The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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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


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Still Life in Rio by Olfactive Studio

Still Life in Rio2

WHAT I SMELL:  Still Life in Rio opens up like a basket of minty, citrus freshness.  It’s delightful and feels incredibly bountiful.   Quickly, the fresh moves to a more tropical with a creamy and buttery coconut taking over as if swathed with a butter knife over the perfume.  The perfume is thickened without being heavy and it feels like it has been baked by the hot sun which pulls out a rather sweaty and salty element.  At this point, the perfume is very subtle and unobtrusive and without a great deal of projection, so it feels as if it’s part of the sweat of your body.  Slow to develop, after some time, a light rum note is added to the tropical coconut.  The perfume then gracefully completes its journey very quietly, as if the tropical salty sweat of the day is like a lingering memory of the perfect day in Rio.

From the Olfactive Studio website:

Exotic and luminous, Still Life in Rio is a new and unique scent that opens with yuzu, ginger, mint and lemon essence. It blossoms and heats up with a blend of peppers, Jamaican hot peppers and coconut water, finishing with rum and Brazilian Copaiba essences.

TOP NOTES:  Yuzu, ginger, mint, lemon, mandarin

HEART NOTES: Jamaican hot peppers, pink pepper, black pepper, coconut water

BASE NOTES:  Rum, Brazilian Copaiba, Accord of White Leather

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  The concept behind the brand:

“OLFACTIVE STUDIO IS AN ENCOUNTER BETWEEN CONTEMPORARY ARTISTIC PHOTOGRAPHY AND PERFUMERY; BETWEEN THE EYE AND THE NOSE THIS IS THE FIRST TIME EVER THAT PERFUMERS HAVE TEAMED UP WITH PHOTOGRAPHERS TO DRAW INSPIRATION FROM THEIR OEUVRES. THEY SENSE THE IMAGES TO CAPTURE THEIR ESSENCE.”

Still Life in RioThis is an inspiration that I can feel akin to as my reviews always accommodate my association with a visual.  I’m not going to mess with adding any additional visual to the perfume, so I’ll stick with the actual inspiration, the photograph Still Life in Rio by Flávio Veloso.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE STILL LIFE IN RIO:  calming, tropical, easy

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT STILL LIFE IN RIO: Chemist in the Bottle, CaFleureBon, Now Smell This

BOTTOM LINE:  There’s something about the perfume that is just so incredibly easy.  When you wear it, you don’t feel like there’s a need to rush or be in a hurry.  The visual inspiration is stunning and you can just imagine how wonderful looking over this city in all it’s beauty could be on a hot, humid and steamy morning.

  • Bone Rating:  3 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Aromatic
  • Nose: Dora Baghriche
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $195 for 100 ml Eau de Parfum

Sample courtesy of Twisted Lily Fragrance Boutique and Apothecary.  Opinion my own.