The Scented Hound

Perfume blog with abbreviated perfume reviews & fragrance reviews.


BDK Parfums – Velvet Tonka

WHAT I SMELL:  Velvet Tonka opens with a soft and silky orange blossom that’s riding on top of a thickened wave of almond.  The perfume starts off big and very rounded with what seems to be a taffy like glaze.  It’s sweet, but more buttery almond sweet than sugary sweet.  As the perfume begins to develop it radiates greatly and it reminds me of my mother’s confectionary kitchen cabinet where smells of vanilla, almond, paste and frosting created a veritable olfactory sugar rush.  Continuing on, the addition of tobacco absolute helps to tame the perfume from growing out of control.  However, the almond is still front and center and rather hard to resist.  As the perfume continues on its journey, the almond melds with the tonka and vanilla.  Here, the perfume softens oh so lightly along with a dash of wood just to even it out.  It’s much later where I believe Velvet Tonka hits its “sweet spot” when it quiets to an ambered gourmet delight.  It’s pretty, slightly sweet, lightly warmed and quite delightful.

From the BDK Parfums website:

Tonka bean is an ingredient full of contrasts, sometimes reminiscent of vanilla leather, sometimes of almonds, sometimes even revealing chocolatey facets. Velvet Tonka is characterized by its trilogy of tonka bean, orange blossom and almond. When worn on the skin, it coats it like an oriental delicacy dusted with icing sugar. The balmy tonka bean is adorned with almonds and rose petals for a velvety touch, and with a hint of tobacco absolute to give it a honeyed feel. In the base, addictive notes of milky amyris wood unfurl, enhanced by ambroxan and vanilla absolute for an unparalleled velvetiness and sensuality. Velvet Tonka is a tribute to the Moroccan origins of founder David Benedek and to the iconography associated with the region through its flavors and its landscapes, like a sweet, indulgent breeze coming straight from the Atlas Mountains.

Top notes: Orange blossom, Almond

Heart notes: Rose absolute, Tobacco absolute from the Balkans

Base notes: Tonka bean absolute, Vanilla absolute from Madagascar, Amyris wood essence, Amber woods

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Frosted almond cookies.


WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT VELVET TONKA:  The Candy Perfume Boy, Colognoisseur

BOTTOM LINE:  Velvet Tonka is a perfume where a little can go a long way.  It’s confectioned almond goodness can be wonderful; just ensure that you keep your spritzing to a minimum otherwise you’ll create a sugared forcefield that will be too much to handle for you and those in your wake.  However, if you love gourmand fragrances, this might be a good fit.  I’m not a gourmand lover and sweet perfumes can be challenging to me.  But I found a little Velvet Tonka can be quite nice and rather cheery to wear.

  • Bone Rating: 3 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral Gourmand
  • Nose:  Alexandra Carlin
  • Classification:  Unisex
  • Expense:  Starting at $215 for 100ml eau de parfum


New Release: Vanille Rêve by Shalini

Shalini Vanilla ReveWHAT I SMELL:   Vanille Rêve approaches the wearer with a warm deep tobacco laden vanilla that’s not sweet, but which is grounded in a sensuous mix of spices of nutmeg, cinnamon and anise.  From the very beginning, Vanille Rêve is very serious and deeply rapturous.  As the perfume develops, the mix of spice and vanilla begin to dry, leaving the wearer to feel is if they are on a journeyed path through the markets of Morocco prior to starting off on an adventure heading to the South Seas where its secret wisdom will be unlocked.  After some time, the deep and dark begins to slowly lift and the perfume moves toward the more gourmand.  Here the perfume radiates the most comforting of baked good delights.  You can almost envision the spiced, caramelized and frosted creations emerging from the oven as they entice you as they’re put out on display.  Continuing on, Vanille Rêve begins to reveal its quieter side with the addition of creamy white florals.  Here the perfume begins to soften and bloom with the tiare flower lilting lightly on top of the vanilla.  And this is where the perfume makes its final journey’s end amidst the intoxicating and exotic islands of the South Pacific.

From Shalini Parfum:

Vanille Rêve parfum captures the alluring sweetness of desire and ineffable dreams without limits. The parfum is an embracing composition of warm sensual Vanilla Absolut, aromatic Anise, voluptuous Tuberose, Jasmin and the Tahitian Gardenia – Tiare blossoms.

WelcometotheSouthSeasWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  An exotic journey to the South Seas.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE VANILLE RÊVE:  mysterious, gourmand, exquisite


BOTTOM LINE:  Vanille Rêve is a gourmand lover’s dream where the vanilla is the star at the center.  Never too sweet, the perfume is beautifully serious in the most wonderful of ways.  Once again, Shalini and Maurice Roucel have added another beauty to the exceptional Shalini collection of perfumes.

  • Bone Rating: 4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral Gourmand
  • Nose:  Maurice Roucel
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: Cubique glass bottle with the glass stopper $500 for 50 ml, Cubique glass bottle with black bulb atomizer $500 for 50 ml,  Small spray bottle $150 for 7.5 ml.  Byzantine glass flacon $1,100 for 100 ml.  White Lacquer and Gold Plated Travel Spray, $415 for 12.5 ml.  All parfum extrait.