The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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New Release: Rrose Sélavy by Maria Candida Gentile

rrose_fla_fronteWHAT I SMELL:  Rrose Sélavy has a very herbal opening with a minted tarragon sitting on top of a vibrant deep and masculine rose.  I don’t want to say that the opening is discordant, but its incredibly different and unique in a way that makes you to wonder where this perfume path is going to lead you.   After a few minutes, a mentholated and camphorous warmth helps to give the perfume a pulsating heart.  Here the perfume feels beautifully earthy as if there’s a great story that accompanies the wearer of the fragrance.  The perfume is deep, warm, slightly spicy and completely herbal and a little goes a long way as the projection is quite big, but it still manages to remain down to earth.  Even though this is a rose perfume, there’s something so darkly mysterious and beautiful about it that belies my vision of a rose.  In the end, Rrose Sélavy quiets considerably, leaving you with a faint wisp of a creamy rose that feels as if it’s holding a secret.

From the Maria Candida Gentile website:

A Velvet rose, persistent and unique, dedicated to one of the leading artist of Dadaism: a homage to Marcel Duchamp and to his “double” Rrose Sélavy.

 Rrose Sélavy

Rrose Sélavy

With Rrose Sélavy Maria Candida interprets the “double” of Marcel Duchamp, and his jeux des mots Rrose Sélavy which sounds in French like “eros, c’est la vie”, or “arroser la vie”, to make a toast to life. Maria Candida pays tribute to Duchamp, making a toast to life with her velvet, soft, fresh, just harvested, with its olfactory vibration, which fill the air and the space, tridimensional just like his art crafts. The name Sélavy emerged in 1921 in a series of photographs by Man Ray of Duchamp dressed as a woman. Through the 1920s, Man Ray and Duchamp collaborated on more photos of Sélavy. Duchamp later used the name as the byline on written material and signed several creations with it.

Notes:  Rose petals, Turkish rose, May rose , Rose accord, Michelle rose, Rose stems, Rose leaves

Victorian ParlorWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A Victorian parlor, full of the non-air conditioned worn wood, rugs, upholstery and books – it’s earthy, natural and comforting.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE RROSE SÉLAVY:  herbal, mentholated, meditative

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT RROSE SÉLAVY: Colognoisseur, perfumesilove

BOTTOM LINE:  As I have said in the past, Maria Candida Gentile’s perfumes have a very MCG distinct fingerprint that is all hers.  Rrose Sélavy is no exception.  I find that you either really love her perfumes or you don’t and that there’s not a lot of in between.  I really like her creations, they’re bold, different and incredibly unique and to me, this take on rose is wonderfully unexpected.  Rrose Sélavy is a masculine perfume that melds to the feminine in the end and it perfectly fits the inspiration; the alter ego of Marcel Duchamp, Rrose Sélavy.

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Floral
  • Nose: Maria Candida Gentile
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $195 for 100 ml or $49 for 15 ml Parfum Extrait

Sample courtesy of Twisted Lily Fragrance Boutique and Apothecary.  Opinion my own.


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New Release: Elephant & Roses by Maria Candida Gentile

MPG Elephant Rose

WHAT I SMELL: Elephant & Roses opens softly with a wonderfully herbal thyme that is sweetened so slightly with osmanthus.  The perfume is light, soft and reassuring and unique in that it doesn’t start off with an oft seen bergamot or citrus blast.  After a few minutes, a warmth from the amber develops and it helps to push-off the herbal and floral notes, lifting them up from the ground and sending them flying towards the sky.  The rose begins to come towards the center, but it’s a lightly earthy rose that is anything but sweet and it’s very tender in its existence.  As tender as the perfume is, an anamalic note begins to appear to give the perfume some wonderful depth and a bit more of an exotic feel…which was already exotic from the beginning.  A vetiver and musk note brings the perfume to a more linear base, but helps to keep the perfume, soft, comforting and lightly radiant.

From the Maria Candida Gentile website:

A late afternoon, sitting at my desk, exercising to recreate an elephant smell, while writing my perfume formulae I had a kind of a vision, which merged the elephant’s image, its smell and a large field of roses, of an intense colour, almost fuchsia. Within this vision the elephants were running and, trampling on the roses, were dispersing a scent of flowers, mixed together with the strong smell of their bodies. Slowly – while I was weighing and smelling my formula – after trying it on my skin I realised that it was mine. I used the Turkish rose: this fragrance is derived from the blending of two different formulae, using the so called “dans le tiroir” method, by which I merged animal notes with skin and floral ones.

Name’s origin :  The elephant comes from a remembrance of Indian and African colonies, and the rose is the British rose. An encounter between an elephant and the roses has got some British sense of humour. There is an assonance with London district Elephant & Castle.

Top notes:  Thyme, Custus, Osmanthus
Heart notes:  Rose, Jasmine, Grey Amber
Base notes:  Java vetiver, Sandal wood, Animal accord

Rose Elephant

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  I can’t argue with the perfume’s name and inspiration, it makes for a lovely visual.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE ELEPHANT & ROSES: comforting, herbal-infused, personal

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT ELEPHANT & ROSES: Colognoisseur

BOTTOM LINE:  I am a big fan of Maria Candida Gentile perfumes.  They are all distinctively hers and this perfume is no exception.  Elephant & Roses is less of a “rose” perfume than and herbal floral arrangement and would be a good rose perfume for those who don’t want to smell like a fragrant bouquet of sweet roses.

  • Bone Rating:  3 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Aromatic
  • Nose: Maria Candida Gentile
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $185 for 100 ml or $45 for 15 ml eau de parfum

Sample courtesy of Twisted Lily Fragrance Boutique and Apothecary


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Maria Candida Gentile Syconium

syconium_fla_rendWHAT I SMELL:  Syconium opens with a lightly warm and slightly creamy milk and honeyed fig.  The perfume is so lovely transparent that it invites you to breathe in the airy, but juicy aroma.  Fig can greatly overpower a perfume, but so far, what you get here is this gauze like film of a fig that hovers over this sheer honey accord.  It’s almost like walking outside and getting a whiff of a beautiful scent that wisps past your nose, but you look for the source but can’t find where it’s coming from, it just floats along in the air.  After around 10 minutes, the perfume becomes a bit more waxy which gives it slightly more depth, but it continues to remain light and radiant.  After another 10 minutes, the fragrance begins to project with a warmed sandalwood which beefs up the waxy and lightly sugared fig.  The fig in this perfume feels very natural and not manufactured which makes it that much more inviting.  The fragrance doesn’t morph as much as it builds and in the end your left with the most lush, milky and creamy fig that’s warm, soothing and comforting.

Syconium is the ripening of the fig, the best expression of what nature has to offer in the form of fruit, the richness of the flavour and of the perfume that are brought to us by a tree close to us since the earliest times. The pulp but also the milk, the peel, the scorching sun and the shadow of the great leaves.
Top notes: Honey, Milk
Heart notes: Fig
Base notes:  Java Sandal Wood

Balcony Garden

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  The prettiest balcony garden with the wafting scent of the fig coming from below. It’s like your own special private secret garden; so safe and secure.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE SYCONIUM: milky, peaceful, comforting

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT SYCONIUM:  Ye Olde Civet Cat

BOTTOM LINE:  Syconium is one of three perfumes in the Maria Candida Gentile “Flight of the Bumblebee Collection”, along with Kitrea and Leuco.  All of the creations in this collection are wonderful, but this dreamy fig creation is my favorite of the three and perfect for the coming long hot summer months.

  • Bone Rating:  4.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Beeswax
  • Nose:  Maria Candida Gentile
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $185 for 100 ml Eau de Parfum; but also available for $45 for the 15 ml travel size (thank you MCG for offering these smaller sizes with your perfumes!)