The Scented Hound

Perfume blog with abbreviated perfume reviews & fragrance reviews.


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Bleu Abysse – Les Parfums de Rosine

WHAT I SMELL:  Bleu Abysse opens with a salty bergamot warmed by the sun which is quickly met with a more mineral accord that is punctuated with an inviting rounded rose.  The combination of the rose and the salty mineral facets are quite interesting and I can’t say that I have ever experienced this in a perfume before.  However, as it continues to develop I realize that at this stage the perfume is much more akin to mineral salts for the bath.  And as soon as I make that connection, I wonder if that is how I would like to smell when I leave the house.  As the perfume continues to develop, Bleu Abysse seems to head out to the sea.  The brief introduction of the rose makes way for a more intense mineral sea sensation with the addition of vetiver and seaweed and a hint of oud adds a layer of sour to the mixture which seems to dull the minerals a bit.  Thankfully, a bit of sweetened patchouli helps to pull the perfume back to the shore making it a bit more approachable.  Unfortunately, shortly after a metallic note seems to sweep in bringing in an unwelcomed bite.  But apparently that made way for an evened mix of patchouli, vetiver with a light incense that is actually quite beautiful in a very serene way.  Too bad that doesn’t last all that long and in the end you’re left with salt and seaweed.

From the Les Parfums de Rosine website:

BLEU ABYSSE is a perfume of contrasting sensations: a deep, yet dry, marine-blue note. Inspired by the French rose, ‘Rosa Moschata’.

BLEU ABYSSE is a fresh fusion fragrance.

In creating BLEU ABYSSE, the young perfumer, Serge de Oliveira, sought to capture waves of euphoria that sweep over us when we are near the sea.

Top Notes – Bergamot, Elemi, Cassis; Heart Notes – Rose, Mineral accord; Base Notes – Oud, Patchouli, Vetiver, Seaweeds, Incense

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Salted seaweed.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE BLEU ABYSSE: salty, metallic, unique

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT BLEU ABYSSE: Chemist in the Bottle, Now Smell This

BOTTOM LINE:  I will readily admit that I am not a big fan of mineral or marine scents.  The sharpness makes me feel detached from these fragrances and it’s as if I’m wearing a “thing” vs. wearing an essence.  That said, there are some interesting twists and turns in the development of this perfume, but in the end I just get salty, sharpened seaweed.  Thankfully I live not too far from the ocean so that if I want to experience blue abyss, I can just head to the nearest beach for the real thing.

  • Bone Rating:  2.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Marine woody
  • Nose:  Serge de Oliveira
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: 150 Euros for 100 ml Eau de Parfum available from the Les Parfums de Rosine website


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Vintage Houbigant Essence Rare Parfum Extrait

WHAT I SMELL:  Essence Rare opens with what seems to be fading aldehydes that are quickly met by a spiced geranium.  The perfume deepens quickly as the perfume moves to a civet and amber making it very mature almost from the start as there’s nothing light nor fluffy about it.  As it continues to develop, the oakmoss pushes itself to the forefront and it’s here the perfume puts out a strong forcefield as it’s all powdered and dry oakmoss, spice and civet.  After quite some time, the perfume begins to retreat a bit and thankfully a beautiful sandalwood laced with warm florals begins to take the perfume from the overt to the almost sublime.  In the end, Essence Rare is still mature, but it’s much more approachable, albeit with a strong personality.

Essence Rare Notes:

Top:  aldehydes, bergamot, lily of the valley
Heart:  geranium, rose, iris
Base:  sandalwood, ambergris, vanilla, oakmoss, musk, tonka bean, vetiver, civet

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Forgive me, but the image of Dana Carvey’s “Church Lady” popped in my head.  The perfume seems stuck in the 70s, is a bit unforgiving and begs to be noticed.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ESSENCE RARE:  solid, stocky, bold

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT ESSENCE RARE:  Bois de Jasmin, Fragrantica

BOTTOM LINE:  I found the iceberg bottle pictured above at an antique store for $15, so I thought, why not.  As many of you know, I love vintage perfumes, but Essence Rare is a rarity where it’s anything but a love.  What I typically like about these small extrait bottles is that they generally stay fresher than some of their larger counterparts.  I’m sure that there has been degradation with this, but I believe that Essence Rare was pretty much a powerhouse from day one and it does feel very dated.  So my 2 bones rating is based solely on this bottle…but maybe it’s just that bottle and some day I’ll run into one that makes me reconsider.

It should be noted that Essence Rare was reformulated in 2018 and the perfume was once again created by Jean-Claude Ellena.  But everything that I have read about it states that this new version is much lighter and rather pretty and no doubt more approachable to today’s market.

  • Bone Rating: 2 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral Aldehyde
  • Note:  Jean-Claude Ellena
  • Classification: To me, very unisex
  • Expense:  Prices vary.  Review based on the 1976 reissued version parfum extrait.

 


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Guerlain Lui

WHAT I SMELL:  Lui opens with a warm, lightly spiced benzoin that’s deeply sensuous and lightly tar like, but without the heavy weight.  Soon enough, a buzzing carnation makes an entrance in the quietest of ways.  And then, a nutmeg and clove spice begins to take shape after a short time adding just a bit of a bite.  The perfume is rather brooding in it’s spicy persona with a mix of benzoin, leather and vanilla spice carrying the perfume on its journey.  In the end, you’re left with a light smoky dry haze of a perfume that hugs close to the skin.

From the Guerlain website:

Feminine. Masculine. Why choose? LUI is a fragrance that likes to blur the boundaries. Not entirely feminine, nor truly masculine, it is both at once. Inspired by a generation that is breaking free from gender norms, Guerlain had the idea of an unmistakably universal fragrance.

Its ambiguous fragrance trail is based on benzoin: floral, spicy and woody in turn, this resin is revealed in all of its complexity as the composition created by perfumer Delphine Jelk unfolds. Fused with powdery and spicy carnation accents, they form an equally unexpected and harmonious blend.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:   Autumn in Paris.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE LUI:  reserved, contemplative, semi-spicy

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT LUI:  The Black Narcissus, Colognoisseur

BOTTOM LINE:  I love Guerlain perfumes, but I don’t love Lui.  Truly a fall and winter perfume, the nutty-ish spice almost reminds me of the season’s tragic “pumpkin spice” phenomena.  And weirdly, Lui doesn’t make me feel any emotion as I wear it.  Instead, it just rather bores me.

  • Bone Rating:  2.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Spicy Woody Floral
  • Nose:  Delphine Jelk
  • Classification:  Unisex
  • Expense:  $185 for 50 ml eau de parfum