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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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


3 Comments

Two from Brooklyn Perfume Company: Oud & Vetiver Eau Fraiche

WHAT I SMELL – OUD:  Oud’s opening kicks off with a soft and lightly sweetened grapefruit that quickly melds with a somewhat menacing leather.  There’s a heft of sexiness with the leather being slightly carnal without being funky or crude. After a little bit, a sweetened vanilla emerges with a layered sheen over the leather.  Here, the perfume continues its seductive path, but where it started off a bit masculine, it now embraces its feminine side.  Oud to me is less oud, but more of a sweetened wood.  The strong sensation of oud which usually dominates does not occur here. Instead, the perfume bounces between leather, vanilla and wood.  To me, this makes it the perfect perfume that can be worn for any occasion.  It would be perfect to wear when you’re feeling strong and seductive as the leather comes to the forefront letting anyone who enters your path will know that you mean business.  If you’re in the mood to be mysterious, the vanilla wood tinged with the smokiness of the leather will make you smolder with a quiet confidence.  In the end, a light floral component seems to weave in and out of the composition, adding just another incredible layer to what is an already incredible unisex beauty.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Seductive confidence ala Theo James.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE OUD:  captivating, self-assured, quietly bold

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT OUD:  Colognoisseur

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Oriental
  • Nose:  James Peterson
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense:  $150 for 30 ml eau de parfum

WHAT I SMELL – VETIVER EAU FRAICHE:  Vetiver stays true to its name with an opening of hay and dried grass which quickly moves to a sensation like that of grass that has been cut and left out in the sun to dry.   Not long after, a buzzing light sugar accord rests on top of the dried grass.  The perfume is a subtle and easy wear, although as time goes on, it does grow a bit in volume.  Vetiver’s woodiness is casual, yet elegant and is timeless in its beauty.  As a soliflore, Vetiver does not provide any twists or turns, instead it unfolds into a familiar and comforting ageless fragrance.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  summer dunes

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE VETIVER EAU FRAICHE:  uncomplicated, easy, careworn

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT VETIVER EAU FRAICHE:  No other reviews found.

  • Bone Rating:  3 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Woody
  • Nose:  James Peterson
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense:  $45 for 60 ml eau fraiche

BOTTOM LINE:  The perfumes in the Brooklyn Perfume Company line are simple beauties that don’t try to be anything but what they are; uncomplicated.  When it seems that twists and turns in a perfume are par for the course, it’s nice to have perfumes that don’t pretend they’re something they’re not.