The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


Vintage Dior Dioressence


WHAT I SMELL:  Dioressence opens with a warm and bold patchouli combined with a tad of vanilla. It’s pretty, warm and inviting.  That initial blast of patchouli starts to diminish to reveal a creamy floral mix punctuated with a spicy carnation.  After 10 minutes, the perfume begins to dry and become lightly powdered which is great because it helps to pull the perfume away again from being dominated by the patchouli.  After another 20 minutes the softens a bit more, but at the heart of Dioressence is a warm and inviting patchouli that tops a rounded and rather beefy mix of florals.  Dioressence is radiant, slightly carnal and very in control.

Notes from Fragrantica:

Top notes are aldehydes, orange, fruity notes, patchouli, green notes and bergamot; middle notes are carnation, tuberose, cinnamon, violet, orris root, jasmine, ylang-ylang, rose and geranium; base notes are musk, patchouli, benzoin, vanilla, oakmoss, vetiver and styrax.

Central Park - FallWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Central Park NYC in the Fall.


WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT DIORESSENCE: Now Smell This, I Scent You a Day, The Non-Blonde

BOTTOM LINE:  As with many vintage perfumes, the top notes are first to go, so I didn’t experience any aldehyde and bergamot rush in the opening.  But that doesn’t mean this isn’t a beauty.  Au contraire…it’s very pretty.  Actually, it reminds me greatly of the discontinued MPG George Sand.  No wonder I like it so much!

  • Bone Rating:  3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Chypre Floral
  • Nose:  Guy Robert
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: Varies.  Review based on vintage Eau de Toilette


Balenciaga Paris

Balenciaga ParisWHAT I SMELL:  Balenciaga Paris opens quite sweet and soft then quickly it becomes sour, like bitter apple, which then dissipates to reveal a buttery and creamy green note.  The fragrance is rather discordant to me because one part smells like something I should like, a rather fresh element.  But at the same time, there’s a dirty feet smell that is radiating above it.  Wierd.  After five minutes, the perfume becomes dryer and more woody and the dirty feet smell is lessened.  I am not getting any violet from the perfume at all, just wood and an uninteresting wood at that.  OK, maybe if I stick my nose right up against my wrist there’s a faint hint of violet?  After 15 minutes, the perfume perks up a bit with a sugared patchouli that comes to the surface.  The fragrance then becomes significantly drier and muted.  Again, I’m missing any violet, but am left a woody and slightly musky pleasant, but unremarkable fragrance, that at the end creates some pretty impressive projection.

From the Balenciaga website:

A Chypre Violet with the green, fresh signature of the flower and its leaves, blended into a precious harmony of fresh woods.


My apologies to the gentleman in the picture, but there’s something not quite right about his outfit.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  “It’s just not quite right”, well, at least the opening wasn’t.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE BALENCIAGA PARIS: discordant, pleasant, middle of the road

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT BALENCIAGA PARIS: Now Smell This, Bois de Jasmin, Muse in Wooden Shoes

BOTTOM LINE:  Maybe it’s my allergies, or maybe it’s just my skin, but the opening on this perfume was just not right.  If you read the other reviews, they generally thought the opening was delightful.  Oh well.  In the end,  Balenciaga Paris is a nice enough perfume, but it’s nothing that is out of the ordinary or all that special.

  • Bone Rating: 2.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Chypre Floral
  • Nose:  Olivier Polge
  • Classification: Feminine?  I would say more unisex.
  • Expense: Varies, around $50 for 1 oz. Eau de Parfum


Vintage Chanel No. 19 Parfum

1975-CHANEL-VOGUE-no 19 advert

WHAT I SMELL:  Chanel No. 19 opens with a brilliant rush of green, with hints of civet.  It’s breathtakingly beautiful, vibrant while topped with sparkling powder.  Soon enough a woodiness blends into a mossy dryness as the perfume pulsates off the skin. This is refined sexuality in a bottle with radiant but muted florals on top of a vetiver and oakmoss base and what seems to be a bit of dusty leather.  As pretty as Chanel No. 19 is I do find that there’s a darkness that lurks at the base of the perfume that provides a serious and in-charge aura of control.  As beautiful as this is, Chanel No. 19 is to me, a refined feminine butch perfume.

From the Chanel website:

Gabrielle Chanel’s signature scent, named for her August 19th birthdate. A rich blend of floral and green notes, followed by May Rose and Iris from Florence. The finale: a hint of Chypre with a subtle, woody Vetiver note. In parfum form, the most powerful, long-lasting concentration of fragrance.

Top notes: galbanum, neroli, bergamot
Heart notes: jasmine, rose, lily of the valley, iris
Base notes: vetiver, sandalwood, leather, musk


Jackie Onassis & Lee Radziwelll circa 1970

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  The antithesis of the late 60s early 70s hippie.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE CHANEL NO. 19:  dusty, sophisticated, intoxicating

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT CHANEL NO. 19:  Perfume Shrine, Bois de Jasmin, Yesterday’s Perfume

BOTTOM LINE:  Sometimes conveying a perfume in words is next to impossible.  Chanel No. 19 is one of those perfumes for me as it defies my interpretation.  I will say however that the picture of Jackie and Lee is perfect for this perfume as I can see both of them lounging in their NY apartments talking, smoking and cocktailing it up wearing this timeless classic.

  • Bone Rating: 5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral Chypre
  • Nose:  Henri Robert
  • Classification: Feminine – but easily worn by a man.
  • Expense:  Varies.  Review based on vintage the parfum extrait version.