The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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New Release: Vivacious – Hiram Green

WHAT I SMELL:  Vivacious makes its entrance with a full-bodied sunny bergamot and a sweet and lilting violet which quickly gives way to a waxy carnation full of energy and a boldness.  I find the opening unexpectedly rapturous and exciting.  As the perfume warms on the skin, the cool violet pops it head out from under the carnation.  Here, the perfume feels as if it resides on two planes, the violet happily skips upon the rounded carnation as if the perfume is full of mischief, but not so much as to take it over with flippant silliness.  As the perfume continues to develop, a rich, round, waxy mix of warm carnation and powdered spiced florals make for a lightly leathered hue.  Vivacious is as pretty as it is bold, but it’s not demure by any means.

From the Hiram Green website:

Vivacious is a violet-themed perfume that takes its cue from those prim Victorians who adored this precious flower so much. Updated for the 21st century, this scent has a happy and carefree flair.   

The fragrance opens with bright and joyful bergamot that seamlessly merges into a floral bouquet of flirty violet and spicy carnation. Waxy orris smoothly anchors this boisterous heart and soft, powdery amber adds a warm and luxurious finish.  Vivacious is an exuberant and joyful perfume. Perfect to zing your life.

Notes: bergamot, violet, carnation, orris, amber 

Flapper Joan Crawford in “Our Dancing Daughters” – 1928

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Vivacious is the quintessential 1920’s flapper.  It’s a modern perfume that comes out of the Victorian era with the just the right amount of old and newly bold.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE VIVACIOUS:  waxy, full-bodied…and of course, vivacious!

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT VIVACIOUSA Bottled Rose, CaFleureBon, Colognoisseur

BOTTOM LINE:  Vivacious is a lively perfume that brings forth something new every time you draw the perfume to your nose.  Sometimes fresh, sometimes spicy, but all of the time bold and beautiful.  This is a lovely new direction for perfumer Hiram Green, and its one that’s very welcomed.

  • Bone Rating: 4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral
  • Nose: Hiram Green
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $165 for 50 ml eau de parfum

* Sample provided by Hiram Green.  Opinion my own.


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New Release: Le Joker – Art de Parfum

WHAT I SMELL:   Le Joker takes an immediate dive off the perfumed platform with an explosive charge of pepper and spice which quickly sours into a menacing bite.  Before you can absorb the surprise of the perfume hitting the skin, a rush of leather enters the mix along with a moistened earthy black dirt accord that evens out the biting edge that came on so quickly.  Here, the perfume reminds me of a well worn leather jacket encased in many years and memories of sweat, cigarettes and the sights and smells of the city.  As Le Joker continues to develop, as weird as it sounds, the perfume reminds me of textured flannel sheets that carry a few nights of warmed wear; which I find rather comforting.  In the end, Le Joker’s rough and tumble attributes merge into a salty woody amber accord.  There is no doubt, Le Joker takes the wearer on one wild ride.

From the Art de Parfum website:

Le Joker aims to awaken different emotions in different people; inviting the wearer to be more daring, more evocative, and not afraid to make a statement or challenge the status quo.

This idea has been expertly shaped by Art de Parfum’s French perfumiers in this stand out perfume with its unusual, unexpected pairings, and intriguing ingredients which play with contrasts; light and shadow, moody, mysterious, dangerous.

Le Joker is a fascinating woody fragrance, intertwining fruity spicy notes with powdery notes of make up, smoky cigarette facets and salty ambergris. 

The overall character of the scent plays with contradictions yet creates a magnificent whole. Playful yet dark, the use of sparkling Timur pepper, which is still rare in perfumery, shines in this creation revealing spicy and tropical accents. The Timur offers a sparkling lemony effect on the top with nuances of passion fruit.

Top Notes: Pink Pepper, Timur Pepper, Elemi

Heart Notes: Star Anise, Nutmeg

Base Notes: Atlas Cedarwood, Cypriol, Patchouli

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  The infamous ‘Joker” fits the perfume’s narrative to a T.  However, to me, the perfume tells the story of the New York City subway of the 1970s:  dirty and dangerous while at the same time exciting and exhilarating.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE LE JOKER:  complicated, menacing, intriguing

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT LE JOKERThe Plum Girl, I Scent you a Day

BOTTOM LINE:  Le Joker is not a perfume that is meant to be worn at the office.  It is however, a perfume that evokes the wildly chaotic planet we currently live in and is perfect for wearing when you just want to take on the world.

  • Bone Rating: 3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Woody Spicy
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $150 for 50 ml parfum extrait

*Sample provided by Art de Parfum.  Opinion my own.


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Sarah Baker Perfumes – Lace

WHAT I SMELL:   Lace opens head on with a sweet and candied ozone and a swirl of notes that feel as if they are wrapped up in cotton candy fluff.  In seconds, the perfume is a mix of coconut orange cream and light buttered cookie.  But as soon as I say that, the perfume turns to an uplifting cedar.  I know this all sounds strange with the written word, but trust me this swirling mix really works in the loveliest and liveliest way.  As the perfume continues to develop, the creaminess turns from the coconut to the vanilla.   Here, Lace is oh so smooth and slightly custard like.  But soon enough, the perfume decides to move towards the sweet and what was once more creamy is now sprinkled with sugar.  Still delicious, I have to admit I love that creamy custard phase.  After quite some time, the gourmand cookie moves to the floral with a beautiful jasmine coming to the forefront.  Lace is a fun and delightful ride that settles into a frisky floral vixen.

From the Sarah Baker Perfumes website:

Not the lace of the boudoir. Here regal elegance is ideally suited to occasions that call for discretion and restraint. Butter wouldn’t melt on the buttoned-up top layer. But underneath a devil-may-care spontaneity and luxuriant desire for pleasure is revealed.

Notes: Musk, Coconut, Hedione, Ambroxan, Vanilla, Calone, Jasmine, Cedar 

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Jasmine infused vanilla cream cookies.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE LACE:  delightful, scrumptious, temptress

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT LACEMegan in Sainte Maxime

BOTTOM LINE:  Lace was a great introduction to Sarah Baker Perfumes.  It’s fun and easy to wear and one of those perfumes that defies being in a bad mood when wearing it.  Who doesn’t love a fun perfume?

  • Bone Rating: 3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral
  • Nose:  Sarah McCartney
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $140 for 50 ml eau de parfum