The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews & blog.


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Bleu Abysse – Les Parfums de Rosine

WHAT I SMELL:  Bleu Abysse opens with a salty bergamot warmed by the sun which is quickly met with a more mineral accord that is punctuated with an inviting rounded rose.  The combination of the rose and the salty mineral facets are quite interesting and I can’t say that I have ever experienced this in a perfume before.  However, as it continues to develop I realize that at this stage the perfume is much more akin to mineral salts for the bath.  And as soon as I make that connection, I wonder if that is how I would like to smell when I leave the house.  As the perfume continues to develop, Bleu Abysse seems to head out to the sea.  The brief introduction of the rose makes way for a more intense mineral sea sensation with the addition of vetiver and seaweed and a hint of oud adds a layer of sour to the mixture which seems to dull the minerals a bit.  Thankfully, a bit of sweetened patchouli helps to pull the perfume back to the shore making it a bit more approachable.  Unfortunately, shortly after a metallic note seems to sweep in bringing in an unwelcomed bite.  But apparently that made way for an evened mix of patchouli, vetiver with a light incense that is actually quite beautiful in a very serene way.  Too bad that doesn’t last all that long and in the end you’re left with salt and seaweed.

From the Les Parfums de Rosine website:

BLEU ABYSSE is a perfume of contrasting sensations: a deep, yet dry, marine-blue note. Inspired by the French rose, ‘Rosa Moschata’.

BLEU ABYSSE is a fresh fusion fragrance.

In creating BLEU ABYSSE, the young perfumer, Serge de Oliveira, sought to capture waves of euphoria that sweep over us when we are near the sea.

Top Notes – Bergamot, Elemi, Cassis; Heart Notes – Rose, Mineral accord; Base Notes – Oud, Patchouli, Vetiver, Seaweeds, Incense

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Salted seaweed.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE BLEU ABYSSE: salty, metallic, unique

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT BLEU ABYSSE: Chemist in the Bottle, Now Smell This

BOTTOM LINE:  I will readily admit that I am not a big fan of mineral or marine scents.  The sharpness makes me feel detached from these fragrances and it’s as if I’m wearing a “thing” vs. wearing an essence.  That said, there are some interesting twists and turns in the development of this perfume, but in the end I just get salty, sharpened seaweed.  Thankfully I live not too far from the ocean so that if I want to experience blue abyss, I can just head to the nearest beach for the real thing.

  • Bone Rating:  2.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Marine woody
  • Nose:  Serge de Oliveira
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: 150 Euros for 100 ml Eau de Parfum available from the Les Parfums de Rosine website


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Guerlain Insolence

WHAT I SMELL:  Insolence (eau de parfum) opens with an ambered violet that quickly begins to turn creamy.  It’s slightly thickened and very pretty without being soft and demure.  Soon after, a more rounded vanilla and berry note comes forward and is added to the creamy concoction which feels like it would make for the perfect body lotion.  After a short time, the vanilla helps to move the perfume to the sweetened side which is a combination of candied and floral sweetness.  Here, the perfume really begins to radiate and grow in strength.  The addition of a sandalwood note helps to bring the sweetness down to earth while creating a wrap of warmth around the florals.  In the end, the perfume settles with a lightly sweet powdered vanilla’d violet resting on a subtle base of sandalwood.  Insolence is a “nice” perfume.

From the Guerlain website:

This fruity floral fragrance highlights an unprecedented powdery duo of violet and iris, given a modern edge by a dash of berries.

The Eau de Parfum Insolence showcases an overdosed, high-voltage violet: a triumphant violet that registers at the opposite end of the spectrum from the shy whisper usually used to treat this flower in half-shades and shadows. This dazzling violet rubs shoulders with a timeless, chic and feminine iris.

Top note is Violet; middle notes are Wild Strawberry and Orange Blossom; base notes are iris, Vanilla, Tonka Bean and Sandalwood.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:   A perfume that “Pat” would wear in the 1970s.  It’s not offensive, it’s lightly girlish, yet slightly mature and her husband thinks she smells “swell”.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE INSOLENCE:  sweetened, effective, pleasant-enough

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT INSOLENCE:  A Tea-Scented Library

BOTTOM LINE:  Insolence is a pleasant enough of a perfume.  But I’m not sure that it’s enough.  To me, it’s an everyday perfume that doesn’t feel like something that I would want to wear every day.  And that’s too bad because I love my Guerlain perfumes.  As I said earlier, Insolence is a “nice” perfume.

  • Bone Rating:  3 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Fruity Floral
  • Classification:  Feminine
  • Expense:  $135 for 75ml eau de parfum.


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Maison Francis Kurkdjian – Aqua Vitae Cologne forte

WHAT I SMELL:  Aqua Vitae Cologne forte opens with an exuberant bergamot and a fresh and juicy citrus that’s contained in a lushly rounded wrap of the prettiest of florals.  The perfume is bright, yet warmed like citrus in the sun, and the citrus is less the actual fruit, but instead is more akin to the waxy peel of orange and lemon.  As the perfume develops, the floral sweetness mutes slightly and a sandalwood note brings a bit more warmth and depth to the composition along with layer of clean musks that add a a wrap of light muslin around this incredibly soft, but radiant perfume.  Aqua Vitae Cologne forte is a completely rapturous perfume that is gorgeous without being overly formal.

From the Maison Francis Kurkdjian website:

Mandarin from Italy gives bright freshness to the bergamot, leading to a luminous, citrusy and sunny floral scent. Vibrating in unison in a halo of warm light, Aqua Vitae Cologne forte is a pampering eau de parfum whose trail is saturated with sun and sensual musks boosted by sandalwood from India.

Notes:  Musks, Bergamot, Mandarin

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Sunshine.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE AQUA VITAE COLOGNE FORTE:  easy-to-wear, radiant, comforting

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT AQUA VITAE COLOGNE FORTE:  Velvet Life, Contents

BOTTOM LINE:  Aqua Vitae Forte cologne (which is an eau de parfum) is my summer go-to perfume.  It is so fantastically refreshing and perfect for beating the heat.  And unlike some perfumes worn in the heat, this doesn’t become cloying, nor does it fade away with the sun.  I can easily say that Aqua Vitae Forte cologne will always be a part of my summer perfume collection.

  • Bone Rating:  4.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Citrus
  • Nose:  Francis Kurkdjian
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $235 for 70 ml eau de parfum