The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


Les Parfums Louis Vuitton

I have to admit that I neglect getting to the local shops to check out new releases as I am probably the furthest from somebody who loves to go shopping…especially at the mall.  But we had to head to the local Galleria (the local posh mall) this past weekend.  While there, I was really curious to check out the Les Parfums Louis Vuitton collection that was released last year.  Not surprisingly, the display at the store was understated and luxurious and the bottles were simple and chic (and graced with some hefty weight).  What I loved most was a coffret set of all 7 of the perfumes in 10 ml bottles.  It was cute, and again, packaged perfectly.  The sales associate was as gracious and accommodating with my many questions and when I asked if I could get samples, stepped away and then returned with a small bag filled with the complete set.  In the next couple of days, I went through all of the line and made the following determination…

the collection is nice, but nothing more.  I really wanted to love each and every one of these, but all of them seemed to have been conceived in a laboratory with a void of any emotion; they just exist.  I know, perfumes are meant to smell pretty…but these just lack any depth.  Now, don’t get me wrong, they are pleasant enough, but I was expecting the finest, finished, smooth creations, like the most luxurious Louis Vuitton bag…instead I got a no name brand bag from Macy’s.

It’s hard writing about perfumes that you don’t love…but I will say that my favorite out of the bunch (and that’s not saying much) is Matière Noire, a woody rose combination that opens with a lovely blackcurrent note but which fades to a pleasant, but nondescript sweetened patchouli.  From the Louis Vuitton website:

A blend of dark wood and white flowers ventures into a world of mystery.  Exploring the universe is the ultimate travel fantasy and most thrilling adventure. Matière Noire plumbs intangible depths with a journey through the darkest, most precious woods, namely patchouli and Laos agarwood. The agarwood’s animal notes are intensified by blackcurrant and contrasted with the whiteness of narcissus and jasmine, a floral vibration that cuts the darkness like a comet. Plumes of sacred notes unfurl on the skin. The disruption is total, almost mystical.

My second choice would be Turbulences, an earthy and big and bold tuberose perfume that gets taken over by a musky jasmine that quickly fades away.  From the Louis Vuitton website:

An extreme tuberose to stir the heart.  Discovering faraway lands can sometimes feel like soaring among the clouds. Inspired by a feeling akin to love at first sight, the perfume Turbulences pays tribute to the most narcotic of flowers: the tuberose. Here, it fuses with the most precious petals of jasmine. A light touch of leather, and you swoon. Intensely. Deliciously.

Overall, I would give the collection a 3 bone rating.  Nothing bad, but nothing great.  The perfumes, for a rather hefty price, seem to fade rather quickly.  Overall, this was a big disappointment to me as there was so much promise with the launch of this collection.

You can learn about the full collection at the Louis Vuitton website.  Each perfume costs $240 for 100 ml eau de parfum.  The cute coffret set is $290.

What others are saying about the Les Parfums Louis Vuitton collection:  Perfume Posse, Kafkaesque


Vanille Charnelle by Les Absolus d’ Annick Goutal

Vanille CharnelleWHAT I SMELL:  Vanille Charnelle opens with a sparkling pepper which is soon met with a vanilla gourmand rather almond-ish ylang-ylang.  It’s sweet without being sugary and it smells like a baking rack full of cooling almond cookies.  But there’s a bit of sour from either the ylang-ylang or the tonka that keeps the perfume from being too confectionary.  The opening had me a bit worried that the perfume was going to rise up and scream.   But thankfully, after a few minutes the fragrance begins to contain itself.  The vetiver begins to come forward and with it comes a welcomed reedy woodiness that begins to dry out the vanilla.  But even as it continues to dry out, the vanilla almond is front and center; albeit less sugared.  After some time, the perfume journeys into a more floral realm and moves from gourmand to oriental.  It really is beautiful in a richly opulent and exotic way.  The notes are beefy and amped up and what was turning dry becomes ripened.  Vanille Charnelle then moves to a decaying spiced floral that’s wrapped up in vanilla.

Top notes are ylang-ylang and pepper; middle notes are vanilla, tonka bean and white musk; base notes are vanilla absolute and vetiver.

AnnieHallWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  There’s something very nostalgic and 1970s about this perfume…very Annie Hall.


WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT VANILLE CHARNELLE:  Fashion for Lunch, Perfume Shrine, Alice in Beautyland

BOTTOM LINE:  Vanille Charnelle is a wonderfully spiced floral vanilla perfume the makes me want to reach for my tweed jacket.  A little of the perfume goes a long way, so when spritzing, do sparingly.  

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Oriental Floral
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $280 for 75 ml eau de parfum

Sample courtesy of Lucky Scent.  


À la rose by Maison Francis Kurkdjian


WHAT I SMELL: À la rose has a sparkling opening with clean and bright citrus mixed with violet and the freshness of green.  I love the fact that the opening is incredibly cheerful with an unassuming easiness about it.  In addition, there’s a nice light powder that dusts the perfume; and strange as it seems, the perfume is both cool and warm at the same time.  The rose in the perfume starts to come forward, but in a tender and soft way without any harsh turns or nuances.  There’s a bit of a “bathtastic” aspect to the perfume, but not so much that it feels like soap.  Overall, the perfume doesn’t transform all that much, but instead maintains this soft, clean floral warmth that is close to the skin and incredibly inviting.

From the Maison Francis Kurkdjian website:

Damascena rose from Bulgaria – bergamot from Calabria – orange from California – violet – magnolia blossom – cedar wood – musk – centifolia rose from Grasse

À la rose is an ode to femininity, a declaration of love captured in a fragrance. Two hundred and fifty precious roses from Grasse offer their radiance and their unmatched richness in every flacon.

victorianlady1WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A Victorian woman sitting at her dressing table getting ready for the beautiful spring day ahead.


WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT À LA ROSE: Kafkaesque, Colognoisseur, The Women’s Room

BOTTOM LINE: À la rose is not an earth shattering perfume.  What it is though, is a lovely, soft and thoughtful rose beauty.

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Floral
  • Classification: Feminine
  • Expense: $245 for 2.5 oz. eau de parfum

Sample courtesy of Arielle Shoshana.