The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


26 Comments

The Scented Hound’s 2014 Holiday Gift Guide

christmas dog

How is it possible that it is already December 1st and Christmas is less than a month away??!  If you’re like me, you have barely started to get your holiday shopping act together.  So to help you out, this list of nifty gifties might just help you ease into the shopping spirit.

CHRISTMAS WITH A CAUSE

As many of the perfume community know, Tama Blough, former editor at CaFleureBon is battling cancer.  The wonderful people within the fragrance community have come out with strong support in her time of need.  The first two items on this holiday list offer a fantastic product, at the same time proceeds will go to Tama to help her with this unfortunate struggle.  People coming together in support of others embodies the holiday spirit at its best!

To donate directly to the Tama Blough fund, click here.

APRIL AROMATICS SAN FRANCISCO ROSE

San Francisco RosePerfumer Tanja Bochnig has created this limited edition rose beauty to celebrate Tama’s favorite flower, the rose.  100% of all proceeds will go directly to the fund to help Tama.  San Francisco Rose is a limited edition and only 200 will be sold.  I got mine and trust me, this rose is magnificent!

From the April Aromatics website:

San Francisco Rose is comprised of Rose Otto from Turkey, Rose absolute from Bulgaria, Orris Root from France, Hibiscus Seed from Ecuador, Tonka Bean from Brazil, Sandalwood from India, Patchouli from Sumatra and a touch of Oud from Saudia Arabia. Made in Berlin/ Germany with the purest, natural ingredients and the highest intention. It contains an essence from almost every part of the world.The perfume is infused with Herkimer diamond and Rose Quarz for its healing quality of feeling unconditional love.

San Francisco Rose 30ml Eau de Parfum, available for 111 Euros from the April Aromatics website.

________________________________________________

DSH PERFUMES INTERPRETATION OF THE PLP PROJECT

love_5mlextrait2-720x720The PLP Project was conceived and imagined by “GoodSmella (and friend)’, Carlos J. Powell to commemorate the third anniversary of his Facebook fragrance group, Peace Love and Perfume. The PLP Project is an invitational compilation of unique fragrances created by artisan and indie perfumers based on this simple brief: “Peace: a meditative incense fragrance; Love: a sexy animalic fragrance; and Perfume: a traditional cologne with a twist on the concept.”

Dawn Horowitz blew the PLP concept out of the park with her contribution of this project.  All three interpretations are amazing and incredibly unique:

From DSH Perfumes:

peace_5mlextrait2DSH Peace is my meditative incense design that bridges East and West, incorporating notions of what “incense” means from a Japanese, Arabic, and a Monastic / Western perspective. Peace also allowed me to use some rather unusual materials in the construction such as Bakul attar, Choya Ral, and Laotian Oud. Of course, at the heart there is the traditional Frankincense and Myrrh resin accord layered with rich Rose de Mai and Orris. For the top note I looked eastward to the aromatic Champaca Leaf. The result is like something familiar, warm, and comforting mixed with a sense of wonder at what you are actually smelling.

For DSH Love I let my imagination go to a time and place when animalic perfumes reigned supreme: the early to mid-20th Century. Of course, I included all four of the traditional animal notes: musk, civet, ambergris, and castoreum with added elements of botanical “animalics”, ambrette co2 and labdanum with a large dose of a rather new material, hyracium tincture (aka African Stone). The heart is filled with indolic juhi jasmine, orange flower absolute, and gardenia balanced by a slightly sharp and spicy white pepper and aldehyde top note. The result is a lush, provocative, and thoroughly sexy perfume.

Lastly, DSH Perfume is a rather unorthodox pairing of grapefruit, rhubarb, and cognac accented by a luscious tropical fruit accord with green notes of basil and pittosporum to create the “fresh cologne” aspect . A vibrant jasmine heart dries down to a surprisingly creamy ambrette, guaiacwood, and vetiver finish. This is definitely a modern twist on the ‘eau de cologne’ design concept.

I have to say that Love is probably my favorite as it’s just so animalic and brutally sexy that when I wear it I just can’t stop sniffing myself!

The DSH Perfumes PLP fragrances are all limited editions:  Limited Edition Extrait flacons (5 ml Antique presentations) of Peace and Love ($105 each); Perfume as a Limited Edition of 50, 10 ml spray flacons in Cologne Absolue strength ($48).  There is also Discovery Sample Set available for $36.  In addition, 15% of all sales of the PLP Project perfumes will go directly to the Tama Blough fund.  To purchase one or all of the fragrances, go to the DSH Perfumes website.


The-Leather-of-lOeuvre-Noire-high-res-2

 

BY KILIAN FRAGRANT JEWELRY

Kilian Hennessey knows perfume and knows how to package his fragrances like no other.  The exquisite bottles and cases which are a trademark of the brand now have some lovely cousins as part of the family.  The By Kilian jewelry collection is impeccable.  I saw up close at Sniffapalooza both the necklaces and bracelets and they are not only beautiful but scented with your choice of the By Kilian line (the bracelets are infused with two fragrances created just for them!)

These products, which start at $195 are an excellent way to glam up your holiday wardrobe.  You can purchase them on the by Kilian website or at fine retailers.


 

GIFT SETS FROM TWISTED LILY

Womens-Sampler Gift SetWe all love gift sets because it’s like having many presents all in one.  Twisted Lily offers many gift sets, but they have combined several various sets in order to make up their Ultimate Gift Sets, one for women and one for men.

The women’s collection is made up of:  Arquiste Florals Gift Set 4 x 5ml, 2014 Ladies Mini Collection by Penhaligon’s 5 x5 ml and the Amouage Women’s Sampler 12 x2 ml.  Available for $185.

The men’s collection is made up of:  Arquiste Citrus & Woods Gift Set 5 x 5ml, 2014 Mens Mini Collection by Penhaligon’s 5 x 5ml and the Amouage Men’s Sampler 12 x2 ml.  Available for $190.

Check out these ultimate gift sets as well as all of their other gift sets and fragrant goodies available at Twisted Lily.


 

CLAUS PORTO SOAPS

Claus Porto SoapThese make the perfect gift for those who love luxurious and long-lasting quality soaps.  Founded in 1887, this Portuguese brand has been creating incredible artisanal soaps that are a testament to their rich and long heritage.  In addition to the quality of the product, the packaging is a work of art in itself.  Some of the offerings include Banho, comprised of citrus and verbena and Favorita a red poppy delight.

Gift sets of three hand soaps can run around $36 and single bath bar sizes can run around $15 each.  An internet search can help you find the best prices and shipping options based on your location.


 

VOLUSPA MAISON HOLIDAY CANDLE GIFT SET   

Voluspa 2014I love candles and the ambiance they can create.  This new offering from Voluspa helps to brighten the holiday cheer with a collection of three fragrant offerings in the most beautiful of packaging:

– Visions of Sugar Plum: filled with notes of tart white plum, dried cherry dusted with powdered sugar, toasted hazelnut and lemon zest.

– Cinnamon Ceylon and Copal: a blend of Ceylon cinnamon and cassia with golden copal resin and amber.

– Spruce Cuttings: filled with the scent of royal Colorado blue spruce cuttings freshly snapped and trimmed for a fragrant garland.

Each is 3 ounces in size.  You can find the gift set for around $50 at Nordstrom and other fine retailers.  Other sizes and individual candles from the collection are also available.


 

CARON NUIT DE NOEL

editions_limitees_nuit_de_noel_pillowAs far as I’m concerned, my Christmas holiday wouldn’t be complete without the wearing of Caron’s classic, Nuit de Noel.  Created in 1922 by Ernest Daltroff, this perfume highlighted by notes of ylang-ylang, tincture of rose and jasmine, sandalwood, oak moss, musk and amber is like the most comfortable sweater to be worn all throughout the season.

You can read my full review of the parfum extrait version by clicking here.

For a very special present, Caron is offering a limited edition Nuit de Noel Pillow.  Nestled in a pillow of Limoges porcelain, is a 28 ml bottle of Nuit de Noël extract, adorned with a gold thread.  The Caron Nuit de Noel pillow is a limited edition of 1000 pieces, this beauty is 400 Euros from the Caron Paris website.


 

Final Cover_Roja BookTHE ESSENCE OF PERFUME BY ROJA DOVE

The Essence of Perfume is the most informative and richly beautiful book that I have experienced in a long time and would be the perfect gift for any perfumista, bar none.

From the book’s press release:

The Chypre Family

The Chypre Family

The Essence Of Perfume by Roja Dove is the Master Perfumer’s definitive guide, offering a rare glimpse into the knowledge, passion, and creativity of a Master Perfumer. Since it was first launched, The Essence Of Perfume has become the benchmark text for perfumery worldwide, and is an indispensable industry reference for many professional fragrance organisations.

Roja Dove takes us on his own personal journey of scent, from his transformative childhood  memories, to the creation of Roja Parfums; revealing scandals of the fragrance  world printed here for the first time. Dove explains why it is essential to look to the  past in order to create the future, asking ‘What Next’? If Dove’s prediction is correct, perfumery is about to change forever.

P265L_Group of BottlesDue to unprecedented global demand following the sell out first book, this new  edition features additional sections about the inspirations behind Roja Dove’s creations; new methods of extraction; a comprehensive list of the exotic raw materials of perfumery; and never seen before fragrance bottles. Highlighting classic male fragrances, this new book is one of the first to celebrate men’s perfumery in its own right.

You can purchase the book via Amazon.com for $26.53.  This is a bargain for such a lavish book and the hard copy is a must as you’ll want to be able to get the full effect of all of the book’s incredible visuals.


 

PRODUCTS FROM BLUE Q

Michell Obama Blue QEven though this is a perfume blog, not all gifts and presents need to be fragrance centric.  Blue Q offers some off-the-wall products that are fun and not all that expensive.  One thing you’ll find is that they have a collection of artful shopping bags that will help make your grocery shopping all that much more fun.

I love the Mighty Michelle Shopper that illustrates Michelle Obama as the “First Lady of Fabulous!”  A fun way to shop and only $11.99 too boot.

Check out all of the fun and interesting items on the Blue Q website.


 

ARCHIE MCPHEE

worlds_best_cat_trophy_1_1My list of recommendations would not be complete without my favorite go-to store for those all-important stocking stuffers.  Archie McPhee has a collection of the most fun and irreverent offerings that can make anyone in your household smile.  They even have something for those furry kids, like the World’s Best Cat statue.  Does your four-legged friend deserve one of these prizes this year?

You can get Fluffy his very own trophy for only $9.95.  Check out all the good fun on the Archie McPhee website.

I hope you find at least one item on this list that will make a loved one happy.  The Scented Hound wishes you “happy shopping!”


12 Comments

New Release: The by Kilian Addictive State of Mind Collection

by Kilian Addictive State of Mind

INTOXICATED – WHAT I SMELL:  Intoxicated opens with a boozy burnt coffee note that is sweet, yet flattened.  It feels like it’s been sprinkled with dry nutmeg and it has a rather marshmallow thickness consistency about it.  It makes me want to fire up my espresso machine, because this would make for a nice after dinner drink to go with a hot cup of coffee.  As Intoxicated starts to develop, it becomes a bit nuttier, richer and it begins to rise and jump off the skin, growing with projection each minute.  There’s a nice herbal quality that rests like a haze on top the layered fragrance and a bit of sweet and light caramel emerges giving it more dimension.  As time progresses, the light booziness retreats, but the roasted coffee and nuttiness remains.  After around a half and hour, a light vetiver appears, bringing just a bit of sharpness into the mix.  As it keeps developing, it turns from the gourmand to a more woody creation.  But the great thing about the by Kilian fragrances is that they are so supremely finished and silky smooth so that the different variations in the fragrance make the notes hard to define and pin down.

Intoxicated Notes:  cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, coffee

Gourmet S'more

Gourmet S’mores

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  The most luxurious S’more with a lightly sweet refined cocoa’d chocolate with the finest of graham crackers.  And when you’ve finished eating the lovely concoction, the warm, sweet and fired remains of the treat linger in the air.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE INTOXICATED:  smooth, delicious, suave

  • Bone Rating: 4.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Aromatic Spicy
  • Nose:   Calice Becker
  • Classification: Unisex

LIGHT MY FIRE – WHAT I SMELL:  Light My Fire opens with this dry hay like tobacco and honey.  Quickly, a cumin notes comes in along with the patchouli.  It’s dry and a bit sour.  The honey isn’t thick, but more like a dried and crackled glaze over the hay.  It’s rather comforting to me, as it’s a bit dusty too…as if the perfume has been stored in an old barn.  Along with the honey, there seems to creep out a bit of a brown sugar note.  There’s a tender sweetness about the fragrance that’s very muted which I find quite nice and heart-warming.   After around 10 minutes, a putty note appears giving Light My Fire a bit of thickness.  At this point, the initial hay that brought in the dryness begins to be filled instead with a more woody note which isn’t quite as devoid of moisture, but it’s still rather dry.  Light My Fire doesn’t transform all that much, but it’s such a nice and relaxing fragrance, the kind that’s good for soothing one’s soul.  Don’t get me wrong though, as relaxing as this is, there is still some power and projection behind it.

Light My Fire Notes:  cumin, hay, patchouli, vetiver, honey, vanilla and tobacco

late-day-late-summer

Late Day, Late Summer – Jan Schmuckal

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A late summer day, where the ground is rather dry as you lay under a big tree while the sun streams all around you.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE LIGHT MY FIRE:  peaceful, contented, contemplative

  • Bone Rating: 4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Oriental Woody
  • Nose:  Sidonie Lancesseur
  • Classification: Unisex

SMOKE FOR THE SOUL – WHAT I SMELL:  Smoke for the Soul opens big with this warmed eucalyptus topped by a nutty tobacco.  It’s quite thick and a bit chewy and somewhat burnt around the edges.  After a bit, it begins to dry and it becomes more burnt, like the sticks of wood are actually firing up on your skin.  A birch note begins to appear almost as if the already flaky bark is falling off of the perfume exposing a more sharpened cannabis note that’s quite pungent and sour.  The fragrance then dries out and becomes pure wood.  However, the wood continues its slow burn with a slight smoky and sharp finish sitting above a vetiver base.

Smoke for the Soul Notes:  eucalyptus, grapefruit, tobacco, mate, birch, cashmirwood, cannabis and cardamom

Burnt Twigs

burnt twigs

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  burnt twigs

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE SMOKE FOR THE SOUL:  crackling, aromatic, burnt

  • Bone Rating: 3 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Woody Aromatic
  • Nose:  Fabrice Pellegrin
  • Classification: Unisex

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE ADDICTIVE STATE OF MIND COLLECTION:  Colognoisseur, The Style and Beauty Doctor

BOTTOM LINE:  With the by Kilian name, you’re getting luxury not only in a scent, but also in the packaging.  This new collection is no exception as each perfume comes in a case designed to look like a luxurious cigar holder.  Intoxicated and Light my Fire are really smooth, refined and perfectly finished and live up to the by Kilian brand.  Smoke for the Soul plays “which one of these is not like the others” with the other two.  It’s nice, but it just doesn’t feel like it fits into the mix.  In any case, overall, a very nice collection.

  • Expense: $270 for 50ml Eau de Parfum (each sold separately)


7 Comments

The Good, Bad and …Confused?!

THE GOOD:

It was a lovely Father’s Day weekend here in Washington DC.  The weather was incredible, just perfect for being outdoors, grilling, etc. It was such a nice weekend that I can tell that you I have found a new love.  No, I’m not cheating on my husband.  This new love is By Kilian’s Rose Oud.  I received some samples of Rose Oud upon my purchase of my other love, Incense Oud.  I’m happy to say that I finally had the chance to really wear this beauty.  What I love about this fragrance is that it’s understated and tasteful with a beefy richness that I have found few fragrances to have.

Rose Oud goes on boozy and with a blast of saffron and rose.  There is almost a plastic and artificial rubbery sensation to the scent at the beginning.  That sensation remains there throughout, however, it’s not as prominent as in the beginning and it’s not something that is disagreeable.  Rose Oud doesn’t transform much after the initial few minutes.  As it stands, the rose remains on top a long with a slight leather that sits below (when I say slight, it’s almost not recognizable).  There is something weighty about Rose Oud.  It feels substantial.  It almost gives you the feeling that you are wearing a garland of large and heavy fragrant roses around your neck.  It’s truly intoxicating, luxurious and perfect for a man.  Perfect, because there is nothing sweet about this rose.  It’s a floral scent without being too floral.  I want more and am ready to go full bottle (or at least the refill to decant myself).

Rose Oud Notes:

Turkish rose, oud, saffron, cardamom

  • Bone Rating: 5 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent: Oriental Woody
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $395 for 50ml EDP

THE BAD:

I finally made a blind buy that I just can’t stand.  I found a bottle of the discontinued Royal Pavillon by Etro on sale for an incredibly low price.  After reading the reviews from others and looking at the notes, I thought why not give it a try.  Actually the scent itself isn’t that bad, there’s just one note in there that really rubs me the wrong way.  I think it may be the jasmine that sits on top and provides me with some nauseum.  It is interesting though, as floral as this scent is, there is an underlying ingredient of civet and musk that give this floral a little dirt… but not enough dirt for me.  Funny thing is that my husband has taken ownership of this scent and has worn it all weekend.  I’m glad that it won’t go to waste!

Royal Pavillon Notes:

jasmine, ylang-ylang, rose, violet and mimose; middle notes are vetyver, sandalwood and oakmoss; base notes are vanille, castoreum and civetta

  • Bone Rating: 2 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent: Woody Floral Musk
  • Classification: Feminine
  • Expense: Varied from $40 to $100 for 100ml

THE CONFUSED:

The third aspect of this post as you might note, should not be “confused”, but should be “ugly”.  Sorry, I don’t have any ugly to report.  The confused is that I bought tickets to see Riverdance  because I told my husband that I always wanted to see Riverdance and this is the last US performance that will be in town.  So last night we go to the show at the lovely Wolftrap outdoor amphitheatre on a beautiful night (where I am feeling exceptionally fantastic in my trail of Rose Oud).  One act into the show, my husband turns to me and said,  “You know, we saw this same show about 5 years ago with some friends, here at the same venue.”  It then clicked in my head. Yes, we had.  Am I really getting that old and forgetful??  Tragic.  At least I smelled good and the show was phenomenal!  If you haven’t seen Riverdance, please go, the dancing and music is incredible!

Happy Father’s Day!