Maxwell Scott – The Sabina Coin Purse Review – $100

Women’s wallets can be kinda goofy. I’m not a huge fan of giant checkbook-sized wallets, but pockets on women’s jeans and pants are never big enough to fit a pocket sized wallet. It’s a lose-lose. So I am always on the lookout for interesting women’s wallet idea. Maxwell Scott offers up a cute alternative with their ball clasp coin wallet, dubbed The Sabina.

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“Family owned and run, Maxwell Scott Bags is founded on a shared love of Italy, a passion for design, and a firm belief in the importance of excellent customer service.” Currently based out of York, England, Maxwell Scott Bags was founded in 2002 with one goal: to become the most loved British bag company in the world. With a company revamp in 2013, the founders began a new vision. “The new brand identity comes from a blend of elements considered sacred to the company founders: craftsmanship, attention to detail, and a passion for creating individual style.” Be sure to read up about the company and its history, as well as keep up with the Maxwell Scott Journal. We recently reviewed their pen case, known as La Pienza. You can read the review here.

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Maxwell Scott uses full-grain vegetable tanned cowhide, raised and tanned in Tuscany. You can read a bit about the heritage of their Italian tannery and veg-tan process on their website. The waxy, full-grain leather has an interesting, almost marbled look to it. I wasn’t entirely sold on this when I first saw it, but I’ve come to appreciate the patina it has acquired. It also protects it from looking scratched or dirty after being carried around in a purse.

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The inside is lined with light pigskin that is durable and contrasts the leather nicely. The Sabina comes in three colors – classic tan, dark chocolate, and night black. My night black color is very versatile — it can look fancy but it’s also not too over-the-top for everyday use. For an extra $25, you can have up to six letters embossed on the purse, in blind, gold or silver.

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The Sabina Coin Purse is rather small, at 5.7″ x 2″ x 4.5″. It’s small enough that I can grab it and my phone in one hand, which for some reason feels very convenient to me. In my opinion, it’s not quite big enough to be used solely as a clutch purse, but that really comes down to personal preference as I’m not the type to use a clutch. However, I find it to be the perfect size to throw into a crossbody purse or handbag. It’s also be great for trips to the bathroom if you use it to hold lipstick or other cosmetics.

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The Sabina’s leather is expertly gathered up at the top by beautiful brass edging and fastened with a sturdy ball clasp. It has two separate internal pockets separated by a middle divider. The divider is hinged so that you can access either pocket easily. I like the shape and size of this coin purse because the coins sink to the bottom and leave plenty of space for cards and a few folded bills. I wouldn’t put more than four or five plastic cards in there, or else it would be difficult to access the coins at the bottom. I’ve found that I like to keep chapstick and a few sticks of gum on one side, and coins, a bit of cash, my ID and two other cards in the other. The hinge still functions perfectly, even with all those things in there.  It’s become a great catch-all for all those little things that roll around on the bottom of my purse. Of course, it doesn’t have to be used as a wallet, either. There’s plenty of space for lipsticks, powder, or even a mini mascara if you’d prefer to use it as a fancy travel cosmetics case.

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I’ve come to really like The Sabina Coin Purse from Maxwell Scott and its vintage, feminine aesthetic. It’s become my everyday carry wallet and it has encouraged me to pare down on the amount of cards I carry (I haven’t missed them one bit). $100 is a bit steep, but this purse is crafted from gorgeous leather and constructed beautifully. It also comes with a 25 year warranty should anything go wrong,  which I highly doubt would.

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Westward Leather Double-Tray Dopp Kit Review – $180

Every once in a while here at BestLeather, we see a product that makes us think “Why didn’t I think of that?” The Westward Leather Double Tray Dopp Kit is one of those products. It’s both a great idea and a great execution. Let’s take a look at what makes this dopp kit so exceptional.

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About Westward Leather Company

Based in Spokane, Washington in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Westward Leather Company handcrafts bags, belts, wallets, and more – all with American heritage style in mind. From their website:

“Westward Leather Company has been a long time in the making. In reality, it’s less of a company, and more of a creative perspective. WLC’s beginnings are scattered and gathered from a multitude of life experiences and travels, and from a personal search for quality and craftsmanship in all fields, throughout history. Such a search so often has led us into the archives of vintage and antique, where we have always been most impressed by the ingenuity and resourcefulness of our ancestor’s generations. And yet, at the same time, history is riddled with terrible actions and decisions as well. Somewhere in the middle of these two opposites is where Westward Leather Company was born.”

We had the chance to meet with Ben, the founder of Westward Leather, at one of our favorite coffeehouses in downtown Spokane (Rocket Bakery). “Basically, I make containers for people to use for their stuff…”, is how Ben explained his company. This might be true – but, his containers look fantastic and are built to endure years of use.

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Construction & Function

Handcrafted from beautiful 8-ounce heavily oiled bridle leather, this kit features overlapping double hand-laced waxed nylon seams, and solid copper hand-set rivets. This dopp kit won’t be falling apart any time soon. The two-finger carry handle is interlaced with the seam and stays fairly flush against the side for easy packing and carrying.

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At 8” x 6” 2.75”, the Double-Tray Dopp Kit is the absolute perfect size. A lot of dopp kits on the market are simply enormous and end up hogging half of your carry-on suitcase or duffle. This one is the perfect size to fit all the essentials—toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, pomade, etc., without overwhelming your weekender bag.

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The greatest feature this dopp kit is its genius lid design. The lid is designed to be entirely removable to act as a valet tray on the go. Simply unfasten the wrap around strap with solid brass snap, and you immediately have a valet tray to set on your hotel nightstand. It’s a great catch-all for your keys, change, wallet, and hotel keys, and you don’t even have to think about packing it because it’s attached.

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The 8-oz bridle leather comes only in this attractive chestnut shade. The valet tray and the bottom of the dopp kit fit together very smoothly and compactly. The buffalo stamp in the bottom right corner is a subtle reminder of Westward Leather’s heritage theme. This dopp kit looks like nothing else on the market and is sure to be a standout product for Westward Leather.

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The Westward Leather Double-Tray Dopp Kit is a very unique, standout product. It’s handmade in the USA, features double-stitched seams, copper rivets, and a genius design. For $180, you’re getting a great dopp kit as well as a valet tray. This is a product that I plan on carrying on every trip for the foreseeable future. And, it definitely qualifies as a Buy It for Life product. Be sure to check out Ben’s other great products on the Westward Leather website.

Moore & Giles No. 33 Luxury Leather Conditioner & Restorer Review – $40

Whether you’ve spent $100 or $1000 on your leather bag, it’s going to need conditioning. There are quite a few products on the market, with ingredients that range from almond oil to beeswax to unicorn tears. We recently received Moore & Giles No. 33 Luxury Leather Conditioner & Restorer.


Moore and Giles No 33 Leather Conditioner 2ABOUT MOORE & GILES

Moore & Giles has been firmly entrenched in the leather industry since it was founded in 1933 in Lynchburg, VA. Currently, Moore & Giles employs more than 70 people in its headquarters in Forest, Virginia with representation in every major metropolitan area as well as strategic partnerships in England, Germany, France, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Moore & Giles designs and develops the world’s most luxurious natural leathers for leather upholstery, residential leather, hospitality leather and aviation leather. In 2007 they also introduced a collection of luxury leather bags and accessories as an additional avenue to showcase the inherent beauty and timeless appeal of their natural leathers.

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No. 33 Luxury Leather Conditioner & Restorer

To formulate their brand of leather conditioner, Moore & Giles partnered with Tad Coffin Performance Saddles, an equestrian outfitter based in Ruckersville, Virginia. The all-natural formula comes in a rather large plastic container. It has an odd consistency that I haven’t seen in a lot of other leather conditioners– an almost grainy feel. I’d recommend patch-testing this cleaner in an inconspicuous spot, and don’t use it on suede.

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Make sure your bag/purse/shoe/other item is clean, then use a damp cloth or sponge to apply a small amount of the cream to the leather. Rub it in vigorously and you’ll immediately see results. Some of the little grains don’t rub in immediately, so don’t be too gentle. If your leather is really dry, you can do this step twice. After two or three minutes, use a paper towel or dry cloth to remove any excess conditioner that didn’t soak in.

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I used a Marlondo Leather desk pad as my guinea pig for this conditioner. As you can see in the pictures, the leather darkened up considerably and the color became even richer. The conditioner leaves a waxy feel that keeps the desk pad feeling conditioned and protected.

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Overall, I was impressed with the performance of Moore & Giles No. 33 Luxury Leather Conditioner & Restorer. The $40 price is a little steep, but the huge container will last you forever. I’ve been conditioning pretty much every leather item I own (which is a lot now), and have barely put a dent in it. Be sure to check out the little instructional video Moore & Giles put together:


Thrux Lawrence Brown Leather Coasters (Round – Set of 4) Review – $25

I’ll be honest and say I hadn’t thought much about coffee coasters in quite some time before I got my hands on the Thrux Lawrence Brown Leather Coasters. In this case, what you see is what you get: a set of four dark brown leather coasters with the Thrux Lawrence logo embossed on the edge. No frills – just quality, attractive leather to protect your furniture from the unwanted ablutions of a mint julep in the summertime. As is always the case with Thrux Lawrence products, the leather is well-made and beautifully grained.


About Thrux Lawrence

Tanden Launder founded Thrux Lawrence in 2012 with the idea of crafting high-quality, limited release clothing and accessory lines that are made in America. As a collector of vintage goods, Tanden has integrated his love of these items into how he creates the products they put out. By examining the qualities responsible for giving these products their beauty and longevity, he has been able to integrate these qualities into the lines of products he is offering today.



Construction is fairly simple with these coasters. The four pieces are made of a single piece of leather that averaged about 3.5 millimeters in thickness. The leather is thick, tough, and nicely grained. You’ll find the Thrux Lawrence logo embossed on one edge of each coaster.



The Thrux Lawrence Brown Coasters measure 4 inches across and are large enough to hold all but the biggest super-size drinks. The thickness of the leather ensures no condensation is going to form underneath the coaster and ruin that solid oak coffee table your grandfather hand-carved with a pocket knife. Any liquid spilled on the coaster cleans up easily with a paper towel due to the lacquer on the coaster surface. As with any leather product, avoid getting them completely soaked. A damp cloth is the most these coasters should see to wipe up any spills or clean them off.




The dark brown leather of the coasters is attractive, if simple. There are a few additions I thought would enhance the beauty of these coasters: the option to have the coasters embossed with custom lettering; and a stitching or embossing inset from the edge of the coaster. Embossing would look good as well as serve a purpose: it could trap any liquid running off a cup before it spills over the edge of the coaster. Stitching, while purely aesthetic, would set off the embossed lettering. The last addition that I’d enjoy for the coasters is a customized holder, leather or wood being my first two choices. They are currently packaged with a single rawhide lace that looks great, but could be misplaced. On a final note, because of the simplicity in the design and the dark color of the leather, these coasters would look at home out on the trail as much as they would on your dining table.



At the current price point of $25.00 for a set of four coasters, the Thrux Lawrence Brown Leather Coasters represent a good value based on what I’ve seen of other leather coaster sets on the market. They would also make a great addition as part of a larger gift set. Based on the product lines Thrux Lawrence already has out, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them offering additional options for this product in the future.


Colonel Littleton No. 60 Leather Phone Holster – $93

I don’t think I have ever been as excited as I was the moment I opened up my package from Colonel Littleton. The No. 60 iPhone 6 Holster’s luscious black leather may be spectacular and the ball stud closure may be impeccable. But the Moonpie is really what sold me. All jokes aside, I am pleased to be able to review another product from this unique leather company. The Colonel Littleton No. 60 Phone Holster is a one-of-a-kind creation.

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Colonel Littleton has been a BestLeather favorite for quite some time now. With a story and history as rich and distinct as their’s it is hard not to like them as much as we do. Colonel Littleton is based out of Lynnville, Tennessee, a town with a population of 327. The real Colonel Littleton himself got his start selling vintage cufflinks in 1987, which sparked an interest in creating high quality, leather gift items. Now, 28 years later, Colonel Littleton makes bags, belts, hats, wallets, knives, cologne, and more, all with their unique Tennessee flair. And if you were wondering, every package they send out contains a Moonpie.

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The No. 60 iPhone 6 Holster is constructed from Colonel Littleton’s specially tanned American full-grain leather. The black leather is some of the softest I have felt, and its expertly stitched seams really pull the piece together. There is not one single stitch misplaced, broken, or defective. The focal point of the phone holster is the ball stud closure. This high-quality metal ball stud is flashy but not overboard. The closure is extremely durable and easy to open and close. The vertical belt loop on the back is stiff and confident, really giving the impression of great protection and security. Famous for expert craftsmanship and their quality, unique materials, the No. 60 iPhone 6 Holster meets the typical Colonel Littleton standard of excellence.

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The No. 60 iPhone Holster comes in two sizes: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhone 6 holster is crafted specifically for the iPhone 6 with a small case or no case at all. If you have large case on your phone, Colonel Littleton recommends buying the iPhone 6 Plus case because of the adequate storage. Because I use my iPhone 6 without a case, I only saw briefly how well the iPhone 6 Plus worked for phones with large cases. Sliding the iPhone in and out of the case is relatively easy but shielded. Every time I have used this case I am pleased with its ease of use. It functions exactly how it is supposed to and that is something I always look forward to in my leather products.

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Colonel Littleton’s leather is consistently beautiful. Because they do not use “condominium cows” for their leather, each piece is unique – full of exclusive nicks, scars, and stretch marks. Although there are no beauty marks on my iPhone holsters, the rich black color is truly gorgeous. The holster does come in two colors; black and brown. Each color is equally high quality. Every time I use this phone holster I get remarks and questions. This phone case definitely makes a statement.

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The Colonel Littleton No. 60 iPhone 6 Holster is truly a remarkable leather accessory. The deep black leather, classy metal hardware, and expert craftsmanship all seamlessly come together to make a great phone case. If you are in the market for an unobtrusive phone holster that still adds enough protection, this case is for you. The iPhone 6 version is $93 and the iPhone 6 Plus size is $105.50, making these cases an affordable quality leather accessory.

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Loyal Stricklin Aviator Mug Review – $30

When people are out and about I tend to observe what types of items they are carrying. For the majority of the population I have noticed that mugs are a requirement. Michael Stricklin, of Alabama based company Loyal Stricklin, has taken the idea of what a mug has always been and introduced a design that is simple, versatile, and downright clever. I have been completely impressed by the Loyal Stricklin Aviator Mug and use it for all my drinkin’ needs.



Michael Stricklin and his small team of makers built Loyal Stricklin from nothing. Michael and a few other people got together and decided that they were tired of purchasing low quality goods. To fix this problem they started making their own wallets, bags, and accessories.

With the attention to detail Michael and his team give to each and every one of their products, it would be rare to spot a fault in the work that they do. All of Loyal Stricklin’s materials are sourced right here in the United States and all goods are completely handcrafted from start to finish by the talented Loyal Stricklin team.



When it comes to how the Loyal Stricklin Aviator Mug is crafted, it would be difficult to think of something more beautifully simple. Crafted by hand from start to finish, the Aviator Mugs are made up of a 16 ounce Mason jar (with lid), gorgeous Horween leather, waxed thread, and solid brass rivets. All of these materials have been sourced and made right here in the U.S. with extreme attention to quality.



As the name might imply, the Aviator Mugs are incredibly useful as mugs. Whether it is coffee ¬– my most common excuse to take my mug with me wherever I go – or simply an ice-cold cup of water it never ceases to do its job beautifully. I’ve even used mine to eat ice cream out of during this scorching summer. There is no wrong way to use these mugs, which I think is what makes them so uniquely functional.



When I look at the mug I see simplicity, quality, and a ton of character. It makes me feel good when I go to take a sip. For many people out there, they cannot say that about what they drink their coffee from on a daily basis. I can assure that anyone picking up one of these mugs will be quite pleased with their purchase and will have an item that can be passed down for generations. That is something to get excited about.



The Loyal Stricklin Aviator Mugs come in a variety of color options and is certainly an heirloom item that excels in quality and craftsmanship. These mugs make a great gateway into owning additional quality leather goods, and at $30 they are a wonderful value when taking this into consideration. So out of all those people walking around with mugs, make it stand out by getting the Aviator Mug by Loyal Stricklin.

The Best Made Gfeller Document Case Review – $325

The Best Made Company was brought to my attention by Steve Derricot, the Owner of Gfeller Casemakers.  I was visiting his shop discussing some other projects, and I noticed a very unique looking case that was under production.  My inquisitive nature took over and Steve happily showed me the case they were making for a New York company called Best Made.  When I say case, I mean a large brief that is capable of holding a number of documents, an Ipad, small laptop, or similar, and that is molded so as to add structure and security for its contents.

Like all of Steve’s work, I was impressed by the craftsmanship and beauty of this simple case.  I reached out to Best Made to gauge their interest in having us review their Gfeller Document Case and lo and behold here we are with the review.  Before jumping into the review though, let’s look a bit at the Best Made Company.

Best Made Company

The Best Made Company was formed by Peter Buchanann-Smith in 2009 out of a desire to create a better axe.  He not only wanted a better axe, but wanted to connect people back to wilderness and nature, and to encourage exploration of the great outdoors.  Best Made partnered with one of America’s oldest and esteemed axe makers and designed their first proprietary axe, made to compete with the best axes on the market.

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Designing and manufacturing the very best axe possible became the blueprint for the design and manufacture of many outdoors related products – knives, maps, tools, clothing, camp supplies, bags and cases.  Personally, I have purchased a number of products from Best Made and find that the products I purchased live up to the name of the company.  The Gfeller Document Case is no exception.


The Gfeller Document case is built with sturdiness and rigor in mind.  It is built from just three pieces of premium leather – the back and top flap, the inner pocket, and the molded front.  The inner pocket is designed to allow for snug protection of documents or a thin tablet.  The front of the case is molded, something that Gfeller specializes in, and something that gives this case its unique feature and function.  It allows for an inner compartment that is roughly 1 ⅛” deep, which is ample space for a number of documents, maps, or thin electronics.

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The Gfeller Case is stitched together with Gfeller’s thread of choice – linen.  The stitching on the case is not perfectly straight, which could bother some that are used to machine made products.  This does not affect the durability of the case in any way, and is more of an indication of a hand made, artisanal product, which it is.  The choice of linen is contrary to what many other leather bag manufacturers are using today – polyester and nylon.  Gfeller has been using linen since it’s inception in 1946.  One look at a wall in Gfellers studio that displays bags and accessories that are many decades old makes the point clearly, linen can hold up to the test of time.  These goods are still held perfectly together and though beaten up, could still perform their intended function today.

The upper corners of the case are each riveted with a nickel plated brass rivet, to add strength and durability to the case.  The case is finished off with a brass button snap made specifically for Best Made.

The Leather

The leather used for the contstruction of the Gfeller case is the same used for most of Gfeller’s products – Hermann Oak’s russet skirting leather.  This is full grain leather, the toughest and in my opinion most beautiful, and is eight and a half ounces thick (approximately ⅛ of an inch).  It is tanned through and is a natural color, which is beautiful in its own right, but will naturally darken and take on a patina with time and use.

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The edges of the case are finished by hand using wax and a whole lot of friction.  The beauty of vegetable tanned leather is that it can be burnished to a tighter, slightly darker grain, giving the leather a more finished look and also adds to the durability.  Gfeller has fine tuned this process and the result is beautifully finished edges that practically shine.  According to Steve, if you apply too much friction you can actually burn the edges, making them weaker.  Too little friction and you still have edges that can fray.  It takes an expert touch to burnish in such a way as to leave a beautiful shine with a tight grain.  Gfeller nails that here.


The Gfeller Document Case is meant to transport essential documents or maps securely from one place to another.  Many a plastic cases could be purchased for the same price as one Gfeller Document Case to accomplish this use, but none have the same panache and none will last as long as this case.  The Gfeller case does not have a shoulder strap, so it is not meant to be carried like a traditional leather bag.  I could see a college professor using the case to transport papers from office to class, I could see a national park ranger carrying his or her maps in this case, and I can see a lawyer carrying important briefs to a case or meeting.

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This is not a laptop case, though it can carry a small laptop (my 13″ Macbook Air fit snugly), and it is not meant to replace a messenger bag or satchel.  It has a fairly specific use, but within that use, the Gfeller Document Case can be used in a variety of ways.

The Best Made Gfeller Document Case4Best Leather Conclusion

The Gfeller Document Case by Best Made is a hand made tool for keeping secure and transporting important documents and electronics in an elegant way.  It is made by expert hands in a small studio in Meridian, Idaho with some of the best vegetable tanned leather that can be purchased.  The look and feel of the Gfeller Document Case screams artisan, and will surely be a tool that can be used for decades.

Maxwell Scott Bags “The Pienza” Review – $59

Every person who has ever had a bag without a penholder knows the pains that come with its absence. I have gone through numerous penholders in my 20 years of life, and I don’t think I have ever been as excited about a penholder until I received the Maxwell Scott Pienza. The practicality, quality leather, and deep black color were enough to make me want to buy some pens and pencils worthy of occupying its sleeve.




“Family owned and run, Maxwell Scott Bags is founded on a shared love of Italy, a passion for design, and a firm belief in the importance of excellent customer service.” Currently based out of North England, Maxwell Scott Bags was founded in 2002 with one goal: to become the most loved British bag company in the world. With a company revamp in 2013, the founders began a new vision. “The new brand identity comes from a blend of elements considered sacred to the company founders: craftsmanship, attention to detail, and a passion for creating individual style.” Be sure to read up about the company and its history, as well as keeping up with the Maxwell Scott Journal.



The Pienza is constructed using full-grain, black Italian leather. The inside is a durable, wipe-clean lining, which allows for smooth pen and pencil removal. The beautiful black leather is stitched with same color, heavy duty thread, giving the penholder a luxuriously sturdy feel. In the hand, the Pienza feels expertly constucted. It is sturdy, yet flexible. Durable, yet supple. The leather flap is easily opened and closed and provides adequate space for longer writing tools. At 2.1 inches wide, .7 inches deep, and 6 inches long, there is plenty of space for 3 to 4 pens and pencils. This penholder is gorgeously durable, which is important if you will be using it often like I have.




Function and Aesthetic

Penholders have one function: to hold pens and pencils. Everyone who has asked and criticized me on why I have a luxury leather penholder to hold a few pens quickly changed their mind after touching, using, and admiring The Pienza. Because of its small size, the penholder is easily pocketed or thrown in to a messenger bag. I used my penholder to store a metal mechanical pencil, a pen/stylus hybrid, and a highlighter. I have used The Pienza for several weeks now and nothing has turned me off from this piece. The rich, elegant, black leather, sturdy construction, and supple touch seamlessly come together to form a perfect accessory to any leather connoisseur with other leather pieces.




I can honestly say I was hesitant at the idea of using such a nice penholder. Before I had Maxwell Scott Bags The Pienza, I would keep my pens and pencils thrown together in a random pocket or used a cheap nylon zipper bag penholder. Now, I’m unusually conscious and dismayed by those who throw their writing tools in a pocket as I once did. When I show them The Pienza penholder, they always appear confused, wondering how something so small and elegant could have such an impact on daily life. If you are tired of bag disorganization and inefficiency, I highly recommend buying a penholder. Maxwell Scott Bags has developed a splendidly ideal penholder standard. The $59 price tag is absolutely worth converting to this luxurious pen holding lifestyle.

Please be sure to visit Maxwell Scott Bags’ website and view all of their beautiful leather products:


Artumie Orange Spice Leather Candle Review – $22

Artumie is a small-batch candle company based in Chicago, IL and run by Lauren Hernandez. Like her father, who opened up his own small-batch distillery, Lauren grew her business from her favorite hobby – making her own scented candles. Named after the Etruscan goddess of night, moon, and nature, Artumie strives to produce candles with earthy and natural scents. Today we are reviewing the Orange Spice Leather Candle.


How it’s made

The Artumie candle is all about simplicity and environmental consciousness. First, the candle is hand mixed with phthalate-free, environmentally friendly oils and scents prior to being hand poured into small 6-8 jar batches at a time. Because every candle is made using 100% soy wax, they burn twice as long as paraffin wax candles and can push out approximately 50 hours of burn time. The design is reminiscent of an apothecary’s jar and was chosen for its multipurpose re-usability (I hope that’s a real word). This particular 11.5 oz candle has a clear wide mouthed jar and fits my Yankee Candle Illuma-Lid perfectly. For those searching for a darker look, the same candle can be found in a 9 oz amber jar with a brass twist lid. The label is equally environmentally friendly and made from 100% recycled paper. When you’re done with the jar, a quick wash with warm soapy water will quickly remove the label if desired.

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The Orange Spice Leather candle was designed to be attractive to both men and women with a gender-neutral smell. The base smell is a rough classic leather with earthy tones. This is balanced with a sweet hint of citrus to give the candle throw an added dimension. What I particularly like in this candle is the consistency of the smell when lit or unlit. The throw is quite strong, possibly due to the wide mouth of the jar but that is something I look for in a candle. No one likes forking over their money to buy a candle that smells good in the store, only to realize that you can’t smell anything when it’s burning! On top of that, it’s one of those background smells that you never get tired of and won’t give you a headache.


Bestleather Conclusion

The Artumie Orange Spice Leather Candle is an attractive blend of styling and smell all in one small jar but don’t judge it based on its size. At $22, this hardworking candle will produce over 50 hours of burn time and a superior throw that will fill any room with a well-balanced soothing scent that will please any true leather lover.


The Goods LA – The Hit & The Clique Review – $80 & $25

We always mention that we see a lot of wallets here at, but it’s true. We see A LOT of wallets. So it’s always fun to see one that stands out a little bit or has a slightly different look. The Goods, based in LA, definitely has a unique offering with The Hit. Let’s take a look at it.

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Top notch packaging



The Goods is a Los Angeles-based lifestyle brand that creates essentials for the modern man. Their product line is full of simple, sophisticated products for stylish people on the go. Founded in 2013, The Goods keeps things minimalist, selling only a few products on their website, all of which will be reviewed here on Best Leather. I recently reviewed The Loop, an awesome Macbook cord keeper that I adore, and The Crew, an earbud holder. Today I’ll be reviewing The Hit, their wallet, and The Clique, a key ring.

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The wallet, known as The Hit, is made in the USA, of 5 oz. black veg-tanned leather. The dimensions of the wallet are 4″ x 2.75″ x 0.375″.  This is a very very thin wallet, less than half an inch thick, holding up to four credit cards/IDs and a few bills.

The Goods The Hit The Clique 4


There are three distinct pouches, one of which is divided all the way across the top and the other with a little tab for quick access to your cards without looking. Each divider is a piece of cowhide leather lined on one side with black dyed snakeskin. This gives a very cool offset texture, but the snakeskin has started to peel off a little bit at the top. The rest of the wallet has held up quite well, but you have to be pretty careful with your cards so as not to peel off the snakeskin.

The Goods The Hit The Clique 3

The Goods The Hit The Clique 2


The keyring, the Clique, is also constructed in the USA, of 6 oz black veg-tanned leather. It’s a small stainless steel jailer-style keyring attached to a leather case with an elastic loop. You attach your keys to the ring and The Clique holds your keys straight so they don’t create a bulge in your pocket.

The Goods The Hit The Clique 5

I liked The Clique at first because of the way it held my keys snug, but I ended up taking it off after a while. I found that the jailer-style ring kept coming undone with pressure from my heavy front door and all my keys would fall off. If it had a split ring or some kind of locking mechanism, I think it would stay much more secure. If you have fairly lightweight doors or use a remote control, I think this particular keyring would be a lot more functional. Just keep in mind that the weight of a heavy door might pop open the ring if you’re not careful. I noticed that The Goods recently added a new product, The Clip, which features a 1-inch CLASH hook and looks quite a bit sturdier than The Clique.


The Goods The Hit The Clique 6


The Hit is a really sleek wallet. The snakeskin lining makes for a unique texture that I haven’t seen on any other wallet. If you rarely use cash and only carry around a few cards, this wallet is the perfect size because it keeps a low profile in your pocket and holds everything snug. The front pouch holds a few folded bills easily. The Clique definitely looks cool on your keys with the matte black leather, and when you pair it with the wallet and headphone wrap, you feel pretty fancy. These two products, though, The Hit & The Clique, are a bit more style than substance, especially compared to the other products, The Loop and The Crew. They look fantastic, but I think a bit of refining is in order. Looking forward to seeing what The Goods do next, because they have a great aesthetic.

Leather Built’s The Franklin Kit Review – $99

**Update June 17, 2015 – So, I’m appreciating this kit more and more as time goes on. Recently my daughter and son-in-law had college graduations that occurred on the same day, just at different times. Both of these events were held outside in a large stadium. Needless to say, it was a bright sunny day…perfect weather for graduations. But, that sunshine started baking my ginger haired crew’s fair skin. Did anyone have sunscreen? Nope. Oh wait…I DID because it’s in my Franklin Kit!! Since the graduations were a few hours a part, we decided to have a picnic lunch on the university’s campus too. Did anyone bring sanitary wipes? Nope. Oh wait…there are Wet Ones packets in my Franklin Kit! So, the Franklin Kit came through twice big time for us in the same day. I’m now sold on this thing never leaving my backpack when I’m out and about!

Benjamin Franklin, a hallmark of American history was a very interesting guy. In addition to being one of the founding fathers of our great United States of America, he was also a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. And, I’m sure I may have missed one or two things in there. One of my favorite things about him was his list of 13 Virtues: Temperance, Silence, Order, Resolution, Frugality, Industry, Sincerity, Justice, Moderation, Cleanliness, Tranquility, Chastity, and Humility. Oh that those were exercised in full force daily among the masses… Anyhow, in keeping with Ben’s 13 Virtues, we present you with the Franklin Kit – full of 13 very useful items when you’re in a “tight spot” (yes, that was a no-so-subtle reference to the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?).


About Leather Built

The Franklin Kit has been graciously supplied to us for review from Leather Built. “Leather Built was founded upon the principle of showcasing the highest quality leather goods built in the U.S.A. From our location in Meridian, Idaho, we have scoured America in search of only the best leather goods and have found some amazing companies and products that are sure to surprise and delight. Everything is backed with our Made for Life Guarantee so you can be completely confident in your purchase.”



The Franklin Kit is housed in fine leathery goodness courtesy of Gfeller Casemakers of Meridian, Idaho. We have featured Gfeller on a couple of occasions in the past – feel free to check out those reviews. The case itself is crafted 8-9 ounce vegetable tanned leather from Hermann Oak Leather. It’s super durable and will age well, developing a patina over time that will darken the case.



The folks at Leather Built have this to say about The Franklin Kit: “The idea of the Franklin Kit came from a small pouch that my wife put together with a few things that would come in handy for her on the go. A mother of small children, she wanted items that could handle small medical incidences (think bandages and aquaphor), as well as everyday needs (think tweezers and anti-septic wipes). Not a first aid kit, the pouch was really an all purpose kit. This is the aim of the Franklin Kit, to provide some essential, everyday items while on the go. To boot, every one of the thirteen items are all made in the U.S.A.”

This little case, chock full of amazingness that you’ll definitely find useful in day to day travels and activities:

  • (7) NexCare Soft n’ Flex Bandages
  • (1) Uncle Bill’s Tweezers – Made in West Hartford, Connecticut
  • (6) Pac-Kit Triple Antibiotic Ointment Sachets – Made in Norwalk, Connecticut
  • (3) Sunx30 Sunscreen Packets – Made in Bakersfield, California
  • (6) WetOnes Antibacterial Wipes
  • (1) 12 pack of Diamond matches – Made in Cloquet, Minnesota
  • (1) Photon LED Unbreakable Microlight II – nearly unbreakable and Made in Eugene, Oregon
  • (1) Leatherman Brewzer Multi-tool – Made in Portland, Oregon
  • (2) 2 Packet of Tylenol Extra Strength
  • (2) Tender Ben’s Insect Wipes – Made in Littleton, New Hampshire
  • (1) American Unbreakable 5” Pocket Comb – Made in Paterson, New Jersey
  • (7) Sachets of Floss from POH – Made in Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • (1) Aquaphor 1.35 oz – Made in Mainland, Pennsylvania

Its compact size (5 ¾” x 4 ½” x 2”) allows you to easily toss it into your messenger bag, backpack, or tote bag and know that you’re in pretty good shape. There is a little room left in the kit…so feel free to add a lighter or firestarter and a small knife. It’s a great kit for those of you interested in EDC (Every Day Carry) items.



The Gfeller case is awesome. Thick, natural vegetable tanned leather is hard to beat. The heavy-duty snap is easy to close and open with one hand. And again, due to its size, you can easily add a few things into the case and then toss the case into a larger bag.



If Ben Franklin were around these days, I think he’d be a bit like MacGyver…able to come up with a clever problem solving solution to just about any situation. And, my guess is that he’d be sporting an awesome leather bag, backpack, or satchel of some type. And yes, within that bag, he’d have a kit chock full of items very similar to The Franklin Kit. At $99 from Leather Built, it’s a great purchase and you’ll be able to utilize the kit and easily refill its contents for many years for the many adventures ahead of you.



Spencer Collection by Design Unsanctioned $25-$40

Style comes and goes, but class is timeless. That’s how I feel when it comes to brass, and even more so when combined with timeless materials like wood and leather. In a high tech world of poly plastics, carbon fiber, and titanium trinkets, there is something sacred in hearkening back to the materials our great grandfathers knew and used in their everyday carry. Just as well worn leather is a beauty to behold, brass achieving it’s own patina over time makes it a favorite for anyone who appreciates a good vintage vibe with their EDC.



Design Unsanctioned is a Brooklyn based design studio that jump started their brand with a successful Kickstarter campaign introducing their Spencer Collection. This small collection is a blend of classic materials with a modern design. Precision milled solid brass bottle openers and key hooks, with beautiful walnut inlays and top-grain leather straps.

Solid and beautifully simple were my first impressions when holding a piece of the collection. At first I considered this a fairly modern design, but I’ve found myself thinking this has a early 60’s feel and I can imagine Don Draper from the show Mad Men using one of these brass bottle openers. Brass, wood and leather truly are timeless and these pieces echo that in their form.

When it comes to function, these pieces perform exactly as you’d expect them to. I find the mini bottle opener to be much more direct in function as compared to the larger model. With the larger bottle opener you may find yourself having to find the correct side to apply to the bottle cap. And that may become more difficult depending on how many bottle tops were popped previously, if you take my meaning. They’re both enjoyable bottle openers, and I love handing them to people and seeing their amazed expressions while they closely examine the piece and inquire where to get one.





The keyhook looks great on raw denim, and does great at holding your keys in a classy manner. I’ve found that it’s better to wear it without a belt, or you may find that the sharper edges of the key hook maybe possibly mar the outer finish of your belt. If you put the kind of money into a leather belt that I do, then that’s not something you’ll want to find out the hard way so be wary of how you carry with it. What I really like the idea of quickly hooking up your keys to your satchel.


The leather is full grain with a quality finish. The pieces are perfectly cut with laser precision, so you’ll never find a flaw in the shape. Some folks will prefer their leather goods to be die cut, but these leather pieces are small and it produces a fine end result in my opinion. The sturdy key fob makes for a great accent on most belts, and a comfortable way to carry your keys about. Unfortunately for me the key fob won’t quite fit on my 1.75″ wide Mountain Belt from Craft and Lore. But I’m in a very small minority of folks who wear such a wide belt, and just about any belt would fit this piece of the collection.

All in all this is a great collection from Design Unsanctioned, and I look forward to their future collections. Be sure to check out their Look Book and if you own any pieces from their collection be sure to let us know what you think.

West Coast East Leather Tool Roll Review – $60

When I’m looking to organize my tools or gear I want something that’s going to be built tough, catch the eye, and be versatile. Just as I have curated a fine selection of tools of my trade over many years, I want to find a great case to protect and show them off. After a bit of hunting, I found these elegant leather tool rolls handmade by Gail Carrigan and her shop West Coast East.


Gail started building these tool rolls about 2 years ago when she needed a small, retro style tool roll to fit in the small trunk of her 1960’s sports car. Having worked with leather earlier to recreate the vintage bags of her parents, she self taught herself to make these tool rolls with a main objective: to produce a useful utilitarian product with a craftsman approach.


The leather used for this tool roll is a 4-5 ounce weight black oil-tanned Kodiak leather with a black suede inside. The inside has 12 tool pockets (6 in the back and 6 smaller in the front) as well as a larger pocket to the right, a snap closure pocket and a key fob. The stitching on the seams of the outside and pockets is a 2.5 pound boded polyester black thread. The other hardware include solid nickel rivets, snaps, and key fob and a natural horn button for the closure. Laid flat (unrolled) the bag’s dimensions are 22.5 inches long x 12.5 inches wide. When rolled, the dimensions are 6 inches wide x 12.5 inches long and .5-1 inch thick. The weight of the roll when empty is about 1 pound.



Whether you keep it in the boot of your sports car for wrenches, use it for small chefs knives,  brushes for an artist,or any other small tools for a trade or hobby, this tool roll is extremely versatile. In my case I have been using this roll for Oyster knives and other shellfish tools for my catering service. It is small and compact enough to put in a backpack or briefcase and is especially convenient at a job site where space sometimes lacks. Like a fine leather briefcase, this roll tucked under your arm suggests an organized artist or craftsman (if that exists) with a high value for his tool and trade.


A few things I would like to point out is that although there are the pockets in front, they are small and will more easily hold flat tools. Tools that are thick or rounded fit awkwardly and therefore the tool roll won’t roll evenly. Although a minor detail, I had hoped to be able to fit business cards in the snap closure pocket but unfortunately, the pocket was not long enough. The pocket is great for small items such as car fuses, matchbooks, coins for parking meters, or pencil erasers.



Just as it was designed for, this piece is a real homage to a retro tool roll for a sports car. The jet black oiled leather outer and inner suede is striking and gorgeous. Since the lining is suede it will easily pick up dust and bits of whatever is on your tools. Being black, however, I suspect that it won’t appear dirty if you are to carry your well loved and used tools around in it from day to day. Of course with me, my well loved tools are as clean as they are when I took them out and with a tool roll like this you will be sure to keep your tools as clean as you would like to keep your tool roll.

BestLeather Conclusion

For the price this is a real great value for a handmade piece of such high quality and materials from the USA. The design is simple yet highly useful and versatile. I am sure there are dozens of more applications I will have for this tool roll when I’m not bringing it with me to shuck some shellfish. Check it out -here-.

Leather Scented Candles Review Part 2

In my latest installment of leather scented candle reviews, I bring three new players into the mix – Lord Wallington, A², and Glint. These three candlemakers each carry their own styles and scents for those looking to add some variety to their growing candle collections.

Lord Wallington “Cashmere and Leather” – $15

Lord Wallington is named after Wally, the rescue pup of Immanuel Ontiveros. The rest of Lord Wallington is the product of Immanuel and his wife’s creativity and hard work, which can be seen in everything from his bow tie designs to the hand-poured soy candles. Each candle is made from 100% soybean wax produced from US grown soybeans and poured in San Diego, CA. Tired of the standard vanilla scents used in men’s candles, Immanuel chose a blend of leather and cashmere scents to create a balanced yet masculine scent not easily found elsewhere. Cashmere & Leather comes in a 4 oz. jar.



Lord Wallington’s Cashmere & Leather soy candle arrives in a handsome amber jar perfect for any stylishly designed home. Twist off the screw cap and you find the air filling with a moderately sweet soft smell with a hint of musk. If cashmere has a smell, this must be it. The fragrance reminds me of sugar-coated leather if that makes any sense. Once the candle is lit, a warm glow fills the amber jar and there is a mild throw of fragrance reminiscent of fresh, clean leather on a cool day – like sitting in a leather car on a cold winter morning. This is a great candle for someone looking for a soft balanced candle that’s not overwhelming and works well for both men and women.


Glint Candles “Leather Tobacco + Sandalwood” – $17.99

Lacey Grevious of Glint Candles used to teach candle-making in North Lake Tahoe, California before applying for nursing school. At the last minute, she decided to follow her passion and began selling stylish and refillable eco-friendly candles. Each candle is a specific blend of soy and coconut waxes with a cotton wick specifically chosen for optimum clean burn. All materials are sourced from the US. Lacey and her partner, Chris, plan on traveling the country on a 1994 short bus turned mobile candle factory to showcase her candles across the country. Today’s particular candle is also called the “Shot In The Dark” Candle with a burn time of approximately 50 hours in an 8oz. jar.



The Leather Tobacco + Sandalwood Soy Candle has a hand pressed signature aluminum lid. The jar is glass covered with a strip of tissue paper with a camera print to serve as a reminder to stay in the present with what’s happening in the now. The use of the tissue paper gives the jar a beautiful ground glass texture and appearance while the solid white wax and cotton wick give the candle a clean, sharp look. The scent description on the website is pretty spot-on: there is a fantastically strong masculine fragrance of pepper, sweet tobacco, warm teak and patachouli even before you burn the candle. When burning, there is a good throw of the same smells but with the softer sweeter tobacco and teak toning down the peppery kick of the candle. Overall, a fantastic option for candle lovers looking to get a great scent without always having to light a candle.


A² Handcrafted Candles “Raw Hide” – $14.95

Anthony (A1) & Andrew (A2) began by hand-pouring candles at home for their day spa, Bodhi Massage & Wellness Center, in San Diego. Put these two together and you get A² Handcrafted Candles. Everything from the crops used to create the Non-GMO Soy Wax to the clean burning cotton wicks are 100% American. The fragrance oils used are also skin safe and non-toxic.  The “Raw Hide” candle comes in an 8 oz tumbler offering over 40 hours of burn time.



Each candle comes packaged in a Kraft box. Inside, there is a lidless glass tumbler with a heavy sturdy base with a rustic A2 sticker. The candle wax is a light brown color with a white wick. An initial whiff of the candle gives a very subtle hint of leather. It also reminds me of the smell in the air when ironing a crisp clean white cotton shirt in the morning. With the coming burn, there is a gentle throw with slight tones of freshly tanned leather with a deep inhale. This is a candle on the quieter side in scent and appearance and would be a great addition for someone who isn’t looking to change the smell of a room but rather to add a tone of masculinity to the air.


Stock & Barrel Accessories Review – $28, $35, & $55

Most often, it’s the little things in life that create the most pleasure. Small items that get used everyday often seem to go unnoticed…they just blend into life. So, it’s refreshing some times to “take stock” of the things you use and see how well they represent you and interact with the ebb and flow of your daily routine.


About Stock & Barrel

This is the second review published for Parker & Whitney Lichfield and their Utah based company, Stock & Barrel. We encourage you to read about their great, No. 32 Minimalist Satchel. Stock & Barrel is very focused on what they call their “Carry Well” philosophy. And, staying true to that mantra, the three accessories we are reviewing here – the No. 38 Cord Keeper, the No. 20 Card Holder, and No. 24 Notebook Cover – all live up perfectly to that ideal.



All three of these pieces are made from the same type of leather as the No. 32 Minimalist Satchel. These pieces also feature the same heavy gauge, waxed thread. Each piece is hand cut and hand sewn. The No. 20 Card Holder is visibly the most different since it features a cross-stitched pattern on each side of the piece. All three pieces keep to the “keep it simple” concept of Stock & Barrel.



It’s been fun to use all three of these well-made accessories. I’ve actually carried them pretty consistently since receiving them. I like all three pieces and have found them to be useful in my daily endeavors. Here’s a quick breakdown on each of them:


No. 38 Cord Keeper – an ingenious, helpful little piece. I hate having to always untangle my earbuds. I also find it irritating to have to fish around in my bag and attempt to pull them out in hopes of not dragging out other small items with them or causing the wiring to separate from pulling too hard. Once you get the positioning down right on how/where to start wrapping your headphones on the Cord Keeper, they quickly move from a “nice accessory” to a necessity. I’ll never leave home without them again. They’re an essential component to my EDC setup with any messenger bag I choose to carry from this point forward.




No. 20 Card Holder – this piece is extremely well-made and in my opinion, very visually appealing. I like the cross stitching and I like the simple closure. The thickness of the leather makes it somewhat difficult to use at first. And, it’s very limited in the number of cards it will hold. It just takes some time to get it stretched out and then it will accommodate enough cards and cash to make it a practical carry. Or, you can choose to use it as an awesome business card holder – which is how I’ve chosen to use it. It excels in this capacity too…easily holding enough business cards for most situations.




No. 24 Notebook Cover – sized perfectly for Field Notes on one side and a storage pocket on the other side, it’s a ruggedly simple piece. At first, it’s a little bulky given the design and thickness of the leather. I actually stuck it in-between two very old, heavy dictionaries I have in my office and let it sit in there for about a week. This compressed the whole piece nicely and since then, it’s been a great carry piece.



As you can see from the included images, all three pieces are very pleasing to the eye. The color of the leather is wonderful and the white stitching creates a nice contrast. Each piece features Stock & Barrel’s stamp placed tastefully. All three pieces – whether carried together or individually have elicited comments and questions from others.



Whether you’re carrying one of Stock & Barrel’s great looking satchels or looking to outfit yourself with a clever, well-made, very useful set of accessories for your mobile office, you can’t go wrong in purchasing any or all of these three pieces from Stock & Barrel. All 3 are reasonably priced: No. 38 Cord Keeper at $28, No. 20 Card Holder at $35, and No. 24 Notebook Cover at $55. Best of all, they will remain useful and durable for many years to come.

Leather Scented Candle Reviews Part 1

Well, it took me a year but I finally did it. I finally burned through my very first candle – the behemoth 22oz Yankee Candle ‘First Down’. Now that this wonderful leather-scented man-candle is gone, I expected to just go get another one, but alas, the scent was retired so I was stuck with a dilemma. What candle should I get now? After all, scented candles don’t always have the same smell when burnt, and I don’t think you can just go into a candle store and start lighting all the candles to test them. Plus, I didn’t want to buy a bunch of candles that cost upwards of $25 to find ones I liked. This inspired me to review some of the best, handmade, leather scented candles I could find and share them in a multi-part review to help you find the perfect candle to fit your needs.



What do you get when you have two best friends looking to do something other than the same old happy hour? MAME Soy Candles. MAME (pronounced like fame) specializes in 100% soy wax candles using only materials sourced in the USA and hand poured in Arizona. The #9 candle is an upgraded version of a previously all-leather scented candle. The addition of amber and teakwood was done to make this candle smell like a “good looking man.” The 5.5 ounce container holds enough to burn for approximately 30-40 hours.




The candle jar is clear glass with a white screw on cap. The candle itself is an even milky white contrasted against the black print of the designer labels. Even without a burn, this candle has a strong scent of warm manly cologne. A quick sniff will give more mellow cinnamon and amber tones but a deeper inhale brings out the hint of leather. Once the actual burn takes place, there is an excellent throw of scent and a surprising fresher kick of amber settles in. This cologne fragrance turns more into a cool aftershave, with just a hint of leather making the MAME #9 a great candle for men and women, burn or no burn.



Jason Stump from Gorilla Candles is the inventor of a number of scented man candles inspired from his work as a landscaper in college. They are named appropriately from “Work Boots” and “Fresh Cut Grass” to “Dirt” and “Rain Day.” Gorilla Candles became a reality when his grandmother, while waking up from anesthesia, thought his grandfather was a gorilla sitting in the corner of her hospital room. After the first fruit-scented candle, “Gorilla Farts,” was released (pun-intended), Jason has produced a wide variety of candles with “Work Boots” filling the need for a leather-scented candle. Each candle comes in an 8oz. ½ pint paint can which provides a 40hr burn. These soy candles are each hand made, designed, and poured using locally supplied wax and oils in a family garage.




The “Work Boots” candle holder is a wonderfully creative paint can design with a clearly masculine appeal that even the burliest of men won’t be ashamed to be caught with. The wax inside is the same yellow color as the label. When the lid is opened with the included can opener, a subtle scent of a thick polished boot or horse saddle can be sniffed out. With a good burn, there is a subtle throw of saddle leather in the air. While not concentrated enough to fill up a large room, the smell is just enough to make you think of opening a brand new leather shoebox without giving you a headache. Overall, the Gorilla Candles “Work Boots” makes a great gift for any guy who enjoys a scented candle but wants something tougher to put on the table.



Liz Frazier is an accidental candle maker. Attempting to find a hobby away from her computer, she has now become a devoted expert, hand pouring every single scented soy candle. The first candles were made in Salem, MA a.k.a. “Witch City” and the name Witch City Wicks naturally followed. These all natural candles are made from phthalate-free fine fragrance oils and all-cotton wicks sourced in the USA. Burn times range from 55-65 hours for this 7 oz candle.




A handsome gift box contains each lidded milky white candle in an actual rocks glass so that you can enjoy your scotch after enjoying your candle. The clean black and white label gives it a neutral sophisticated look. Upon opening the box, there is an immediate hint of leather oils as if you laid your head down on a leather pillow. The burn creates a surprisingly strong flame followed by a decent throw of leather motorcycle jacket and a whisper of new car. Half Black Leather candle + Half scotch glass = All good.

The Goods LA – The Loop & The Crew Review – $75

My MacBook Pro has been my trusty sidekick for over four years now. It comes with me to school, to work, to the coffee shop, on vacation – pretty much everywhere. I love my MacBook. The cord, not so much. It gets wrapped up in my books and forces me to take everything out of my bag just to untangle everything. It’s a major first-world problem, but it does get annoying to have to wrangle a cord five times a day. Thankfully, The Goods felt my pain and sent me a few products to try and ease my suffering.

The Goods The Crew The Loop 5

The Goods is a Los Angeles-based lifestyle brand that creates essentials for the modern man. Their product line is full of simple, sophisticated products for stylish people on the go. Founded in 2013, The Goods keeps things minimalist, selling only four products on their website, all of which will be reviewed here on Best Leather. Today I’ll be reviewing The Loop, a Macbook cord keeper, and The Crew, an earbud holder.

The Goods The Crew The Loop 9



The Loop is made from 7 oz veg-tanned cowhide, dyed a rich black. The Crew is 5 oz. cowhide. Both are very durable and have withstood daily use with no signs of wear. The pouch on the Loop is single-stitched and fits the MacBook adapter nice and snug. Both pieces use sturdy stainless steel snaps to keep your cords fastened.

The Goods The Crew The Loop 7


I am generally skeptical of organizational gadgets. Most of the time they take up more time than they save and end up becoming a nuisance. So I decided to take The Loop and The Crew down the street to my local bakery for a test run. My interest was instantly piqued by the sleek packaging and the fact that everything was all black.

The Goods The Crew The Loop 8

There is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to using The Loop. The Goods put together some instructional images on their website as a guide. First, you wrap up the small part of the cord around the plastic hooks attached to the adapter, and then you slide this part into the square pouch. Then you wrap the rest of the cord up and fasten it into place with the buttons on the strap. It might sound complicated, but once you get the hang of it, it takes no time at all.

The Goods The Crew The Loop 10

The Crew is fairly self-explanatory, but you can also check out some instructional images on their website too. You wrap the earbuds around the center part of The Crew and then close it up with the two snaps. I like this design better than other headphone holders because the cord isn’t exposed as much and there’s really no way for it to come undone.

The Goods The Crew The Loop 3


The Crew and The Loop won me over with their unique design and functionality. They definitely don’t fall into the cheesy organizer category. I’ve used them every single day since I received them. They are sleek little accessories that save you both the time and frustration of untangling cords, and save space in your bag because they wrap everything up so compactly. The Loop is only $60, The Crew is $25, and you can get them both for $75, aptly named The Combo. If you’re a MacBook user, these pieces are a must-have accessory. It’s a great price, unique construction, and will last longer than your Macbook does.


Holdster Fist Model Coasters Review – $29.99

In the Holdster Model 01 and Model 05 reviews, we saw two creative accessories designed to make the everyday act of drinking just that much better. Today we’re taking a look at the Holdster Fist Model Coasters, the perfect accessory to the accessory, ideal for anyone who loves a refreshing cold drink but hates water stains.



The Holdster Fist Model Coaster is a simple design. It is a single piece of thick full-grain vegetable-tanned leather from Hermann Oak or Chahin Tannery cut in a circle. Tadaa! There are no gimmicks or artful design choices in this yet Marsh Gooding still expects the same amount of effort and attention to detail in each one. The edges are in black finish and the fist with the lightening bolt is proudly debossed in the center of each one.



These coasters are firm and perfectly flat, therefore they work. The end.




Depending on the leather from which each coaster was cut, no two coasters will be exactly alike. There may be color variations as well as debossing variations but this definitely adds character to these leather pieces. The coasters may or may not be your cup of tea depending on whether you like large awesome logos on your coasters. If you do, these will definitely get people talking at your next get together. But wait! What if you don’t? Well, here’s the easy solution. Flip the coasters upside down! The undersurface is polished and smooth thereby creating an additional aesthetic option for these these leather coasters. Finally, feel free to let your coasters catch as much condensation as possible. After all, that’s what it was made for but the secondary benefit is you get to watch your coasters gain a worn-in patina as the leather color changes from the water.


Flip them over for another look.



The Holdster Fist Model Coasters are well worth the $29.99. You’ll be lucky if you find a set of four genuine full-grain vegetable-tanned leather coasters made in the USA for less than $40. If you do, get them…and get these too because do you really just want to have three friends?

Stevens Leather Portfolio Document Sleeve Review – $80

Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not expressed in fancy—rich, not gaudy,
For the apparel oft proclaims the man.
—Polonius, “Hamlet” Act 1, Scene 3.
The Rocketeer

Take a look at the man above. Without even knowing what he looks like beneath his clothes, any man would trade places with him without a moment’s hesitation.

Now consider the man below…

Brad Pitt is seen exiting his Downtown hotel in New York City

Is he known to be particularly homely or ungainly? Or is he rather known around the world as a top-shelf looker? Would any man not desire to trade appearances with him? And yet now consider the patently hideous visual impact he makes here. Would you boldly stride through public spaces in such a get-up? Would you show up for a job interview, serve a subpoena, or deliver a fine oration? Whatever else may be said about Shakespeare’s Polonius, his advice is sound: Spend all you can afford on clothes, but make sure they’re quality, not flashy, since clothes make the man. 

In my experience, sometimes even a single article or accessory can substantially improve the visual impact delivered by one’s appearance.



When TJ saw me carrying around a stack of 120 undergraduate essays on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and Plato’s Republic in two paper filing folders, he offered to upgrade me to something better suited to the task. Something that would reflect the importance and prestige of the documents it carries: the StevensLeather Portfolio Document Sleeve pictured above. The difference between the paper sleeves and the leather portfolio was akin to the difference between a paper gown and Cliff Secord’s jacket. I wondered why I had been carrying around pieces of trash. The next day it rained and I had to carry the papers across campus. Had they been in open paper sleeves they would have been soaked. Instead I looked classy, and the papers were dry when I delivered them to the professor. Had they been in the paper folders I suppose I could have carried them under my shirt. I probably wouldn’t have looked specifically bad when I walked into the office. I would have survived. This leather sleeve is not a necessity. But it is sharp.



It is big enough to hold a fairly thick stack of papers (roughly 120 1–2 page essays and Reason and Responsibility edited by Joel Feinberg and Russ Shafer-Landau). It is constructed of a thick, rich, full-grain, hand-cut, hand-dyed, American-sourced bovine leather by a couple out of Saint Albans, West Virginia. The stitching is all done by hand with a thick nylon cord first coated with beeswax. It is basically the nicest portfolio crafted by humankind. With one caveat: the button. It has a nickel-plated snap that broke after a few days of use. The portfolio will likely endure with grace and class for another 100 years without it. The piece still looks and feels and smells amazing. Since they are made to order, I recommend checking back with the artisans before purchasing one to see whether the snap issue has been addressed. We’ll update this article if we hear first.

I am hoping that since I’ll be carrying it by hand it will develop a nice patina fairly quickly, but we shall see. At the end of the day, this item delivers a lot of visual and functional quality for its price. I recommend it for anyone who can imagine a use for it and who likes its overall appearance. See some more pictures or buy it straightaway here:

J Michael Ashland Pocket Wallet & Brass Key Fob Review – $100 & $30

This time around we’re going to take a look at a very luxurious combination of leather products from J Michael Ashland – the Pocket Wallet and Brass Key Fob. These are the third and fourth pieces that I get the privilege of reviewing for J Michael Ashland. Be sure to check out his Steerhide Belt and his Mini Bifold Wallet reviews too.


About J Michael Ashland

J Michael Ashland is a designer and full time minimalist leather crafter. From his location in northwestern Oregon he designs and crafts all of his products 100% by hand – no power tools, no machines…at all. Currently J Michael is designing and making several types of belts, wallets, cardholders, and other accessories. And, he’s producing them at a very high quality level that you will immediately appreciate once you are able to touch, feel, see, and use his creations.

In J Michael’s own words: “cut from a hide by blade, marked with dividers, pricked with irons, skived, beveled, saddle stitched with needles, burnished by hand, and then finished with natural oils and Oregon beeswax.”





In keeping with his dedication to using only the best “ingredients” in his creations, the Pocket Wallet is made from Horween Chromexcel. The thread is Tiger thread, which is the same as what he uses on all of his belts, wallets, and key fobs. Tiger thread is thick, bonded, waved, and U.V. coated. It’s also unable to be used in machines. So, all of the stitching is done by hand. When you get your own wallet or belt from J Michael, take a look at the even stitching and the thickness of the thread. It’s very labor intensive and it will give you a greater appreciation for J Michael’s dedication to creating all of his products 100% by hand without the use of any machines.


When the wallet is opened up, facing you, you have one pocket on the right that’s made to carry frequently used cards. Underneath, folded cash. On the left – two pockets for cards. The pockets are a little taller to protect the magnetic strips and designed for the general preservation of the cards. Another nice feature is that J Michael has widened the bend/break area so that even when the wallet is full, it still lays flat.




The matching Brass Key Fob is made from with two types of leather – a thick slab of belt leather in the middle and is wrapped with pieces of Horween Chromexcel. It also includes the same thick, great looking stitching. The brass components are heavy duty and look as if they’ll last forever.


Take about 90 seconds and watch this video. J Michael walks through several of the design elements of his Pocket Wallet in order to give you a solid grasp on its functionality and design.

The Pocket Wallet is an expertly designed piece. It’s clearly evident that much thought was put into the design, layout, and function-ability of it. In spite of its small footprint, it will carry a very large amount of cards and cash with ease. Currently it has 14 cards and seven pieces of paper currency in it. And, there’s room for more if needed. It’s also not a gigantic lump in my back pocket, it still measure under .75” (actually between .6” and .75”).


The Brass Key Fob is also a welcomed departure from many of the key fobs I’ve encountered in the past. My previous experience with key fobs always ends in irritation…because they aren’t long enough. I don’t want to clip my keys to my belt loop and walk around with them rattling away…it reminds me of Mr. Weise – the very kind, very fastidious janitor at my elementary school. He had a jingly set of keys attached to his belt loop that always gave him away…you could hear him coming before you ever saw him. The Brass Key Fob from J Michael is 7” overall, which allows you to clip it to your belt loop and have your keys rest silently in your pocket, which is PERFECT! The Key Fob is made with thick leather that at first is pretty stiff. However, within just a couple weeks of use, it has softened up nicely. However, it’s sturdy enough to assure you that it will not fall apart…ever.



There are no surprises here…both of these pieces look fantastic. The black leather with black thread on the Pocket Wallet looks fabulous. The same holds true with the Key Fob. Both sport J Michael’s logo and signature sailing vessel placed in tasteful locations. As these pieces wear over time they will continue to look great. Both pieces are also available brown and the Pocket Wallet is also available in an attractive natural color.





At $100 the Pocket Wallet is a bit more expensive than many of the wallets we have reviewed so far. However, its price is not out of line either given the nature of its design and construction. The J Michael Ashland Pocket Wallet is built to last for decades. If there was ever a Buy It For Life wallet, this is it. The Brass Key Fob is an excellent add-on, which will serve you well while looking great, and at $30 is a bargain in my opinion.

Also, be sure to enter the giveaway that we’re hosting – it’s free to enter and you’ll win three terrific leather products from J Michael Ashland.