The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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The Scented Hound’s 2014 Holiday Gift Guide

christmas dog

How is it possible that it is already December 1st and Christmas is less than a month away??!  If you’re like me, you have barely started to get your holiday shopping act together.  So to help you out, this list of nifty gifties might just help you ease into the shopping spirit.

CHRISTMAS WITH A CAUSE

As many of the perfume community know, Tama Blough, former editor at CaFleureBon is battling cancer.  The wonderful people within the fragrance community have come out with strong support in her time of need.  The first two items on this holiday list offer a fantastic product, at the same time proceeds will go to Tama to help her with this unfortunate struggle.  People coming together in support of others embodies the holiday spirit at its best!

To donate directly to the Tama Blough fund, click here.

APRIL AROMATICS SAN FRANCISCO ROSE

San Francisco RosePerfumer Tanja Bochnig has created this limited edition rose beauty to celebrate Tama’s favorite flower, the rose.  100% of all proceeds will go directly to the fund to help Tama.  San Francisco Rose is a limited edition and only 200 will be sold.  I got mine and trust me, this rose is magnificent!

From the April Aromatics website:

San Francisco Rose is comprised of Rose Otto from Turkey, Rose absolute from Bulgaria, Orris Root from France, Hibiscus Seed from Ecuador, Tonka Bean from Brazil, Sandalwood from India, Patchouli from Sumatra and a touch of Oud from Saudia Arabia. Made in Berlin/ Germany with the purest, natural ingredients and the highest intention. It contains an essence from almost every part of the world.The perfume is infused with Herkimer diamond and Rose Quarz for its healing quality of feeling unconditional love.

San Francisco Rose 30ml Eau de Parfum, available for 111 Euros from the April Aromatics website.

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DSH PERFUMES INTERPRETATION OF THE PLP PROJECT

love_5mlextrait2-720x720The PLP Project was conceived and imagined by “GoodSmella (and friend)’, Carlos J. Powell to commemorate the third anniversary of his Facebook fragrance group, Peace Love and Perfume. The PLP Project is an invitational compilation of unique fragrances created by artisan and indie perfumers based on this simple brief: “Peace: a meditative incense fragrance; Love: a sexy animalic fragrance; and Perfume: a traditional cologne with a twist on the concept.”

Dawn Horowitz blew the PLP concept out of the park with her contribution of this project.  All three interpretations are amazing and incredibly unique:

From DSH Perfumes:

peace_5mlextrait2DSH Peace is my meditative incense design that bridges East and West, incorporating notions of what “incense” means from a Japanese, Arabic, and a Monastic / Western perspective. Peace also allowed me to use some rather unusual materials in the construction such as Bakul attar, Choya Ral, and Laotian Oud. Of course, at the heart there is the traditional Frankincense and Myrrh resin accord layered with rich Rose de Mai and Orris. For the top note I looked eastward to the aromatic Champaca Leaf. The result is like something familiar, warm, and comforting mixed with a sense of wonder at what you are actually smelling.

For DSH Love I let my imagination go to a time and place when animalic perfumes reigned supreme: the early to mid-20th Century. Of course, I included all four of the traditional animal notes: musk, civet, ambergris, and castoreum with added elements of botanical “animalics”, ambrette co2 and labdanum with a large dose of a rather new material, hyracium tincture (aka African Stone). The heart is filled with indolic juhi jasmine, orange flower absolute, and gardenia balanced by a slightly sharp and spicy white pepper and aldehyde top note. The result is a lush, provocative, and thoroughly sexy perfume.

Lastly, DSH Perfume is a rather unorthodox pairing of grapefruit, rhubarb, and cognac accented by a luscious tropical fruit accord with green notes of basil and pittosporum to create the “fresh cologne” aspect . A vibrant jasmine heart dries down to a surprisingly creamy ambrette, guaiacwood, and vetiver finish. This is definitely a modern twist on the ‘eau de cologne’ design concept.

I have to say that Love is probably my favorite as it’s just so animalic and brutally sexy that when I wear it I just can’t stop sniffing myself!

The DSH Perfumes PLP fragrances are all limited editions:  Limited Edition Extrait flacons (5 ml Antique presentations) of Peace and Love ($105 each); Perfume as a Limited Edition of 50, 10 ml spray flacons in Cologne Absolue strength ($48).  There is also Discovery Sample Set available for $36.  In addition, 15% of all sales of the PLP Project perfumes will go directly to the Tama Blough fund.  To purchase one or all of the fragrances, go to the DSH Perfumes website.


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BY KILIAN FRAGRANT JEWELRY

Kilian Hennessey knows perfume and knows how to package his fragrances like no other.  The exquisite bottles and cases which are a trademark of the brand now have some lovely cousins as part of the family.  The By Kilian jewelry collection is impeccable.  I saw up close at Sniffapalooza both the necklaces and bracelets and they are not only beautiful but scented with your choice of the By Kilian line (the bracelets are infused with two fragrances created just for them!)

These products, which start at $195 are an excellent way to glam up your holiday wardrobe.  You can purchase them on the by Kilian website or at fine retailers.


 

GIFT SETS FROM TWISTED LILY

Womens-Sampler Gift SetWe all love gift sets because it’s like having many presents all in one.  Twisted Lily offers many gift sets, but they have combined several various sets in order to make up their Ultimate Gift Sets, one for women and one for men.

The women’s collection is made up of:  Arquiste Florals Gift Set 4 x 5ml, 2014 Ladies Mini Collection by Penhaligon’s 5 x5 ml and the Amouage Women’s Sampler 12 x2 ml.  Available for $185.

The men’s collection is made up of:  Arquiste Citrus & Woods Gift Set 5 x 5ml, 2014 Mens Mini Collection by Penhaligon’s 5 x 5ml and the Amouage Men’s Sampler 12 x2 ml.  Available for $190.

Check out these ultimate gift sets as well as all of their other gift sets and fragrant goodies available at Twisted Lily.


 

CLAUS PORTO SOAPS

Claus Porto SoapThese make the perfect gift for those who love luxurious and long-lasting quality soaps.  Founded in 1887, this Portuguese brand has been creating incredible artisanal soaps that are a testament to their rich and long heritage.  In addition to the quality of the product, the packaging is a work of art in itself.  Some of the offerings include Banho, comprised of citrus and verbena and Favorita a red poppy delight.

Gift sets of three hand soaps can run around $36 and single bath bar sizes can run around $15 each.  An internet search can help you find the best prices and shipping options based on your location.


 

VOLUSPA MAISON HOLIDAY CANDLE GIFT SET   

Voluspa 2014I love candles and the ambiance they can create.  This new offering from Voluspa helps to brighten the holiday cheer with a collection of three fragrant offerings in the most beautiful of packaging:

– Visions of Sugar Plum: filled with notes of tart white plum, dried cherry dusted with powdered sugar, toasted hazelnut and lemon zest.

– Cinnamon Ceylon and Copal: a blend of Ceylon cinnamon and cassia with golden copal resin and amber.

– Spruce Cuttings: filled with the scent of royal Colorado blue spruce cuttings freshly snapped and trimmed for a fragrant garland.

Each is 3 ounces in size.  You can find the gift set for around $50 at Nordstrom and other fine retailers.  Other sizes and individual candles from the collection are also available.


 

CARON NUIT DE NOEL

editions_limitees_nuit_de_noel_pillowAs far as I’m concerned, my Christmas holiday wouldn’t be complete without the wearing of Caron’s classic, Nuit de Noel.  Created in 1922 by Ernest Daltroff, this perfume highlighted by notes of ylang-ylang, tincture of rose and jasmine, sandalwood, oak moss, musk and amber is like the most comfortable sweater to be worn all throughout the season.

You can read my full review of the parfum extrait version by clicking here.

For a very special present, Caron is offering a limited edition Nuit de Noel Pillow.  Nestled in a pillow of Limoges porcelain, is a 28 ml bottle of Nuit de Noël extract, adorned with a gold thread.  The Caron Nuit de Noel pillow is a limited edition of 1000 pieces, this beauty is 400 Euros from the Caron Paris website.


 

Final Cover_Roja BookTHE ESSENCE OF PERFUME BY ROJA DOVE

The Essence of Perfume is the most informative and richly beautiful book that I have experienced in a long time and would be the perfect gift for any perfumista, bar none.

From the book’s press release:

The Chypre Family

The Chypre Family

The Essence Of Perfume by Roja Dove is the Master Perfumer’s definitive guide, offering a rare glimpse into the knowledge, passion, and creativity of a Master Perfumer. Since it was first launched, The Essence Of Perfume has become the benchmark text for perfumery worldwide, and is an indispensable industry reference for many professional fragrance organisations.

Roja Dove takes us on his own personal journey of scent, from his transformative childhood  memories, to the creation of Roja Parfums; revealing scandals of the fragrance  world printed here for the first time. Dove explains why it is essential to look to the  past in order to create the future, asking ‘What Next’? If Dove’s prediction is correct, perfumery is about to change forever.

P265L_Group of BottlesDue to unprecedented global demand following the sell out first book, this new  edition features additional sections about the inspirations behind Roja Dove’s creations; new methods of extraction; a comprehensive list of the exotic raw materials of perfumery; and never seen before fragrance bottles. Highlighting classic male fragrances, this new book is one of the first to celebrate men’s perfumery in its own right.

You can purchase the book via Amazon.com for $26.53.  This is a bargain for such a lavish book and the hard copy is a must as you’ll want to be able to get the full effect of all of the book’s incredible visuals.


 

PRODUCTS FROM BLUE Q

Michell Obama Blue QEven though this is a perfume blog, not all gifts and presents need to be fragrance centric.  Blue Q offers some off-the-wall products that are fun and not all that expensive.  One thing you’ll find is that they have a collection of artful shopping bags that will help make your grocery shopping all that much more fun.

I love the Mighty Michelle Shopper that illustrates Michelle Obama as the “First Lady of Fabulous!”  A fun way to shop and only $11.99 too boot.

Check out all of the fun and interesting items on the Blue Q website.


 

ARCHIE MCPHEE

worlds_best_cat_trophy_1_1My list of recommendations would not be complete without my favorite go-to store for those all-important stocking stuffers.  Archie McPhee has a collection of the most fun and irreverent offerings that can make anyone in your household smile.  They even have something for those furry kids, like the World’s Best Cat statue.  Does your four-legged friend deserve one of these prizes this year?

You can get Fluffy his very own trophy for only $9.95.  Check out all the good fun on the Archie McPhee website.

I hope you find at least one item on this list that will make a loved one happy.  The Scented Hound wishes you “happy shopping!”


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PANDORA by DSH PERFUMES – VISIONS OF MERIDA

pandora_present11We just got back to the States after visiting Merida, Mexico this past week.  Merida is one of the spots that we are visiting in our search for the ideal place to retire in a few years.  We’re ready for an adventure and are both drawn to Mexico.  So after hearing wonderful things about the city, we decided to take a visit.  Merida didn’t disappoint.  Without getting too much into details, Merida is the capital city in the state of Yucatan.  It was founded over 472 years ago and is city full of culture, good restaurants and wonderful people.  We met with a real estate agent and looked at various options in the central city which is comprised of colonial homes which sit flush to the sidewalk, only to reveal high ceiling grandeur with gardens in the back.  They were stunning.  We also managed to get out of the city for a bit visiting a hacienda that was unrestored but in which you could see the magnificence that once existed as well as the Mayan ruins at Uxmal which after in the past visiting other ruins rated the best as the details on the building were very well-preserved.  Both of decided that we need to go back in the fall and do some more investigation into this Yucatan jewel.  It really felt like home.

So what does this have to do with DSH’s Pandora?  Well, let’s just say that it became my Merida Mexico perfume of choice.  A few days prior to leaving for Mexico I received my order from DSH with my order of Pandora.  After reading some wonderful reviews by Kafkaesque, I wondered why I hadn’t sought DSH out before so I gave their website a spin and for some reason, was drawn towards Pandora.  Have you ever been drawn into a perfume because of its name?  I don’t believe I have in the past, but this time the name was the key!  I must do this more often, because like Merida, Pandora is a jewel.

WHAT I SMELL:  Opens with this beautiful lightly sugared suede along with this rounded deep floral mix that’s deeply soothing and strangely intoxicating and exotic.  After some time, Pandora starts to reveal its oakmoss, but without drying the fragrance too much, and as such, the otherworldly quality that gives the Pandora its mystery remains intact.  The fragrance doesn’t much morph beyond this, but what it does is radiate off your skin like a living force field that mixed with your body heat, will grow and pulse to match your warmth.

Pandora’s Notes:

Top notes: Aldehyde/Aldehydic, Bergamot, Cassis Bud, Davana, Green Peppercorn, Ozone, Pink Peppercorn, Ruby Red Fruits (botanical accord), Spice Notes, Violet Leaf Absolute.

Middle notes: Cabreuva Wood, Centifolia Rose Absolute, Green Tea Absolute, Juhi Jasmine Absolute, Linden Blossom Absolute, Orris Root, Yerba Mate Absolute.

Base notes: Ambergris Tincture, Australian Sandalwood, Cyperus, Fossilized Amber, Green Oakmoss, Mousse de Saxe no.1 (botanical accord), Muhuhu, Patchouli co2, Tonka Bean Absolute, Vanilla Absolute, Vetiver co2.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Sexiness.  This was well suited for the warm Mexican nights and for dining al fresco at Merida’s lovely restaurants.  It made me feel alive, confident and surprisingly sexy.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE PANDORA:  warm, deep, soulful

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT PANDORA: The Perfume Critic, Scent Hive, EauMG

BOTTOM LINE:  This is so good that the 10ml bottle that I purchase has now been reduced to around 3 remaining mls.  I must have more.  Pandora has me under her spell!  Now, I must have the parfum extrait!

  • Bone Rating: 5 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent: Chypre Floral
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $63 for 10ml EdP from the DSH Perfumes website.  It should be noted that the picture above is for the 15ml parfum extrait which sells for $227 (sorry, I couldn’t find a picture of the EdP version!)