The Scented Hound

Perfume blog with abbreviated perfume reviews & fragrance reviews.


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Tom Ford Ébène Fumé

WHAT I SMELL: Ébène Fumé opens with a soft woody smokiness tinged with labdanum and leather.  It’s calming, serene and wonderfully subtle. As the perfume develops, the incense loses a bit of its sharpness and a smooth and slightly creamy cistus enters.  At this point, the perfume feels like a sheath of light leather is embracing your skin.  Hints of florals help to make the creation more rounded which helps to keep it from becoming too smoky.  Beyond that, the perfume doesn’t develop much except for the addition of a lightly sweetened guaiac woody note.  Ébène Fumé isn’t a game changing perfume, but it’s perfect for those times when you are looking for quiet reflection.

From the Tom Ford website:

ÉBÈNE FUMÉ MERGES THE PURIFYING ESSENCE OF PALO SANTO WITH NOTES OF SEDUCTIVE EBONY WOOD, AROUSING EXQUISITE CALM AND HEIGHTENED SPIRITUAL LUXURY.

ÉBÈNE FUMÉ CONJURES TRANSCENDENT SPIRITUAL CALM THROUGH THE MYSTICAL ESSENCE OF PALO SANTO SMOKE – STOKED BY THE WARM ELEGANCE OF CISTUS ABSOLUTE, ROSES, AND SEDUCTIVE NOTES OF EBONY WOOD, CAPTURED IN SLEEK, SUBLIME NOTES OF LEATHER.

Top notes are Incense, Palo Santo, Black Pepper and Violet Leaf; middle notes are Leather, Labdanum, Cade oil, Papyrus and Rose; base notes are resins, ebony tree and Guaiac Wood.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Old leather bound books which have been stored in a church rectory for hundreds of years.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE ÉBÈNE FUMÉ:  serene, calming, contented

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT ÉBÈNE FUMÉ:  CaFleureBon, Temptalia

BOTTOM LINE:  It is Memorial Day today in the United States.  A day that is for remembering and honoring those who have served the country since its inception.  I thought that this calming perfume would be the perfect scent to pay tribute to those who came before us and to pray for peace around the world during these trying times.  No, perfume can’t create world peace, but if anything, it can help to soothe our souls.

  • Bone Rating: 3 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Amber Woody
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $270 for 50ml eau de parfum


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Bleu Abysse – Les Parfums de Rosine

WHAT I SMELL:  Bleu Abysse opens with a salty bergamot warmed by the sun which is quickly met with a more mineral accord that is punctuated with an inviting rounded rose.  The combination of the rose and the salty mineral facets are quite interesting and I can’t say that I have ever experienced this in a perfume before.  However, as it continues to develop I realize that at this stage the perfume is much more akin to mineral salts for the bath.  And as soon as I make that connection, I wonder if that is how I would like to smell when I leave the house.  As the perfume continues to develop, Bleu Abysse seems to head out to the sea.  The brief introduction of the rose makes way for a more intense mineral sea sensation with the addition of vetiver and seaweed and a hint of oud adds a layer of sour to the mixture which seems to dull the minerals a bit.  Thankfully, a bit of sweetened patchouli helps to pull the perfume back to the shore making it a bit more approachable.  Unfortunately, shortly after a metallic note seems to sweep in bringing in an unwelcomed bite.  But apparently that made way for an evened mix of patchouli, vetiver with a light incense that is actually quite beautiful in a very serene way.  Too bad that doesn’t last all that long and in the end you’re left with salt and seaweed.

From the Les Parfums de Rosine website:

BLEU ABYSSE is a perfume of contrasting sensations: a deep, yet dry, marine-blue note. Inspired by the French rose, ‘Rosa Moschata’.

BLEU ABYSSE is a fresh fusion fragrance.

In creating BLEU ABYSSE, the young perfumer, Serge de Oliveira, sought to capture waves of euphoria that sweep over us when we are near the sea.

Top Notes – Bergamot, Elemi, Cassis; Heart Notes – Rose, Mineral accord; Base Notes – Oud, Patchouli, Vetiver, Seaweeds, Incense

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Salted seaweed.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE BLEU ABYSSE: salty, metallic, unique

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT BLEU ABYSSE: Chemist in the Bottle, Now Smell This

BOTTOM LINE:  I will readily admit that I am not a big fan of mineral or marine scents.  The sharpness makes me feel detached from these fragrances and it’s as if I’m wearing a “thing” vs. wearing an essence.  That said, there are some interesting twists and turns in the development of this perfume, but in the end I just get salty, sharpened seaweed.  Thankfully I live not too far from the ocean so that if I want to experience blue abyss, I can just head to the nearest beach for the real thing.

  • Bone Rating:  2.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Marine woody
  • Nose:  Serge de Oliveira
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: 150 Euros for 100 ml Eau de Parfum available from the Les Parfums de Rosine website


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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.