Clemence vs Epsom for first B30?

Leather for B30

  • Clemence

    Votes: 55 67.1%
  • Epsom

    Votes: 27 32.9%

  • Total voters


May 29, 2006
If you were presented with a B30 that was your dream color, dream hardware color, and perfect size BUT the choice for leather was only Clemence or Epsom....which would you choose and why.

Let's pretend that it's your FIRST (maybe even last) B30, which leather would you prefer?
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Beauty and quality are my weaknesses
Jul 14, 2012
Pacific Time Zone, USA
They both have their fans (and I like both myself), but I'd vote clemence simply because of the richness of hand, how that develops over time (smooshiness), its weather-resistant qualities, and because of how tough it is. Epsom is light, takes colors well and retains its structure (you'd definitely want a bag organizer w/clemence) but there is a classic beauty and feel to clemence that is really special.


Counting My Blessings 1 Birkin At A Time ;)
Nov 26, 2009
Birkin Bliss
So I have both in size 30.
I feel Hermezzy summed up the pros of each leather absolutely perfectly...
The only thing I will add is that you may want to think about what type of leather texture you like.
I never really paid too much attention to that aspect of bags because I was caught up in the hype of just getting offered one.
However, over time I have discovered that I truly love smoother leathers. My absolute favorite being chevre (followed by swift in small bags). If I could have every bag in chevre, I would.
Howeverrrrrr I cant bc chevre is ony available in Special Order and I don't buy used or from a reseller.... so... to answer your question.. it depends.
It took me a while to get used to the bumpy texture of clemence. On first sight, I did not love it. In fact, I sort of hated it but it was presented to me because I placed a SO in that leather soooooo I had to take it. Glad I did because I now love it. It just took me a minute to get used to the bumps/shadows of that skin. Now Epsom has a different dilemma... there is a frequent complaint that Epsom appears/feels "plastic" or "cardboard" due to it's stiffness and the fact that it is a stamped calfskin (so the texture is not natural, it's machine made). Somehow this leather is "cheap" looking to some. I do understand this opinion and agree to some extent but the benefits of the lightness, the color saturation and the fact that it retains it's shape, far outweigh those negatives IMHO.
And since I do own both bags, my biceps will say that clemence 30 is heavier than Epsom 30... by a lot ... =)

So, at the end of the day.... it's really a toss up for me. Clemence would probably win in the end because, as Hermezzy stated, the hand of clemence is very dreamy. Such an amazing feel to it....and color just glows on it! Here are the two bags I'm referring to. Notice the bumpy texture of clemence.... and the stiffness of Epsom. Both are amazing in their own ways....


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Counting My Blessings 1 Birkin At A Time ;)
Nov 26, 2009
Birkin Bliss
Clemence, just because over time, epsom makes that "sucked in" look, like this:

View attachment 3698378
This is a nightmare of a bag. It is tall and empty and that is why the shape is being destroyed..... poor bag. If it were in any other leather, it would be a puddle....
Thankfully smaller bags in Epsom don't look this way unless they are being abused!
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LovEmAll @dailyloves
Aug 28, 2014
Washington DC
I like both leathers. I have an epsom B30 and a clemency Evelyn.

I love the soft feel of least in the Evy, it's squishy and delicious.

Epsom is totally different; nice and structured and I think it takes pops of color really well.

I am not sure if this would be an issue with a b30 (maybe IF or others with B30s in clemence can chime in) but I have heard that with time you may get more slouch with clemence (But I'm sure with a bag insert you can keep the structured look if that's what you like). I'm not sure that will happen with epsom since it is a harder more structured leather.

I don't know why epsom gets such a bad rap. I think it's a fine leather; is it the best possible leather in H? Who knows? I think that depends on what you are looking for. I know I love mine. If I got offered another bag in epsom, would it take it? Sure, as long as it's the right bag.

Hope that helps!
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Dec 30, 2008
For me, with a hand/arm-carried bag that I want to use it frequently, I have come to realize that I need to think about more than the look and the feel of the leather -- although look and feel are great when I'm staring at a bag, that doesn't do me much good in the utility department. Durability is one factor, but I assume since you are looking at epsom and clemence, you are already choosing to go for a sturdy leather that can be used for everyday. The main factor for me, then, would be weight. My b30 is an ostrich, and when I compared it against a clemence b, I was SHOCKED at the weight difference. Even empty, it felt hefty to me. I don't think I'd want to carry something that heavy (especially once loaded up with my daily essentials) on a regular basis. Others may be more tolerant of heavier bags, but I have found over time that I just stop using any bag that I find heavy -- it's too much hassle. I think that's just something you need to figure out for yourself. Also, epsom has grown on me over time. I used to strongly dislike how artificial and thin it felt, but it takes colors soooo beautifully and is wonderfully lightweight. In addition, with a B30, I don't think you'd have as much concern about wear at the corners that some epsom owners have warned about.