The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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The Scented Hound’s 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

christmas-packagesLets face it, 2016 has been a strange and challenging year not just in the US, but all around the world.  I’m not saying that shopping is the answer to making the world go away, but a little retail therapy and some good holiday cheer can go a long way.  So let’s celebrate the holidays with some fantastic gifts that will help make all good boys and girls (and maybe some bad ones) forget their troubles and cares!

EXCLUSIVE SCENTED HOUND OFFER FROM SOLID STATE COLOGNE

solid-state-cologneWhen it comes to the beauty industry, men tend to be left out in the dust.  Solid State Cologne has created a line of exceptional solid colognes just for men.  Besides smelling terrific, they are also affordable and easy to use because of their portability.  So when you’re out on the town and need a fragrance pick me up or if travelling and don’t have a lot of room to pack up your fragrances, the Solid State Colognes are the perfect antidote.  And since they are so affordable, it’s a great way to move your tween or teenager away from the body sprays to a quality product that they will love to wear and will be the envy of their friends.

dopp-kitThis holiday, Solid State Cologne is offering a special deal for The Scented Hound’s readers.  For a 50% reduction in price for just under $120, they are offering a collection of six colognes along with a denim dopp kit!  How can you beat that?  Give all six along with the bag to one special person, or parse out the six for stocking stuffers to all of the special men in your life (and maybe keep the bag for yourself!).  In any case this is a win-win all around.  The following are the amazing colognes which are included in the package:

Aviator – Striking notes of citrus and labdanum mellow into woody tones to take you from day to night, ground to flight.

Freshman – A balanced blend of sea breeze and citrus, nuanced notes of floral and spice, with a base of warm cedar.

Wayfarer – A confident, heady fusion of tobacco leaf, tonka bean, cacao and sweet vanilla with notes of wood and spice.

Drifter – Fresh notes of mandarine and ginger settle into a floral bouquet with warm, woody nuances for a captivating scent.

Cruiser – Refreshing citrus notes develop into a spicy, floral blend while woody nuances provide a masculine edge.

Journeyman – A refreshing hint of Mandarine meets a base of warm cedar, while a rich blend of spice adds interest and intrigue.

Even if you don’t want all six colognes, you can buy them individually for under $30 a pop.  The new release Drifter is my favorite in the line with an easy 4 bones rating… but I’m keeping that all for myself.  For more information on Solid State Colognes, check out my review on several of their colognes.

For more information on this incredible deal, go to the exclusive Scented Hound Solid State Cologne webpage.  And if you sign up for their mailing list you’ll get even greater savings.   Please note that this offer is open to all readers across the globe.   This deal is HUGE!!!

PUREDISTANCE GIFT BOX

puredistance-gift-boxI make no bones about my love for Puredistance Perfumes.  One of my all time favorite perfumes is the exquisitely beautiful White.  But all of their perfumes, including their latest release Sheiduna, are each works of art and the utmost in fine perfumery.  This year, the Puredistance team is offering several specials; my favorite is the gift box set that contains a 60 ml bottle of your favorite Puredistance perfume, with an added bonus of a 17.5 ml bottle of your choice of a the same or any of the other perfumes.  All this for the price of a normal 60 ml bottle.  The question is, what to purchase?!  Me…I would go with the 60 ml bottle of White and a 17.5 bottle of Opardu or I…geez…it’s just too hard to pick one!!

For this and all of the other Puredistance Perfumes special offerings check out their recently updated website.

JO MALONE SCENTED CERAMIC CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT

jo-malone-london-christmas-collections_scented-ornamentJo Malone is doing Christmas right.  They have so many wonderful options for celebrating the holidays that can either fit under the tree or in this case fit on the tree.  This scented ceramic ornament is infused with the fragrance of pine and eucelyptus…and the best part, it’s only $35.  You can order this special treat through the Jo Malone website.  And while your there, check out all of the other holiday gift offerings they have.

 

LALIQUE BUCOLIQUE PERFUME BOTTLE

bucoliqueperfumeThis incredibly beautiful perfume bottle would easily make the perfect centerpiece for your perfume tray collection.  Is there anything more glamorous than the crystal beautify that only Lalique can offer?  From the Crystal Classics website:

The Bucolique collection offers a touch of freshness that takes us to a dreamlike state of nature, answering a need for authenticity and well-being with the motif of the dandelion and the dragonfly. Its aerial grace offers us an innocent poetry. The dandelion bears many different names- flower of handsome men, golden floweret and king of the meadows. It was born from the dust raised by the chariot of the Sun. The evolutionary pattern is never the same but never totally different.

When I first came across this bottle, I thought the cost would be astronomical, but surprisingly it offered at an amazing price of $450.   Available from Crystal Classics.

MAD ET LEN TERRE NOIRE RESIN CRYSTALS

potpourri-resin-crystals-500x500If you’re like me, you have scented candles and diffusers scattered throughout the house.  For some of the small places, like guest bathrooms, I prefer to use scented stones are resins simply because diffusers can get knocked over and lit candles in a small area can be a bit unnerving.  Mad et Len offers these beautiful amber resin crystals that come with a 30 ml bottle of Terre Noir scented liquid to keep the crystals continually freshened.

From the Twisted Lily website:

Amber resin crystal potpourri housed in a one-of-a-kind blackened iron vessels. Includes a 30ml bottle of Terre Noire scented liquid to refresh crystals. Embers dance like fireflies in the night, hover through a heavy fog, over damp earth darker than the shadow of the night.

Beautiful and unique, this scented gift would make anyone happy.  Available from Twisted Lily for $145.

 

best-book-scented-candles-and-perfumesBOOK SCENTED CANDLES

I have found that books and perfume go together.  And I think that many perfumistas feel the same way.  As we move more towards our e-books, we are losing that old world comfort in the scent of books.  Luckily there are many candles out there that can provide the long-lost fragrance of books without requiring you to have to re-create an old world library.  The folks at eBooks Friendly have provided a list of 30 book scented candles.  I’m sure there’s one on this list that will tickle your fancy.  For more information go to the eBook Friendly website.

 

KEEP CALM WEAR PERFUME MERCHANDISE

keep-calm-wear-perfumeIt’s probably not a secret to your family, friends and even coworkers that you love perfume.  So why hide that love under a bushel when you can wear it on your body.  The Keep Calm phenomenon keeps on giving, even to the world of perfume.  If you’re not interested in a t-shirt, you can put this on a mug or a plethora of other items.  Shine on perfume lover!  The many products and associated prices can be found on the Keep Calm-O-Matic website.

 

keychainPERFUME BOTTLE KEYCHAIN

Great for your budding perfumista, this inexpensive, but bling filled keychain may be just the thing for your stylish girly-girl.  Who doesn’t love pink, sparkles and perfume?  You can buy this from Moxie Retailer for a mere $16.95!

 

The last two selections for gift giving fall outside the world of fragrance…but like with books and perfumistas, I have found that cats and perfumistas go hand in hand as well.  And that goes for me too…suprisingly I don’t have any dogs, but instead have two cats.  So let’s see what cat related items will make perfect gifts this season…

cat-night-lightCAT NIGHT LIGHT

How cute is this USB charging night light?  You can have your personal kitty night light glow in the dark in a peaceful white light, or in vibrant colors.  When I have to get up to get a glass of milk in the middle of the night, I would love to see this cute kitty greeting me along the way.  And the best part is that it’s only $14.93 from Rosegal.com.  What will you name your new feline friend?

CAT BONNET

cat-bonnet-tabby_grandeFinally, my holiday selection of gift would not be complete with something from Archie McPhee.  This year’s gift is all about nostalgia and bringing back the good old days via Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Don’t you want to share those good old days with your kitty?  Do you think your cat is more of a Laura, Mary or possibly even a Nellie Olson?  There’s only one way to find out and that’s by purchasing for your kitty their very own bonnet.   You have no excuse not to buy this as it’s only $5.95?!  This, plus many more fun gifts are available via the Archie McPhee website!

CHANEL NO. 5 L’EAU

chanel-no-5-leauOK…so I lied.  We’re going to end the list with another perfume related gift.  Out of the many, many new releases, I found one to be just perfect for wearing in a no fuss, no muss manner.  It’s just the right perfume for when you’re not sure what you want to wear, or when you don’t want to overthink what to put on.  I love these wonderful classic catch-all fragrances…and Chanel No. 5 L’eau just fits the bill.  And thankfully, it’s not too expensive or too hard to find.  This is a flanker to love!  For more information, go to the Chanel website or your local fine retailer.

Happy Shopping and Happy Holidays from The Scented Hound!


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Revisiting Jo Malone: Dark Amber & Ginger Lily and Amber & Patchouli

amber-patchouliLast week I reviewed my first Jo Malone fragrance, Wild Bluebell,  and was completely underwhelmed not only with the fragrance itself, but with the way the fragrances don’t speak to me via their marketing or their store presence.  After some prodding by others, I was told to give the Jo Malone line another chance, specifically their Cologne Intense line.   Since I had to return a purchase to my local Nordstrom store this weekend, I thought it would be a good opportunity to check out some of the other Jo Malone fragrances.  Surprisingly, my local Nordstrom store has a large space dedicated to Jo Malone, but I still don’t find their display captivating as it is quite sterile and uniform.  After giving a few sniffs of the various Cologne Intense fragrances on paper, I settled on samples of the Dark Amber & Ginger Lily and Amber & Patchouli.

Dark AmberDARK AMBER & GINGER LILY – 

WHAT I SMELL: Opens with an astringent cardamom, which then quickly lightens and sweetens with an almost buttery undertone.  Funny, the sweetness only stays for a minute and then it evens out into this wonderful ginger with the cardamom sitting beneath almost smelling like cedar.  After about 10 minutes Dark Amber & Ginger Lily becomes very light but with a nice warm amber base, with a hint of incense.  This is nice, but very light and close to the skin.  After around 20 minutes the fragrance doesn’t morph much, but it really is lovely in its light presence.

From Fragrantica:

Dark Amber & Ginger Lily includes aromas of black cardamom, ginger and pink pepper in the top notes; the middle notes are jasmine, orchid, water lily and rose; while the base notes encompass leather, sandalwood, kyara incense, patchouli, black amber.

hintsoffallWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A hint of Fall.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE DARK AMBER & GINGER LILY: meditative, mellow, peaceful

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT DARK AMBER & GINGER LILY:  Call it Beauty, Perfume Posse, The Scented Salamander

  • Bone Rating: 3 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent:  Oriental Woody
  • Classification:  Marketed to women, but easily worn by a man
  • Expense:  $145 for 100ml Cologne Intense

AMBER & PATCHOULI – 

WHAT I SMELL:  Opens with a big astringent blast of patchouli.  The patchouli is sweet, not earthy and rather pretty. After a few minutes you can detect a bit of sour guaiac wood which starts to pull some of the moisture out of the fragrance making this more woody… and woody in the way of the smell of old barn planks.   But that quickly moves to the background as the sweet patchouli takes center stage… with the amber and the wood keeping this dry and slightly powdery and flattened in a linear sense.

From Fragrantica:

Amber & Patchouli is a rich woody – spicy scent of amber, patchouli and guaiac wood.

patentleatherWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  The perfumed cotton/silk lining of a 1960s patent leather coat.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE AMBER & PATCHOULI :   semi-sweet, semi-musty, pretty

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT AMBER & PATCHOULI  The Scent Critic, London Makeup Girl

  • Bone Rating: 3 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent:  Oriental Woody
  • Classification:  Unisex
  • Expense:  $145 for 100ml Cologne Intense

BOTTOM LINE:   Will these two fragrances make me run to Jo Malone in the future?  Probably not.  But they also won’t make me discount the line as a whole either.  Nicely done Jo Malone!


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Wild Bluebell by Jo Malone

wildbluebell2I don’t get Jo Malone.  I never did.  Every time I walk by the Jo Malone counter at Nordstrom I just continue to walk on by.  I can’t tell if it’s the bottles, the labels or the fact that they just look linen clean and rather boring.  In any case, I was glad when the wonderful Undina sent me a couple of samples so that I could give this line a try.  I hope I can test this without a prejudiced view but with an open mind.  We’ll see…

WHAT I SMELL: Wild Bluebell opens with astringent aldehydes that burned by nose… uh, oh…my first impression is “bathtastic.”  In this case it’s not because it smells soapy, but instead because it smells like something that should be used as bath beads or bath oil or some other “in the tub” kind of product.  What Wild Bluebell smells exactly like is …Lily of the Valley.  So much so that I’m not sure why this isn’t called Lily of the Valley instead.   It’s kind of sweet, kind of leafy green and very clean.  Thankfully, there is a nice light musk base that gives this fragrance some needed depth.

Wild Bluebell notes from Fragrantica:

Top notes: bluebell and cloves 
Heart: lily of the valley, jasmine, rose hip 
Base: white amber and musk

bathproductsWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  bath products

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE WILD BLUEBELL: girlish, simple, clean

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT WILD BLUEBELL: The Sunday Girl, London MakeUp Girl, A Touch of Blusher

BOTTOM LINE:   Not my thing.  I like women’s perfume, but this seems very fresh face girlish to me.  It’s safe, a bit dull and just too clean.  Jo Malone recommends that you try layering their fragrances.  Since I also received a sample of Orange Blossom, I decided to give this layering a go ahead.  Surprisingly Wild Bluebell actually improved with the layering, but not enough to get me to change my mind.  Sorry Undina, I know you love Jo Malone and please don’t think that I’m not grateful for the samples, I am.  This just means that there will be much more Jo Malone for you. 😉

  • Bone Rating: 2.5 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent:  Floral Green
  • Classification:  Unisex but leans feminine
  • Expense:  Approximately $60 for 30ml EdC from the Jo Malone website