The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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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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Xerjoff Oesel

WHAT I SMELL:  Oesel opens like the dawn of a new day with a creamy, smooth, layered orange blossom.  It’s as if the sun warmed blossoms have exploded with their fragrant projection just at the peak of the late morning.  The florals are rich, thick and bountiful without being overtly juicy or sweet.  The mix of florals including jasmine, mimosa and Bulgarian rose are blended as if they were carried in the most fragrant nosegay and are melded so seamlessly as to defy you to be able to distinguish them, but for the voluminous orange blossom.  In addition,  Oesel is warm and full of bright yellow hazy sun and when smelled on the skin, the perfume retreats to the depth of your lungs.  After a while, a consistent and dried wood begins to float under the orange blossom giving the perfume an added dimension with just the slightest of dirt and earth.  Oesel is golden in every sense of the word.

From Fragrantica  –

Oesel perfume from the Shooting Stars Collection is a symphony of bright and rich notes perfectly mixed with the best raw ingredients. Orange blossom and petitgrain from Paraguay lead the path to the heart of Bulgarian rose and Sambac jasmine, which are skillfully wrapped in sophisticated mimosa and white flowers. Graceful result of this mixed breed is the ambery wooden base of Indian patchouli, cedar and tobacco flower, which exudes the character, depth and persistence.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  An orange blossom boutounniere…the perfect perfume for your wedding day.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE OESEL: rapturous, uplifting, joyous

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT OESEL:  Now Smell This, CaFleureBon, Confessions of a Perfume Nerd

BOTTOM LINE:  I finally set forth cleaning up my office and the stash of perfume samples that were invading every corner of the room.  There were quite a few of the perfumes I didn’t even realize I had in my possession.  So off came the tops of many for a quick smell.  Oesel was the loveliest of surprises and I wish I had tested it sooner.  In fact I loved it so much so that the next day I purchased a bottle.  How’s that for an endorsement?!

  • Bone Rating:  5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Oriental Floral
  • Classification: Marketed for men, but could easily be worn by a woman.
  • Expense: Varied…mid $200 for 100 ml eau de parfum


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Vintage Habanita by Molinard

habanita1WHAT I SMELL:  Habanita has a dramatic opening that is glowingly sweetened, with a blast of fruit followed quickly by a warming floral mix that is highlighted by lilac and rose.  The perfume is so deliciously inviting as it seems to envelops the wearer.  Habanita has a sweet edge to it, but it’s not a perfume that I would categorize as sweet.  Maybe because as it develops the dryness of the oakmoss, the fresh tobacco and sheen of leather tone down the higher pitched notes.  As the perfume settles down, the various notes even out creating this incredible balance between the spice, florals and woody notes.  Habanita is sexy without being dangerous, but it draws you in making you want more.

From the Molinard website:

1921 – Habanita was born in the exuberance of the Roaring Twenties. With trailblazing spirit, Molinard revolutionized perfume codes, creating the first women’s Oriental fragrance featuring vetiver, an essence hitherto reserved for men. From perfume extract to the essence of the femme fatale, Habanita’s innovative style was eagerly embraced by the garçonnes-  France’s flappers – and soon became Molinard’s runaway success and an icon in the history of French perfume.

Top notes are orange blossom, raspberry, peach and bergamot; middle notes are lilac, orris root, jasmine, heliotrope, ylang-ylang and rose; base notes are leather, amber, musk, benzoin, vanilla, oakmoss and cedar.

cyd168WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Cyd Charisse

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE HABANITA:  whirling, energetic, dynamic

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT HABANITA:  Fragrance Daily, Yesterday’s Perfume, Grain de Musc

BOTTOM LINE:  Habanita is one of a kind.  It’s the kind of perfume that I crave.  Unique, beautiful, radiant…I can’t imagine not owning a bottle.

  • Bone Rating:  5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Oriental
  • Classification: To me this is perfectly unisex
  • Expense: Review based on the vintage parfum extrait version.  Prices vary on eBay, etc.