The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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Xerjoff Oesel

WHAT I SMELL:  Oesel opens like the dawn of a new day with a creamy, smooth, layered orange blossom.  It’s as if the sun warmed blossoms have exploded with their fragrant projection just at the peak of the late morning.  The florals are rich, thick and bountiful without being overtly juicy or sweet.  The mix of florals including jasmine, mimosa and Bulgarian rose are blended as if they were carried in the most fragrant nosegay and are melded so seamlessly as to defy you to be able to distinguish them, but for the voluminous orange blossom.  In addition,  Oesel is warm and full of bright yellow hazy sun and when smelled on the skin, the perfume retreats to the depth of your lungs.  After a while, a consistent and dried wood begins to float under the orange blossom giving the perfume an added dimension with just the slightest of dirt and earth.  Oesel is golden in every sense of the word.

From Fragrantica  –

Oesel perfume from the Shooting Stars Collection is a symphony of bright and rich notes perfectly mixed with the best raw ingredients. Orange blossom and petitgrain from Paraguay lead the path to the heart of Bulgarian rose and Sambac jasmine, which are skillfully wrapped in sophisticated mimosa and white flowers. Graceful result of this mixed breed is the ambery wooden base of Indian patchouli, cedar and tobacco flower, which exudes the character, depth and persistence.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  An orange blossom boutounniere…the perfect perfume for your wedding day.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE OESEL: rapturous, uplifting, joyous

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT OESEL:  Now Smell This, CaFleureBon, Confessions of a Perfume Nerd

BOTTOM LINE:  I finally set forth cleaning up my office and the stash of perfume samples that were invading every corner of the room.  There were quite a few of the perfumes I didn’t even realize I had in my possession.  So off came the tops of many for a quick smell.  Oesel was the loveliest of surprises and I wish I had tested it sooner.  In fact I loved it so much so that the next day I purchased a bottle.  How’s that for an endorsement?!

  • Bone Rating:  5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Oriental Floral
  • Classification: Marketed for men, but could easily be worn by a woman.
  • Expense: Varied…mid $200 for 100 ml eau de parfum


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New Release: Silphium by Stora Skuggan

WHAT I SMELL:  Silphium goes on the skin incredibly herbal, medicinal, warm and mentholated.  It really vibrates with a vaporous sheen and the perfume is incredibly reassuring without being soft and cuddly.  Instead, since there is a medicinal edge it feels more like an elixir of health.  As the perfume begins to settle, the herbal turns to an energized spice that is somehow flat, yet full of movement.  Still rather medicinal, the perfume throws out an aura of energy which now begins to lighten with a rounded moisture fused in ginger and a slight citrus.  After some time, the perfume removes the majority of the medicinal tone and lightens to a fuzzy and lightly powdered wood that albeit full of projection, feels somewhat ethereal and wispy brought on by the breath of an opaque incense.  In the end, the perfume softens considerably and becomes a comfort scent…in the sense that the therapeutic aspects of the fragrance make you feel like you don’t only smell good, but the perfume is good for you.

From the Stora Skuggan website:

Silphium (probably of the genus Ferula) was a plant that grew in the area of Cyrene, present day Libya, and was widely renowned as a spice, medicinal herb and perfume ingredient throughout the empires of the classical antiquity. It was praised by Greek philosophers and writers, as well as Roman emperors and cookbook authors.

There were many attempts to cultivate Silphium, but they inevitably failed. It would only grow wild in a limited area of the north African coast. This in combination with its qualities as seasoning and medicine made Silphium the most valuable spice in the world, outshining both saffron and cinnamon. The demand for Silphium eventually became so overwhelming that it was harvested to extinction, and the taste and smell of the once greatest spice in the world was lost in time.

Our rendition of this historical plant is created by researching surviving assumed relatives of Silphium, using aromachemicals (the molecular building blocks of scents) to create an accord that we feel represents what descriptions remains. This is set against a background of ancient incense, woods and leather.

Silphium features top notes of Silphium accord and Cistus. The heart notes are Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Tobacco, Ginger, Geranium and Clove. Base notes are Frankincense, Myrrh, Cedarwood and Leather.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Medicinal cotton.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE SILPHIUM: herbal, medicinal, therapeutic

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT SILPHIUM:  None found.

BOTTOM LINE:  This new release from the Stockholm Sweden based Stora Skuggan is interesting and different and I love the fact that they are creating a perfume through the re-creation of an extinct and historical plant as a central theme.  And for perfume lovers who also gravitate towards incredible bottles…Silphium does the trick.

  • Bone Rating:  3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Oriental Spicy
  • Nose: Olle Hemmendorff and Tomas Hempel
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $140 for 30 ml eau de parfum

Sample provided by Twisted Lily Fragrange Boutique and Apothecary.  Opinion my own.


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New Release: Sandor 70’s by Carner Barcelona

carnersandos70sWHAT I SMELL:  Sandor 70’s completes a kick-start with a quick blast of bergamot that soon melds into a wonderfully warm floral suede.  The florals then move to the more herbal with a clary sage note that is front and center.  The perfume is smooth and incredibly engaging.  Neither feminine nor masculine, the perfume defies a label.  As the perfume continues to develop, it really begins to project and a dry woody timbre pushes out a light powder.  Continuing on, a smoky note appears along with a dry vetiver, but as soon as I write that, the dryness makes way for a buttery vanilla.  Here, the perfume is simply sublime as it fills the air with a rich, sophisticated suede that feels like it’s coming from a well of nature.  It’s not dirty, nor heavy, instead, the perfume feels earthy and grounded and nostalgic.  As it continues to unfold, the tobacco and the leather mix in a swirl of wafting smoke.  Here, the dirt from the cobblestone streets meet the soles of the well-worn shoes that walk them.

From the Carner Barcelona website:

inspiration:  “At the crest of upper Barcelona once a place to see and be seen, an iconic bar where the smoke of cigars flirted with the aristocratic leather armchairs…”

top notes – Suede Accord, Italian bergamot, Vintage Jasmin absolute, Chinese osmanthus absolute, Bulgarian rose essence

mid notes – Tobacco Accord,  Clary sage absolute, Virginian cedar wood, Peru balsam, Mexican vanilla extract

base notes –  Spanish leather accord, Patchouli essence, Vetyver essence, Ethiopian frankincense extract, Oak moss absolute

wellwornsandalWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Your favorite pair of well-worn leather/suede sandals.  So comfortable, like an old friend.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE SANDOR 70’s:  vintage, careworn, comfortable

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT SANDOR 70’s: Fragrance Daily

BOTTOM LINE:  Part of the new Black Collection, Sandor 70’s is my favorite among the three perfumes in the line.  Here, the nod to nostalgia is done perfectly and makes this a leather perfume that’s perfect for those who don’t like their leather over the top.

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Leather
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $220 for 50 ml eau de parfum

Sample courtesy of Twisted Lily.