thenonblonde.blogspot.com) and Trish (scenthive.com) for bringing to my attention.
The first note that hits me is a fresh tobacco note. My father smoked roll-ups (still does, when my sister doesn't catch him) and he uses a golden rolling tobacco. As a child, I used to love smelling the fresh packet when he first opened it (it was the 80s, it wasn't so anti-smoking then - you could buy candy cigarettes) and that's what Espionage smells like on me when first applied; a clean, golden, slightly peaty-damp tobacco note. It's not especially smoky on my skin, but my skin seems to absorb smokiness in fragrances and mellow it.
After a while it settles down into a musky, leathery, utterly delicious my-skin-but-better scent. The Ambrette and Jasmine give the scent good longevity, and a slightly sweaty-skin note to the leather accord. It's not cumin-skanky leather-trousers-after-a-rock-concert, it smells more like a horse that has just been for a good gallop. There's rose in the blend, but I don't get a lot of floral until only the woody base of the perfume is left after several (six or more) hours, and then it's still subtly leathery and not an overtly feminine floral.
This is described as innovative, daring and yet subtle. I'd agree with all of that; it's definitely not girly, but it smells lovely on me and blends into my skin beautifully, and it'd be a very good choice for a man too. Although it is a work-appropriate fragrance for me (not too heady or too floral) I find it has good sillage and very good lasting power for a natural perfume - I get wafts from my wrist several hours after quite a sparing application. This is a must-try for any fans of leather perfume.
I bought a 1ml sample for $12; the perfume extract is available in 4ml and 9ml, and as a perfume oil in 5ml and 10ml. I'm planning to buy the 5ml perfume oil as my skin is naturally quite dry. The website is at www.ayalamoriel.com.