The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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Guerlain Chamade Pour Homme

WHAT I SMELL:   The opening of Chamade Pour Homme is a welcomed surprise of warm sensual bergamot and dried black pepper.  It sings, it zings and it’s very debonair and rather sexy as it hits the skin.  In addition, it’s rather beefy without being heavy, but it certainly makes its presence known.  After a short time, a lightly metallic floral note emerges…neither big, nor loud; instead it provides a calming presence to the bold opening.  A nutty note is added to the florals which provides just the right amount of depth without being overly spiced.  As the perfume continues to develop, a very light soapiness and light leather wrap themselves around a brown vetiver.  Eventually, the perfume begins to powder which then brings out the floral heart again.  Here the perfume remains with the most radiant of personality.  Chamade Pour Homme is confident in its masculinity without being brutish.

From the Guerlain website:

In 1999, Jean-Paul Guerlain created this moment of love to respond to the exhilaration of Chamade pour Femme, composed in 1969, a dazzling gift for a beloved woman. This men’s fragrance with its stirring charm makes the heart quiver and the pulse race, just as the momentum of desire kindles awaited pleasure.

Top notes: Italian bergamot, black pepper.
Heart notes: hyacinth, violet leaf note, nutmeg.
Base notes: vetiver, leather, precious wood.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  The perfect 1960’s family:  what I envision the dad smells like – clean and confident, and of course he’s one helluva nice guy.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE CHAMADE POUR HOMME:  semi-tailored, approachable, easy

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT CHAMADE POUR HOMME: EAUMG, WMSSL

BOTTOM LINE:  Chamade Pour Homme isn’t revolutionary, but it’s an incredibly beautiful perfume.  It’s the perfect example of a masculine perfume that doesn’t require its masculinity to be overt.  And the floral heart of the perfume provides for the right amount of softness.  But please Guerlain, can you trade in the woody and boxy perfume bottle for something more attractive?  It actually looks like something that I made in shop class in 7th grade.

  • Bone Rating: 4.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral Woody 
  • Classification: Masculine
  • Expense: $250 for 100 ml eau de toilette


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Bruno Fazzolari Monserrat

WHAT I SMELL:   Monserrat’s opening is delightful with its green hue and pink and juicy citrus.  The perfume feels like it’s sparkling in the sun.  It’s bright and vibrant, yet warm and deeply radiant.  After a bit, a rooted note from the earth comes up from beneath and takes the bright to the realm of the plane.  An osmanthus note begins to develop to create a rounded and dry light fruited note.  The perfume is beyond cozy and it wraps around you like the airiness of a feather boa.  It’s pretty, but not delicate, not feminine…but alluring and rather sexual, but not in an overt way.  Instead, it’s sexuality is completely natural.  After quite some time, a light jasmine and musk appear along with a dried layer of putty.   The putty adds a different and unusual element to the aesthetic, making the perfume that more modern…but not any less attractive. In fact, if anything it helps to bring out the peach.  In the end, the perfume takes on a cottony feel.  It’s peach and jasmine wrapped around a spun musk.  Monserrat is sublime.

From the Bruno Fazzolari website:

Inspired by the burnished colors of classic Italian fresco painting: juicy grapefruit and apricot laced through with green leaves and an unusual, fresh setting plaster note. Luscious and radiant.

Notes: pink grapefruit, green leaves, carrot seed, osmanthus, jasmine, white musk, setting plaster.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A peach colored boa.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE MONSERRAT:  delicious, modish, distinctive

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT MONSERRATColognoisseur, CaFleureBon, The Non-Blonde

BOTTOM LINE:  Monserrat is wonderfully different and modern as well as pretty without being too feminine.  In all, it’s a fabulously unique, but very wearable perfume.

  • Bone Rating: 4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral Woody Musk
  • Nose: Bruno Fazzolari
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $110 for 30 ml eau de toilette.

Sample courtesy of Twisted Lily Fragrance Boutique and Apothecary.


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Vintage Guerlain L’Heure Bleue

WHAT I SMELL:  This particular vintage L’Heure Bleue (why do I say it that way?  you’ll see below) eau de toilette opens with a bright and sweet bergamot and spicy anise which first goes on cool to the touch, but then warms considerably and quickly.  It smells mysterious and serious and rather mature and slightly medicinal.  This is not your Britney Spears of perfumes, but is a perfume that instead dazzles and sings with wisdom and grace.  There’s not a great deal of development as the perfume settles in to reside in a floral meld with a spicy carnation and tuberose center that is dusted with a violet powder that wraps the perfume in mysterious wisdom.

The top notes are opening with spicy-sweet aniseed and fresh bergamot that gently lead to the heart of rose, carnation, tuberose, violet, and neroli. The soft and powdery floral notes are resting on a base of vanilla, Tonka bean, iris and benzoin.

Blue silk floral applique gown by Valentino.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: A romantic blue silk evening gown.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE L’HEURE BLEUE:  mild, measured, solemn

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT L’HEURE BLEUE: Kafkasesque, Bois de Jasmin, Monsieur Guerlain

BOTTOM LINE:  The review above it based on a 1980s sample received from the wonderful Undina.  It’s bright, yet serious and very powdery.. and I love it.  I recently found a 1980s unopened EdT bottle on eBay for next to nothing.  The bright top notes seemed to have faded away and unlike the version I’m writing about, it’s pretty, but much darker has much more rounded florals.  It’s nice, but it doesn’t carry the fresh feel like the sample I reviewed.  Then a couple of weeks ago I was in an antique store and found this massive Bacarrat bottle (200 ml?) of extrait from the 1930s/40s.  There was a sale at the store and I got the 1/2 filled perfume bottle for a great price.  The stopper was stuck and thanks to Mr. Freezer, I was able to dive into this treasure.  Again, after all these years, the top notes have faded, but the heart is glorious, deep, rich and very serious.  So three different versions and 3 very different perfumes.  I have to say that the light and pretty 1980s version is a dream and probably my favorite of the three.  But overall, none of the versions project on my skin.  Maybe it’s me that’s the problem?

IMG_0799This story just keeps getting longer…so about a week after I started writing the above, I felt compelled to purchase a bottle of the current version in the eau de parfum formula.  A great price added with a coupon I couldn’t refuse right?  Actually, I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to like it… but to my surprise I adore it.  It’s not quite as sunny as the vintage Undina sample, but it’s lighter and sweeter than my vintage EdT and parfum.  There’s a little incense in it and a little powder as it’s completely understated.  But what it defined for me, is that no matter what formula the perfume is in…my skin just eats it up and that means it has a pretty short lifespan on me.  That’s unusual for me, but I’m OK with it because I love to slather myself in any and all versions.   BTW, the new EdP layered with my old vintage EdT is divine!

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Oriental Floral
  • Nose: Jacques Guerlain
  • Classification: Marketed as feminine but to me it’s very unisex
  • Expense: Prices vary for vintage versions, but the current EdP can be purchased for as low as $60 for 100 ml.