How he never figured out a fireproof plan,
    or unravelled her hand, as if her hand

    were a solid ball
    of silver foil

    and discovered a lifeline hiding inside it,
    and measured the trace of his own alongside it.

    But said some things and never meant them –
    sweet nothings anybody could have mentioned.

    And left unsaid some things he should have spoken,
    about the heart, where it hurt exactly, and how often.

  6. Dear Patsi,

    What a stunning poem- it is so very poignant: it feels almost too intimate to read and yet I was unable to look away. I shall look out for more of Simon Armitage’s work. Think you so much for pointing me in the direction of this beautiful poem.

    warmest wishes

  7. You have all posted such beautiful poems and I am eternally grateful for you all putting them in my path. It put me in mind of one of my own favourites, and since we’re in a sharing mood, I thought I would post it here

    He Wishes For the Cloths Of Heaven
    WB Yeats

    Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
    Enwrought with golden and silver light,
    The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
    Of night and light and the half light,
    I would spread the cloths under your feet:
    But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
    I have spread my dreams under your feet;
    Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

  8. Have so enjoyed reading these so much wonderful poetry is getting lost in the sands of time 🙁 so many people have not discovered its beauty.

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