The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


New Release: Noir Exquis by L’Artisan Parfumeur

Noir Exquis

WHAT I SMELL:  Noir Exquis opens slightly sour at first, quickly moving to a gourmand breaded pastry that is covered with a hazelnut glaze.  After a couple of minutes, the perfume begins to grow and it smells just like Coffee-mate Hazelnut Non-Dairy Creamer.  After a few more minutes the perfume takes on a slight hair spray note, making the perfume slightly prickly, but it also makes it feel like it’s covered in raw sugar, meaning that it’s sweet without being saccharine sweet.  After some more time, a maple syrup note creeps in and it melds with the existing nutty structure.  Thankfully, after 30 minutes, the whole structure seems to tame.  The sweetened hazelnut becomes quieter and the perfume takes on a more woody sandalwood and patchouli note tinged with a burnt amber.

From the L’Artisan Parfumeur website:

The inspiration for Noir Exquis is an unexpected rendez-vous in a French patisserie.  Two people meet over a coffee. In this delicious atmosphere of patisserie and coffee, hushed looks are exchanged. This delightful rendez-vous is the beginning of a new story with Noir Exquis.

Noir Exquis is a work of contrast and the unexpected. The addictive note of coffee, combined with the warm and comfortable notes of maple syrup, glazed chestnuts and orange blossom, brings an intriguing juxtaposition to this fragrance.
Rich and velvety, Noir Exquis connects these two persons during this moment beyond time and place.

Opulent and gourmand, Noir Exquis is a fragrance with a warm and charismatic aura.

Notes: Glazed chestnut, Coffee, Maple syrup, Macassar Wood 

Coffee-mate HazelnutWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  I can’t get this out of my head…Coffee-mate Hazelnut Non-Dairy Creamer

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE NOIR EXQUIS: creamy, sweetened, breakfasty (is that a word?)

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT NOIR EXQUIS:  Kafkaesque, Bois de Jasmin, Megan in Saint Maxime

BOTTOM LINE:  If you like flavored coffee creamers in your morning coffee and like gourmand scents, this may be for you.  Personally, I don’t want to feel like I just rubbed a breakfast pastry over myself.  In the end, the perfume does quiet down, but it still radiates this artificial creaminess.

  • Bone Rating:  2.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Oriental Vanilla
  • Nose:  Bertrand Duchaufour
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $120 for 1.7 oz. eau de parfum


Marlowe by Jardins d’Ecrivains


WHAT I SMELL:  Marlowe opens with an almost stinging tuberose note that quickly turns to a big and bursting soured floral.  I can’t say that it’s pretty, but it’s intriguing in that it feels like there’s some measure of decay involved.  In a few minutes, the perfume starts to powder and blend with a dried osmanthus.  Soon, all of the moisture is sucked out of the perfume making it incredibly dry.  Past this point, and for the first few hours, the perfume radiates substantial layers of powdered florals that seem broken down and aged.

From the Jardins d’Ecrivains website:

This scent is dense, heady, feral, and theatrical. The top notes feature the poisonous nectar of the tuberose blended with opulent osmanthus. The middle notes of dried flowers evoke tragic poetry. Hints of powdered leather with chypre make up the base notes. 

Bilbo Baggins, Alexandria, VA

Bilbo Baggins, Alexandria, VA

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Bilbo Baggins restaurant, Alexandria, Virginia.  OK, let me explain…Bilbo Baggins is a restaurant in the town where I live.  The interior of the restaurant feels like it has not been updated or cleaned since 1975.  It’s dusty, tired and someplace I will not return to if I can help it.


WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT MARLOWE: Kafkaesque, The Non-Blonde, Colognoisseur

BOTTOM LINE: Marlowe is a complete miss for me.  There’s something about the tired and powdered florals that just weighs it down, like a forgotten sachet in the back of your mother’s “delicates” drawer.  Only hours into the wear does it soften to a point of actually being amenable.

  • Bone Rating:  2 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Floral
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $110 for 100 ml Eau de Parfum



Hedonist Iris by Viktoria Minya

Hedonist IrisWHAT I SMELL:  Hedonist Iris opens up with a soft and clean blackcurrent that seem to be wrapped within green stems.  A white musk sits on top of the blackcurrent like a cotton ball which seems to be drying out the juice of the fruit.  In fact, the perfume is surprisingly dry and it quickly begins to powder which helps to make the perfume project.  The iris here is radiant; there is nothing dirty or earthen about it.  And the iris is Iris butter, which gives the floral a smooth finish that’s rather weighty.  After around 15 minutes, the musk really come into play giving Hedonist Iris a rather clean and sparkling glow.

From the Viktoria Minya website:

A romantic perfume for a graceful woman who cares for sensual luxury. The essence of this pure fragrance is the most expensive natural raw material of all – Iris butter. Its cool elegance is laced with tantalizing notes of cocoa and blackcurrant absolute and crowned by a fine blend of musks.

GlindaWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Think pink…Hedonist Iris is all Glinda the Good Witch of the North


WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT HEDONIST IRIS: Megan in Saint Maxime, Olfactoria’s TravelsThe Non-Blonde

BOTTOM LINE:  This perfume has me perplexed; on one hand the perfume is extremely feminine, but there’s almost a childlike quality as if the perfume is not suited not for a woman, but instead is best suited for a young lady of unintended virtue.  Obviously, I’m not the intended audience.

  • Bone Rating:  2.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Floral Woody  Musk
  • Nose: Viktoria Minya
  • Classification: Feminine
  • Expense: $200 for 45 ml Eau de Parfum