The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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Where in the World is The Scented Hound?

Related imageGreetings from Mexico.  So you may say to yourself that you’ve seen these greetings before….so you’re on vacation.  Actually, this time it’s a bit different; we have moved to Mexico!  After talking about this for several years, we finally executed our long thought out plan to start a new life and adventure.  This past spring, we put our house on the market, had an estate sale getting rid of 80% of our possessions, sold both of our cars, moved into temporary housing and quit our jobs (we are now retired).  Finally, last month we packed up our 2 furry kids and flew down with 2 suitcases each to start our new life in Merida.  The past 6 months seem like a blur at this point and to be honest, it kind of feels like we’re just on vacation as it really hasn’t sunk in that we’re retired.  But after all the craziness, it’s nice to have some down time and frankly we’re rather exhausted!

So what does this mean for The Scented Hound?  I’m not sure at this point how this blog will morph and develop; but it will.  We’re living in temporary housing right now so I don’t have a permanent address.  And I’ve heard that getting packages here in the country can be a bit tricky, so I’m not sure how I’ll get my hands on new releases, etc.  That may take some time.  Additionally, I’ve found that perfume in a hot tropical environment wears much differently and anything that seems to have any heft (orientals, etc.) just becomes incredibly cloying and heavy.  And those that do wear well, seem to disappear very quickly.  Maybe once I get used to the heat, I’ll get this dilemma settled.  Or maybe I’ll just have to ensure that I test perfumes in an air-conditioned environment.  Additionally, I don’t believe that niche perfume is very prevalent down here.  But maybe that makes for a business opportunity??!  In any case, now that I’m retired I’ll have time to work this all out.

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Duncan has taken up residence in the master bathroom of all places.

So with the move, out of all the things that needed to be done, there were two items that really stressed me out.  The first was getting the cats down here.  We had to ensure that they were certified by our veterinarian 10 days before departure.  We had heard horror stories of people getting down here only to have their pets put in quarantine for weeks because they didn’t have the right health certifications.  Thankfully, both kids managed their flight without issue and the customs inspectors were nothing but nice.  They’re still not thrilled with their new digs (the housecleaner is here as I write and they are not happy), but they’re adjusting as well as can be expected.

The other thing that gave me lots of anxiety was how to move my perfume collection.  Now, I have to admit that my collection is not huge (it can all fit on one gilded West Elm tray), but since we put all of our possessions that we were keeping in storage (could be up to 6 months) I couldn’t do that as they wouldn’t be temperature controlled.  Then I inquired into having them shipped down via DHL or some other service, but was told that they would be considered “dangerous goods” because they are flammable.  Thankfully, my brother and sister-in-law travel to Mexico and will plan on visiting us sometime this winter.  They said if we ship the perfumes to them, they’ll bring them down in their air-conditioned travel bus.  So we carefully packed up the perfumes and shipped them to Washington state (via UPS which was a no-no) and I am hoping that they’ll arrive safe and sound towards the end of the year.  I did manage to put at least 20 perfumes in my suitcase that were small and thanks to Undina they traveled without any issue.  So you ask, what did Undina do?  If it had not been for her post concerning how to seal perfumes with Parafilm, I don’t think my perfumes would have traveled nearly as well.  And BTW, on eBay you can purchase small amounts of Parafilm for a relatively small cost.   Trust me, it works well.

So in brief, that’s my story for now.  It’s an exciting time and I have no idea where this adventure is going to take us, but I’m sure it will be a fun journey!

For more information on securing your perfumes for shipping with Parafilm, check out Undina’s helpful post here.

Viva la Mexico!


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Les Parfums Louis Vuitton

I have to admit that I neglect getting to the local shops to check out new releases as I am probably the furthest from somebody who loves to go shopping…especially at the mall.  But we had to head to the local Galleria (the local posh mall) this past weekend.  While there, I was really curious to check out the Les Parfums Louis Vuitton collection that was released last year.  Not surprisingly, the display at the store was understated and luxurious and the bottles were simple and chic (and graced with some hefty weight).  What I loved most was a coffret set of all 7 of the perfumes in 10 ml bottles.  It was cute, and again, packaged perfectly.  The sales associate was as gracious and accommodating with my many questions and when I asked if I could get samples, stepped away and then returned with a small bag filled with the complete set.  In the next couple of days, I went through all of the line and made the following determination…

the collection is nice, but nothing more.  I really wanted to love each and every one of these, but all of them seemed to have been conceived in a laboratory with a void of any emotion; they just exist.  I know, perfumes are meant to smell pretty…but these just lack any depth.  Now, don’t get me wrong, they are pleasant enough, but I was expecting the finest, finished, smooth creations, like the most luxurious Louis Vuitton bag…instead I got a no name brand bag from Macy’s.

It’s hard writing about perfumes that you don’t love…but I will say that my favorite out of the bunch (and that’s not saying much) is Matière Noire, a woody rose combination that opens with a lovely blackcurrent note but which fades to a pleasant, but nondescript sweetened patchouli.  From the Louis Vuitton website:

A blend of dark wood and white flowers ventures into a world of mystery.  Exploring the universe is the ultimate travel fantasy and most thrilling adventure. Matière Noire plumbs intangible depths with a journey through the darkest, most precious woods, namely patchouli and Laos agarwood. The agarwood’s animal notes are intensified by blackcurrant and contrasted with the whiteness of narcissus and jasmine, a floral vibration that cuts the darkness like a comet. Plumes of sacred notes unfurl on the skin. The disruption is total, almost mystical.

My second choice would be Turbulences, an earthy and big and bold tuberose perfume that gets taken over by a musky jasmine that quickly fades away.  From the Louis Vuitton website:

An extreme tuberose to stir the heart.  Discovering faraway lands can sometimes feel like soaring among the clouds. Inspired by a feeling akin to love at first sight, the perfume Turbulences pays tribute to the most narcotic of flowers: the tuberose. Here, it fuses with the most precious petals of jasmine. A light touch of leather, and you swoon. Intensely. Deliciously.

Overall, I would give the collection a 3 bone rating.  Nothing bad, but nothing great.  The perfumes, for a rather hefty price, seem to fade rather quickly.  Overall, this was a big disappointment to me as there was so much promise with the launch of this collection.

You can learn about the full collection at the Louis Vuitton website.  Each perfume costs $240 for 100 ml eau de parfum.  The cute coffret set is $290.

What others are saying about the Les Parfums Louis Vuitton collection:  Perfume Posse, Kafkaesque


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The Scented Hound’s Best of 2016

2016-62016 is already gone and once again I am running behind with posting.  But before we head officially into 2017, I am going to give my wrap up on this past year.  Now, I can’t claim I was able to experience all of the new releases this past year (actually, I don’t believe there were enough days in the year to accommodate all the industry had to offer)…but instead will cite which ones that I thought were special.  So let’s get to it:

The best of 2016:

Rendezvous by DSH Perfumes – Dawn Spencer Horowitz continues to create incredibly memorable perfumes with her very distinctive signature style.  With Rendezvous, she took a decaying floral and made it magnificent.  These days it takes a lot to make a perfume hit me on an emotional level, but this beauty did.  And I don’t think that this perfume got the love it deserves.

Stones by Atelier de Geste – When you take the green beauty of Chanel No. 19 and mix it with an earthy blend, you get the incredibly modern Stones.  This limited edition perfume was a surprise to me and again I haven’t heard any buzz around it.

Mona di Orio Bohea Bohème – Bohea Bohème was perfumer Fredrik Dalman’s first creation for the house of Mona di Orio.  The tea based perfume is a subtle testament to Mona’s legacy.  Quiet and unassuming,  Bohea Bohème is all about the quiet journey.  I look forward to seeing what Fredrik creates next.

prizepage-image-image-2-dogphotoLesquendieu le Parfum by J. Lesquendieu – 2016 saw the reemergence of the house of J. Lesquendieu.  The classic line of legacy perfumes were once again available for the lucky few who can afford these beauties.  Easily the best of the re-releases is Lesquendieu le Parfum.  Uncomplicated, but oh so pretty, you can see why true luxury comes at a price.  Smooth as silk…if only I could afford a bottle myself!

Arbolé Arbolé by Hiram Green – The release of Arbolé Arbolé came as a bit of a surprise as Hiram Green had launched Dilettante a few months prior.  But I’m glad that he did release this very nostalgic velvety smooth creation.  Hiram’s work is always top of the line…here he’s at his best.

Chanel No. 5 L’Eau – Light and refreshing and sparkling with modernity.  This No. 5 flanker is superb even if you’re not a big fan of the original.  This perfume just makes me so incredibly happy.

L’Atessa by Masque Milano – Unique is hard to come by these days…L’Atessa certainly is with its yeasty champagne fizz which gives way to a lovely powdered floral drydown.  Add that to the most exquisitely redesigned signature perfume bottle, Masque Milano has hit it out of the park with this release.

The perfumes of Parfums Dusita – Perfumer Pissara Umavijani debuted 3 perfumes in 2015, but I didn’t experience them until this year…so as far as I’m concerned, they’re part of this year’s “best of.”  So which one is the best?  Hard to say which one I like the best, the sensual white floral, Melodie de L’Amour; the refined Ouhd Infini or the modern fougere Issara?  I can’t choose because all three deserve recognition.  There are two new perfumes in the line which I have yet to experience…this time I won’t wait a year to do so.

The worst of 2016:

I don’t like doing the worst because perfume is an individual taste…what you might not like, others may love.  But there was one perfume this past year that just hit me incredibly wrong and that was…

Tauerville Fruitchouli Flash – This super sweet and thick concoction gave me a cavity by just smelling it.  Sorry Andy.

So given all of these beauties from this past year, what did I end up wearing for the most part?  I really pretty much stuck to the classics.  My most worn perfume of 2016 was Mitsouko, the parfum extrait, which I just craved over and over again.  The 2nd most worn perfume was Chanel Beige which is just so easy to love.  Maybe 2017 will provide me with a new classic that I won’t be able to stay away from.

Happy New Year from The Scented Hound!