Naomi Goodsir Corpus Equus Eau de Parfum really did evoke exactly what it was inspired by; it was fiery, and it reminded me of hay, barnwood, and aged leather saddles. It was a very smoky, ash and leather duo that was marginally softened by musk, powder, and rose and then later, a touch of spiced amber but the focal point was smoky ash and old leather, even into the drydown.
Corpus Equus Notes
It is described a “deep black animalistic composition, with assertive leather notes” that is inspired by a “fiery and impetuous horse.” Retailers list the notes as: black rose petal, horsehair, leather, cigarette ash, Tonkin musk, and amber infusion.
- top notes: black rose
- heart notes: ash, leather
- base notes: Tonkin musk, horsetail, amber
What does Corpus Equus Smell Like?
It opened with dark, heavy ash that buried aged leather in the back of a horse stall. There was a dry, hay-like aroma that was accompanied by a subtle, powdery sweet rose. The acridness of the ash pulled back, almost like someone diffused the ashes and uncovered the old, worn leather saddle in the back of a barn that just barely escaped burning down, with charred edges, letting the dust settle and reveal the forgotten past.
The muskiness was softly animalic, more of a powdered, sweaty musk that didn’t immediately read horse. The soft, powdery musk and rose tempered the intensity of the tarry smoke and ash combination. Corus Equus stayed in this phase for the next two and a half hours before gradually shifting to an introduction of soft, spiced amber that continued to pull back the smoky nature of the ash and allowed the leather to come through more smoothly.
That being said, even six hours in, which ended up being the drydown, it was still smoky, aged leather with a drier, hay-ish feel with the amber never really taking over.
It lasted for five hours until it was a skin-scent and about eight hours before it was quite difficult to detect on my skin. The sillage and projection were moderate with the sillage dropping faster than the projection within the first hour of wear.
These are more subjective feelings based on what I like (or don’t like) in a perfume as well as considering the fragrance against other perfumes I own and love.
For testing, I used 1/3 of a 0.7ml sample vial dabbed to the underside and topside of my wrist area. I used an unscented moisturizer prior to applying the scent as I found scent did not hold well here otherwise.
I purchased my sample in February 2022; fragrances are known to be reformulated over their lifetime, so be mindful of when a review was made, e.g. a review from 2010 may not reflect what the same-named perfume smells like in 2022.
Corpus Equus is available for $187/50ml.
If possible, I highly recommend trying a fragrance before purchasing a full bottle because fragrance can wear differently just because of skin chemistry. Skin chemistry can effect not just the longevity of a fragrance but also what notes are prominent or hidden.
Corpus Equus Samples
We recommend the following retailers for purchasing decanted samples (typically 0.7ml to 2ml in size). This is a fuller list, so individual availability may depend on inventory.