The Scented Hound

Perfume blog with abbreviated perfume reviews & fragrance reviews.


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Vintage Y by Yves Saint Laurent

A couple of weeks ago I was going through my perfumes and I found a vintage gem that for some reason had been hidden within a box; a small 15 ml bottle of Y parfum extrait which I believe is from the late 60s or early 70s.  Funny thing is that the same day that I found this little prize, Portia dropped a post on Undina’s Looking Glass about the same perfume.  Obviously the perfumed gods were trying to tell me to do a review of this vintage chypre.

WHAT I SMELL:  Y opens with a warmed honeyed galbanum layered with a dried woody vetiver and a hint of peach.  The perfume goes on strong, but then settles into a much quieter mix of slightly soured florals that are rich, deep and wonderfully intoxicating.  Y means business, serious business as there’s nothing soft or demure about the perfume.  Instead, it wears like a tweed jacket..as if it’s been tinged with just a bit of dew bringing out the smell of the wool.  As it continues to develop the oakmoss comes forth front and center surrounded by an ambered hue.  In the end, the perfume settles into a lovely amber surrounded by soft florals.  Y is perfect for cool fall nights when you want to leave a trail of deliciousness behind you as you get swept up in the cool air.  Y doesn’t develop as much as it stakes its claim in being solidly beautiful.

Y Notes from Fragrantica:

  • Top: Aldehydes, Green Notes, Galbanum, Honeysuckle, Gardenia, Peach, Mirabelle Plum
  • Heart: Hyacinth, Orris Root, Ylang-Ylang, Jasmine, Tuberose, Bulgarian Rose
  • Base: Oakmoss, Civet, Vetiver, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Benzoin, Styrax

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Tweed via the 1970s.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE Y:  secure, no-nonsense, solitary

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT Y:  Undina’s Looking Glass, Bois de Jasmin

BOTTOM LINE:  Y is a beautiful perfume, but not one that reaches out to me for a regular wear.  Albeit being warm and posh, to me it feels a bit aloof and removed.  I find that with most vintage perfumes I prefer them to be comfort scents and Y just doesn’t quite fit that bill.  Of course, summer is wrapping up, and I might find that it’s just the right fit come October!

  • Bone Rating: 4 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent: Chypre
  • Nose:  Michael Hy
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense:  Varies on eBay, review based on parfum extrait


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Frederic Malle Synthetic Jungle

When I hear the name Synthetic Jungle, my mind automatically goes to “Asphalt Jungle” and gritty realism and inner-city strife. So before even giving the perfume a try I’m struggling with the different, yet very memorable name.  Then add Frederic Malle to the mix and I have the feeling that I won’t be using the words, soft, serene or gentle in my description.  But I could be wrong.  Let’s find out.

WHAT I SMELL:  Synthetic Jungle opens with a slightly chalky lily of the valley that’s very green, very fresh and a little dewy.  Soon after, there’s an addition of just a touch of earthiness which gives the composition an undercurrent of black rich soil.  It’s the perfect accompaniment to the lily of the valley.  The perfume is semi quiet, but as soon as I write that it begins to blossom and the green really takes a forefront.  The addition of ylang ylang infused with the lily of the valley brings the perfume from the more demure to the more mature as the ylang ylang is more rounded and deeper and rather magnetic.  But after some time, that too quiets and the perfume begins to lightly thicken as if its encased in a light and chewy putty.  But that dissipates and once again the lily of the valley comes forward.  In the end, a little powder and a light leather help to even out the intensity of the green.

From the Frederic Malle website:

Bright and lush, mysterious and provocative, Synthetic Jungle is a stylized landscape in technicolor greens. An ode to cult perfumes of the 1970s, Synthetic Jungle offers a modern vision of nature reimagined.

Flipo retained the opulent basil of the original composition, along with a recomposed bouquet of hyacinth, lily of the valley, natural jasmine, and Ylang Ylang oil. To modernize and sharpen, she then added synthetic black currant and styralyl acetate, effectively putting the bouquet through a glossy, sparkling filter.

Flipo simplified the Chypre and leather notes, resulting in a cleaner, more streamlined accord. Finally, she added patchouli.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  The characters from the 1960-70’s Sid and Marty Krofft tv show “The Banana Splits.”  Don’t ask me why, but this is the first thing that popped up in my mind as I was wearing this.  No, it’s not because of any kind of banana note.  Instead, the perfume conjures in my mind what the fuzzy materials of the characters would smell like…a bit of 1970s artificiality akin to shag carpet.  Go figure.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE SYNTHETIC JUNGLE:  green, nostalgic, different

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT SYNTHETIC JUNGLE:  CaFleureBon, Perfume Posse, Colognoisseur

BOTTOM LINE:  I’ll admit that this review is probably one of the strangest I have written and my thoughts of “Asphalt Jungle” were way off.  But Synthetic Jungle is a bit different in its own right.  It’s rather nostalgic with its inspiration from perfumes from the 1970s and with that the “synthetic” really can be felt.  At the same time, it’s rather a pretty perfume that’s easy to like.  That said, I can see many really liking this perfume.  An interesting composition overall and clearly one that has played tricks on my mind.

  • Bone Rating: 3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Chypre
  • Nose:  Anne Flipo
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $210 for 50ml Eau de Parfum.  Also available in 10ml travel size and 100ml.


8 Comments

Chanel PARIS-DEAUVILLE

WHAT I SMELL:  PARIS-DEAUVILLE greets the skin with a sun-kissed fresh orange that’s bright, light and juicy.  Rather quickly, the perfume warms to a delightful sunny white floral and a calming freshly cut basil.  The perfume is so fresh, so bright and so happy that it’s an immediate mood lifter.  The perfume doesn’t morph all that much, but it does warm and it radiates this incredible citrus green accord rounded off by a a softened jasmine and rose mix that bounces off of the skin.  In the end, PARIS-DEAUVILLE becomes a muted and slightly soapy version of the opening…a beautiful citrus and basil dream of a perfume tinged with the lightest of soft florals.

From the Chanel website:

THE INSPIRATION:  1913. Gabrielle Chanel opens her very first fashion boutique, choosing Deauville as the location. This destination marks the beginning of a simple, bold style that becomes iconic with the marinière striped shirt and tweed and jersey fabrics. Inspired by the peaceful landscapes along the Normandy coast, PARIS-DEAUVILLE transposes this bucolic charm to a fragrance of the open air.

Pairing the aromatic green facets of Basil with the sparkling top notes of Sicilian Orange, PARIS-DEAUVILLE reveals a lively, naturally radiant freshness.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A young and ever so pretty Cybill Shepherd; full of sunshine and promise.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE PARIS-DEAUVILLE:  fresh, uncomplicated, clean

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT PARIS-DEAUVILLE:  The Candy Perfume Boy, Colognoisseur, The Scented Salamander

BOTTOM LINE:  Chanel does easy to wear, fresh and clean better than most.  And PARIS-DEAUVILLE, which is part of the Les Eaux de Chanel collection, is just so delightful to wear because it doesn’t wear you.  The perfume is perfect for wearing while running errands as well as when dining out for the evening al fresco.   Thanks Chanel, for making me smell so fantastic and for lifting my spirits while doing so.

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Chypre
  • Nose:  Olivier Polge
  • Classification: Leans feminine
  • Expense: $130 for 4.2 oz eau de toilette