The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


Frederic Malle Une Fleur de Cassie

Une Fleur de CassieWHAT I SMELL:  Une Fleur de Cassie opens with bright aldehydes which move quickly into a mimosa note that is soft, airy, slightly fuzzy and which feels like it’s lightly infused with cotton.  The fragrance is rather dreamy and ethereal, but as soon as I say that, I can feel the perfume begin to grow and expand.  A hay like quality becomes the dominant presence, but the straw manages to remain light even though it’s saturated with modest florals which soften the perfume.  After and hour or so, the fragrance moves its attention to deeper consistency with a bit of leather and earthy rootiness making the fragrance move from the feminine to the masculine, but as soon as I say that, the tender flowers seem to dominate again. Une Fleur de Cassie is interesting in that it’s pretty, but not in a traditional sense.  Instead it is a captivating beauty made from the divinity of the earth through subtle and natural components, most prominent being the mimosa.  In the end, the fragrance doesn’t morph and transform all that much, but that’s perfect as Une Fleur de Cassie is simple beauty at its best.

From the Frederic Malle website:

The rare and exotic cassie flower is not easily tamed. Intoxicating and coarse, its fragrance is from another era. But the modern and infinitely precise writing of Dominique Ropion makes of Une Fleur de Cassie a very modern composition. This perfume is composed by rare ingredients such as mimosa absolute, jasmine absolute, cassia absolute and rose absolute, with carnation as a counterpoint, set upon a vanilla and sandalwood base. Rich, intricate, complex – like an haute couture gown.

Manon of the SpringWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Emanuelle Beart as Manon in the 1986 film “Manon of the Spring”


WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT UNE FLEUR DE CASSIE:  Perfume Posse, Smellythoughts, Grain de Musc

BOTTOM LINE: In reading the reviews cited above, I seem to have a much simpler ride with Une Fleur de Cassie than others.  To me, the beauty in the fragrance is the simplicity in which it unfolds.  It does seem to change and morph a bit with your body chemistry and I am wondering if this would bloom much more significantly on me when the temperatures are warm.  As it stands now, it’s only 10 degrees outside leaving nothing to bloom at present!  I have the feeling my sample of Une Fleur de Cassie is going to be drained within the next few weeks.  Simply lovely.

  • Bone Rating: 4.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral
  • Nose:  Dominique Ropion
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $200 for 50ml Eau de Parfum


New Release: Eau de Magnolia by Frederic Malle


WHAT I SMELL: Eau de Magnolia opens with a lightly fizzy warmed bergamot.  It’s rather sour and green, but that sour aspect retreats after around 10 minutes when the magnolia makes an entrance.  The fragrance at this point is very light and wispy and is sweetened with a breath of patchouli.  All of this seems to be sitting upon a dry woody base that feels like it’s pulling the moisture from the fragrance.  After around 20 minutes the magnolia begins to radiate, but it’s contained and never reveals too much of itself.  It’s also cool and feels rather removed and distant.  After another 20 minutes, the coolness is replaced by some warmth, as if the afternoon begins to filter through the curtains to help lighten and heat up a dark room. In the end you’re left with this light and delicate muted floral that  is infused by a interesting citrus component.

Eau de Magonlia notes from the Frederic Malle website:

Top note is Calabrian bergamot; middle notes are magnolia, vetiver and patchouli; base notes are cedar, moss and amber.

Fading Away, 1858.WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A fading southern beauty.


WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT EAU DE MAGNOLIA: Olfactoria’s Travels, CaFleureBon, Kafkasesque

BOTTOM LINE:  Magnolia can be tricky to recreate; the floral effect can leave a perfume loud, artificial and cloying.  Eau de Magnolia manages to escape that trajectory and instead takes it in a direction that is soft, haunting and full of melancholy.  It’s pretty, but it’s a perfume that leaves me feeling rather sober.

  • Bone Rating: 3 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral
  • Nose:  Carlos Benaim
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $175 for 50ml


Dries Van Noten by Frederic Malle

DRIES PARFUMWHAT I SMELL: Dries Van Noten opens with a tangy citrus opening that quickly moves into sweet gaiac wood.  It’s slightly sugary with some vanilla undertones.  At the same time it radiates some comforting warmth through a layered honey.  The sandalwood comes to the surface bringing a more woody essence.  After about 10 minutes the saffron begins to reveal itself and there is a slight sourness that is revealed which is a good as it softens the sweetness of the vanilla.  In the end, Dries Van Noten becomes a very light and subtle comfort scent.

Dries Van Noten Notes:  sandalwood, guaiac wood, tonka bean, vanilla, saffron, jasmine, musk, bergamot, lemon, nutmeg, cloves, patchouli, woody notes and peru balsam

seductionWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: Seduction


WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT DRIES VAN NOTEN: Cafe Makeup, Kafkaesque, Adventures of Barbarella

BOTTOM LINE:  Dries Van Noten is a nice perfume, and for a Fredric Malle fragrance, it’s very understated.  In its essence, it’s like the birth child of M. Micallef’s Gaiac (in the beginning) and Guerlain’s Samsara (in the end) both of which I like very much.  As such, I don’t feel the need to run out and buy this for myself.

  • Bone Rating: 4 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent: Oriental Woody
  • Nose: Bruno Jovanovic
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense:  $185 for 50ml EdP