The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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A Visit to the Mexico City Guerlain Boutique & Joyeuse Tubéreuse Review

The Scented Hound and hub just got back from a short getaway to Mexico City, which is quickly becoming one of our favorite places to visit due to its rich heritage, beautiful parks, incredible restaurants, fantastic shopping and numerous and interesting museums, not to mention the warm and friendly people.  Now that the first Guerlain Boutique is open in Latin America, a “must-stop” for anyone travelling to Mexico City is located in the El Palacio de Herrerio Perisur department store.  Located outside the central city, the boutique was an easy Uber ride from where we were staying and completely worth the trip.

The first thing you notice when you step into the boutique is a display of all the colorful bee bottles.  To be honest, looking at the collection is a bit head spinning knowing that you have the option to put your favorite perfume into one of these spectacular little jewels of a bottle…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

As soon as I walked in, I was warmly greeted by the boutique staff as well as the boutique manager, Alberto Plata. Unfortunately, he spoke very little English and I speak very little Spanish.  But without hesitation, Melina Rodriguez, makeup artist, came over from the Guerlain makeup department to help translate.  We were all business at first, but through “fun with translation” and just having a great time, we all quickly became fast friends.

So with the hub sitting patiently on the side, Alberto had me sit down for a fragrance consultation.  Of course, having already a collection of Guerlain perfumes, both current and vintage, I pretty much knew what I was looking for, but I wanted to go through the consultation process to see what it would reveal.  Alberto started off with questions about the comforts of home, foods that I like, special memories associated with smell, etc.  I revealed that I love luxury in the bedroom with nice linens, but that my favorite food is pizza.  I knew I was going to be a challenge.  After going through the questions, I was then asked to rate the smell of some blotters.  After putting this information into their consultation system, it revealed that my fragrance personality was “Floral/Fresh.”  I clearly had no arguments with this as I do love my florals!   Given that and based on other provided information, the system made four recommendations for perfumes:

  1.  Chamade Pour Homme – My goal for the day was to buy a bottle of this lovely perfume which I had just written about.  So far I was impressed with the results!
  2. Samsara – Samsara is already in my collection.  I have a big bottle of vintage parfum that I wear when I want to be noticed.  It really is a spectacular perfume….still impressed with the results.
  3. Bois d’Armenie – This recommendation was a bit of a surprise as it’s an oriental.  I like the perfume, but knew it was not for me because wearing it in the heat and humidity of Merida would make it suffocating except for the one or two months where it was just a bit cooler out.
  4. Joyeuse Tubereuse – Another surprise because the perfume was no where on my radar of something that might be to my liking.  Actually, it stole my heart.

As I mentioned, I knew that Chamade Pour Homme was on my “to buy” list, but I decided to go ahead with a purchase of the Joyeuse Tubereuse as well.  So off to the bee bottles…

Of course, you can purchase the perfumes in their original bottles, but how many times do you have the opportunity to have your very own customized bee bottle?  Alberto and Melina led me over to the display case where I picked out a lovely green bottle for the Joyeuse Tubereuse and a grey bottle for the Chamade.  The next task was for me to decide what to have etched on the bottle.  I chose for both, a simple font of my initials.  The bottles were then placed in the etching machine and given to the technicians.  Here, the technicians suited up in sterilized robes and gloves prepared the bottles for filling.  First, they cleaned the bottles out with alcohol and then with a small amount of the perfume and then filled the bottles, recording on the bottom the perfume batch information.  These ladies were masterful in their handling of the product and it was so fun to be able to witness their skills.

One of the things that I was not thrilled about with the bee bottles is that they’re only available in splash.  Not to worry, for each perfume I was given a 30 ml refillable spray bottle and funnel.  And too boot, as part of the purchase I was given a free gift of a suede fringe purse…not really my thing, but it’s beautiful and it will make for a fabulous present for someone special.

The technician’s ended up wrapping up my new treasures in the most beautiful of way and after sharing hugs we ventured off on our way.  This truly was a fun and wonderful experience.  The customer service from Alberto and Melina and staff was exceptional and I left feeling like I had some new friends.  I cannot wait to head back to Mexico City….in fact I wish I would have purchased a bottle of my beloved Chamade in parfum extrait….but that just means that I’ll have to go back sooner than later.  Thanks Guerlain, for making Mexico City just that much more wonderfully perfumed.

JOYEUSE TUBÉREUSE REVIEW – 

WHAT I SMELL:  Joyeuse Tubéreuse opens with freshest of green stems.  The perfume is soft, pretty and feels like dew that’s sitting on top of the morning’s fresh cut flowers.  A tinge of lily starts off the fresh introduction of florals with the mildest of tuberose coming in slowly.  There’s nothing harsh with the pretty white florals; instead they glide in effortlessly and remain in the most delicate of state.  Still dewy, the perfume brings promise of a beautiful spring day ahead.  As the perfume develops, the tuberose begins to take it’s place as the quiet focus of the perfume and the perfume begins to lightly warm with the softest of vanilla.  Joyeuse Tubéreuse makes wearing tuberose and easy joy with its soft and light touch.

From the Guerlain website:

An airy and radiant tuberose. Exquisitely innocent, amazingly fresh.  Floral green.
Top notes: green notes.
Heart notes: tuberose, lily, sambac jasmine.
Base notes: sandalwood, vetiver, vanilla.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A fresh and dewy spring morning.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE JOYEUSE TUBÉREUSE:  Soft, serene, fresh

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT JOYEUSE TUBÉREUSE:  CaFleureBon, The Black Narcissus, Stephan Matthews

BOTTOM LINE:  Joyeuse Tubéreuse is a simple perfume…simply lovely.  But that’s part of it’s charm.  It doesn’t take you on a ride of development. Instead, it eases you into a spring day in the most perfect of way.

  • Bone Rating: 4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral
  • Classification:  Leans feminine
  • Expense: $260 for 2.5 oz. eau de parfum


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Vintage Guerlain Chamade Eau de Cologne

I love living in my adopted country of Mexico, but will wholeheartedly admit that one of the downsides of living in this beautiful country is the access to perfume.  Mexicans love their perfume; when you walk down the street everyone leaves behind a trail of perfumed bliss.  That said, you can find the standard department store fragrances without issue, but anything out of the ordinary (niche or high end) is impossible to get, at least here in the Yucatan.  And forget shipping from overseas, Mexico, like many countries, does not allow for the shipment of “flammable liquids.”  So yes, getting the latest and greatest new releases in a timely manner is something that I have had to learn to live without.

Another thing I miss is the ability shop on eBay.  Instead, here they have a similar site called MercadoLibre.  But perfume shopping is pretty much limited to the same perfumes found in the stores.  Of course, that doesn’t keep me from scanning the site every now and then just as I did the other day.  To my surprise, someone was selling an unopened bottle vintage bottle of Guerlain Chamade Eau de Cologne.  They said the bottle was 200 ml and in researching pricing, I found it to be a pretty good deal.  So I thought what the heck, this doesn’t happen every day and I have never ordered anything from MercadoLibre, so I went for it.  The shipper said they would ship “next day,” but I have to admit I was skeptical.  Two days after placing my order, a heavy box arrived from Mexico City.  I opened the box which was packed perfectly and found the largest bottle of perfume I had ever seen.  My first thought is that it was a factice, but once I put my nose up to the stopper I could clearly smell that it was indeed perfume.  The perfume didn’t come with a box, and the size was not labeled on the bottle.  After some research it was determined that the bottle is a 16 oz. or 500 ml bottle….for the size, the purchase turned out to be an incredible deal.

For size comparison, the Vol de Nuit on the left is 3 oz. and the Mitsouko on the right is 1.7 oz.

I love my Guerlains with Vol de Nuit being one of my all time favorite perfumes, but I never really paid much attention to Chamade.  A light green floral is perfect for the hot weather here, but that doesn’t mean I would like the perfume.  So did I make a good purchase?

WHAT I SMELL: 

The beauty of Chamade is instantaneously revealed with it’s opening of bright sparkling aldehydes which quickly meld with a green stem-ladened hyacinth.  This is spring in a bottle…I picture bouncing lambs running on hills of green.  The opening of this perfume is utterly delightful and so incredibly pretty.  For being a vintage bottle that is most likely from the 1970s, the top notes are surprisingly intact.  The perfume stays in this greenish floral bliss for quite some time, but after some time its met with a layer of powder that smells like makeup.  After more time, the galbanum takes front and center as the perfume dries out and continues to powder.  The perfume is green without being too sharp and to me this makes this easier to wear.  And just when I thought the perfume couldn’t get any prettier, out comes a floral heart with rose at the center topped with a comforting smooth vanilla and sandalwood combination, which helps to cut the powdery green.  Here, the perfume moves from the spring to the more serious…or should I say more seriously beautifully refined and mature.

From the Guerlain website:

For the first time in perfumery, Guerlain introduced to a formula the green and fruity accent of blackcurrant bud, freshened with a green harmony of hyacinth. Lastly, this symphony is embellished with Guerlinade, which majestically showcases jasmine, vanilla and sandalwood.

One of these Easter lovelies is probably wearing Chamade…which one is it?

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Although launched in 1969, Chamade to me is quintessentially early to mid-1960s as it’s rooted in the past and not so much in the modern era of the time.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE CHAMADE:  springtime, happiness, contentment

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT CHAMADE:  Yesterday’s Perfume, Perfume Posse

BOTTOM LINE: Chamade, where have you been all of my life?  This perfume is so pretty and easy to wear that it might be one of those perfumes that just doesn’t get the love that it deserves.  As for me, I’ll continue to search on MercadoLibre for the parfum extrait version.  Chamade is truly a love.

  • Bone Rating: 4.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Fruity Floral Oriental
  • Nose:  Jean-Paul Guerlain
  • Classification: Leans feminine
  • Expense:  Varies for vintage


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Guerlain Nuit d’Amour

WHAT I SMELL:   Nuit d’Amour opens softly with lightly sweetened lychee fruitiness that swiftly blends with a touch of pink pepper and a softened rose that seems to be puffed with air floating underneath.   The perfume is rather dreamy and is surrounded in a cloudy haze that hovers over the perfumed skin.  Soon enough, a soft violet blends itself in the dreamy concoction.  But here the violet is less innocent, but more knowing and rather mature.  After a short time, a sandalwood begins to form as the base.  Never heavy, it makes the perfect resting place for the lightly warmed florals.  In the end, the perfume quiets even more, leaving you in a powdery haze of light florals wrapped in musky gauze.

From the Guerlain website:

Jean-Paul Guerlain created Nuit d’Amour as a tribute to Gustav Klimt and one of his works of art: “Lady with Hat and Feather Boa.” This floral, powdery and woody fragrance recalls the stirring emotion that might strike when you encounter an unknown woman with indefinable charm.

Powdery and Woody Floral.
Sweet, moving, feminine.
Top notes: lychee, pink pepper.
Heart notes: May rose, violet.
Base notes: sandalwood, white musks, iris.

Lady With Hat and Feather Boa – Gustav Klimt (1909)

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:   I can’t argue with Jean-Paul Guerlain’s inspiration of Gustav Klimt’s “Lady with Hat and Feather Boa.”

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE NUIT D’AMOUR:  reserved, refined, soft

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT NUIT D’AMOUR:  Bois de Jasmin, Australian Perfume Junkies

BOTTOM LINE:  I so much want to love this perfume.  It’s soft, it’s pretty, but there’s just not enough of it.  It’s much too restrained to command any affection from me.  That said, it’s really nice…just really nice and that’s a shame.

  • Bone Rating:  3 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Woody Floral
  • Nose:  Jean Paul Guerlain
  • Classification:  Feminine
  • Expense:  125 ml Eau de Parfum.  Exclusively at Guerlain Boutiques as part of the Les Parisiennes collection.