Japanese model Tao Okamoto‘s well cared for worn in leather Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 bag… it gives this outfit a luxe feel. Keeping any mess organised and well out of sight, this carry-all is the kind of leather piece I’d hope my granddaughter would wrestle off me when I’m about 80 (having no children yet, I may well have to wrestle with someone else’s grandkids, but hey). Regardless, it’s the little touches like the customised chain which Tao Okamoto has added herself that makes it extra personal and brings this bag to life.

I fall in love and can’t help myself and generally it involves the smell of horse things

Without sounding too jolly hockey sticks, my hope in this post really was to celebrate old leather, like the beautiful old leather bag squirreled away at the back of the wardrobe, or vintage leather bags that keep that special leather smell. If you know me, you’ll know from my Goddess books if you’ve ever read them that I understand the pressure put on us all by society to spend loads of money on beautiful branded stuff and you’ll also know how conflicted that makes me feel, but I’m human and sometimes I fall in love and can’t help myself and generally it involves the scent of leather and horses and has nothing at all to do with logos. Whether new or vintage, for me it’s all about that horse leather smell.

Wait… hold on… I have to tell you this quickly, most of the world’s bestselling fragrances have vanilla as an ingredient in them (like bestseller Thierry Mugler Angel). It’s the sweet smell of happiness; baked goods, babies and bubble gum and most (guys and gals) adore it, that’s why they sell so much. Well saddles and linseed oil and horse things are my vanilla, … horse leather smells of the old world where things are handmade and each strand of cotton thread is wax covered (helps the thread expand and fill the needle holes, keeps the seams together for aaaages!). Well I love the smell of the leather and the wax and you can still smell that in vintage stores. Does that make any sense to you?

I recently discovered that a well made leather bag is not a million miles away from a well made leather saddle, same thread, wax, technique etc. and both need PLENTY of care. Leather needs basic, on-going, regular nourishment, not a one-off splash of something expensive when it’s too late. I use this

Have you ever heard of Carr & Day & Martin Belvoir Tack Cleaner wipes? Expensive? Not at all! A pack of fifteen lasts the year and you’ve change from five pounds. Their pH neutral formula doesn’t rot stitching and doesn’t dry out leather. I am totally SMITTEN. One wipe will clean and nourish two bags (test a small hidden patch if you’re iffy). Our lovely old leather bags so full of nicks and bumps, each telling of a different experience. Do they deserve our care?