The Scented Hound

Perfume blog with abbreviated perfume reviews & fragrance reviews.


New Release: Ex Idolo Ryder & Interview with Ex Idolo’s Matthew Zhuk

Ryder-50mlWHAT I SMELL: Ryder opens with a lightly boozy ambered wood.  It reminds me of the beginning of fall, when ashen wood meets the semi-sun tinged skies.  After a couple of minutes, the perfume lightens and becomes a bit sweeter, like the sweetened tobacco sitting in the bowl of a pipe.  Ryder is anything but brash or loud, instead the subtle rise of the tobacco and frankincense weaves around the wearer like an aura of comfort. After 10 minutes, a rounded and full-bodied jasmine enters and takes its place right in the middle of the composition as if it was the filling in an old and worn wooded box.  What started off as of more of a standard woody perfume now takes on a new dimension of mixing the masculine and the feminine.    The jasmine also adds a thicken headiness which gives the perfume more projection.  In the end, Ryder is a spiced jasmine beauty that lives in the world of masculinity.

From the Ex Idolo press release:


True to the traditions of the grand houses of the golden age of perfume, Ex Idolo has created an exceptional blend inspired by the history of the members clubs of Mayfair and St. James in London. The fragrance is a juxtaposition of sweet tobacco and boozy notes against a warm woody-amber accord. The fragrance is anchored by a sparkling and ultra rare Omani (Hougari) frankincense. Although inspired by the past, Ryder is a modern fragrance; it is worth mentioning that although many of the members clubs started as male-only – a large number of them now invite women as well. To represent this, Ryder’s distinctive character has been enhanced with a heady, indolic Royal jasmine. Ryder is a unisex fragrance.

The one and only Marlene Dietrich

The one and only Marlene Dietrich

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Neither all masculine, nor all feminine, Ryder is the perfect old world gender bender.



BOTTOM LINE: Ryder is the perfect scent for the coming fall months.  It’s intoxicating and heady jasmine makes me look forward to the impending change of seasons.

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Woody
  • Nose: Matthew Zhuk
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $185 for 50 ml Release Eau de Parfum

Matthew Zhuk, Ex Idolo

Mr. Zhuk, the creative mind and nose behind the Ex Idolo brand was gracious enough to answer some of the Hound’s questions:

The Scented Hound:  The inspiration behind the perfume, “the history of the St. James and Mayfair” fits perfectly with the feel of the perfume.  What compelled you towards this historical reference in creating Ryder?

Matthew Zhuk:  When I moved to London 4 years ago I actually had the privilege of visiting a lot of these clubs. I’ve always been a fan of the things of old, antiques.. mechanical watches, you name it – so naturally it was very interesting for me. A lot of the things I saw and sensory experiences I had really stuck with me and I guess that’s where the inspiration came from. It’s not really meant to be a literal or realistic interpretation as some perfumes do with their subjects of interpretation – but rather my interpretation through the lens of memory and human experience.

The Scented Hound:  Where does the name Ryder derive from?

Matthew Zhuk: Ryder Street is a street in St. James which once was home to one of the oldest members clubs in London – now there are some art, rare books and manuscripts dealers in the area.

The Scented Hound:  Ex Idolo 33 was launched in 2013, why so long for a sophomore release?

Matthew Zhuk:  I’m not a fan of brands releasing “x” many perfumes per year, quarter, etc – it’s not good for the industry and it’s not good for the consumer either. Of course, this is the open market and anyone can do as they wish – but it’s not really my style 🙂

The Scented Hound:  Now that Ryder is launching, anything next in store for Ex Idolo?

Matthew Zhuk:  Always ideas floating around – I can’t even predict which one will be the one to see the light of day. It’s quite possible that the next Ex Idolo product won’t be a perfume.

I love it when a perfumer and creative director aren’t led by the conventions of trying to create and market based on the latest trends.  Matt Zhuk and Ex Idolo have really created something exceptional with Ryder.  We’ll see how long it takes or what kind of product is introduced by the brand next, but I have the feeling it will be something pretty special.  Thanks Matt!



ex-idolo-thirty-three-eau-de-parfum-30ml-6782-pWHAT I SMELL:  Thirty Three opens with a deep rose and oud in that plasticine way that sometimes oud can project. It’s exotic, smooth, lush and it’s tinged with hints of spice.  After a couple of minutes a bit of leather is added giving it a rather burnished finish, like a saddle that has been rubbed with some expensive oils to keep it soft and subtle. But just as soon as I think this is turning leathery, those aspects fade away.  Interesting, the fragrance has a wonderful way of bouncing off my skin.  One minute I think it’s retreating and soon afterwards it seems to project significantly off my skin.  I just put a couple of drops on my wrist and trust me, those couple of drops are going a long way.  After around the 30 minute mark, Thirty Three begins to soften and dry out and after around an hour, it becomes almost smoky.  In the end, Thirty Three is pretty linear, but that’s fine as it’s big, bold, yet thankfully rather handsome too; and there’s nothing wrong with that.

From the Ex Idolo Perfumes website:

Thirty-three is a fragrance crafted from very special ingredients. The soul of the fragrance is built around a vintage oud – distilled in 1980 and aged until its release in 2013. It is also the only modern perfume to use a significant amount of wild-harvested Chinese oud oil and natural Chinese rose oil to build the scent profile. Contrary to most ouds however, Thirty-three is a surprisingly soft and velvety fragrance, and genuinely fits in an innovative space in terms of the wider oud category. Thirty-three is a deep and dark unisex fragrance, with dry and cold facets

TOP NOTES: Soft black pepper, Candied mandarin, Caoutchouc

HEART NOTES:  Chinese white tea, Chinese rose, Taif rose, Orris, Damascus steel

BASE NOTES:  Rare, natural vintage ouds, Aged patchouli, Heliotropin

confidenceWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Confidence


WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THIRTY THREE:  Kafkaesque (thanks for the sample), Olfactoria’s Travels, The Perfume Chronicles

BOTTOM LINE:  To me, Thirty Three isn’t an office scent as it could easily overpower if you weren’t careful with your application.  But if you’re looking for something that makes a bold statement without beating up others with that statement, this might be a great choice.

  • Bone Rating: 3.5 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent: Oriental Woody
  • Classification: Unisex, but to me it leans masculine
  • Expense: $120 for 30ml EdP