The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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The Scented Hound’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

If you’re like me, you’re always running behind on getting the perfect gifts for your loved ones.  This year is no exception.  But thanks to online shopping, ordering your gifts late doesn’t mean that you have to worry about your presents arriving after Christmas.  So now that I have my list together, let’s help the overworked Santa and get some shopping done!

GUERLAIN MITSOUKO EXTRACT

Dear Santa, if you’re listening, there’s only one thing that I want for Christmas and that’s a new bottle of Mitsouko Extract. Since 1919, this enigmatic perfume has been weaving her spell on all who wear her. As much as I love the eau de toilette version, the extract is everything that is perfume is meant to be.  Be aware that this version is hard to find online, so you need to call your closest Guerlain boutique to place an order. But for those in the UK, you can purchase this spellbinding perfume via Escentual for 2o4 pounds. Santa, I promise that I’ve been a good boy this year!

JONATHAN ADLER JACQUES TRAY

Perfumistas love to display their most treasured perfumes. So for those who are not quite sure what perfume to buy for a loved one, you can’t go wrong with purchasing a luxurious tray for holding one’s perfumed gems.  Jonathan Adler has some new gorgeous lucite trays, which are pretty, but better yet, whose design won’t distract from your most loved possessions. The luxurious Jacques Tray comes in both a small and large size and is available in either brass or smoke accents. Prices start at $395.

MOTTAHEDEH BLUE CANTON FU DOG CANDLE

I love Mottahedeh Blue Canton china. Add a Fu Dog and a candle, and I’m completely sold.  This beautiful candle is scented with the fragrance, Air de Bergamia, a citrus-fresh fragrance that blends lemon and orange with bergamot, tea, raspberry and peach.  This elegant candle would look good in any room in your house. You can find this treasure at Gump’s online or in store in San Francisco. And if you’re not familiar with Gump’s, you’ll find that this is one of a kind department store with unique items that you won’t find anywhere else. Priced at $375.

PUREDISTANCE DISCOVERY BOX

I make no bones about the fact that Puredistance is my favorite perfume house. There is no perfume in the collection that I do not like, but I will admit that White is my favorite perfume in their line and one of my top 3 favorites perfumes overall.  If you’ve never experienced Puredistance perfumes, they are crafted luxury of the utmost quality.  And since their’ perfumes are extracts, a little spritz goes a long way, plus they last throughout the day. The best way to discover what your favorite is to sample the range, which includes a 1.5 ml sample of White as well as 6 other beauties. And all this for 59 Euros. I know that once you have experienced these incredible perfumes at least one will end up in your collection.  Please check out their website for other amazing special holiday gifts.

TRAVALO PERFUME ATOMIZERS

If you’re a perfumista, no doubt you have purchased a Travalo atomizer at some point. These handy travel accessories make taking your perfume on the road easy as pie. Plus they’re really nice looking and pretty reasonable in terms of cost.  But if you’re looking for the ultimate in atomizer luxury, they also offer silver and gold options covered in Swaravoski crystals.  What better way to treat your favorite perfume by casing it in the ultimate bling.   OK, so it’s a little pricey at $399, but isn’t your perfume worth it?  If that’s all too much, then remember that they have other atomizers starting at $9.50.

CAR SCENT DIFFUSER

We love to smell nice.  Why can’t our car smell nice too?  If you’re like me, the thought of hanging a deodorized evergreen tree on your rear view mirror is one that I can’t fathom.  But there are options to the old school way of perking up your car’s inner presence.  The diffuser from Duke may just be what you’re looking for.  This fun little gadget allows you to plug in to your cigarette lighter holder or the USB connector.  The product comes with essential oil, but if you’re like me, I would put a few drops of my favorite scented oil to make sure that my car smelled just the way I want it to.  And it’s at a great price of  $32 at Abode New York.

“GOT PERFUME?” T-SHIRT

I love this funny perfume skunk t-shirt.  This fun gift is a win for those who love perfume and for those who hate it (how is that possible?).  And it’s a deal for under $20.

YANKEE CANDLE COMPANY PERSONALIZED PICTURE CANDLES

I will have to admit that I struggle with Yankee Candle Company.  I can’t bear to go into their stores because the smell is overwhelming with too many different odors colliding in a fury at once.  Given that however, I do love this idea of being able to create your own customized picture candle.  It’s easy, just choose the size of your candle, pick the scent and then upload your photo to create your label.  In the end, it’s a unique, one of a kind gift that no one else will have.  Actually, I would love to see a candle with my two kitties on the front.  I wonder if they have tuna fish as one of their scents??  Prices vary based on the size of the candle chosen.

PARAFILM

Parafilm is the perfect stocking stuffer for any perfume lover.  So you ask, why would laboratory film be the perfect gift?  Parafilm, a sealing film, is the best way to ensure that your sample swaps and perfume bottle moves are protected from leaking.  I recently packed up my perfume collection for a move and I only found one out of about 100 bottles that suffered any leakage; and that was due to my sloppy application of the tape.  Now Parafilm can be expensive, but I found that you can find small amounts online via eBay for a low cost.  A little goes a long way so you don’t need much.  Trust me, you want to use this stuff!

RENAISSANCE KITTY PILLOW COVER 

Of course my holiday shopping list would not be complete without a gift from the irreverent Archie McPhee.  This year my pic for an inexpensive love is the Renaissance Kitty Pillow Cover.  This fun gift would be perfect for the cat lover in your life…or for those that frequent the Renaissance Fair each year.  At $11.95, it’s a great bargain.  But if the kitty pillow is not your thing, Archie McPhee offers a plethora of other fun, wild and strange offerings…most at an incredible price.  Archie McPhee is the place to go for the perfect stocking stuffer.

Of course, not all your holiday shopping needs will be met with this list.  But I hope a few of these items may find themselves under the Christmas tree, either for you or your loved one.

Happy Holidays from The Scented Hound.


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The Scented Hound’s 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

christmas-packagesLets face it, 2016 has been a strange and challenging year not just in the US, but all around the world.  I’m not saying that shopping is the answer to making the world go away, but a little retail therapy and some good holiday cheer can go a long way.  So let’s celebrate the holidays with some fantastic gifts that will help make all good boys and girls (and maybe some bad ones) forget their troubles and cares!

EXCLUSIVE SCENTED HOUND OFFER FROM SOLID STATE COLOGNE

solid-state-cologneWhen it comes to the beauty industry, men tend to be left out in the dust.  Solid State Cologne has created a line of exceptional solid colognes just for men.  Besides smelling terrific, they are also affordable and easy to use because of their portability.  So when you’re out on the town and need a fragrance pick me up or if travelling and don’t have a lot of room to pack up your fragrances, the Solid State Colognes are the perfect antidote.  And since they are so affordable, it’s a great way to move your tween or teenager away from the body sprays to a quality product that they will love to wear and will be the envy of their friends.

dopp-kitThis holiday, Solid State Cologne is offering a special deal for The Scented Hound’s readers.  For a 50% reduction in price for just under $120, they are offering a collection of six colognes along with a denim dopp kit!  How can you beat that?  Give all six along with the bag to one special person, or parse out the six for stocking stuffers to all of the special men in your life (and maybe keep the bag for yourself!).  In any case this is a win-win all around.  The following are the amazing colognes which are included in the package:

Aviator – Striking notes of citrus and labdanum mellow into woody tones to take you from day to night, ground to flight.

Freshman – A balanced blend of sea breeze and citrus, nuanced notes of floral and spice, with a base of warm cedar.

Wayfarer – A confident, heady fusion of tobacco leaf, tonka bean, cacao and sweet vanilla with notes of wood and spice.

Drifter – Fresh notes of mandarine and ginger settle into a floral bouquet with warm, woody nuances for a captivating scent.

Cruiser – Refreshing citrus notes develop into a spicy, floral blend while woody nuances provide a masculine edge.

Journeyman – A refreshing hint of Mandarine meets a base of warm cedar, while a rich blend of spice adds interest and intrigue.

Even if you don’t want all six colognes, you can buy them individually for under $30 a pop.  The new release Drifter is my favorite in the line with an easy 4 bones rating… but I’m keeping that all for myself.  For more information on Solid State Colognes, check out my review on several of their colognes.

For more information on this incredible deal, go to the exclusive Scented Hound Solid State Cologne webpage.  And if you sign up for their mailing list you’ll get even greater savings.   Please note that this offer is open to all readers across the globe.   This deal is HUGE!!!

PUREDISTANCE GIFT BOX

puredistance-gift-boxI make no bones about my love for Puredistance Perfumes.  One of my all time favorite perfumes is the exquisitely beautiful White.  But all of their perfumes, including their latest release Sheiduna, are each works of art and the utmost in fine perfumery.  This year, the Puredistance team is offering several specials; my favorite is the gift box set that contains a 60 ml bottle of your favorite Puredistance perfume, with an added bonus of a 17.5 ml bottle of your choice of a the same or any of the other perfumes.  All this for the price of a normal 60 ml bottle.  The question is, what to purchase?!  Me…I would go with the 60 ml bottle of White and a 17.5 bottle of Opardu or I…geez…it’s just too hard to pick one!!

For this and all of the other Puredistance Perfumes special offerings check out their recently updated website.

JO MALONE SCENTED CERAMIC CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT

jo-malone-london-christmas-collections_scented-ornamentJo Malone is doing Christmas right.  They have so many wonderful options for celebrating the holidays that can either fit under the tree or in this case fit on the tree.  This scented ceramic ornament is infused with the fragrance of pine and eucelyptus…and the best part, it’s only $35.  You can order this special treat through the Jo Malone website.  And while your there, check out all of the other holiday gift offerings they have.

 

LALIQUE BUCOLIQUE PERFUME BOTTLE

bucoliqueperfumeThis incredibly beautiful perfume bottle would easily make the perfect centerpiece for your perfume tray collection.  Is there anything more glamorous than the crystal beautify that only Lalique can offer?  From the Crystal Classics website:

The Bucolique collection offers a touch of freshness that takes us to a dreamlike state of nature, answering a need for authenticity and well-being with the motif of the dandelion and the dragonfly. Its aerial grace offers us an innocent poetry. The dandelion bears many different names- flower of handsome men, golden floweret and king of the meadows. It was born from the dust raised by the chariot of the Sun. The evolutionary pattern is never the same but never totally different.

When I first came across this bottle, I thought the cost would be astronomical, but surprisingly it offered at an amazing price of $450.   Available from Crystal Classics.

MAD ET LEN TERRE NOIRE RESIN CRYSTALS

potpourri-resin-crystals-500x500If you’re like me, you have scented candles and diffusers scattered throughout the house.  For some of the small places, like guest bathrooms, I prefer to use scented stones are resins simply because diffusers can get knocked over and lit candles in a small area can be a bit unnerving.  Mad et Len offers these beautiful amber resin crystals that come with a 30 ml bottle of Terre Noir scented liquid to keep the crystals continually freshened.

From the Twisted Lily website:

Amber resin crystal potpourri housed in a one-of-a-kind blackened iron vessels. Includes a 30ml bottle of Terre Noire scented liquid to refresh crystals. Embers dance like fireflies in the night, hover through a heavy fog, over damp earth darker than the shadow of the night.

Beautiful and unique, this scented gift would make anyone happy.  Available from Twisted Lily for $145.

 

best-book-scented-candles-and-perfumesBOOK SCENTED CANDLES

I have found that books and perfume go together.  And I think that many perfumistas feel the same way.  As we move more towards our e-books, we are losing that old world comfort in the scent of books.  Luckily there are many candles out there that can provide the long-lost fragrance of books without requiring you to have to re-create an old world library.  The folks at eBooks Friendly have provided a list of 30 book scented candles.  I’m sure there’s one on this list that will tickle your fancy.  For more information go to the eBook Friendly website.

 

KEEP CALM WEAR PERFUME MERCHANDISE

keep-calm-wear-perfumeIt’s probably not a secret to your family, friends and even coworkers that you love perfume.  So why hide that love under a bushel when you can wear it on your body.  The Keep Calm phenomenon keeps on giving, even to the world of perfume.  If you’re not interested in a t-shirt, you can put this on a mug or a plethora of other items.  Shine on perfume lover!  The many products and associated prices can be found on the Keep Calm-O-Matic website.

 

keychainPERFUME BOTTLE KEYCHAIN

Great for your budding perfumista, this inexpensive, but bling filled keychain may be just the thing for your stylish girly-girl.  Who doesn’t love pink, sparkles and perfume?  You can buy this from Moxie Retailer for a mere $16.95!

 

The last two selections for gift giving fall outside the world of fragrance…but like with books and perfumistas, I have found that cats and perfumistas go hand in hand as well.  And that goes for me too…suprisingly I don’t have any dogs, but instead have two cats.  So let’s see what cat related items will make perfect gifts this season…

cat-night-lightCAT NIGHT LIGHT

How cute is this USB charging night light?  You can have your personal kitty night light glow in the dark in a peaceful white light, or in vibrant colors.  When I have to get up to get a glass of milk in the middle of the night, I would love to see this cute kitty greeting me along the way.  And the best part is that it’s only $14.93 from Rosegal.com.  What will you name your new feline friend?

CAT BONNET

cat-bonnet-tabby_grandeFinally, my holiday selection of gift would not be complete with something from Archie McPhee.  This year’s gift is all about nostalgia and bringing back the good old days via Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Don’t you want to share those good old days with your kitty?  Do you think your cat is more of a Laura, Mary or possibly even a Nellie Olson?  There’s only one way to find out and that’s by purchasing for your kitty their very own bonnet.   You have no excuse not to buy this as it’s only $5.95?!  This, plus many more fun gifts are available via the Archie McPhee website!

CHANEL NO. 5 L’EAU

chanel-no-5-leauOK…so I lied.  We’re going to end the list with another perfume related gift.  Out of the many, many new releases, I found one to be just perfect for wearing in a no fuss, no muss manner.  It’s just the right perfume for when you’re not sure what you want to wear, or when you don’t want to overthink what to put on.  I love these wonderful classic catch-all fragrances…and Chanel No. 5 L’eau just fits the bill.  And thankfully, it’s not too expensive or too hard to find.  This is a flanker to love!  For more information, go to the Chanel website or your local fine retailer.

Happy Shopping and Happy Holidays from The Scented Hound!


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The Scented Hound’s 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

dog-with-christmas-gift-2015Once again ’tis the season for holiday magic.  But finding that magical gift can sometimes be rather difficult as there are so many wonderful items to choose from.  So here a few holiday offerings that are recommended by the Scented Hound…maybe just one of these will help you or Santa complete your holiday shopping wish list!

 

ROJA PARFUMS ESSENCE OF CHRISTMAS CANDLE

Roja Parfums Essence of Christmas candleThe best way to ease you into the holiday season is to enhance your surroundings with the festive scents of the season.  And add Roja Parfums to your holiday decorating and you’ll end up with a luxurious feast for the senses.  Fit for a king, the Roja Parfums Essence of Christmas candle incorporates fir balsam, fir needles, pine, guaiac and cedar woods which mingle with the gourmand delights of gingerbread, cinnamon, fenugreek, cocoa and toffee shot through with delicate heliotrope.  In addition, birch tar, leather and vetiver are added to create a smoky effect redolent of a roaring fire with tonka bean, making a perfect bed for a rich offering of precious frankincense – the original Christmas gift.

“For me, Christmas is the magical scent of majestic pine filling your home. It’s the excitement of festive treats – of ginger bread and cinnamon in abundance. It’s the crisp, fresh smell of winter air that, for a fleeting moment, clings to guests as you welcome them in from the cold. It’s the comforting warmth of a cosy log fire that makes us feel safe as it brings out the eternal child in us all.” – Roja Dove.

Available via the Roja Parfums website for 75 pounds.

 

ATELIER COLOGNE SAMPLE SET AND GIFT CARD

Atelier Gift SetOne of the biggest issues in presenting perfume as a gift is that just because you might like a particular perfume, doesn’t mean the receiver of the gift will also.  And what might work with your body chemistry, may not work for someone else.  This year, Atelier Cologne has come up with a fantastic gift idea.  With a minimum amount of a $70, the Atelier Cologne Gift Card is enclosed in a signature keepsake metal box and is accompanied by 12 Colognes Absolues 1,2 ml (Mandarine Glaciale, Sud Magnolia, Figuier Ardent, Cèdre Atlas, Orange Sanguine, Cédrat Enivrant, Pomélo Paradis, Vanille Insensée, Rose Anonyme, Vétiver Fatal, Silver Iris, Santal Carmin).  This way the person receiving the gift card can sample and then pick out the perfect scent just for them.  Now you won’t have to worry about if your perfumed gift is going to sit on the shelf unused anymore.  What a fantastic gift idea!

Sample and gift card available via the Atelier Cologne website.

 

ALEXANDRA VON FURSTENBERG ACRYLIC VANITY MIRROR TRAY

AVF Vanity Tray Clear Front PefumeI know that some people will argue that you’re not supposed to leave your perfumes out on display because of light and air degradation.  But if you’re like me, you don’t want to go digging through boxes and drawers to find the perfect perfume each and every day.  Yes, I do rotate my collection based on the season, but for the most part, I want my perfumes to be easily accessible and displayed in all their glory.  Perfume bottles can be art unto themselves.  Alexandra Von Furstenberg offers this beautiful acrylic vanity tray that is simple in its beauty and as such, doesn’t take away from the beauty of the bottles.  And what I love about the tray is that it comes in 3 colors; clear, bronze and black.  With these options, even the gents can display their perfumes in a setting with a touch of masculinity.  Trays come in varying sizes with prices starting at $180 at the Alexandra Von Furstenberg website.

 

BEARD AND MOUSTACHE COMB BY KENT

61dKFLKyVRL._SY355_I think the hipster beard and moustache trend is beginning to fade, but that means it will continue to live on outside the realm of the big cities for some time to come.  What I have noted however, is that many of the men folk are not grooming and caring for their facial hair as they should be.  To me, there’s nothing more slovenly than an unkempt beard and moustache.  It’s an easy fix.  For $5.50 you can provide some help to tame the jungle with a beard and moustache comb.  It’s cheap, practical and much easier than renting a lawn mower to fix the tangled mess.  The Kent Beard and Moustache Comb is available via Parfum1.com along with other Kent products as well as beauty products from perfumes to soaps for any person on your Christmas list.

 

THE PEARL HOME COLLECTION BY KILIAN

kilian-scented-paper-weight_grandeBy Kilian keeps upping their game with new and extravagant scented products that fall outside the realm of traditional perfume.  The new Pearl Home Collection is infused with the fragrance, French Boudoir.

From the By Kilian website:

Kilian Pearl Tassel FRENCH BOUDOIR is an olfactory phantasm … the boudoirs of Ninon de l’Enclos, the Marquise de Montespan and La Castiglione. 

A majestic bouquet of tuberose, erotic and elegant, just like these big scandalous 18th and 19th century.

And unlike other companies, By Kilian scented products go beyond the traditional candles and/or home diffusers.  This new home collection does offer candles as part of the line, but they also offer a a scented paperweight, scented soaps and a perfumed tassel.  Strangely enough, they also offer a mother of pearl box of matches, but at $125 euros, I think I’ll stick to a standard box of matches to light my candles.  Check out the entire collection at the By Kilian website.

 

PERFUME DISCOVERY GIFT SETS

Discovery gift sets are the perfect way to introduce someone to a brand that they are not familiar with; or they are familiar with but would like to get to know better.  A good discovery set provides a perfumed amount that is large enough to give a wearer the ability to try to test the perfume more than just once or twice, but yet small enough so that if a perfume is not exactly to their liking, they’re not stuck with an unused 100 ml bottle.  The following discovery sets are a couple of favorites of mine:

L'A Parfumeur Gift SetL’Artisan Perfumeur Holiday Discovery Gift Set:  The set contains collectible 5ml bottles of the following classic scents: Caligna, La Chasse aux Papillons, L’eau d’Ambre Extrême, Mûre et Musc Extrême, Rose Privée, and Timbuktu.  And to boot, it comes in this wonderful presentation box.  The best part is that it’s only $55; which equals less than $10 for each of the perfumes.  You can’t beat this deal.  The L’Artisan Perfumeur Holiday Discovery Gift Set is available at Arielle Shoshanna and other fragrance retailers.

NVC DiscoveryNeela Vermeire Creations Discovery Coffret Set:  If you haven’t discovered the magic of Neela Vermeire Creations, this is the perfect way to find out why this perfume house has some of the most intriguingly unique and beautiful creations in the niche marketplace.  From the soft and subtle rose beauty of Mohur to the fantastically bright and full of energy Bombay Bling this coffret set allows you to travel to the mysterious east with just a quick spritz of perfume.  Each of the 4 perfumes, Mohur, Trayee, Bombay Bling and Ashoka are packaged in a box each filled with 8 ml per perfume.  You better act quickly though as each of these sets is sent from Paris and shipping ends on December 15, 2016.  The Neela Vermeire Creations Discovery Coffret set is 125 Euros and can be purchased via the e-boutique at the Neela Vermeire Creations website.

 

AFTELIER PERFUMES SOLID PERFUMES IN AN ANTIQUE CONTAINER

Aftelier CompactA couple of years ago I included this item on my holiday gift list.  I am doing so again because it truly is a perfect one of a kind unique and special perfumed gift.  Perfumer Mandy Aftel has resurrected these beautiful antique works of art and has infused her own perfumed art to make this one of a kind gift filled with a solid perfume of your choice.  Prices for each vary based on the particular container, but most vary from $240 on up.  Depending on the perfume chosen, additional charges may be incurred.

Of course, if a special compact is not your idea of the perfect gift, Aftelier Perfumes has an extensive selection of unique gifts from perfumes, to candles to fragranced organic teas as well as collection of Chef’s Essences and sprays which would be perfect for the foodie lovers in your life.  For more information on all the wonderful gift ideas at Aftelier Perfumes, check out Mandy’s website!

 

VINTAGE PERFUMED ADS

Joy AdSometimes getting a hold of an old classic vintage perfume isn’t enough for a perfumista.  If you have a favorite classic you may want to get your hands on anything from a large factice to vintage ads that you can frame.  I can’t attest to the integrity of each of the perfumed ads listed at this website, but what the site does offer is a centralized location to shop around for perfumed ads from yesteryear, most of which appear to be ads from magazines and other publications.  But if the price and quality are right, one could be just the perfect gift to frame for your special lover of all things perfume!  For more information click here.

 

NORDSTROM PERFUME ATOMIZER

Nordstrom AtomizerGreat as stocking stuffers, this is the perfect gift for all perfumistas on the go.  If you have ever had to leave a perfume bottle behind with the airport Transportation Security Agency because they confiscated it because it contained too much liquid, then you know how important it is to carry these handy travel atomizers.  Nordstrom offers these at an easy $6 per .5 oz. unit and they come in three very fun colors too (emerald, blue and gold)!  Available via the Nordstrom website.

 

ARCHIE MCPHEE

My yearly gift list would not be complete without the inclusion of the fantastic Archie McPhee.  Archie McPhee carries the most irreverent gifts that are perfect for tickling even the most hard to buy for Scrooge on your gift giving list.  This year’s favorite from the extensive list for me would be the Crazy Cat Lady Action Figurine!

From the Archie McPhee website:

crazy_cat_lady_action_figure_1This 5-1/4″ tall hard vinyl figure comes with a dash of eccentricity and six cats you can pose around her. She has a seventh cat perched on her shoulder and an eighth cozily tucked inside the pocket of her bathrobe. The house-shaped package gives you a glimpse into her home and even features a quiz to help determine if you or someone you know might be a crazy cat lady. 

This “crazy” gift can be yours for the low-cost of $14.95 from the Archie McPhee website.  If cats aren’t your thing, there’s plenty of other wacky gifts that might be just what you’re looking for!

I hope you found some inspiration for some fun and fabulous gifts for this holiday season.  Happy shopping and Happy Holidays from The Scented Hound!