The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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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!

 


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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.