The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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Ambre 114 by Histoires de Parfums

After 5 days without cable and internet, I am finally back online.  The tree that overtook my backyard is now in piles in the front of the yard and everything is getting back to normal.  Thanks for all the kind words from everyone who wished us well during the storm and my absence.  So now that I am back in the saddle, I thought I would continue with my fall obsession with testing amber fragrances.  The first is a sample that has been sitting in my untested pile for almost a year, Ambre 114.

WHAT I SMELL:  Almost icy/hot to the touch, Ambre 114 goes on medicinal; the thyme is very evident.  Then as quickly as that leaves you, out comes the geranium note.  I can tell that there’s a bit of amber in there, but I am getting more vetiver at the beginning than amber.  Slowly, the spiciness then wafts up through the other notes.  It starts to warm and then begins to open to that lovely rounded amber that any amber lover craves.  What you are left with is a lovely vanilla’d creamed amber that wraps you in a wonderfully warmed blanket perfect for the long winter nights.

Ambre 114 Notes:

Top Note: Thyme, Nutmeg
Heart Note: Rose, Geranium, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Cedar, Vetiver
Base Note: Amber, Vanilla, Tonka Bean, Benzoin, Musk

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  If Serge Luten’s Ambre Sultan and Maître Parfumeur et Gantier’s Ambre Precieux had a baby, this is what it would smell like.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE AMBRE 114:  exotic, warm, spiced

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT AMBRE 114: Katie Puckrick Smells, Chemist in a Bottle, Fragrance Bouquet

BOTTOM LINE:  Ambre 114 is lovely and if I didn’t own so many ambers at present, I probably would be buying a bottle.  This is easily a comfort scent.

  • Bone Rating: 4 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent: Oriental Spicy
  • Nose: Gerald Ghislain and Magali Senequier
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $125 for 60ml EdP


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Ambre Fetiche by Annick Goutal

This past week has been exhausting and crazy busy.  I feel like I haven’t had a chance to really give fragrance a 2nd thought with work and now with preparing for Hurricane Sandy. But I finally had a chance to kick back a bit and I pulled out a sample of Ambre Fetiche to coincide with the cooler temperatures today.  At first I didn’t think I would like this  fragrance, but…

WHAT I SMELL:  Ambre Fetiche goes on with a plasticine rubberized strong artificial blast.  It’s amber wrapped up in air that was let out of an old tire.  It’s strong and very heavy and plastic and more plastic on top of a spiced and smoked amber.  I can’t say the opening is pleasurable because a little goes a long way.  Just a couple of spritzes managed to clog my throat as it coated and choked me a bit.  It’s not until the drydown takes place that this really becomes special.  In the end you’re left with a warm blanket of amber tinged with what to me is almost like hints of brown sugar topped with a light vanilla incense.  Curious, the notes list “leather” but I am not getting that at all!

From the Annick Goutal website:

Captivated by the Orient and its mysteries, Camille Goutal and Isabelle Doyen lead us, through the fragrance Ambre Fétiche, on a journey to the lands of precious essences, of shisha smoke and of marvelous opulence.  A stroll through oases, desert sands and spice markets. Ambre Fétiche belongs with Myrrhe Ardente, Encens Flamboyant and Musc Nomade to the “Orientalists” Collection. These four fragrances, equally suitable for women and men, can be worn alone or combined.

Olfactory family: Amber, Vanilla, Leather (Frankincense, labdanum, styrax – Benzoin, absolute of iris – Vanilla, geranium, patchouli, Russian leather)

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:   Starts off as a bear.  Ends up like a lamb.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE AMBRE FETICHE:  bold, strong, unwavering

 

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT AMBRE FETICHE: Olfactoria’s Travels, This Blog Really Stinks, I Smell Therefore I Am

BOTTOM LINE:  I have the feeling the next time I wear this, it will wear differently on me.  Additionally, I also have the feeling that this could get a bit tiresome to me.  Maybe it’s just because I put a little too much on and it overwhelmed me.  Remember a little goes a long, long way with Ambre Fetiche.  Oh, after about an hour after I put this on, my better half told me I stink!

  • Bone Rating: 4 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent: Oriental
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Nose:  Camille Goutal and Isabelle Doyen
  • Expense: Varies online


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Sunday Shopping Surprise

I love a good shopping surprise.  Even better when it’s right in your home town.  Yesterday, after doing my yard chores, me and my hubby went toddling off to Old Town Alexandria to do some window shopping and to get some unneeded gelato.  If you have never been to Old Town Alexandria, it’s right outside Washington DC and it’s cute, quaint, very historic (think George Washington lived here).  If you ever come to DC, you have to visit.

In any case, there is a store, Patrick’s Designs which I enjoy going into to look at all of the beautiful decorative items that I can’t afford.  They have furnishings, barware, tabletop, gifts, etc. that are very unique.  This is where I purchased my first Dr. Vranjes diffuser (I have been a faithful purchaser since).  I have noted that in the past, they have had a couple of niche perfumes in the shop, but they have recently expanded and added some more.  Some of the lines include: Juliet has a Gun, Montale, Costume National (I had never heard of this line before), Maître Parfumeur et Gantier, Fragonard, Manuel Canovas, Miller et Bertaux and others.  The owner said that they will be adding other lines in the near future (goody!).  Of course, it’s my job as a hometown boy to support local business I had to make sure that I bought something.  But first lets discuss what I didn’t buy and why:

  1. Miller et Bertaux’s Om:  I don’t know why, but the darker the juice, the more I am attracted to a fragrance.  Om is a deep amber-colored incense and vanilla scent.  Wonderfully spicy, rich and peppery…beautiful on paper and initially on me, then straight to a metallic sharpness that I wanted to scrub off.  Very disheartening.
  2. Fragonard’s Billet Doux:  OK, the scent itself is a light and pretty powdery carnation which is pleasant but maybe not so special.  It’s much more feminine than I would normally like… but look at the bottle!!!  It’s like a princess jewel.  Is it OK to buy perfume just for the bottle?  I may have to go back and try this again, the price wasn’t bad… but I really just want the bottle!

“I want to go to there” – Liz Lemon

OK, good sense prevailed and I ended up purchasing what others rave about for good reason, Maître Parfumeur et Gantier’s Ambre Precieux.

WHAT I SMELL:  Golden warm amber and vanilla.  Slightly spicy, smoky and buttery creaminess.  At times, it seems lightly soapy.  I find that this fragrance doesn’t morph as you wear it, but for an Eau de Toilette, Ambre Precieux has incredible depth, sillage and I find incredibly long-lasting.  I usually find that most ambers are better suited for the fall and winter.  Surprisingly, because of the vanilla sweetness (not too sweet mind you), this works just fine in the heat of summer.  Beautiful.

From the Maître Parfumeur et Gantier website:

All the splendour of the Orient is bottled in this perfume in which the much coveted amber unfolds its sensual and unique scent for us.
Accompanied by precious woods, balms and spices, Ambre Précieux is a true Eastern symphony.

Ambre Precieux Notes:  Top notes are myrrh and lavender; middle notes are nutmeg and vanilla; base notes are amber, tolu balsam and peru balsam.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  As I was sitting at my desk at work today I was trying to pinpoint what this scent smelled like to me.  As strange as this may sound, it reminds me of the late 70s and 80s and a doctor that I used to go to.  So what does that mean??!  This doctor was very tailored in his white smock, had impeccable grooming and was very much a gentleman.  To me, Ambre Precieux is understated elegance.  It’s the kind of fragrance that would linger comfortably on your favorite weekend tweed jacket as well as your tux.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE AMBRE PRECIEUX:  warm, refined, sophisticated

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT AMBRE PRECIEUX: Bois de Jasmin, I Smell Therefore I Am, Pour Monsieur

BOTTOM LINE:  I don’t know if this will ever replace my love for Serge Luten’s Ambre Sultan.  But to me Ambre Sultan is a fall/winter fragrance.  So in the meantime, Ambre Precieux is going to satisfy my amber fix until the leaves start falling.

  • Bone Rating: 5 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent: Oriental
  • Nose:  Jean-Francois Laporte
  • Classification: Unisex – leans masculine
  • Expense: Approximately $100 – $120 for 100ml EdT