The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


Christmas Elegance – Paper White by DSH Perfumes

For years, the start of the holiday season has included the tradition of putting paperwhite (narcissus) bulbs in a rock filled pot so that by the time Christmas is here, we’ll be greeted by the delicate flowers on sinewy stems.  These white flowers, though small in size, create a wonderful and powerful aroma that fills the room.  I was thrilled to see that DSH made tribute to paperwhites, the simple flowers that even in the midst of winter, their delicate blooms give hope and light to the coming spring.

WHAT I SMELL:   Paper White graces the skin with soft and lightly sweet delicate honeyed tinged florals.  The perfume is green without being sharp and very quickly after opening, the narcissus begins to open and bloom on the skin.  There’s a warmth of orris root at the base of the shining florals and it provides the perfect sense of comfort.  Even though the perfume is comforting, that doesn’t mean it’s like wearing a set flannel pajamas; instead, the perfume exudes grand elegance.  Paper White is like a shimmering evening dress under glittering and flickering candlelight.  As the perfume continues to develop, the warm heart fills the nostrils with a powdery oakmoss.  I can say that wearing Paper White will easily become on of my new Christmas traditions.

From the DSH websites:

A bright sparkling green opening reveals a crepe-like paper / narcissus heart.   It’s a fresh, modern take on the Spring Narcissus concept that dries down to a soft, green chypre in the base.

Notes:  Earl Grey Natural (Accord), Green Narcissus (accord), Iris / Orris, Jonquil Absolute, Papyrus,  Rice Paper (accord), Australian Sandalwood, Green Oakmoss, Mysore Sandalwood, Grandiflorum Jasmine, Narcissus Absolute, Bergamot, Tunisian Neroli.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:   Delicate paperwhites of course.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE PAPER WHITE:  elegant, stunning, comforting


BOTTOM LINE:  Although Caron’s Narcisse Noir and Narcisse Blanc capture narcissus’s rather sharp edges, I believe that makes them both a harder wear.  To me, Paper White embodies the heart of the flower with a soft and more approachable manner.  I love its elegance and grace…it’s just so wonderfully pretty.

  • Bone Rating: 4.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Chypre Floral
  • Nose:  Dawn Spencer Horowitz
  • Classification: Leans feminine
  • Expense: Review based on the Vol de Parfum version.  $125 for 30m.  Also available in extrait and eau de parfum via the DSH website.

Merry Christmas to you and yours from The Scented Hound.


Cartier – XII L’Heure Mysterieuse

WHAT I SMELL:  L’Heure Mysterieuse has a strange opening that’s full of smoke and tar as well as a heavy patchouli that is thick, chewy and rather like paste.  The smoke rises off of the skin like some kind of industrial component.  This is a very bizarre as I can’t see how the opening brings promise of anything beautiful or gentile….or something that represents “Cartier.”  Thankfully, after a short time, the tar and heavy smoke begin to lift.  A dried flatness of incense appears instead and the perfume starts to belie a more gentle persona.  But don’t get me wrong, there’s a strength to the perfume in that it has a fighting energy buried beneath the smoky subdued radiance.  After quite some time a light floral appears, once again softening the former intensity.  To me, L’Heure Mysterieuse is a hard perfume to describe, but I can tell you that it has a classic old world heart that reminds me of fragrances from the 1970s.

From the Cartier website:

Silence was on the prowl. You could hear it breathing, lurking like desire. The calmness felt only temporary. Drowsiness gained life, slowly jasmine and heavily PATCHOULI. This was the time for listening to your own pulse at the edge of abandon, like a reverse countdown, a voyage into the intimate where everything both takes shape and disintegrates. Withdraw into yourself, escape and focus your mind on your inner self, reaching that point where self-awareness resides. Was it elemi gum, CORIANDER day? Was it incense, FRANKINCENSE night? Soon you must leave the juniper darkness… but not quite yet. First, savor L’HEURE MYSTÉRIEUSE for just one hour – no longer, that’s a promise – extracted from deep within, and rediscover your own personal roots.

La Liberté guidant le peuple. Eugène Delacroix. 1830



WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT L’HEURE MYSTERIEUSE:  AustralianPerfumeJunkies, Bois de Jasmin, Katie Puckrick Smells

BOTTOM LINE:  L’Heure Mysterieuse Is a like and not a love for me.  The opening is weirdly interesting, but the drydown redeems the perfume as it turns into a retro classical scent.

  • Bone Rating: 3 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Oriental Spicy
  • Nose:  Mathilde Laurent
  • Classification: Unisex (but to me it leans masculine)
  • Expense: $285 for 75 ml eau de parfum


Eight & Bob – Egypt

WHAT I SMELL:  Rather than a dry heat rising from the Sahara, Egypt opens with warm nutty lavender that quickly begins to fizz with a mellow lemon citrus coating.  It’s warm, but at the same time rather crisp and slightly formal, while projecting a casual vibe.  The lemon and nutmeg make for a light gourmand presence…slightly sugared, but never sweet.   The patchouli enters rather quickly, but instead of taking over, it glides underneath the nuttiness.  Here the perfume really begins to project and it’s warm and inviting and rather sexy as its self-assured.  As the perfume continues to develop the patchouli comes front and center with a sandalwood that tries to keep the scent from becoming to sweet.  But unfortunately on my skin, Egypt turns into a patchouli bomb…that’s not bad, but I would have liked to experience some more of the leather, which only appears after an hour or so and with barely a whisper.

Notes from the Eight & Bob website:

Top Notes: Lavender, Lemon, Moss

Heart Notes:  Cardamom, Nutmeg

Base Notes:  Leather, Patchouli, Sandalwood

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Early 20th Century Egypt…a blending of old with the new.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE EGYPT:  Semi-sweet, semi-formal, semi-modern


BOTTOM LINE:  I want to like this perfume, but the patchouli is just a bit too radiant for my taste.  Too bad because otherwise it’s a lovely fragrance.

  • Bone Rating: 3 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Oriental
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $183 for 100 ml eau de parfum