There’s nothing quite as luxurious and evocative as the fragrant oils behind the aroma of new leather. So much so that some car makers now commercially produce ‘Eau d Leather’ to play on the olfactory senses of prospective buyers. No other product has been able to match the leather smell and the expensive feel of, say, a new Rolls Royce, and no other product is able to match that same evocative smell and luxury feel of the impressive range of leather bags and accessories from Byron Bay’s Rugged Luxury, a leather company that epitomises the descriptive terms ‘Australian’ and ‘Handmade’. As a youngster raised among horses and cattle on the farm on the Lachlan River at Forbes in the Central West of NSW, Rugged Luxury’s owner/manager Jock Craigie was imbued with an appreciation of the fine qualities of leather saddles, accessories and work wear. And since joining his father and Rugged Luxury founder Steve and brother Ben in the family business a decade or so ago, Jock has seen Rugged Luxury itself emerge as a major brand in Australia’s leather goods markets, as a major supplier of leather bags and accessories to several iconic Australian bush outfitters, luxury resorts, travel companies and tourist outlets. The product range reflects both practicality and contemporary design suitable both for everyday use and the boardroom. Rugged Luxury’s Byron Bay factory is a tight knit operation, with Jock and his handful of lieutenants utilising the same handcrafting skills of the country’s pioneering leather craftsmen as they cut, edge, glue, rivet, construct and stitch the best quality chrome tanned Australian cowhide into the impressive range of leather goods. Says Jock Craigie: “Leather is undoubtedly one of those natural products that is part of the essence of Australia. It was essential to the rugged endeavors leading to the settlement of the interior, because of its resistance to abrasion and wind. And its’ aesthetic qualities - flexibility and stretch ability among them - make leather an aesthetic and useful accessory for travel and work, something that will last a lifetime.