The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


Maison Francis Kurkdjian – Aqua Celestia Cologne forte

WHAT I SMELL:  Aqua Celestia Cologne forte’s first spritz is a very fresh sparkling bergamot that’s fizzy and lightly sweet and tart at the same time.  Quickly, a blackberry note joins the bergamot, or I should say, sits on top of the bergamot because it feels layered as if they’re part of a fruit parfait.  The perfume is clean and bright, so much so that even if you were a little sweaty and hot from the day, the perfume would make you feel like you just stepped out of the shower.  The blackberry note continues to grow as the bergamot begins to fade into the background.   As the bergamot recedes, a fruit infused jasmine highlighted by peach comes in to take its place.  The fruit is bright and just so slightly juicy, but not enough to add any weight to the perfume.  As it continues to develop, a sandalwood pencil shaving note appears adding just the right amount of depth to bring this light and bright beauty back to the earth.  In the end, Aqua Celestia Cologne forte rests in a wonderfully light musky floral haze that’s ever so easy to love and easy to wear.

From the Maison Francis Kurkdjian website:

The bergamot becomes tinged with the fruity notes of blackcurrant, mimosa (with its raspberry and blackberry facets), and jasmine (strawberry, apricot and peach accents), before gradually melting into the mellowness of a fruity musky accord. Aqua Celestia Cologne forte releases a bright, crystal-clear aura and offers a flight towards the horizon.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Picking berries in the cool sweet morning air.



BOTTOM LINE:  The great thing about the Maison Francis Kurkdjian perfumes is that they are so easy to wear and many have this crisp clean finish that is impossible not to like.  Aqua Celestia Cologne forte (which is an eau de parfum) is no exception.

Aqua Celstica Cologne forte was released this year along with two other perfumes for a trio of Cologne fortes.  The following are my abbreviated impressions of the other two in the collection:

Aqua Vitae Cologne forte:  An inviting perfume that is perfectly delightful with the prettiest of florals that are topped with a mandarin orange.  I would call this a warm perfume that would be perfect for wearing even in the heat of summer.  Another 4 bones from me as it’s really lovely.

Aqua Universalis Cologne forte:  To me, this is the least interesting of the three perfumes.  Comprised of citrus and white muted flowers, it’s not bright, nor pretty, but rather salty and musky.  3 bones.

Samples courtesy of Twisted Lily Fragrance Boutique and Apothecary.


A Perfume Made for Valentine’s Day: Baccarat Rouge 540 by Maison Francis Kurkdjian


WHAT I SMELL:  Baccarat Rouge 540 opens with a striking warm and luxurious jasmine that feels soaked and saturated with saffron.  It’s heady, exotic, spicy and mysterious.  It’s also incredibly sexy and erotic.  There’s a very slight incense and smoke that feels like an extinguished candle that moves off the skin.  And the perfume itself seems to live a couple of inches off of the body.  After some time, a woody base which was there all along, comes more to the forefront, with the radiant jasmine and saffron still pulsating.  As the perfume continues to develop, the perfume becomes more of an ambered spice.  In the end, the fragrance evens itself out and your left with a nicely spiced and lightly sweetened cedar and amber perfume that lingers with the memory of the passionate flame that burned when the perfume first hit the skin.

From the Maison Francis Kurkdjian website:

Luminous and sophisticated, Baccarat Rouge 540 lays on the skin like an amber, floral and woody breeze. A poetic alchemy. A graphic and highly condensed signature.

Notes:  Jasmine, Saffron, Cedar wood, Ambergris


Marilyn Red Velvet, 1949

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A sexy and erotic boudoir scent.


WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT BACCARAT ROUGE 540:  No reviews to be found outside comments on Fragrantica.

BOTTOM LINE:  Baccarat Rouge 540 is a collaboration between Maison Francis Kurkdjian and Baccarat, to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the iconic crystal house.  As such, I was expecting a big, bold and proper perfume.  Instead, I found the perfume to be highly sensual, and erotic…which makes this the perfect perfume to tempt your Valentine with.

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Oriental Floral
  • Nose: Francis Kurkdjian
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $300 for 70 ml Eau de Parfum

Sample courtesy of Twisted Lily Fragrance Boutique and Apothecary


À la rose by Maison Francis Kurkdjian


WHAT I SMELL: À la rose has a sparkling opening with clean and bright citrus mixed with violet and the freshness of green.  I love the fact that the opening is incredibly cheerful with an unassuming easiness about it.  In addition, there’s a nice light powder that dusts the perfume; and strange as it seems, the perfume is both cool and warm at the same time.  The rose in the perfume starts to come forward, but in a tender and soft way without any harsh turns or nuances.  There’s a bit of a “bathtastic” aspect to the perfume, but not so much that it feels like soap.  Overall, the perfume doesn’t transform all that much, but instead maintains this soft, clean floral warmth that is close to the skin and incredibly inviting.

From the Maison Francis Kurkdjian website:

Damascena rose from Bulgaria – bergamot from Calabria – orange from California – violet – magnolia blossom – cedar wood – musk – centifolia rose from Grasse

À la rose is an ode to femininity, a declaration of love captured in a fragrance. Two hundred and fifty precious roses from Grasse offer their radiance and their unmatched richness in every flacon.

victorianlady1WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A Victorian woman sitting at her dressing table getting ready for the beautiful spring day ahead.


WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT À LA ROSE: Kafkaesque, Colognoisseur, The Women’s Room

BOTTOM LINE: À la rose is not an earth shattering perfume.  What it is though, is a lovely, soft and thoughtful rose beauty.

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Floral
  • Classification: Feminine
  • Expense: $245 for 2.5 oz. eau de parfum

Sample courtesy of Arielle Shoshana.