The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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Two from Brooklyn Perfume Company: Oud & Vetiver Eau Fraiche

WHAT I SMELL – OUD:  Oud’s opening kicks off with a soft and lightly sweetened grapefruit that quickly melds with a somewhat menacing leather.  There’s a heft of sexiness with the leather being slightly carnal without being funky or crude. After a little bit, a sweetened vanilla emerges with a layered sheen over the leather.  Here, the perfume continues its seductive path, but where it started off a bit masculine, it now embraces its feminine side.  Oud to me is less oud, but more of a sweetened wood.  The strong sensation of oud which usually dominates does not occur here. Instead, the perfume bounces between leather, vanilla and wood.  To me, this makes it the perfect perfume that can be worn for any occasion.  It would be perfect to wear when you’re feeling strong and seductive as the leather comes to the forefront letting anyone who enters your path will know that you mean business.  If you’re in the mood to be mysterious, the vanilla wood tinged with the smokiness of the leather will make you smolder with a quiet confidence.  In the end, a light floral component seems to weave in and out of the composition, adding just another incredible layer to what is an already incredible unisex beauty.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Seductive confidence ala Theo James.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE OUD:  captivating, self-assured, quietly bold

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT OUD:  Colognoisseur

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Oriental
  • Nose:  James Peterson
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense:  $150 for 30 ml eau de parfum

WHAT I SMELL – VETIVER EAU FRAICHE:  Vetiver stays true to its name with an opening of hay and dried grass which quickly moves to a sensation like that of grass that has been cut and left out in the sun to dry.   Not long after, a buzzing light sugar accord rests on top of the dried grass.  The perfume is a subtle and easy wear, although as time goes on, it does grow a bit in volume.  Vetiver’s woodiness is casual, yet elegant and is timeless in its beauty.  As a soliflore, Vetiver does not provide any twists or turns, instead it unfolds into a familiar and comforting ageless fragrance.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  summer dunes

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE VETIVER EAU FRAICHE:  uncomplicated, easy, careworn

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT VETIVER EAU FRAICHE:  No other reviews found.

  • Bone Rating:  3 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Woody
  • Nose:  James Peterson
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense:  $45 for 60 ml eau fraiche

BOTTOM LINE:  The perfumes in the Brooklyn Perfume Company line are simple beauties that don’t try to be anything but what they are; uncomplicated.  When it seems that twists and turns in a perfume are par for the course, it’s nice to have perfumes that don’t pretend they’re something they’re not.


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Joy Eau de Parfum by Jean Patou

WHAT I SMELL:    Joy (current version eau de parfum) is truly a joy when it first goes on the skin as it’s full of lush ylang-ylang and soapy white flowers and bright aldehydes.  It’s a clean smell and one that’s slightly metallic.  The florals are wrapped up in warmth, but at the same time there is a coolness or a bit of aloofness that makes the perfume proper and rather removed.  After some time, a light controlled rose blends with the metallic notes and the soapiness begins to dissipate.  As Joy continues its slow and deliberate path, a jasmine blends itself with the rose…but combined, they’re still very controlled and incredibly proper.  Joy doesn’t transform or morph very much, but in the end, the florals fade and soften a bit, and what you’re left is a lightly warm breeze of light floral sandalwood musk.

From the Jean Patou website:

Created in 1930 at the height of the economic crisis. Joy, a sumptuous blend of roses and jasmine, is the antidote to gloom. Conceived as a perfume to reveal the essence of femininity of every woman, “Joy” is a timeless fragrance, the signature of the house Jean Patou.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Floral steel.  A bit soft, yet rather hard.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE JOY:  controlled, reserved, distant

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT JOY: There are many reviews on Joy, but I haven’t found any on the current eau de parfum version.

BOTTOM LINE:  Joy is legendary as the pillar of the house of Jean Patou.  That said, I can’t honestly say that I don’t know anyone who continues to wear the perfume.  Classics don’t always transfer well to the modern age and to me, Joy is a bit too removed in its personality.  However, I’ll admit that I have a vintage bottle of the eau de cologne version from the 1970s.  It’s clearly Joy, but it’s a much lighter wear as the florals aren’t tinged with the metallic edge and it’s just so much easier to like (but not love as it still leaves me a bit cold).

  • Bone Rating:  3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral
  • Nose:  Henri Almeras
  • Classification: Feminine
  • Expense:  Varies


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Heretic Parfums Jasmine Smoke & Pistil Whip

Today I’m reviewing two perfumes…once you read the reviews you’ll see why.

JASMINE SMOKE – WHAT I SMELL:  Jasmine Smoke has a very different creamy, putty like bergamot and jasmine opening.  It’s strange, but interesting, as it smells rather like a bandaid which is actually quite comforting because it’s a smell that reminds me of my childhood.  Soon the bandaid putty begins to fade, but the creamy jasmine remains, although it does seem to fade a bit from my skin.  There’s a sweetness to the jasmine that although not thick, is quite narcotic.  The perfume doesn’t develop all that much, but what does come to play is a translucent incensed tobacco that seems to lightly waft over the jasmine.  Overall, Jasmine Smoke is pretty, but not too pretty.

From the Heretic website:

My home in Los Angeles had a dividing wall covered in pink jasmine. When in bloom, the abundance of flowers produced an overwhelming fragrance that could be smelled from hundreds of feet in every direction. One evening I had a group of friends over, and some were smoking near the jasmine. The combination of smoldering tobacco mixed with the sweet, heady jasmine had me spellbound, inspiring this fragrance.

From the top you get crisp and citrusy bergamot combined with spicy, woody coriander. At its heart lies calm yet seductive jasmine absolute, and the base is a marriage of silky tonka bean, leathery blonde tobacco and singed choya ral.

Top: bergamot, coriander
Middle: jasmine absolute
Base: tonka bean, blonde tobacco, choya ral

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A pink bandaid.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE JASMINE SMOKE:  soft, modern, puttied

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT JASMINE SMOKE:  No reviews found.

  • Bone Rating:  3 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral
  • Nose:  Douglas Little
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense:  $165 for 50 ml eau de parfum

PISTIL WHIP – WHAT I SMELL:   Pistil Whip has a delightful opening of a tingly barber shop sweetened peppered bergamot that’s slightly mentholated.  It’s rather like a rub that you would put on your chest when you have a cold, but not nearly at the same intensity of Vick’s Vapo Rub.  For some reason the perfume feels rather industrial to me and though slightly warm, there’s a starkness to the perfume that feels like it was conceived in a large warehouse (don’t ask me why).  Pistil Whip beings to soften after a few minutes as the mentholated aspect starts to dissipate as a light, muted and slightly smoky tuberose begins to lighten the perfume.  The tuberose is like cotton candy in that it’s a bit fuzzy and creamy and lightly spun in texture.  And here the perfume stays.  I wish I could say that it develops more…but unfortunately it does not.

From the Heretic website:

Late one night, i was walking from the subway to my studio in Brooklyn and was mugged at gun point. After surrendering my wallet I was pistol-whipped and left in a heap. After recovering from this traumatizing incident I experienced something called an olfactory hallucination and for weeks after the event woke up to the smell of tuberose and gardenia, but the flowers were nowhere to be found.

After seeing a few doctors I learned that traumatic events, especially physical ones, can trigger scent-based hallucinations. It eventually went away but the experience stuck with me and became the inspiration for this scent. A play on words, Pistil Whip is an explosion of lush florals that collapse into peppery smoke and mysterious notes of black tea. The top of the fragrance is a spicy combination of pink pepper and ripe bergamot. At its heart lie tuberose absolute, carnation absolute and tiarre flower. And the base is rooted in deep, grassy vetiver and the smoky finish of lapsang souchong absolute.

Top: pink pepper, bergamot
Middle: tuberose, carnation absolute, tiarre
Base: vetiver, lapsang souchong absolute

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Pink haze.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE PISTIL WHIP:  soft, lightly sweet, quiet

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT PISTIL WHIP:  No reviews found.

  • Bone Rating:  3 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral
  • Nose:  Douglas Little
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense:  $165 for 50 ml eau de parfum

BOTTOM LINE:  I first tested Pistil Whip thinking that the combination of florals would be just the kind of perfume that would send me over the moon…unfortunately, I found it “nice,” but that’s not necessarily a plus in a perfume.  So on I went to Jasmine Smoke thinking that this combination of white florals and smoke and tobacco would win me over.  Again, I found the perfume to be just “nice.”  With the brand name Heretic, I was expecting something that would be really avant-garde or over the top.  Instead, these perfumes are really safe and rather thin overall.  So why a 3 for a rating?  These weren’t scrubbers and are easily wearable…but to me they’re just not that exciting and they don’t beckon to me as something that needs to be worn.  It should be noted that Pistil Whip was nominated in 2017 by the Fragrance Foundation as one of the top 5 perfumes extraordinaire.  So check these out for yourself…maybe it’s just me!