The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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Vintage Ma Griffe by Carven

WHAT I SMELL:  Ma Griffe opens with bright aldehydes followed by a mix of florals that turn surprisingly green.   There’s an undercurrent of rapturous warmth that sits below the florals that makes the perfume heady and full-bodied in a rather provocative manner.  Ma Griffe is not shy in the least and as it goes on she tells you exactly who she is right from the beginning.  As the perfume continues to develop, there’s a note or combination of notes that reminds me of slightly worn silk undergarments.  It’s a mix of perfume, powder and just a hint of light sweat gained from normal daily activity.  As such, this makes Ma Griffe a veritible seductress.  As the perfume continues to morph, the florals begin to deepen with tonka bean taking root along side a drying oak moss.  Here, Ma Griffe is fully in charge and makes it known that she is all woman and doesn’t mind if you call her a dame.

Top notes: Aldehydes, clary sage, galbanum, bergamot
Heart notes: Gardenia, jasmine, ylang-ylang, rose
Base notes: Cinnamon, tonka bean, vetiver

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  The unapologetic user of men; Barbara Stanwyck in the pre-code classic movie “Babyface.”

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE MA GRIFFEbold, seductive, empowered

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT MA GRIFFE:  Yesterday’s Perfume, Smelly Blog, Perfume Shrine

BOTTOM LINE:  I acquired the bottle pictured above years ago from a woman who was cleaning out her aunt’s estate.  I believe it’s from the 1970’s or ’80s and is the EDT “mis-s-s-ster” version.  The “mister” no longer works so it comes out of the bottle dribbling from under the sprayer.  I imagine that the mister would provide a bit of a softer experience, but I can’t say for sure.  For me, Ma Griffe is interestingly bold and beautiful, but I find that it’s not something I gravitate to or wear very often.  I think’s it’s because I like my vintage perfumes to have a bit of a soft side and Ma Griffe is anything but soft from start to finish.  Still, it’s a pretty darn amazing perfume.

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Chypre Floral
  • Classification:  Feminine
  • Expense:  Prices for vintage vary considerably on concentration, etc.


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Loewe Solo Pour Homme

WHAT I SMELL:  Solo’s opening is a nicely warm one with a lightly herbal lavender that is quickly met with a brightened patchouli that sits between earthy, funky and cottony fresh.  There’s also an underlying citrus note that helps to keep the patchouli in an uplifted manner.  Pretty much from the first spritz, the perfume is fresh, rather dewy and light with a wonderfully positive persona.  As the perfume continues to develop, it begins to move to the more spiced with a lightly sweetened cumin, nutmeg and cinnamon melding with the patchouli.  Thankfully, the perfume remains light and airy as the spice is kept at the right depth.  Soon afterwards, the perfume begins to dry and it takes on a hazy finish.  For the most part, Solo remains true to the lavender, patchouli and lightly spiced heart, but it starts moving towards a clean musk finish.  But as soon as I thought it would end there, a flattened slightly sour woody note comes to the forefront and that’s unfortunate as the perfume prior to this development was very likable and now it’s just… OK.

From the Loewe website:

A timeless yet novel fragrance, its secret lies in its contrasting accords of aromatic notes that are juxtaposed in perfect counterpoint.

A spicy, woody fragrance with contrasting notes of sandalwood, guava and marzipan, for the elegant man of distinction who appreciates the value of balance.

The harmony of extremes.

Olfactive Notes – 

Humid Stone Chord : guava, lavender, boldo and thyme

Dry Wood Chord : cachemire and patchouli

Hesperides Chord : bergamot, lemon and tangerine

Spicy Chord : cumin, nutmeg and cinnamon

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A careworn ranch house from the 1950s or 60s.  When it was built it was a beauty, but over time it has become a bit tired and dated and needs a little sprucing up.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE SOLOcottony, herbal, semi-delightful.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT SOLO:  No reviews found.

BOTTOM LINE:  I really wanted to like Solo as the opening and middle stages of development are fantastically alluring.  Unfortunately, it’s only at the end that the perfume begins to fade from my enthusiasm.  And call me shallow, but there’s something about the Loewe aesthetic that leaves me a bit cold.

  • Bone Rating:  3 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Oriental
  • Classification:  Masculine
  • Expense:  Prices start at around $100 for 50ml eau de toilette.


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Guerlain Habit Rouge Eau de Toilette

WHAT I SMELL:  Habit Rouge opens with a bright and sparkling mix of citrus highlighted by a clean barbershop lemon.  It feels neat, brisk and fully energetic.  After a short time, the citrus begins to mute and a warmth begins to wrap itself around the lemon with a light creamed sandalwood at the center.  The perfume still retains its barbershop vibe, but instead of just coming out of the barber’s chair, it feels a bit more like one has prepped for a night out with a great aftershave.  As the perfume continues to develop, a light floral note gives the perfume a bit of a softer and more rounded feel.  After some more time, the perfume dries, flattens and becomes more herbal and vanilla-woody.  Habit Rouge has a proper feel, but not so much as it feels too buttoned up or uptight.  And in the end, it’s a perfume that’s easy to wear, gentlemanly and perfect for the office or for any occasion.

From the Guerlain website:

Habit Rouge Eau de Toilettes is a classic of elegance, glorified by the freshness of citrus notes.

Created in 1965, Habit Rouge was the first oriental fragrance for men in perfumery. From the moment of its launch, this tribute to Guerlain’s passion for the dressage of horses created an element of surprise with its scents of sensual and bold vanilla. An oriental that is by turns citrusy, warm and accented with vanilla, it expresses the genius of contrast and well-mastered emotions.
Habit Rouge embraces a dandy man who dares everything. combining sophistication and refinement. He lives his life fervently and distinguishes himself with a trail of extreme sensuality.

With its modern geometry and mastery of form, Habit Rouge has an eternally elegant French appeal.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:   Classic man of the mid 1960’s.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE HABIT ROUGE:  tailored, reserved, mature

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT HABIT ROUGE:  Bespoke Unit, Bois de Jasmin, Olfactics

BOTTOM LINE:  I can’t believe that I’ve never reviewed Habit Rouge before even though it’s been part of my collection for years.  It’s probably because it’s one of the perfumes that I take for granted as a workhorse and don’t wear when I go out for the evening, but instead reserve it for running errands and working out where the citrus and florals come front and center with the sun and heat.  Habit Rouge makes it easy to smell fantastic no matter what you’re doing.

  • Bone Rating:  3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Oriental Citrus
  • Nose:  Jean-Paul Geurlain
  • Classification:  Masculine
  • Expense:  Prices vary, but it can be found for around $50 for a 3.4 oz. eau de toilette.