The Scented Hound

Perfume blog with abbreviated perfume reviews & fragrance reviews.


Observations from the Dominican Republic

The view from our balcony!

Back to life, back to reality!  We had a wonderful 9 days in the Dominican Republic.  We spent our time in the beach town of Las Terrenas on the Samana Peninsula.  It’s a beautiful place that is a bit off the beaten path; not the typical US “all-inclusive” destination that tends to be sanitized.  As such, Las Terranas is a working town were you experience the locals living the island life.  In fact, we didn’t run into any American’s on our trip except for one restaurant owner who grew up in Brooklyn, but went back to the island to live with his relatives.   Coming back makes you realize how sterile of an environment we live in…I could live there in a heartbeat.

Our new friend Bonita

Once we got settled in, we forgot what day of the week it was.  Mornings started off with a wonderful breakfast at the hotel (where we made friends with 2 cats which we decided to name Bonita and Plantaina), then a walk on the beach, then lazy time on the beach or by the pool and then afternoon exploration.  Then finally, a wonderful meal in town (we didn’t have a bad meal anywhere we went).  And we did eat and eat and eat.  Where else could you get a full lobster for lunch for $10!??  Living was real hard as you can see.

Here are just a few of my observations from our trip:

  1. We need to learn Spanish.  We always seem to go on vacation to a Spanish-speaking country.  Our resolution for this coming year is to learn the language!
  2. I want to be exotic.  The Dominican people are beautiful and have wonderful dispositions.  Being from the midwest doesn’t lend itself to being exotic.
  3. Chelsea Handler is the funniest damn writer.  I read 2 of her books on the beach.  They’re easy reads, but it’s been a long time since I have laughed out loud while reading a book.
  4. I must have a kind face.  If there was somebody selling something on the beach, they would come to me and not my husband.  And one afternoon we were having a drink at a bar on the beach and a very attractive prostitute asked me if I wanted company.  Of course, I told her no!
  5. I love being a princess.  We went to the hotel’s spa and treated ourselves to a Turkish bath and body scrub, facial and massage.   I’m ready for doing that again a week later!
  6. Fragrances are very different in a tropical environment.  I have to admit since it was so hot (but not horribly humid), I got lazy with my fragrance application.  I brought a lot of samples, but really only tested one, Reflection by Amouage.  It was OK, but to be honest did not really leave me with an impression.  Other fragrance observations include:
  • My signature scent at the beach was Azemour les Orangers; the lovely orange citrus worked very well in the heat.  I wore it almost every day.
  • Two of my other Parfum d’Empire favorites did not fare as well.  Eau Suave became horribly heavy and cloying and Iskander just fell flat.
  • Amouage’s Dia was worn once and all I got was leather, which I didn’t when I tested it previously.  The leather was not right for the beach.
  • My hubby put on MFK’s Lumiere Noire once night and it smelled incredible.  I liked it when I tested it, but on him it was magnificent.  This might be on his Christmas list!
  • I wanted to find a great buy at the Duty Free shops, but all of the offerings were the standard department store fare.  Boring.

Getting back into the swing of things since the trip has been challenging at best, but I am slowly getting back in the groove.  Today however, I took off work so I could go to the doctor to get all of my shots for African Safari trip scheduled for February! Yea! (that yea is for the trip, not for the 5 shots I received!)


Parfum d’Empire’s Azemour les Orangers and Eau Suave – Lots to Love

I am officially declaring my love for the Parfum d’Empire fragrances.  It started with my receipt of the complete line of the Parfum d’Empire sample collection a while back.  If you haven’t checked this out yet, they offer their full line at an incredibly reasonable cost on their website.  If it wasn’t for having those samples here, I would not be making this declaration today.  For those of you in the business, please note that offering samples at a low cost will entice perfume lovers like myself to buy your samples – which then will lead to full bottle purchases!

OK, let me first start by saying that summer has officially come to Washington DC.  For the last 3 days, it has been up in the 90s and incredibly humid.  And since it hasn’t been this warm since last summer, my body still has not acclimated to the weather.  Luckily I had my new summer fragrance purchase, Iskander which I used generously for a couple of days.  A fresh shower + a spritz of Iskander = perfection..almost like the perfect ice-cube for your perfect summer cocktail.

As I completed my yard work and decided to get some work done cleaning up my office,  I started going through my mess of samples and thought that Parfum d’ Empire’s Azemour les Orangers sounded like a nice summer companion to Iskander.  I was right, another great summer fit.

The bottom line is this; Marc-Antoine Corticchiato has created some of the most luxurious and wearable scents that I have found.  There’s something for everybody and what I have noticed is that his fragrances will take me out of my comfort zones in what I like.  I’m not a fan of leather scents, but I love Cuir Ottoman.  I would have never guessed that I would like a scent like Fougere Bengale and its curried spiciness.  And then I fell in love with Eau Suave, a fragrance meant for women.   So far I have either liked or loved all of the Parfum d’ Empire scents.  I have to tell you, when the next Parfum d’Empire fragrance launches, I’ll be one of the first to grab up a sample.  Now, on to my new loves:

Azemour les Orangers

Azemour les Orangers’ opening is like peeling a sweet and juicy orange.  One that when you peel it back the zesty spray of the juice flies up in the air and hits you in the face.  It’s what you crave on a hot summer day when basking out in the sun all day.  But wait, as refreshing as the opening is, Azemour les Orangers then twists and turns with hints of coriander and a luscious oaky moss.  This is a beautiful summer scent that doesn’t just bask in its freshness.  It’s like a garden.  You walk down a path to discover the various fruits, flowers, herbs and other delights along the way.  If there was only one wish that I could make for this scent is that the longevity and sillage were a little bit better.  In any case, I don’t mind spritzing myself with this lovely fragrance throughout the day.  This is a scent for both sexes and it wears this role well.  Azemour les Orangers is going on my wishlist (the way my wishlists go, that means I’ll be owning a bottle soon :))

Azemour les Orangers Notes:

orange, clementine, tangerine, grapefruit, coriander, cumin, black pepper, pink pepper, blackcurrant, galbanum, neroli, geranium, orange blossom, rose, hay, moss, henna and cypres

  • Bone Rating:   4 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent:  Fruity Chypre
  • Classification:  Unisex
  • Expense:  $75 for 50ml EDP

Eau Suave

Sometimes in the world of fragrance, the words masculine and feminine are just that…words.  Eau Suave is marketed to women.  I don’t care.  I love it.  I crave it.  This all started when I was thinking about all of the samples that I have that are meant for women.  What should I do with them?  Give them away?  Trade them?  Then one night I thought, hell, why don’t I just spritz some on before I go to bed.  A lovely feminine fragrance would be just fine for bedtime.  Eau Suave was the first feminine scent that I tried this new practice with.  And I fell, and fell hard. Eau Sauve is a lovely warm and intoxicating rose chypre scent.  It’s never too sweet and never too rosy.  In fact, I think floral, not roses when I put this on.  This fragrance has just enough coriander and musk to help avoid a heavy and sweet floral composition.  A subtle spiciness and warmth, combined with the floral and berry ingredients make this a very personal and enveloping fragrance.  Every time I lift my wrist to my nose, I always find a new surprise.  Made for a woman…but I like it too.  So much so that it’s on my wishlist and we know what that means!

Eau Suave Notes:

pepper, coriander, saffron, Rose de Malmaison, apricot, raspberry, peach, vanilla and musk

  • Bone Rating:   5 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent:  Floral Chypre
  • Classification:  Feminine
  • Expense:  $75 for 50ml EDP


Iskander by Parfum d’Empire

Inspired by australianperfumejunkies review of some of the Parfum d’Empire line today, I decided to pull out some of my untested samples and give it a go.  Since summer is approaching, I thought I would try Iskander.  Lemony, citrus freshness in an initial blast, bright and sunny are how I would describe my first impressions with the scent.  There initially is almost a barber shop clean aspect to the Iskander.  Now I’m not typically a fan of citrus scents so I wonder if I’m going to like Iskander.  I find then that the initial citrus blast dissapates and out comes a very light spice, maybe the coriander?.  But I don’t consider this a spicy scent by any means. The fragrance soon mellows into a lovely warm, yet fresh, citrus, amber and oakmoss scent which evens out the initial sharpness of the scent.  The is an underlying tonality in this fragrance which is similar to the other Parfum d’Empire scents that I have tested; it’s a smooth and silky finish that I find incredibly luxurious. It sits at the scent’s base tying in all of the ingredients for a layer that blends so well on the skin.  I don’t know what this is, but so far the Parfum d’Empires scents that I have tried all are equaled in their beauty even though they are composed so differently.  I’m not sure yet, but I believe that Iskander might just be my 2012 summer scent.

Iskander Notes:

citron, mandarin, grapefruit, estragon, coriander, orange blossom, oakmoss, amber and musk

UPDATE:  Iskander got to me, I had to buy a full bottle!

  • Bone Rating:   4 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent Type:  Citrus – Chypre
  • Classification:  Unisex
  • Expense: $75 for 50ml EDP