The Scented Hound

Perfume blog with abbreviated perfume reviews & fragrance reviews.


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Papillon Artisan Perfumes – Hera

WHAT I SMELL:  Oh my; Hera opens up with a sweet orange blossom that quickly moves to a warmed jasmine and ylang, ylang.  It’s thick, rich, intoxicating and absolutely breathtaking.   From the beginning, Hera is beautifully all woman and has a persona that feels all-knowing with its golden glowing countenance.  As the perfume develops, the florals become more creamy as the Rose de Mai begins to bloom from the center.  The rose is rapturous without dominating and it helps to create a dream like aura in its wake.  After some more time, a hint of incense whispers in, but I am guessing its the narcissus that I am smelling vs. incense, but in any case it adds a dimension of mystery to this rapturous beauty.  In slow and graceful development, Hera begins to powder and dry and a wonderful oakmoss note appears.  And a bit later, the perfume once again becomes a bit more creamy with what seems to be a hint of violet.  Here, the perfume is so soft and enticing and lyrical in nature.  It’s strange, because Hera seems to quietly move, meld and morph at every slow turn so it’s quite hard to pinpoint any development in a chronological order.  And as a result, every time it’s worn it feels completely different, but no less beautiful.  Hera is a gift from the gods of which this mere mortal is not giving it justice in my description, because it’s just to hard to put rapturous beauty into adequate words.

From the Papillon Artisan Perfumes website:

The goddess of weddings, family and blessings, Hera possessed a majestic power. Here, she is celebrated in the opulence of orris and jasmine. Engulfed in flowers, you are invited by a burst of orange blossom, radiating a golden halo of warm white flowers. Delicate touches reveal a buttery, rich embrace. Rose de mai brings a whisper of drama and gentle musk offers a sensual caress for Gods and Goddesses alike. A bright and beautiful perfume, steeped in energetic luxury and effortless glamour.

Notes:  Jasmine. Orange Blossom. Ylang. Rose de Mai. Orris. Narcissus

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Perfectly named, Hera is indeed “Queen of the Gods.”

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE HERA:  glorious, captivating, breathtaking.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT HERA:  Bonkers About Perfume, CaFleureBon, Taking One Thing Off

BOTTOM LINE:  It’s not often enough these days that I am completely swept away by the beauty of a fragrance.  I find many that are wonderful and interesting, but not ones that immediately grab my soul.  Hera is a masterpiece.  And one reason why is that it seems to carry DNA from vintage Caron.  Hera at times reminds me greatly of the chypre mastery of Alpona, the thickened golden beauty of En Avion and the intoxicating florals of French Can Can.  I can’t stress enough that Hera is absolutely breathtaking.  My only dilemma is that since I live in Mexico I can’t purchase a bottle because it’s unavailable here (in stores and for shipping).  So until I travel to other lands, I will have to be patient, because Hera is a perfume that will be added to my collection without hesitation.

  • Bone Rating: 5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral
  • Nose: Liz Moores
  • Classification: Leans feminine, but I believe it’s easily unisex
  • Expense: $310 for 50ml parfum extrait


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Vintage Narcisse Blanc by Caron

WHAT I SMELL:  Narcisse Blanc opens with a peppery warm and indolic orange blossom and neroli.  It’s thick, waxy and completely intoxicating.  Quickly, a petitgrain note emerges to bring the floating blossoms towards the earth with a greenish touch of grass.  There’s nothing easy or breezy about this perfume.  Instead, it’s beauty is in the realm of the mature.  Big and round as more florals come in punctuated with the rose, Narcisse Blanc is less mysterious than it’s counterpart, Narcisse Noir, but to me, much more accessible.  However, that’s not to say that it doesn’t hold it’s wearer in some contempt, as there is a bit of haughtiness and aloofness about it without it being cold in nature.  As the perfume continues to expand and radiate, the warmth of the base begins to move towards the still waxy blossoms.  Vetiver adds just a bit of a brownish grass and a sandalwood brings a little bit of sour.  Narcisse Blanc never got the love that Narcisse Noir did.  Too bad, because it’s every bit as beautiful.

Top notes are Orange Blossom, Neroli, Orange and Petitgrain; middle notes are Jasmine, tincture of rose and Lime; base notes are iris, Musk, Sandalwood, vetyver and Amber.

The Dowager Queen Lovisa Ulrika of Sweden.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A dowager.  A lady of means who is completely in charge.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE NARCISSE BLANC: bold, in-control, substantial

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT NARCISSE BLANC:  Now Smell This, EauMG

BOTTOM LINE:  Narcisse Blanc is beautiful, no question about it.  But it’s not young, nor carefree, but instead is grand floral that means serious business.  Caron, which for some reason seems to be largely hidden (at least in the US), has a new reissue of Narcisse Blanc, but I have no idea how it compares to this vintage beauty.  I do have the feeling however that it has been reformulated to be a bit lighter and brighter.  But as for this vintage version that came from those long gone fabulous urns in the now closed NYC boutique; it’s a grand old perfume that isn’t meant for every day wear, but seems to be made for those special occasions when you want to feel rather royal.

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Floral
  • Nose:   Ernest Daltroff
  • Classification: Leans feminine
  • Expense: Review based on the vintage parfum extrait version.  You can find the latest version of Narcisse Blanc at the Caron website.


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Jazmin Yucatan by D.S. & Durga

WHAT I SMELL:  Jazmin Yucatan opens with an aquatic tinged passion flower that’s a bit chewy and which quickly explodes into a rounded aquatic infused jasmine.  The perfume is big without being overwhelming and it’s clean and fresh with just a hint of jungle earthiness.  You can almost feel the sun-kissed jasmine being tossed by the warm winds pushing northward across the Yucatan Peninsula.  As the perfume slowly develops, an earthy vetiver creates a rattan like base for the jasmine to sit upon.  In the end, Jazmin Yucatan settles into a cottony fresh linen.  Jazmin Yucatan is quite linear, but that’s just fine, because it’s meant to be worn in the heat of the warm Mexican sun where it can lightly radiate its floral beauty.

From the D.S. & Durga website:

Jungle, humidity, snake plants, jazmín yucateco, crocodile by the cenote, shaded temple, limestone ruins. 

Top notes:  water, passion flower, bergamot

Heart notes:  jazmin yucateco, sambac, clove

Base notes:  snake plant, vetiver, copal

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Jasmine wafting amongst the Mayan temples dotting the landscape of the Yucatan Peninsula.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE JAZMIN YUCATAN: moistened, cottony, rounded

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT JAZMIN YUCATAN:  Colognoisseur, Notetaking

BOTTOM LINE:  Jazmin Yucatan does capture the earthy floral environment of the Yucatan peninsula and takes the heady jasmine and tames it nicely.  Groundbreaking, no.  Lovely, yes.

  • Bone Rating:  3 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Floral
  • Nose:  David Moltz
  • Classification:  Unisex
  • Expense: Starting at $175 for 50 ml eau de parfum