The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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Vilhelm Parfumerie – Basilico & Fellini

WHAT I SMELL:  Basilico & Fellini opens with a warmed, sparkling and zesty dragon fruit that is incredibly uplifting in its tanginess and its freshness.  The basil comes in quickly to add this great mix of herbal goodness to the tangy fruit.  It’s gourmand, but from the garden with the fruit and herb.  After a bit, the dragon fruit begins to make way for a soft violet mixed with a fuzzy fig.  There’s so much freshness going on here that is so refreshing, delightful and positive in its energy.  All the notes within this concoction seem to take turns coming to the surface, from fruit to herb to flower as if they’re involved with a whirling and twirling dance of happiness.  This dance continues for quite some time, but it finally slows down to quietly end with a warm and comforting fig infused hay.  Basilico & Fellini is a delight of a perfume that’s perfect for warmer weather as well as those winter days when you want to be transported back to the sun-filled splendor of the garden.

From the Vilhelm Parfumerie website:

The unmistakable smell of risotto bianco and a minty, peppery kick as the ultra fresh basil warms on the dish. A bon vivant who wanted to show life in all its glorious reality – people eating, sleeping and making love – Federico Fellini was said to request extra servings of this herb, rumored to be an aphrodisiac.

Top:  Dragon Fruit, Basil
Middle : Violet, Wild Fig
Base : Vetiver, Green Hay

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Fig and basil garden goodness.  So much so that I thought I would include a recipe for a delicious fresh salad.

Fresh Fig Salad with Basil, Goat Cheese, and Arugula

Fig season is short and sweet, so make the most of it with this fresh fig salad with basil, goat cheese, and pomegranate vinaigrette.  Yields 4 servings.

Ingredients:
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 4 tsp pomegranate molasses
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 oz arugula
  • ¾ cup basil leaves
  • 8 ripe figs, room temperature
  • 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
Instructions:
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the shallot, mustard, and pomegranate molasses. Add some salt and black pepper to season and then whisk in the olive oil.
  2. Add the arugula and basil to the bowl and toss to combine. Divide among serving plates.
  3. Quarter the figs and arrange over the salad. Top with goat cheese crumbles and serve immediately.

THREE WORDS THAT BASILICO & FELLINI:  zesty, uplifting, fresh

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT BASILICO & FELLINI:  Pink Wall BlogCaFleureBonColognoisseur

BOTTOM LINE:  Basilico & Fellini is an easy to wear, fresh aromatic perfume that just sings in the sun.  The basil, dragon fruit, violet and fig are just the right mix of earthly…or should I say “heavenly” goodness.

  • Bone Rating: 4.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Aromatic Fruity
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $150 for 50 ml eau de parfum


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Vintage Houbigant Essence Rare Parfum Extrait

WHAT I SMELL:  Essence Rare opens with what seems to be fading aldehydes that are quickly met by a spiced geranium.  The perfume deepens quickly as the perfume moves to a civet and amber making it very mature almost from the start as there’s nothing light nor fluffy about it.  As it continues to develop, the oakmoss pushes itself to the forefront and it’s here the perfume puts out a strong forcefield as it’s all powdered and dry oakmoss, spice and civet.  After quite some time, the perfume begins to retreat a bit and thankfully a beautiful sandalwood laced with warm florals begins to take the perfume from the overt to the almost sublime.  In the end, Essence Rare is still mature, but it’s much more approachable, albeit with a strong personality.

Essence Rare Notes:

Top:  aldehydes, bergamot, lily of the valley
Heart:  geranium, rose, iris
Base:  sandalwood, ambergris, vanilla, oakmoss, musk, tonka bean, vetiver, civet

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Forgive me, but the image of Dana Carvey’s “Church Lady” popped in my head.  The perfume seems stuck in the 70s, is a bit unforgiving and begs to be noticed.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ESSENCE RARE:  solid, stocky, bold

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT ESSENCE RARE:  Bois de Jasmin, Fragrantica

BOTTOM LINE:  I found the iceberg bottle pictured above at an antique store for $15, so I thought, why not.  As many of you know, I love vintage perfumes, but Essence Rare is a rarity where it’s anything but a love.  What I typically like about these small extrait bottles is that they generally stay fresher than some of their larger counterparts.  I’m sure that there has been degradation with this, but I believe that Essence Rare was pretty much a powerhouse from day one and it does feel very dated.  So my 2 bones rating is based solely on this bottle…but maybe it’s just that bottle and some day I’ll run into one that makes me reconsider.

It should be noted that Essence Rare was reformulated in 2018 and the perfume was once again created by Jean-Claude Ellena.  But everything that I have read about it states that this new version is much lighter and rather pretty and no doubt more approachable to today’s market.

  • Bone Rating: 2 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral Aldehyde
  • Note:  Jean-Claude Ellena
  • Classification: To me, very unisex
  • Expense:  Prices vary.  Review based on the 1976 reissued version parfum extrait.

 


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New Release: Sarah Baker Loudo

WHAT I SMELL:   Loudo opens with a fizzy bergamot that is quickly met by warmed white chocolate followed by something that smells like woolen mittens that have a bit of a salty worn patina.  The woolen mittens then turn to the sock drawer as the perfume now takes on a combination of wood and cotton with the tinge of the lightly creamy chocolate still lingering overhead.  But soon after, a light sueded leather comes forward.  At this point, the leather dominates and moves all of the other accords to the side.  The perfume is warm and comforting and approachable in that it carries with it familiar scents of many of the comforts of home.  Slowly, the perfume begins to radiate and pushes off the skin as the leather begins to dry.  And I’m not sure if my nose is deceiving me, but there’s a very light buzzing peppermint that seems to pop in and out.   After a long time, the leather begins to retreat, leaving a soft and pretty orange blossom to take it’s place sitting atop a woody semi-sweet flattened vanilla.  At this point, the perfume softly hugs the skin in the quietest of ways.  Loudo is a wonderfully interesting and a delightful journey of a perfume.

From the Sarah Baker Perfumes website:

Playful and sweet with the flavors of childhood appetites, it dries down to something seriously grown-up. Proustian aromas and a nostalgic glimpse of a beloved game encountered in the attic, realizing years later it was the seed of your adult prowess; the sensual, sexy and clever you.

Notes: bergamot, neroli, petitgrain, black cherry, cypriol, orange blossom, white chocolate, Laos oud, Suyufi agarwood, musk, amber, vanilla

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A cozy farmhouse kitchen laden with all the comfort smells infused in the home.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE LOUDO:  comforting, nostalgic, unique

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT LOUDO The Sniffer, CaFleureBon, Stephan Matthews

BOTTOM LINE:  When I first heard that Loudo was an oud perfume, I couldn’t conjure in my mind how Sarah Baker would interpret it as it seems we all have been overly ouded over the past many years.  Thankfully, Sarah’s use of oud makes it the center of the perfume, but not one that is overt nor dominating.  The oud here translates more to the leather.  And the white chocolate, black cherry carry the perfume to the slightly gourmand.  In all, there’s something incredibly comforting about Loudo in that wraps the wearer up in a quieter and more simple time.  And as far as I’m concerned, a oud/leather scent that is a comfort is something that’s very welcomed.

  • Bone Rating: 3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Woody
  • Nose: Chris Maurice
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $155 for 50 ml parfum extrait