The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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Two from Shalini Parfum – Paradis Provence & Iris Lumière

PARADIS PROVENCE – WHAT I SMELL:  Paradis Provence opens with a sparkling, yet slightly salty thyme and lavender along with what I found to be just a hint of sweet caramel.  Almost right from first spritz, the perfume seems to lift off the skin as if it’s ascending towards the sky.  With this airy quality, it’s as if it’s a sheet that has been hanging on the clothesline, soaked in the sun and infused with the herbaceous thyme and lavender from nearby fields.  In the most quiet of ways, there’s an orange blossom note that rests within the perfume which helps to temper the stronger aspects of the lavender, making its’ persona softer, while still buzzing with energy  Additionally, the perfume also has an interesting textured quality to it, as if it has been painted on with a soft and powdered dry brush.  Overall, Paradis Provence has a very calming presence (as I write this, I’m sitting in the dark without electricity as a tropical storm charges through…thanks to Paradis Provence, no worries).  Paradis Provence doesn’t change much beyond this point which is a good thing as the perfume rests in this powdery herbal and lightly woody heaven that is quiet, intimate and grounded in positive energy.

From Shalini Parfum:

Paradis Provence is the essence of the land we call Provence, Paradise on earth.

Fields of blue lavande, thyme, orange blossoms, sunflowers following the golden Sun, ancient olive trees, the sky that turns pink as it touches the azure of the Mediterranean and amorous nights drenched in jasmine.

Where the solar energy lights your soul. the golden sunshine warms your skin, and soft breezes caress your senses, a feeling of deep relaxation prevails.

Paradis Provence is the fragrance of the eternal summer – of our youth, our imagination and our passion. A happy summer of blue salt and crystal.

The parfum is a solar composition of lavande absolut, thyme and orange blossoms. It carries you to the days of blue and gold and warms your soul with its sunlight.

Lavande absolut is the purest essence of this blue flower that is the heart of Provence. The sight of rows of endless blue in the summer is magnificent.

Thyme with its golden beam of light cleanses and heals. It opens your heart to receive love.

Orchards of orange blossoms laden by the bees, swaying in breeze, scent the air. The orange absolut carries the glorious energy of joy and abundance.

The oak moss lends a delicate forest-like, rich and earthy aroma to the composition.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Inner peace.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE PARADIS PROVENCE:  comforting, serene, centered

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT PARADIS PROVENCE:  Colognoisseur, CaFleureBon, WMSSL

BOTTOM LINE:  It has been a long time since a perfume has made me feel so at peace and so incredibly secure and relaxed.  And the fact that it’s so incredibly beautiful just makes it all that much more special.  I can have problems with lavender perfumes as they tend to overpower me.  But here, the lavender is tamed by the orange blossom in the most exquisite of ways.  Personally, I would say that Paradis Provence, along with the original Shalini are my two favorite perfumes in the line.  And that’s saying alot since all of the perfumes are beyond gorgeous.

  • Bone Rating: 5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Aromatic
  • Nose:  Maurice Roucel
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense:  Starting at $150 for 7.5 ml.  Also available in 12.5 ml, 50 ml and 100 ml flacons.  Available via the Shalini Parfum website.  Parfum extrait.

Paradis Provence is the Golden light and Iris Lumière is the Silver light.  The twin lights of creation. – Shalini Parfum

IRIS LUMIÈRE – WHAT I SMELL:  Iris Lumière graces the skin with a soft, cottony muguet tinged with the slightest of moistened leaves and tempered galbanum.  The perfume is tender and quiet; as if you laid your head on an exquisite pillow which is cool to the skin and surrounded by soft and lilting violet and muguet caressing your head with lullaby whispers.   There’s a light earthiness that rests under the tender florals and a dry wood that keeps the perfume just out of the clouds.  The opening of the perfume lasts a very long time and the development moves oh so slowly which is just as well as the innocent florals are in a place that begs not to be left.  When Iris Lumière decides to walk along the garden path, the green begins to grow and the lightest wisp of frankincense lifts gracefully with each quiet step along the way.  Here, Iris Lumière moves from the delicate innocence of the muguet and to a more mature orris root and it begins to warm ever so slightly as it begins to pulsate off of the skin in a lightly woody timbre.

From Shalini Parfum:

Iris Lumière parfum is the Silver light of peace and acceptance. 

The Moon shines upon the earth and lights everything in its path.  The night is cool and peaceful, a moment of respite for the world.

Iris Lumière is a luminous Parfum, like the moonlight bathing and caressing in a mysterious way.

Meadows of Royal irises clothed in regal purpura-blue; rising above the moist soil reflecting the silvery moon – are luxurious gifts from the heavens. The King is in the field – calling His beloved – swaying in silvery breezes whispers of love and passion. 

The parfum is a lunar composition of luxurious Orris Absolut, Hyacinth Orientalis, French Muguet, Galbanum and Frankincense. 

Orris butter is the heart of Iris Lumière. It is extracted from the rhizome of the Iris root. Creating an exquisite woody, violet-like aroma of unearthly beauty and luxurious delicacy.  Rapturous.

French Muguet’s elegant sweet floral bell shape is borne in sprays during springtime bringing a sense of tender happiness and inspiration.

Hyacinth Orientalis creates a heady green soft note like crushed fresh leaves – deep and exhaultic. 

Hyacinth promotes well-being.

Galbanum grows in the marshes of Iran – where the two rivers meet the sea.  It brings an earthy, green and fresh watery quality to the parfum. Verdure.

Frankincense, the purest of incense, lends a fresh balsamic, and woody note to the parfum.  It is a resin from the Boswellia tree that has been used since biblical times for prayer, clarification and healing.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Self assurance.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE IRIS LUMIÈRE:  introspective, connected, centered

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT IRIS LUMIÈRE:  Colognoisseur, WMSSL

BOTTOM LINE:  Iris Lumière is beautiful with its’ very serene, yet spirited persona.  Even though it’s a peaceful perfume, there an energy of strength and confidence that is unexpected, but very welcomed.

  • Bone Rating: 4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral Woody Musk
  • Nose:  Maurice Roucel
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense:  Starting at $150 for 7.5 ml.  Also available in 12.5 ml, 50 ml and 100 ml flacons.  Available via the Shalini Parfum website.  Parfum extrait.


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New Release: Civet by Zoologist Perfumes

zoologistcivetWHAT I SMELL:  Civet opens with a warmed spiced orange and bergamot which reminds me of clove filled orange pomanders that you see during the winter holidays.  The warmth begins to lighten quickly as the perfume beams soft and pretty with a lovely and light tuberose coming to the center.  But very quickly, the perfume becomes highly radiant and makes its presence known.  After a bit, a soured citrus comes forward which then melds into a light civet.  The perfume moves from a pretty floral luminosity to a slightly rebellious feel.  Still pretty, there’s a light bite that gives the perfume a more interesting presence and depth. As it continuous to develop, a hay like flatness keeps the perfume grounded.  At the same time, the projected radiance dissipates and the perfume dances around the floral heart, along with a musky and slightly urinous interplay with hints of coffee and leather.  Civet is wonderfully complex, yet so smooth and easy to wear.

From the Zoologist Perfumes website:

Zoologist Civet pays homage to the age-old ingredient, civet, as well as chypre perfumes of bygone days – perfumes that refused to be intimidated by raw, alluring, animalistic musks. Civet is a moody and complex brew entwined in mystery. It opens with a spicy floral accord, threaded through with dark coffee tones. Slowly it prowls forward, unraveling base notes of leather, moss and vanilla that combines with distinctive civet musk to create a bewildering, sophisticated scent with the promise of a sultry nighttime rendezvous.

Top Notes: Bergamot, Black Pepper, Lemon, Orange, Spices, Tarragon
Heart Notes: Carnation, Frangipani, Heliotrope, Hyacinth, Linden-blossom, Tuberose, Ylang
Base Notes: Balsams, Civet, Coffee, Incense, Labdanum, Musks, Oakmoss, Resins, Russian Leather, Vanilla, Vetiver, Woods 

nancy-spungen-profile

Nancy Spungen

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Nancy Spungen of Sid and Nancy fame…a little pretty, a little dirty, a little punk.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE CIVET:  careworn, enigmatic, nuanced

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT CIVET:  AustralianPerfumeJunkies, Cafleurebon

BOTTOM LINE:  Perfumer Shelley Waddington has created a complex beauty that blends seamlessly to reveal many nuances throughout the wear.  With the name Civet, I was worried that this would be a perfume would be rather funky.  Instead, she added just the right amount of civet to enhance the subdued florals.  Civet is a really lovely perfume.

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Aromatic
  • Nose: Shelley Waddington
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $125 for 60 ml eau de parfum


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Madrona by House of Matriarch

MadronaWHAT I SMELL:  Madrona opens with a moist lavender that’s creamy and lightly sugared.  A light leather and birch bring a little bit of sour into the perfume along with a hint of burnt rubber.  The initial feel of the perfume is quite outdoorsy and masculine while at the same time it’s also rather smooth with just the right amount of toughness.  A smoldering woodiness creates the base which makes the fragrance feel strong and steady.  As the perfume develops it begins to soften, while still confident, it adds a dimension of contentment as the lavender becomes more powdered and a woody vetiver begins to take over as a radiant base.  

From the House of Matriarch website:

A fragrance born of the Northwest. Dream-inducing lavender fields mingle with towering cedar trees swaying gently in the misted Pacific breeze. An underlying sense of exploration, imbued through a Vetiver base note, keeps this ancient Northwest spirit youthful and exotic. Madrona, whose bark itself look like it was forged of polished bronze, lends more than just a note to this fragrance — it lays the roots of its name.

Sacagawea_Lewis_ClarkWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  The perfume made for Lewis and Clark…at the journey’s end where the tall trees meet the cool ocean of the Pacific Northwest.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE MADRONA:  secure, aged, solid

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT MADRONA:  perfumesilove

BOTTOM LINE:  What started off as rather manly, in the end becomes a real comforting and easy to wear scent.  The perfume is not large in its projection which makes this a perfect fit for an office setting.

  • Bone Rating:  3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Aromatic
  • Nose:  Christi Meshell
  • Classification: Unisex, but leans masculine
  • Expense: $120 for 15 ml parfum