The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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New Release: Puredistance Warszawa & Sample Draw

WHAT I SMELL:   Warszawa has a surprising opening with a sweetened violet that has a candied coating, which smells very similar to Valentine candy hearts (the kind with sayings on them).  That sweet opening calms considerably in a few minutes letting in a fresh, yet restrained grapefruit note.  What seemed not so subtle at the initial spritz becomes very subtle in a short matter of time.   After the initial violet and grapefruit impressions, the perfume becomes seamless as individual notes blend without distinction.  Instead, the perfume moves to a sweet and tarty and lightly soured persona.  The perfume is sweet without being overtly so and the tartness when breathed in, seems to pull the air out to constrict your nostrils.  In addition, a light spice peppers the top of the perfume.  In a way, it feels rather like an exotic confectionary treat.  After 15 minutes or so, a light powder begins to dust the perfume and it now feels very bright and feminine while at the same time warm and inviting.  Warszawa unfolds like a day’s journey; the perfume starts bright and sweet like the dawn of a new day.  As the day wears on, the spice of the florals add life and energy and then finally, the perfume provides a finishing crescendo as if entering the grand ball at the end of the evening.  This is where the perfume settles into its final incarnation; a beauty that is unique as the noble city that bears its name.

From the Puredistance website:

Inspired by the class and elegance of Polish women and the rich history of the city of Warsaw, WARSZAWA evokes the chic of the golden days of Fashion and Perfume. This perfume has style, warmth – great depth of character – and will make you feel beautiful in a lush way. It will transport you to another world, a dreamy world, where you will feel elated and dizzy – in a good way.

Notes:  Galbanum, Grapefruit, Violet leaf, Jasmin Absolute, Broom absolute, Orris butter, Patchouli, Vetiver and Styrax.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Pastel flowers – soft and muted, very feminine, very retro

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE WARSZAWA:  semi-sweet, semi-tart, classic

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT WARSZAWA:  Odiferess, Parfumistans Blogg, Perfume Posse

BOTTOM LINE:  The first time I put on Warszawa, I wondered if this would be the one Puredistance perfume that wouldn’t be a love for me.  The sweetened opening was rather a surprise, but after the perfume began to emerge with its softer and more powdery edge I knew I was hooked.   Warszawa isn’t an all-occasion everyday perfume.  Instead, it’s a perfume you wear when you feel the need to be “grand.”

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral
  • Nose:  Antoine Lie
  • Classification: Leans feminine
  • Expense:  295 Euros for 60 ml parfum extrait.  Also available in 100 ml.

DRAW:  The Puredistance team is graciously offering a 2 ml sample to three lucky Scented Hound readers.  This draw is open to all readers worldwide.  To enter, please complete the following:

  1. “Like” the Puredistance Facebook Page
  2. Enter a comment on this post as to why you would like to experience Warszawa or comment on your favorite Puredistance perfume.

To be included in the draw, the above two requirements must be completed by midnight Eastern Standard Time on November 11, 2017.  Three winners will be chosen at random and announced the week starting on November 12, 2017.  Good luck!


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Vintage Guerlain L’Heure Bleue

WHAT I SMELL:  This particular vintage L’Heure Bleue (why do I say it that way?  you’ll see below) eau de toilette opens with a bright and sweet bergamot and spicy anise which first goes on cool to the touch, but then warms considerably and quickly.  It smells mysterious and serious and rather mature and slightly medicinal.  This is not your Britney Spears of perfumes, but is a perfume that instead dazzles and sings with wisdom and grace.  There’s not a great deal of development as the perfume settles in to reside in a floral meld with a spicy carnation and tuberose center that is dusted with a violet powder that wraps the perfume in mysterious wisdom.

The top notes are opening with spicy-sweet aniseed and fresh bergamot that gently lead to the heart of rose, carnation, tuberose, violet, and neroli. The soft and powdery floral notes are resting on a base of vanilla, Tonka bean, iris and benzoin.

Blue silk floral applique gown by Valentino.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: A romantic blue silk evening gown.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE L’HEURE BLEUE:  mild, measured, solemn

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT L’HEURE BLEUE: Kafkasesque, Bois de Jasmin, Monsieur Guerlain

BOTTOM LINE:  The review above it based on a 1980s sample received from the wonderful Undina.  It’s bright, yet serious and very powdery.. and I love it.  I recently found a 1980s unopened EdT bottle on eBay for next to nothing.  The bright top notes seemed to have faded away and unlike the version I’m writing about, it’s pretty, but much darker has much more rounded florals.  It’s nice, but it doesn’t carry the fresh feel like the sample I reviewed.  Then a couple of weeks ago I was in an antique store and found this massive Bacarrat bottle (200 ml?) of extrait from the 1930s/40s.  There was a sale at the store and I got the 1/2 filled perfume bottle for a great price.  The stopper was stuck and thanks to Mr. Freezer, I was able to dive into this treasure.  Again, after all these years, the top notes have faded, but the heart is glorious, deep, rich and very serious.  So three different versions and 3 very different perfumes.  I have to say that the light and pretty 1980s version is a dream and probably my favorite of the three.  But overall, none of the versions project on my skin.  Maybe it’s me that’s the problem?

IMG_0799This story just keeps getting longer…so about a week after I started writing the above, I felt compelled to purchase a bottle of the current version in the eau de parfum formula.  A great price added with a coupon I couldn’t refuse right?  Actually, I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to like it… but to my surprise I adore it.  It’s not quite as sunny as the vintage Undina sample, but it’s lighter and sweeter than my vintage EdT and parfum.  There’s a little incense in it and a little powder as it’s completely understated.  But what it defined for me, is that no matter what formula the perfume is in…my skin just eats it up and that means it has a pretty short lifespan on me.  That’s unusual for me, but I’m OK with it because I love to slather myself in any and all versions.   BTW, the new EdP layered with my old vintage EdT is divine!

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Oriental Floral
  • Nose: Jacques Guerlain
  • Classification: Marketed as feminine but to me it’s very unisex
  • Expense: Prices vary for vintage versions, but the current EdP can be purchased for as low as $60 for 100 ml.


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Shelley Kyle Parfums Sorella

WHAT I SMELL:  Sorella’s opening dances on the skin gloriously fresh and green, like fresh picked flowers off the stem.  The perfume is all about the season of spring and initially it feels like walking through a meadow that is flush with dewy cooled sparkling flowers.  The perfume is incredibly feminine and absolutely delightful with an incredible amount of positive energy. As such, it defies you to be in a bad mood while wearing it.  After a short while, the green stems that seem to release the soft florals as if they’re being crushed under your feet like cool grass,  makes way for a warm buttery note that adds a soothing layer like that of a comforting lotion.  As the perfume continues to develop, the young and fresh, moves to the more mature with a rounded tuberose coming front and center.  It’s waxy consistency doesn’t contain any sharp edges as it seems to glean on the skin. At the same time, it’s met with a warm amber and rapturous rose. Sorella is a lady; but a lady who isn’t demure in the least.  Instead, she shines with a beautiful confidence that can’t be mistaken.  

MotherDaughterFrom the Shelley Kyle website:

The Sorella Perfume is ideal for women who prefer floral scents that are subtle yet lingering. The combination of fresh tuberose, red roses, vintage gardenia and violet leaves provides a feeling femininity and control.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A young lady matures to womanhood.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE SORELLA:  gracious, enveloping, radiant

BOTTOM LINE:  Wonderful perfumes don’t have to be expensive and Sorella completely exemplifies this.  The perfume is wonderfully layered and it unfolds like a beautiful story.    And for you Linden lovers, Shelley Kyle’s De Ma Mere is an easy to wear Linden based perfume that every time I wear it, I get multiple compliments!

  • sorella_9269Bone Rating:  3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Floral
  • Classification: Feminine
  • Expense: $37 for 30 ml Eau de Parfum from the Shelley Kyle website.  And the great thing about Shelley Kyle products is that for each of their lines, they offer a plethora of matching products from lotions to candles and everything in between.  And just in time for Mother’s Day they currently offer 10% off and free shipping on all orders!