The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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Bonheur by Bortnikoff Perfumes

WHAT I SMELL:  Bonheur opens with a warm and enveloping sparkling bergamot combined with an oppulent mix of herbs and florals.  It’s coolly warm in the sense that there’s a citrus freshness mixed with a rapturous warmth that surrounds you in the most welcoming and quiet way.  Bonheur slowly develops in a very non-linear way which makes the perfume feel exotic and seductive while at the same very approachable all while it draws you into its mystery.  After some time, the warmth turns more to a spicy herbal as it vibrates and begins to project a wonderful buzzing haze off of the skin.  As soon as this transition occurs, a green fir appears, lightening the perfume and an oakmoss begins to dry and powder the magical elixir.  But still after some more time, the more exotic once again seems to layer itself over the oakmoss with a lovely clove and incense note.  To me, the drydown is pure heaven.

Notes from the Bortnikoff website:

Top notes: Bergamot, Cardamom, Frangipani, Tagetes, and Cempaka
Heart notes: Oakmoss, Vetiver,Violet, Ambergris, Myrrh, Clove and Nutmeg
Base notes: Cedarwood, Labdanum, Vanilla and Tonka bean

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  The quiet grace of a an ancient Buddhist temple.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE BONHEUR:  majestic, calming, exotic

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT BONHEUR:  No reviews found.

BOTTOM LINE:  Perfumer Dmitry Bortnikov has created a masterfully blended perfume that transcends layers of combined notes.  Instead, Bonheur weaves a magical spell that serenely drifts off the skin in the most beautiful way.  Bonheur is a perfume that makes you feel as if you’re on top of the world looking down with all the beauty and grandeur that this world has to offer.

  • Bone Rating:  4.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Chypre
  • Nose:  Dmitry Bortnikov
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense:  $180 for 30ml parfum extrait via Luckyscent or the Bortnikoff Perfumes website.


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Blondine by Frassaï

WHAT I SMELL:   Blondine graces the skin with a smooth buttery cream that’s deep without being heavy.  Unlike many breezy top notes, It feels like a base is being built for something amazing that is about to come.  And just as I suspected, soon enough the depths of the opening begin to lighten and a floral element appears.  There’s a dreamy quality that embodies the perfume and it seems to hover over you as if it’s part of your natural aura.  As the perfume continues to develop, the florals start to bloom until they’re front and center.  The exotic flowers feel as if they’ve just been plucked from the jungle, but they don’t have an overwhelming sweetness to them.  Instead, it feels like they have been ripening in the hot rainforest sun and have been dusted with the lightest of cocoa.  I have to admit that Blondine to me is a hard perfume to describe because it seems to continually morph as you wear it….sometimes more floral, sometimes a bit more gourmand and at times, a lovely musk. But in the end it’s easy for me to categorize it as incredibly unique and absolutely exquisite fragrance.  I love this perfume.

From the Frassaï website:

A seductive and playful fragrance crafted to intrigue the senses, inspired by the 1920’s French fairy tale. Innocent sensuality is revealed through notes of sacred Ashok flower, spicy Tiger Lily and the seductive allure of cocoa, salted butter caramel, and vanilla in a base of irresistible blond musks. 

A few notes: Salted Butter Caramel, Pear Leaves, Ashok flower, Cocoa, Blond Musks

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Hammock dreaming in a sun kissed jungle.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE BLONDINE:  dreamy, creamy, stunning

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT BLONDINE:  CaFleureBon, Colognoisseur, Undina’s Looking Glass

BOTTOM LINE:  Blondine is a perfume that is beautiful and easy to wear.  One reason it’s so wearable is because there’s an incredible depth to the perfume without it being weighty.  That’s great for someone like myself who lives in a hot and humid environment as Blondine blossoms on the skin in such a wonderfully graceful way.  What’s not to love?

  • Bone Rating:  5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Floral Musky Gourmand
  • Nose:  Yann Vasnier
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense:  $130 for 50 ml eau de parfum via the Frassaï website.


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Frost by St. Clair Scents

WHAT I SMELL:  Frost (not to be confused with cool weather, instead the perfume is named in homage to poet Robert Frost) is first warmed with a sun-filled bergamot and waxy herbal lemon and honeysuckle.  It’s so beautiful in its warmth and radiance that you can feel the sunshine bask off of your skin.  The opening is pure comfort and reassurance that all is right with the world.  After a few minutes the waxy and depth of warmth begins to lighten in mass, only to bring out a layer of incense that is incredibly subtle and which has an effect of a fire that’s off in the distance.  Then as that haze begins to soften, a cocoon of labdanum begins to rise from beneath, once again taking the perfume into an intoxicating warmth.

From the St. Clair Scents website:

An homage to the great New England poet, Robert Frost, whose summer writing cabin in the woods still stands a mere 25 miles from our farm.

Many of Frost’s poems are filled with olfactory imagery.

This scent follows the story of Frost’s poem, “To Earthward” which describes the transformation of youthful love, from “sweet like the petals of the rose” and “sprays of honeysuckle” to painful love, which stings like “bitter bark”, “burning clove” and “rough earth.”

This scent weaves together accords of clove and smoke; bitter woods and earth; sweet rose and rose geranium; sprays of honeysuckle and sparkling citrus.

  • Top Notes: Bergamot, Mandarin Yellow and Green, Coriander, Petitgrain sur fleur, Meyer Lemon
  • Middle Notes: Honeysuckle Accord, Rose Geranium, Elderflower Absolute, Petitgrain Absolute
  • Base Notes: Cistus, Labdanum Absolute, Vanilla Absolute, Vetiver , Cedar, Smoke, Clove Absolute

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  smoky serenity

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE FROST:  comforting, radiant, serene

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT FROST: I Scent You a Day, Now Smell This, Kafkaesque

BOTTOM LINE:  Perfumer Diane St. Clair has created an incredibly beautiful and serene scent that soothes the soul.  Frost is an intimate perfume that when you wear it, it feels like yours and yours alone.

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Nose:  Diane St. Clair
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense:  $65 for 13 ml via the St. Clair Scents website