I love the smell of leather. It transports me back in time to my childhood. My father had worked in the leather industry at one time and had instilled a great love of this material within the whole family. Leather was always the number one choice when buying a new pair of shoes or a handbag. In fact I can’t really remember wearing any shoes that weren’t made of leather, apart from canvas gym shoes (you know those horrible black ones, which stank of rubber and the elastic was always just a bit too tight and left marks on the tops of your feet!), or flip-flops for the beach. You could catch us all sneakily smelling items we were going to buy that professed to be leather, breathing in that characteristic scent, just to be assured that it was the real deal.
Smells are very important to me, they help me to access memories of past times. A certain fragrance might make me think of my Mum. The clinical disinfectant smell of a hospital, reminds me of past visits to see relatives or some appointment with a doctor. In my mind I travel back to some past event, a hug from my Mum after she had finished getting ready to go out for the evening. The smell of pencils and paper might take me back to a classroom, surrounded by my old schoolmates. I love the fact that something as simple as a freshly washed towel can surround you with such a feeling of happiness and peace, especially if it’s still warm from the dryer, remembering bath time as a child when you climbed out of the bath to be surrounded by this huge soft towel, feeling clean, safe and loved.
My Master wears leather, especially if we are going to a play party. In fact we both do. We both shower and apply deodorant before putting on the chosen clothes for the event. Both of us also spray on a little of our favourite scent before heading out.
Recently my Master was away from home for a week. It was the first time we had been physically apart for more that a few hours for more than a year. It was hard, I missed the ability to be close to him and exchange a hug or a kiss whenever I or he needed. At home we have a room set aside just for us to be alone in and to play in, and there are two cupboards in the room that are used to store all our equipment and also all our leather clothes. My Master’s clothes go in one cupboard and mine go in the other. One day during the week of his absence I happened to be in this room putting something away. When I opened my Master’s cupboard I could not help but notice the scent of the leather. I took his shirt from the hanger and held it in my arms, hugging it almost as if he was inside it. I buried my nose deep into the folds of the leather and breathed in his scent, a heady mix of leather and his cologne. Mmmmmm. I stayed there for a while, almost as if I was filling up my mind and lungs with him. The scent made me sad at his absence, but it also allowed me to feel close to him through the memories this scent helped me to access. Memories of play scenes when he might have moved in close to me, holding me tight after a whipping. Memories of the aftercare where he held me close in his arms until my tears dried. Memories of him looking good, all decked out in his leather, the dominant man proud of who he is, and happy to have me as his slave.
It’s not just his leather clothes that I adore but his boots too. I am happy to have been given the responsibility of caring for his leather gear, and my main focus so far has been on his boots.
To all intense purposes, I have become a bootblack. Now this isn’t a role that I take lightly, I realise what an important job this is. Maintaining someone’s leather gear is an honour. It is also a service that I do for my Master, it helps me to gain some focus in my journey. When I am caring for his boots, that’s it – that’s all I do and focus on for an hour or so. I enjoy the process especially if the boots are particularly dirty to start with. Master owns several pairs of boots, but he has mostly been wearing a pair of tall laced Dr Martens. I was with him when he bought them. They already had a lovely finish, so caring for them has been quite easy, just a little wax polish and a shine and you can almost see your face in them. The only problem has been the lacing, as we had left it as they had laced them in the shop. Don’t get me wrong, they looked good, and drew lots of compliments, but the way they were laced meant that they were a little too short to tie properly. So now on this particular day I decided to relace them after they had been polished, and now the laces can be tied properly. It made me happy to see them looking much more tidy – almost perfect!
On this particular day I had spent about 3 – 4 hours caring for all of his boots. I had been a little down and particularly grumpy for a few days. Don’t ask my why, I have no idea, it’s just how it is sometimes. It was my own idea to spend some time doing some sort of service for my Master. So that’s what I did, taking my time to check the boots for any problems, dusting them and then using the saddle soap to take off all the accumulated dirt. Then I applied the wax polish, or wax salve on the oil leather boots. Bringing the boots up to a nice shine is such a pleasing thing to do, to watch that transformation happen, going from dull to shiny. It made me happy, I was satisfied with my work, and was proud that my Master would have clean and shiny boots ready to wear. But that’s not the only thing. I have spoken already about the smell of the leather and how it stirred my memories but as I cleaned the boots, I realised that the wax polish also had the same effect, taking me back to my childhood, being taught how to clean my school shoes. I might not have done it with the same amount of care then as I now give my Masters boots but the pride I felt as a child seeing a pair of freshly polished shoes ready to wear on the first day of term is the same pride I feel when my Master wears his boots, knowing that I have made them look good, not just for now, but for the future with my continued care of them.
So the scent memories of both the leather and the shoe polish have the effect of connecting my past with my present. The memories of happy times as a child are now connected to my happiness of being with my Master, happy to serve him with the skills learnt a long time ago. Little did I know then how things would turn out!
One of my ambitions is to help to introduce the idea of Bootblacking into the scene here in Sweden. It’s not practised at all, and the one time I polished someone’s shoes at a party went quite unnoticed. Little by little the Leather family that I am part of will hopefully help to change the way this practice is perceived. The pride and honour that can be gained by performing this service should not be sniffed at. It is a fine and worthy way for a submissive to show off their skills in public and private, and an honest way to show pride in their actions.