The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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Maison Francis Kurkdjian – Aqua Celestia Cologne forte

WHAT I SMELL:  Aqua Celestia Cologne forte’s first spritz is a very fresh sparkling bergamot that’s fizzy and lightly sweet and tart at the same time.  Quickly, a blackberry note joins the bergamot, or I should say, sits on top of the bergamot because it feels layered as if they’re part of a fruit parfait.  The perfume is clean and bright, so much so that even if you were a little sweaty and hot from the day, the perfume would make you feel like you just stepped out of the shower.  The blackberry note continues to grow as the bergamot begins to fade into the background.   As the bergamot recedes, a fruit infused jasmine highlighted by peach comes in to take its place.  The fruit is bright and just so slightly juicy, but not enough to add any weight to the perfume.  As it continues to develop, a sandalwood pencil shaving note appears adding just the right amount of depth to bring this light and bright beauty back to the earth.  In the end, Aqua Celestia Cologne forte rests in a wonderfully light musky floral haze that’s ever so easy to love and easy to wear.

From the Maison Francis Kurkdjian website:

The bergamot becomes tinged with the fruity notes of blackcurrant, mimosa (with its raspberry and blackberry facets), and jasmine (strawberry, apricot and peach accents), before gradually melting into the mellowness of a fruity musky accord. Aqua Celestia Cologne forte releases a bright, crystal-clear aura and offers a flight towards the horizon.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Picking berries in the cool sweet morning air.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE AQUA CELESTIA COLOGNE FORTE:  pretty, delightful, refreshing

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT AQUA CELESTIA COLOGNE FORTE:  Contents

BOTTOM LINE:  The great thing about the Maison Francis Kurkdjian perfumes is that they are so easy to wear and many have this crisp clean finish that is impossible not to like.  Aqua Celestia Cologne forte (which is an eau de parfum) is no exception.

Aqua Celstica Cologne forte was released this year along with two other perfumes for a trio of Cologne fortes.  The following are my abbreviated impressions of the other two in the collection:

Aqua Vitae Cologne forte:  An inviting perfume that is perfectly delightful with the prettiest of florals that are topped with a mandarin orange.  I would call this a warm perfume that would be perfect for wearing even in the heat of summer.  Another 4 bones from me as it’s really lovely.

Aqua Universalis Cologne forte:  To me, this is the least interesting of the three perfumes.  Comprised of citrus and white muted flowers, it’s not bright, nor pretty, but rather salty and musky.  3 bones.

Samples courtesy of Twisted Lily Fragrance Boutique and Apothecary.


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Byredo Gypsy Water

Gypsy WaterWHAT I SMELL:  Gypsy Water opens with a glaze of lemon tinged juniper and pine, almost like that of Lemon Pledge, but with a sweeter vanilla finish which takes it from Lemon Pledge to more of a lemon custard.  After a short time, the perfume begins to soften and them lemon becomes light and tart and slightly sour with addition of a quiet incense and wood.  I was expecting Gypsy Water to be a lively and phrenetic fragrance, but instead, it’s rather subdued and unassuming.  After around 20 minutes, the pine, amber and sandalwood come together to provide for a creamy, but lightly incensed powdered warmth.  In the end, Gypsy Water is a lightly warmed quiet woody perfume, that although unassuming, is rather mysterious.

From the Byredo website:

GYPSY WATER IS A GLAMORIZATION OF THE ROMANY LIFESTYLE, BASED ON A FASCINATION WITH THE MYTH. THE SCENT OF FRESH SOIL, DEEP FORESTS AND CAMPFIRES EVOKES THE DREAM OF A FREE, COLORFUL LIFESTYLE CLOSE TO NATURE.

TOP: BERGAMOT, LEMON, PEPPER, JUNIPER BERRIES
HEART: INCENSE, PINE NEEDLES, ORRIS
BASE: AMBER, VANILLA, SANDALWOOD

warm breezeWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: A warm breeze lilting through the forest.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE GYPSY WATER:  quiet, comforting, peaceful

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT GYPSY WATER: Perfume Posse, What Men Should Smell Like, Katie Puckrik Smells

BOTTOM LINE:  Gypsy Water doesn’t have a lot of projection, but is instead a really nice skin scent that is unique with its citrus and woody incense combination.  It’s perfect for the office, or for those quiet days when you want to feel special just for yourself and no one else.

  • Bone Rating:  3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Woody Aromatic
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $145 for 50 ml Eau de Parfum


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Grand Neroli by Atelier Cologne

This has been a summer of citrus.  Perfect for the hot days of summer because of its freshness, I have found a couple of loves in Parfum d’Empire’s Iskander and Azemour les Orangers.   Not all of my citrus encounters have been the same however; Tauer Perfume’s Orange Star bucked that love primarily because the citrus in Orange Star is artificial and not fresh.  The same can’t be said about Grand Neroli.  I’m not sure if it’s love, but it’s a definite like.

WHAT I SMELL:  Pure unadulterated sweet juicy orange.  Nothing artificial, just the juice of a sun-ripened orange.  Lovely.  As time goes on, the orange remains without the sweetness and in comes a bit of green and musk.  Non-complicated in it’s composition, it’s simpler and less sophisticated than Iskander and Azemour les Orangers, but remains a close cousin… maybe their country cousin?  Grand Neroli doesn’t seem to have great longevity, but I’m working off a small sample that I dabbed on and that might make a difference.

Grand Neroli Notes:  Moroccan neroli, lemon, Sicilian bergamot, petitgrain, Persian galbanum, moss, birch leaves, clean musk, white amber, vanilla from Madagascar

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Sunshine and casual Saturday mornings.  What I imagine Florida to smell like when you’re in the middle of a blossoming orange grove.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE GRAND NEROLI:  sweet, fresh, sunny

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT GRAND NEROLI: Scentsate, Olfactoria’s Travels, Now Smell This

  • Bone Rating: 3.5 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent: Chypre
  • Nose: Cecile Krakower
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $60 for 30ml Cologne Absolue