The Scented Hound

Perfume blog with abbreviated perfume reviews & fragrance reviews.


Ex Nihilo Sweet Morphine

Sweet MorphineWHAT I SMELL:  Sweet Morphine makes good on its promise as being addictive as it opens sweet, soft, gentle and powdery with a feeling of spun cotton candy without the confectionaried sugar.  Lilac is listed as the top note, but I rarely get lilac out of the perfume, but instead a powdered and pretty iris surrounded by fringes of succulent green.  After a few minutes, the light opening (which almost begs for you to apply more on because you believe it’s going to disappear) makes way for a vanilla laced iris and mimosa floral that moves from demure and softly spun to a much rounder and slightly thickened and slightly creamy candied state.  The perfume then assumes a woody based, but resting on top of the wood remains the sweet and lightly peachy and powdered floral that makes this the addictive morphine it’s named after.

From the Ex Nihilo website:

SWEET MORPHINE, the embodiment of a self assumed but ambivalent femininity, at once delicate yet lascivious.

It’s floral bloom melts on the skin with a dark and addictive woody vanilla background.

A subtle bouquet tenderly perverted by a very captivating carnal lightness.


Top – Lilac

Heart – Iris

Base – Wood Accord, Vanilla

sexy pink nurseWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: A sexy (not slutty) nurse.  I’m ready for my shot of sweet morphine!

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE SWEET MORPHINE:  current, uncomplicated, accessible


BOTTOM LINE: Sweet Morphine has a very modern sensibility and is incredibly delicious for a non-gourmand fragrance.  Every time I wear this perfume it morphs just a little different each time; sometimes it’s a bit sweeter, sometimes it’s more demure, but it is always just the right amount of sexy.

  • Bone Rating:  3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Floral
  • Nose: Nathalie Gracia-Cetto
  • Classification: Leans feminine
  • Expense: $225 for 50 ml eau de parfum


Sniffa New York!

SniffapaloozaLet me first say that I am a very deficient blogger…deficient in the fact that when I go to an event and meet the fantastic people in the industry I fail to record meetings, greetings and happenings through pictures.  And I have a great new iPhone so there’s no excuse.  So let me first apologize for the sparse use of original or borrowed pictures.

twisted lily

Twisted Lily

This past weekend was a perfumed whirlwind centered around the 2016 Sniffapalooza Spring Fling.  Friday night kicked off the weekend event with an open house at Twisted Lily in Brooklyn.  Let me first say that I was proud of the fact that the Hound and hub managed to take the subway from Manhattan to Brooklyn during Friday night rush hour all by ourselves.  This is big, even though I may be lax in taking pictures, I am not lax in ordering Uber.  So the train took me off my princess perch.  If you have never had the pleasure of visiting Twisted Lily, Eric and Stamatis’s store offers the best selection of niche perfumes on the east coast.  Wide and varied, they have an incredible diverse and unique range of perfumes.  Even if you haven’t been there, check out their website as you can still order their perfumes online.  The open house was PACKED…but that made it all that much more fun.  It was great to see old friends and to make new ones as well….two of which included the team behind Masque Milano, Alessandro Brun and Riccardo Tedeschi.  We had a lovely chat where they introduced me to their latest release Romanza, a perfume inspired by Oscar Wilde’s Portrait of Dorian Gray.  It’s a narcissus based perfume that…well, the inspiration says a lot and I plan to complete a review so I’ll let you create your own picture right now.  Additionally, they introduced me to their upcoming release L’Attesa, an incredibly beautiful iris perfume that restored my interested in the flower as a note.  More to come on that as well.  But they also have redesigned their bottles and I have to say that they are incredibly luxurious and wonderful weighted.

IMG_0478Saturday morning was kicked off with the invasion of the Sniffa group to Bergdorf Goodman.  I was introduced to a new line I hadn’t heard of before, The Fragrance Kitchen.  This Kuwait based perfume house has been around since 2005, but is new to the US market.  They had a wide range of perfumes, but found my favorite to be “The Man from Impanema,” a really nice fresh citrus floral with a happy disposition.  How can you not love that name??!  I also managed to be seduced by Ex Nihilo’s Sweet Morphine, a vibrant pink floral perfume that spellbound me big time.  But of course, I didn’t purchase either of those, but instead was enabled by dear sweet Daisy as we both ended up purchasing a 3 ml bottle of Oud Elixir Precieux from Christian Dior.  This perfumed oil elixir is out of this world and one of those perfumes where people around me were wondering where the intoxicating fragrance was coming from as it just seems to not necessarily radiate from the skin, but from the atmosphere.  Riccardo Tedeschi from Masque was smelling it as we were wrapping up the purchase and he said it was the most magnificent thing he had smelled that day.  I have to admit, it’s like owning a little jewel.  And it’s not a heavy oud, but more of a smooth and smoky honeyed intoxicant.


I must have these Diors!

The Sniffa lunch revolved around various speakers…but one highlight was a presentation from Barbara Herman introducing her newly released line of Eris Parfums.  Barbara, an aficionado on vintage and classic perfumes  and author of “Scent and Subversion” has taken this next step into the realm of creation with a trio of classic, yet modern-inspired animalic perfumes in collaboration with perfumer Antoine Lie and co-founder and business partner, the talented Jacinta Bunt.  Probably my favorite from the line is Night Flower…and of course, that’s only a teaser as you’ll soon hear more about it!


Cecile, Mary and The Hound

Saturday night culminated in a wonderful small gathering with Puredistance, the perfume house that’s dear to my heart.  Their creations, including my beloved White, are all incredible and this gathering was centered around the introduction to the newest member of their collection, Sheiduna.  A stunner that is a departure from the rest of the line,  I was told that with this creation they were looking to bridge the elegance of Europe with the sensual and exciting nature of the Orient. Those in attendance had the chance to experience Sheiduna and it was incredible how different it developed on each wearer.  All I can say is that this oriental has a beautiful drydown that must be experienced.  I also finally had a chance to meet the ever gracious Mary Gooding, the Puredistance brand ambassador, as well as have a chat with Sheiduna’s perfumer, the amzaing Cecile Zarokian.  Sheiduna is set to be released some time later in 2016.

Sunday was a day spent with friends so I didn’t get a chance to experience day 2 of the Sniffapalooza, but that’s OK…I managed to pack in a sensory overload in a day and a half.

Next time however, I PROMISE to take pictures.  Well…I guess I should never promise should I.

Thanks to Daisy, Ari, Hajusuuri, Mary, Carlos, Michelyn and the many others for making this such a special weekend.

xoxoxoxox  Steve


Ex Nihilo Venenum Kiss

Venenum Kiss

WHAT I SMELL:  Venenum Kiss (poison kiss) opens with a saffron laden ripened fruit.  The perfume is fleshy and thick, and it feels like fruit that’s ready to fall off the limb of a tree with the weight of the rotting juice.  That’s not a bad thing, it’s just very narcotic and rather fermented.  Or in other words, it is forbidden-fruit in the best sense of the word.  Overall, the perfume is warm, radiant and seductive.  And as the perfume develops, the rose and the sandalwood come forward with a soured and sharpened melding of forces.  What once was more seductive and fruited, is now more of a poisoned arrow; still beautiful and seductive, but it feels more deadly.  As the perfume continues to morph, the sharpened edges soften, but not by much as the vanilla base continues to provide a sweetened, oudish bounty of menace.  And in the end, it’s all topped off with a bit of incense, making it all so very seductive.

From the Ex Nihilo website:

VENENUM KISS, a sensual and sophisticated liquor with hints of candied apricot and vanilla.

The strong and intense feel of an electric night in the Orient…
The women are wearing their evening perfume, in their wakes, a veritable storm of scents.
Wherever you go at night, you succumb to this same hypnotic smell.

TOP:  Neroli, Saffron, Nutmeg

HEART:  Rose absolute, Davana, Amber

BASE:  Vanilla, Styrax, Sandalwood

sin of desireWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  The sin of desire.



BOTTOM LINE:  Venenum Kiss is named perfectly.  The perfume is decadent, poisonous and it feels predatory and rather deadly.  It also reminds me a bit of Armani Prive’ Cuir Noir, except that Venenum Kiss feels a lot more dangerous and over the top.  Venenum Kiss is NOT an office scent and it would have to be worn on just the right occasion.  Perfect when you want to bring out your deviled horns.

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Oriental
  • Nose: Quentin Bisch
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $225 for 50 ml Eau de Parfum.

Sample courtesy of Lucky Scent.