The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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La Belle Hellene by Parfums MDCI

La Belle HelleneWHAT I SMELL:  Madame Hellene is true to the dessert honoring her name as it opens with bright aldehydes and a sweet pear.  The perfume is lush, juicy and dripping with a warmed honeyed tone of citrus.  It’s also rich, opulent and almost too much to drink in.  The pear is nectarous as if it’s coated in simple syrup and it’s also served with a fruity osmanthus.  I can’t get over the dizzying spectacle of the whirling fruit and florals which seem to bounce off the skin like whirling dervishes.  In a bit the perfume softens, but just slightly as the sweetened florals take on just a bit of powder, which reduces the ripe and wet which led the path at the beginning.  After some time, the perfume’s fruity florals are met with a warmed sandalwood and light musk which helps to even the fragrance out.  At this point, La Belle Hellene is as pretty as her name and the perfume develops this radiant powder with this delicious hint of licorice which is unexpected, but completely delightful.   Licorice notwithstanding, the perfume really starts to dry as it settles down into a powdered memory of ripened pear.

Top notes : pear, aldehydes, tangerine, lemon flower

Heart notes : Bulgarian rose, osmanthus, mimosa, ylang ylang, iris, hawthorn, mirabelle plum

Bottom notes : myrrh, vetiver, patchouli, cedar, amber,  sandalwood, oak foam, white musk, licorice

lavish dessertsWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: A lavish dessert buffet.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE LA BELLE HELLENE:  succulent, ravishing, fruited

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT LA BELLE HELLENE:  Olfactoria’s Travels, The Black Narcissus, CaFleureBon

BOTTOM LINE:  This pretty lady leaves me rather conflicted.  On the one hand it’s too sweet and gourmand for my tastes; at the same time it’s so proper and ladylike with just a hint of licorice making this unique enough to strike my fancy.  However, each time I have worn it, it does seem to test my patience a bit as it wears on me and becomes somewhat tiresome.  

  • Bone Rating:  3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Chypre Fruity
  • Nose: Bertrand Duchaufour
  • Classification: Feminine
  • Expense: $250 for 75 ml eau de parfum (non-bust edition)


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VINTAGE REVIEW: PARURE by GUERLAIN

ParureWHAT I SMELL:  Parure starts off deep and when first sniffed it hits the back of your throat with an initial blast of heavy plum with a layer of bergamot on top.  It’s somewhat medicinal and rather antiseptic, like what you expect a cleaning product for a doctor’s office would smell like.  After a few more minutes it becomes almost lemony and fizzy and it begins to grow larger in its projection. To me, it’s very warm and cool at the same time as the green keeps it cool, but the rose and amber keep it warmed on the bottom.  After around 15 minutes the fragrance loses the coolness and the oakmoss comes to the surface drying out the scent with it’s familiar woody powder.  Add that to a very noticable, but sudued rose and that’s very pretty and a bit spicy.  Funny, after around 30 minutes or so, the warm base begins to retreat but the fragrance retains the floral spiciness.  In the end, it’s a very calming and pretty floral chypre that is not too dry.  Wait!!!  After around almost 1.5 hours the oakmoss really dries the fragrance out, but no worries, it’s still pretty and rather proper.   Parure is perfect for the coming spring as I don’t really see that as a winter fragrance.

Parure Notes from Fragrantica:  plum, bergamot, green notes; lily of the valley, rose, iris, lilac, jasmine, narcissus; and oak moss, spices, amber, rose and patchouli in the base.

red-rose-in-the-breezeWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A pretty spring day, where there’s a dry breeze flowing through the flowers.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE PARURE: calming, pretty, reserved

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT PARURE: Yesterday’ Perfume, Eiderdown PressPerfume Shrine

BOTTOM LINE:  I have read so much about this discontinued Guerlain treasure and since I love my chypres I had to seek it out.  I’m not disappointed as I love the fact that it’s not an uber chypre, but instead it is wonderfully subdued.  Why did they discontinue it?  Who knows, but I’m glad I got my hands on some.  Now all I need to do is to find some of the parfum extrait!

  • Bone Rating: 4 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent: Chypre Fruity
  • Classification: Leans feminine
  • Expense: Varied through eBay and other sources.  Review is based on the Eau de Toilette version.