The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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Focus on Mexico: Sandovalis Perfumes and Cicle Club Review

Before leaving the US in 2017 for Mexico, it was clear that there was an entrepreneurial groundswell happening with small start-up companies, stores and restaurants happening throughout the country.  It was exciting to see craftmanship return to the marketplace with people who had the love and spirit to make and provide new and unique products and services.  Here in Mexico, the same is happening, especially with the younger generation.  And because of it, many are bringing a new twist to the traditional in a very exciting way.

One of these entrepreneurs lives right here in Merida; Jose Sandovalis of Sandovalis Perfumes.  As a self-taught perfumer, Jose has used his love of perfume, botany and the Yucatan to create a line of perfumes, candles and personal grooming products that are rooted in the local environment.  Jose cites that his interest in perfume began with his grandmother who had a book of perfumes from the late 19th century.  But it wasn’t just his grandmother that helped to influence this interest; his father and grandfather helped to educate and mentor with a shared passion for botany.  Now, together with his wife Cindy, they have handcrafted a collection of unique products that are tied to the history and botanicals of the Yucatan.  And they source their materials throughout the peninsula with a concentration on fair trade.  To Jose, sustaining and supporting the local people is key to his mission.   Sorry to say however, that these products are only available in Mexico.  So if you need a good excuse to come experience this wonderful country, this is one good reason to do so

WHAT I SMELL:   Cicle Club first spins off of the skin with a fresh and tangy lightly sugared tangerine.  The pefume sparkles with a bright energy.  After a couple of minutes, the cheery opening starts to retreat, leaving the wearer wondering if the perfume is about to disappear after a quick hello.    But as expected, the perfume begins to reveal a more herbal heart with hints of dewy wood.   The light sugared sweetness is still there, but it has retreated in such a manner giving it a quiet and understated level of positivity.  After some time, a tobacco note starts to swirl and rise through the center of the perfume.  It’s projection is just right as it feels a bit windswept off of the skin.

Head notes:  Tangerine and Rosemary

Heart notes:  Good grass and Basil

Background notes:  Cedar and Tobacco

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A quiet early evening bike ride underneath Merida’s Arcos de Dragones.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE CICLE CLUB:  understated, classic, comfortable

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT CICLE CLUB:  None found.

BOTTOM LINE:  Cicle Club is clearly a gentlemen, but one with a sporty heart.  It’s herbal and woody tobacco freshness is perfect in the heat of the summer and for any time of year.

  • Bone Rating: 4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Aromatic Woody
  • Nose:  Jose Sandovalis
  • Classification: Masculine
  • Expense: Approximately $50 for 60 ml eau de parfum.  Also available in 30 ml.

For more information, please check out the wonderfully historical Sandovalis Perfumes website (in Spanish – easy to translate using Google Chrome).


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New Release: The by Kilian Addictive State of Mind Collection

by Kilian Addictive State of Mind

INTOXICATED – WHAT I SMELL:  Intoxicated opens with a boozy burnt coffee note that is sweet, yet flattened.  It feels like it’s been sprinkled with dry nutmeg and it has a rather marshmallow thickness consistency about it.  It makes me want to fire up my espresso machine, because this would make for a nice after dinner drink to go with a hot cup of coffee.  As Intoxicated starts to develop, it becomes a bit nuttier, richer and it begins to rise and jump off the skin, growing with projection each minute.  There’s a nice herbal quality that rests like a haze on top the layered fragrance and a bit of sweet and light caramel emerges giving it more dimension.  As time progresses, the light booziness retreats, but the roasted coffee and nuttiness remains.  After around a half and hour, a light vetiver appears, bringing just a bit of sharpness into the mix.  As it keeps developing, it turns from the gourmand to a more woody creation.  But the great thing about the by Kilian fragrances is that they are so supremely finished and silky smooth so that the different variations in the fragrance make the notes hard to define and pin down.

Intoxicated Notes:  cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, coffee

Gourmet S'more

Gourmet S’mores

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  The most luxurious S’more with a lightly sweet refined cocoa’d chocolate with the finest of graham crackers.  And when you’ve finished eating the lovely concoction, the warm, sweet and fired remains of the treat linger in the air.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE INTOXICATED:  smooth, delicious, suave

  • Bone Rating: 4.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Aromatic Spicy
  • Nose:   Calice Becker
  • Classification: Unisex

LIGHT MY FIRE – WHAT I SMELL:  Light My Fire opens with this dry hay like tobacco and honey.  Quickly, a cumin notes comes in along with the patchouli.  It’s dry and a bit sour.  The honey isn’t thick, but more like a dried and crackled glaze over the hay.  It’s rather comforting to me, as it’s a bit dusty too…as if the perfume has been stored in an old barn.  Along with the honey, there seems to creep out a bit of a brown sugar note.  There’s a tender sweetness about the fragrance that’s very muted which I find quite nice and heart-warming.   After around 10 minutes, a putty note appears giving Light My Fire a bit of thickness.  At this point, the initial hay that brought in the dryness begins to be filled instead with a more woody note which isn’t quite as devoid of moisture, but it’s still rather dry.  Light My Fire doesn’t transform all that much, but it’s such a nice and relaxing fragrance, the kind that’s good for soothing one’s soul.  Don’t get me wrong though, as relaxing as this is, there is still some power and projection behind it.

Light My Fire Notes:  cumin, hay, patchouli, vetiver, honey, vanilla and tobacco

late-day-late-summer

Late Day, Late Summer – Jan Schmuckal

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A late summer day, where the ground is rather dry as you lay under a big tree while the sun streams all around you.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE LIGHT MY FIRE:  peaceful, contented, contemplative

  • Bone Rating: 4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Oriental Woody
  • Nose:  Sidonie Lancesseur
  • Classification: Unisex

SMOKE FOR THE SOUL – WHAT I SMELL:  Smoke for the Soul opens big with this warmed eucalyptus topped by a nutty tobacco.  It’s quite thick and a bit chewy and somewhat burnt around the edges.  After a bit, it begins to dry and it becomes more burnt, like the sticks of wood are actually firing up on your skin.  A birch note begins to appear almost as if the already flaky bark is falling off of the perfume exposing a more sharpened cannabis note that’s quite pungent and sour.  The fragrance then dries out and becomes pure wood.  However, the wood continues its slow burn with a slight smoky and sharp finish sitting above a vetiver base.

Smoke for the Soul Notes:  eucalyptus, grapefruit, tobacco, mate, birch, cashmirwood, cannabis and cardamom

Burnt Twigs

burnt twigs

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  burnt twigs

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE SMOKE FOR THE SOUL:  crackling, aromatic, burnt

  • Bone Rating: 3 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Woody Aromatic
  • Nose:  Fabrice Pellegrin
  • Classification: Unisex

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE ADDICTIVE STATE OF MIND COLLECTION:  Colognoisseur, The Style and Beauty Doctor

BOTTOM LINE:  With the by Kilian name, you’re getting luxury not only in a scent, but also in the packaging.  This new collection is no exception as each perfume comes in a case designed to look like a luxurious cigar holder.  Intoxicated and Light my Fire are really smooth, refined and perfectly finished and live up to the by Kilian brand.  Smoke for the Soul plays “which one of these is not like the others” with the other two.  It’s nice, but it just doesn’t feel like it fits into the mix.  In any case, overall, a very nice collection.

  • Expense: $270 for 50ml Eau de Parfum (each sold separately)