The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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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.


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New Release: Amouage Lilac Love

amouage-lilac-love

WHAT I SMELL:  Not surprisingly, Lilac Love opens with a soft sweet powdery lilac which quickly turns to cocoa…which smells like milk covered Count Chocula cereal.  But that only lasts for few minutes as it moves towards a powdered floral that’s quite dusty and dry.  After some more time, the perfume gains a lightly sharp sandalwood bite.  The cocoa that was once front and center now seems to pop in and out of the perfume which makes the perfume much more alluring and moves the fragrance away from the gourmand.  As Lilac Love continues to develop, a soft sweetened patchouli appears that’s pretty and rather demure.  Without any big twists and turns in the development, Lilac Love leaves with you with very little lilac, but instead, you get a soft and powered slightly sweet sandalwood perfume. Lilac Love, like many Amouage perfumes, lasts a long time…but what’s different with this release is that it’s not a powerhouse.  And that’s a pleasant surprise.

Notes from the Amouage website:

Top notes: lilac accord, gardenia, peony and heliotrope

Heat notes:  orris, cacao and tonka bean

Base notes:  sandalwood, patchouli and vanilla

Pic: Parmalee by Sophie Gamand

Parmalee by Sophie Gamand

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Puppies and purple flowers*

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE LILAC LOVE:  soft, fuzzy, ladylike

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT LILAC LOVE:  Colognoisseur, Kafkaesque, Brooklyn Fragrance Lover

BOTTOM LINE:  I found the cocoa opening a bit disjointed, but eventually the blending of the florals and the chocolate are more in sync.  What started off as a little strange, ends up being a soft and light sweet dream.

  • Bone Rating:  3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Floral
  • Classification: Leans feminine
  • Expense: $400 for 100 ml eau de parfum

* I’m not sure why visuals pop up in my head with a fragrance, but they do.  With Lilac Love, my first impression was of labrador puppies romping in a field of purple flowers.  In trying to find such a picture in Google Images, I ran across some wonderful pictures of pit bulls in flowered headdresses which then led me to the website of photographer Sophie Gamand.  Sophie created a series of photographs entitled “Flower Power, Pit Bulls of the Revolution.”  This series was designed to provide a softer look at the much maligned pit bull.  Each of the photographed subjects is/was up for adoption.  For more information on this series, as well as Sophie’s cause, check out her website at:  www.sophiegamand.com.  Seeing these beautiful creatures memorialized with such love, respect and warmth will bring a smile to your face and joy to your heart.