The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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New Release: Durga by D.S. & Durga

WHAT I SMELL:  Oh how I love an opening that’s creamy, heady, full of smooth as silk orris butter and orange blossom and that’s big, big, big and incredibly intoxicating. Phew…it’s like diving into a tub filled with the most narcotic of jasmine, ylang, ylang and tuberose blossoms.  With all of this going on, there’s a green melon note that lurks below the florals and a dried and distinctive chrysanthemum note that smells like pencil shavings.   The perfume is pure heaven in that it’s exotic, beautiful, dreamy and incredibly rapturous.  It’s also full of life…big life.  The perfume continues to green as it wears, but the hypnotic florals seems to glide on, albeit a bit quieter.  In the end, the beautiful florals thankfully don’t make way for a nondescript wood or musk.  Instead, the perfume retains this lush green fruity floral persona that at times feels like bouquet of the flowers  and at other times it has a strangely curious fruity gourmand feel that makes you want to lick the goodness off of your skin.  Durga has clearly cast its spell on me.

From the D.S. & Durga website:

Palatial doses of the finest floral absolutes –
tuberose, orris butter, orange blossom, sambac jasmine,
chrysanthemum, and ylang.  Unimaginably narcotic.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: A jubilant floral explosion.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE DURGA: bountiful, voluminous, concentrated

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT DURGA:  None to be found.

BOTTOM LINE:  I believe by now it’s clearly obvious that I love this perfume.  And why not, it holds everything that I love, heady white florals, orris butter, and the most intoxicating tuberose.  Some may question the price, but to me, this limited edition of floral heaven is worth every penny!

  • Bone Rating:  4.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Floral Green
  • Nose:  David Moltz
  • Classification: Feminine
  • Expense: $350 for 50 ml eau de parfum – limited edition

* Sample courtesy of Twisted Lily Fragrance Boutique and Apothecary.  Opinion my own.


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New Release: Neela Vermeire Creations Rahele

rahele“Rahele (traveller) is the newest fragrance, an ode to exotic travel, an olfactory journey in the company of 17th Century French visitors to the East.”

WHAT I SMELL:  Rahele quietly opens soft but very luxurious, with a dewy green and velvety violet, tinged with the lightest of citrus and spice.  There’s an incredible warmth that immediately draws you in.  Soon after opening, a cinnamon note moves forward making a nice balance between the florals and the lightly exotic spice.  After a few more minutes, a demure, but noticeable osmanthus comes forward.  At this point the perfume feels like a still life painting filled with the most delicate of flowers and fruit.  As the perfume continues to develop it begins to powder and dry.   Even with a projecting powder, Rahele remains incredibly subdued and meticulously blended, where no particular note stands out, but is perfection in the sum of its parts.  In the end, the lightest of leather topped by a layer of oakmoss makes this a sublime ode to French perfumery.

Notes from the Neele Vermeire Creations website:

Top Notes:  Green Mandarine, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Violet Leaf Absolute 

Heart Notes:  Osmanthus Absolute, Rose Absolute, Magnolia, Jasmine Absolute, Iris, Violet

Base Notes:  Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Oakmoss, Patchouli, Leather 

17th-century-wigsWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: What I envision a 17th Century powdered wig to smell like.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE RAHELE:  powdery, proper, engaging

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT RAHELE:  Megan in Sainte Maxime, AustralianPerfumeJunkies, CaFleureBon

BOTTOM LINE:  Rahele strays from the exotic flourishes of the other Neela Vermeire Creation perfumes in the collection, although not completely.  Rahele is all about classic french perfume and as I am a huge fan of the classics…I have to say that this might be my favorite in the collection.  But that’s like stating which of your children is your favorite…it can’t be done.

  • Bone Rating:  4.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral Woody Musk
  • Nose: Bertrand Duchaufour
  • Classification: Leans feminine
  • Expense: $235 for 60 ml eau de parfum.


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New Release: Lubin Kismet

lubinkismet“Folly!” That’s how the elderly owner of the Lubin Perfume House, Monsieur Paul Prot, described the elephant-shaped perfume bottle that had appeared on his desk. It had been designed for a princess who was believed to be Indian, and so Lubin perfumers had consulted the writings of the famous Indian poet Valmiki. In his work, Valmiki paid homage to Woman by comparing her to the animal believed to be the noblest of all — the elephant. This seemed altogether odd to a well-mannered Frenchman in the early Roaring Twenties. But as for Kismet, the Eastern princess for whom this new perfume was intended, well, she liked it.

kismet-original

An original Kismet Baccarat bottle.

The beautiful Ottoman spy actually laughed when she saw the small crystal bottle of perfume that had been made especially for her. It featured a brightly decorated elephant, alluding to the verse of Valmiki’s Ramayana. Spiritual and multilingual, Kismet cultivated the mystery surrounding her background. She reigned over the Parisian parties of the Roaring Twenties for a time, then one day slipped away, never to be seen again. All that remained was the memory of her intoxicating scent — the scent of the perfume that Lubin had created for her.

Kismet was created in 1921 only to disappear in infamy like many other classic perfumes of the early 20th century.  Thankfully, Kismet once again is available through a modern interpretation.  Is it still worthy of a princess?

WHAT I SMELL:  Kismet unfolds gracefully with a warm, sweet, velvety smooth  citrus that quickly melds into a wonderful vanilla infused rose.  It’s soft and dreamy and it feels like it’s full of quiet whispers.  As the perfume develops, the focus remains on the warmed rose and the labdanum and vanilla, but the projection grows.  Never shouting, Kismet instead weaves a spell with the lightest of opoponax to let you know that it’s veil of beauty surrounds you at every turn.  Kismet is a mystery from the very start, slow to progress, the perfume moves quietly through its intepritive dance, mesmerizing you with every flourish.  Kismet is magic.

From the Lubin website:

Top notes are bergamot, lemon and petitgrain; middle notes are rose de mai, bulgarian rose and patchouli; base notes are labdanum, opoponax and bourbon vanilla.

salome1

Nazimova as Salomé, Salomé 1923.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: Salomé’s Dance of the Seven Veils.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE KISMET: seductive, warm, inviting

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT KISMET: Colognoisseur

BOTTOM LINE:  Incredibly lovely, the opening is similar to Shalimar, but as it develops, it becomes a softer and more cashmere in its feel.  The vanilla, rose and labdanum mix together like a dream that unfolds while you’re awake.  Kismet is easily full bottle worthy.

  • Bone Rating:  4.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral
  • Nose: Thomas Fontaine
  • Classification: Leans feminine
  • Expense: $186 for 100 ml eau de parfum.

Sample provided by Arielle Shoshana.  Opinion my own.