The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


Cartier – L’Heure Promise

WHAT I SMELL:  Promise opens with a soft and cottony musky iris that is quickly infused with a combination of herbs that are too light to distinguish or specify.  The perfume is so transparent and barely there that unless I stick my nose in my arm, I’m not able to smell much, if anything.  As the perfume develops, the lightest of wood draws the perfume back from the iris and musk and moves it to a light paper pulp.  But as soon as I say that, the iris comes gliding gracefully back to the center of the perfume.  Promise is a sheer fragrance where the iris is warmed by a light sunny sandalwood.  It’s beautiful, but it’s so barely there at the beginning that you wonder if you sprayed anything on at all.  Thankfully, as the perfume wears, it begins to grow, but it never deviates from the warmed iris that first came forward; except for the addition of a wonderful powder that helps the perfume to radiate in just the right way.

From the Cartier website:

It was time to capture a life full of fresh early mornings, Petit grain, FRESH HERBS at the dawn of intentions. Everything seemed possible – love, creation, belief. The time had come to embrace the day, comforted by self-confidence and honesty IRIS, and to fly or walk in the first glimmers of a spring of existence. The sheer newness was just waiting to be explored like an undiscovered continent bathed in hope, with the promise of cherishing the moment a little longer while everything remained quiet. Prolonging, preserving the moment: L’HEURE PROMISE by Cartier. An eiderdown of fragrance sandalwood, for leaving the night behind without affronting sleep. Outside, I sense, like a veil of tulle MUSK NOTES, my own deciding scent – that of my destiny unfolding and of an adventure that is anxious to take place.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Iris colored tulle.



BOTTOM LINE:  L’Heure Promise is incredibly beautiful in a simply elegant way.  I would probably give the perfume a 4 bone rating, but this is so much of a skin scent that I would find it hard to do so given the hefty price tag.  But would I like to have this as part of my perfume collection?  That would be a definitive “yes!”

  • Bone Rating: 3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral Green
  • Nose:  Mathilde Laurent
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $275 for 75 ml eau de toilette


Flamenco by Ramon Monegal

WHAT I SMELL:  Flamenco dances open with a cotton candy raspberry that’s quickly met with a sweet and candied violet.  Very soon after, a soft orris makes a quick entrance making the super sweet opening something a bit more tame.  But don’t get me wrong, the perfume still remains in the confectionary, but now it includes a lovely musky undertow.  Soon the florals begin to break through with a rounded rose front and center.  Here, Flamenco begins to quickly grow and rise as it seems to spin wildly off of the skin.  It’s here that the perfume resides for some time; at times soft, at other times projecting greatly.  But each time it moves, Flamenco becomes a bit warmer and more comforting.  Flamenco doesn’t morph all that much after this point, and in the end the rose, mixed with the soured woods, wafts along as if they’re ready to once again start a fire on the dance floor.

From the Ramon Monegal website:

“I have submerged myself in an art known for its great emotional intensity and which comes from something rooted in my cultural origins, flamenco. Distinguished by its wild gestures, ferocious foot stamping, profound laments and guitar flourishes. Flamenco, my olfactory manifesto to the Andalusian character tattooed with fire on the soul of Spain. Flamenco is a profound and passionate art… it’s a unique state of mind. It’s my forbidden hypnotic fruit!” – Ramon Monegal

Top Notes:  Raspberry, Violet, Orris

Heart Notes:  Jasmin, Rosewood, Red Rose

Base Notes:  Musk, Amberwood, Cedarwood

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  With the name Flamenco, can there be any other visual than a whirling Flamenco dancer?!


WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT FLAMENCO:  Australian Perfume Junkies, CaFleureBon

BOTTOM LINE:  Flamenco dances nicely for quite some time.  The candied opening is appealing and the pulsing rose in the heart is lovely.  Unfortunately for me, the soured wood is just a bit…too soured for too long for me.  But I have the feeling Flamenco is either a “love the dance or hate the dance” kind of perfume.


Santa Maria Novella Russa

WHAT I SMELL:  Russa opens with a zesty lemon and buzzing bergamot that is quickly met with a soapy orange that brings it out of the citrus groves and moves it behind the villa wall to the flower and herb garden where sprigs of lavender join the blend.  What was hanging ripened on the branch is now a mix of citrus and freshly picked herbs and flowers gathered in a bountiful basket ready to come into the house.  As soon as the basket makes it to the house, the mixture turns from the garden towards that of the barber.  Here, a foamy herbal soapy mixture that reminds me of traditional barbershop shaving cream breaks forward through the goodness of the garden.  There is something really comforting about Russa at this point.  It’s masculine, reassuring and lightly warmed in a sun-kissed way.  There’s nothing of a “take-charge” kind of masculinity here, but just an ease where the perfume doesn’t require itself to be anything but nicely clean and proper, yet comfortably based in the garden’s bounty.  As the perfume continues its journey, it becomes more “zestified” as the benzoin becomes more pronounced.   Because of this, Russa grows from a rather quiet perfume to one that demands just a bit more attention.  And in the end, a hay-like note comes forward as the perfume makes its final round back to the outdoors and to the sunny fields of the countryside.

From the Santa Maria Novella website:

Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella’s Acqua di Colonia Russa fragrance is a bouquet of fresh aromatic citrus notes. Russian cologne was quite a popular fragrance in the early 1800s and each perfumer added a personal touch to his own version. The Santa Maria Novella monks created their own formulation, with citrus top notes and spicy floral middle notes.

Olfactory Notes:  

Top: citrus, Calabrian bergamot

Middle: petitgrain, green aromatic notes, clove

Base: Sumatra benzoin

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A medieval dandy.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE RUSSA:  comfortable, herbal, “zestified” (yes, that is a made up word)


BOTTOM LINE:  Russa is a wonderfully easy to wear cologne that’s perfect for everyday use.  I tend to prefer masculine perfumes that are not brutishly so and Russa fits that mold very well.

  • Bone Rating: 3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Aromatic Citrus
  • Classification: Leans masculine
  • Expense:  $135 for 100 ml eau de cologne