The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews & blog.


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Maison Francis Kurkdjian – Aqua Vitae Cologne forte

WHAT I SMELL:  Aqua Vitae Cologne forte opens with an exuberant bergamot and a fresh and juicy citrus that’s contained in a lushly rounded wrap of the prettiest of florals.  The perfume is bright, yet warmed like citrus in the sun, and the citrus is less the actual fruit, but instead is more akin to the waxy peel of orange and lemon.  As the perfume develops, the floral sweetness mutes slightly and a sandalwood note brings a bit more warmth and depth to the composition along with layer of clean musks that add a a wrap of light muslin around this incredibly soft, but radiant perfume.  Aqua Vitae Cologne forte is a completely rapturous perfume that is gorgeous without being overly formal.

From the Maison Francis Kurkdjian website:

Mandarin from Italy gives bright freshness to the bergamot, leading to a luminous, citrusy and sunny floral scent. Vibrating in unison in a halo of warm light, Aqua Vitae Cologne forte is a pampering eau de parfum whose trail is saturated with sun and sensual musks boosted by sandalwood from India.

Notes:  Musks, Bergamot, Mandarin

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Sunshine.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE AQUA VITAE COLOGNE FORTE:  easy-to-wear, radiant, comforting

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT AQUA VITAE COLOGNE FORTE:  Velvet Life, Contents

BOTTOM LINE:  Aqua Vitae Forte cologne (which is an eau de parfum) is my summer go-to perfume.  It is so fantastically refreshing and perfect for beating the heat.  And unlike some perfumes worn in the heat, this doesn’t become cloying, nor does it fade away with the sun.  I can easily say that Aqua Vitae Forte cologne will always be a part of my summer perfume collection.

  • Bone Rating:  4.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Citrus
  • Nose:  Francis Kurkdjian
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $235 for 70 ml eau de parfum


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Vilhelm Parfumerie – Basilico & Fellini

WHAT I SMELL:  Basilico & Fellini opens with a warmed, sparkling and zesty dragon fruit that is incredibly uplifting in its tanginess and its freshness.  The basil comes in quickly to add this great mix of herbal goodness to the tangy fruit.  It’s gourmand, but from the garden with the fruit and herb.  After a bit, the dragon fruit begins to make way for a soft violet mixed with a fuzzy fig.  There’s so much freshness going on here that is so refreshing, delightful and positive in its energy.  All the notes within this concoction seem to take turns coming to the surface, from fruit to herb to flower as if they’re involved with a whirling and twirling dance of happiness.  This dance continues for quite some time, but it finally slows down to quietly end with a warm and comforting fig infused hay.  Basilico & Fellini is a delight of a perfume that’s perfect for warmer weather as well as those winter days when you want to be transported back to the sun-filled splendor of the garden.

From the Vilhelm Parfumerie website:

The unmistakable smell of risotto bianco and a minty, peppery kick as the ultra fresh basil warms on the dish. A bon vivant who wanted to show life in all its glorious reality – people eating, sleeping and making love – Federico Fellini was said to request extra servings of this herb, rumored to be an aphrodisiac.

Top:  Dragon Fruit, Basil
Middle : Violet, Wild Fig
Base : Vetiver, Green Hay

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Fig and basil garden goodness.  So much so that I thought I would include a recipe for a delicious fresh salad.

Fresh Fig Salad with Basil, Goat Cheese, and Arugula

Fig season is short and sweet, so make the most of it with this fresh fig salad with basil, goat cheese, and pomegranate vinaigrette.  Yields 4 servings.

Ingredients:
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 4 tsp pomegranate molasses
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 oz arugula
  • ¾ cup basil leaves
  • 8 ripe figs, room temperature
  • 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
Instructions:
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the shallot, mustard, and pomegranate molasses. Add some salt and black pepper to season and then whisk in the olive oil.
  2. Add the arugula and basil to the bowl and toss to combine. Divide among serving plates.
  3. Quarter the figs and arrange over the salad. Top with goat cheese crumbles and serve immediately.

THREE WORDS THAT BASILICO & FELLINI:  zesty, uplifting, fresh

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT BASILICO & FELLINI:  Pink Wall BlogCaFleureBonColognoisseur

BOTTOM LINE:  Basilico & Fellini is an easy to wear, fresh aromatic perfume that just sings in the sun.  The basil, dragon fruit, violet and fig are just the right mix of earthly…or should I say “heavenly” goodness.

  • Bone Rating: 4.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Aromatic Fruity
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $150 for 50 ml eau de parfum


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Maison Francis Kurkdjian – Aqua Celestia Cologne forte

WHAT I SMELL:  Aqua Celestia Cologne forte’s first spritz is a very fresh sparkling bergamot that’s fizzy and lightly sweet and tart at the same time.  Quickly, a blackberry note joins the bergamot, or I should say, sits on top of the bergamot because it feels layered as if they’re part of a fruit parfait.  The perfume is clean and bright, so much so that even if you were a little sweaty and hot from the day, the perfume would make you feel like you just stepped out of the shower.  The blackberry note continues to grow as the bergamot begins to fade into the background.   As the bergamot recedes, a fruit infused jasmine highlighted by peach comes in to take its place.  The fruit is bright and just so slightly juicy, but not enough to add any weight to the perfume.  As it continues to develop, a sandalwood pencil shaving note appears adding just the right amount of depth to bring this light and bright beauty back to the earth.  In the end, Aqua Celestia Cologne forte rests in a wonderfully light musky floral haze that’s ever so easy to love and easy to wear.

From the Maison Francis Kurkdjian website:

The bergamot becomes tinged with the fruity notes of blackcurrant, mimosa (with its raspberry and blackberry facets), and jasmine (strawberry, apricot and peach accents), before gradually melting into the mellowness of a fruity musky accord. Aqua Celestia Cologne forte releases a bright, crystal-clear aura and offers a flight towards the horizon.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Picking berries in the cool sweet morning air.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE AQUA CELESTIA COLOGNE FORTE:  pretty, delightful, refreshing

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT AQUA CELESTIA COLOGNE FORTE:  Contents

BOTTOM LINE:  The great thing about the Maison Francis Kurkdjian perfumes is that they are so easy to wear and many have this crisp clean finish that is impossible not to like.  Aqua Celestia Cologne forte (which is an eau de parfum) is no exception.

Aqua Celstica Cologne forte was released this year along with two other perfumes for a trio of Cologne fortes.  The following are my abbreviated impressions of the other two in the collection:

Aqua Vitae Cologne forte:  An inviting perfume that is perfectly delightful with the prettiest of florals that are topped with a mandarin orange.  I would call this a warm perfume that would be perfect for wearing even in the heat of summer.  Another 4 bones from me as it’s really lovely.

Aqua Universalis Cologne forte:  To me, this is the least interesting of the three perfumes.  Comprised of citrus and white muted flowers, it’s not bright, nor pretty, but rather salty and musky.  3 bones.

Samples courtesy of Twisted Lily Fragrance Boutique and Apothecary.