I have one word to sum up CB I Hate Perfume's Burning Leaves - disappointing. I'm sorry, but that is honestly what I feel. I've been trying this one over the last few days and I have an analogy for it. I picture a lovely jelly, all taut and quivering as it comes out the fridge. That is the first ten to fifteen minutes of Burning Leaves, when it smells smoky, yet quite sweet. However after being left for a little while at room temperature, the jelly softens at the edges and turns to an aqueous blob. This is Burning Leaves once the initial opening fades.
I know this sounds harsh and perhaps it's something to do with the fact that I'm sampling the oil-based perfumes in the line. I find oil based perfumes very often quite muted and dull. Burning Leaves, when first applied, hardly smells of anything at all. After a couple of minutes the smell of smoke gradually appears as the oil warms up on skin, but it never gets beyond this. After about an hour or two, this fragrance has almost faded on my skin.
I have another feeling about Burning Leaves, and I'll probably be shot for this by fans of the CB line, but I don't really think this perfume smells that realistically of burning leaves, quite frankly. The part of it I do smell for half an hour reminds me a bit of Winter Woods and Fireside Intense by Sonoma Scent Studio. I have often smelled burning leaves and other vegetal matter, on bonfires, at garden allotments and so forth and to me the realistic smell is both attractive and repulsive. Close up, the sugars in leaves burn, creating an intense caramelised smell, mixed with acrid, sweet smoke. It's a very unique and evocative smell. To me Burning Leaves never quite captures that accord.
I feel I am being a bit unfair here. Burning Leaves doesn't smell bad, by any means, but I do fault it for its brevity, and for a perfume that is purported to mimic the realism of a smell, I don't personally think it quite achieves that.