The Scented Hound

Perfume blog with abbreviated perfume reviews & fragrance reviews.


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


Portrait of a Lady by Frederic Malle

If it had not been for the wonderful Undina, I would have probably never have thought about sampling this fragrance.  Thankfully, she sent me a vial of this wonderful jewel.

WHAT I SMELL:  Portrait of a Lady opens with an herbal and minty full-bodied musky rush.  With the name, I would have thought that this was going to be an over the top big floral.  What a surprise.   It start off very masculine and medicinal.  I had no idea where this was going.  After a while, out comes a very dusty and understated rose with black current along with a tempered cedar woody note.   There are many notes at play here, fruity and somewhat jammy mixed with wood in a way that’s all very subtle and really lovely.  I find that it’s proper and refined and seems like something from another era.

From the Frederic Malle website:

Portrait of a Lady is a new breed of oriental rose, a baroque perfume. It is based on an accord of benzoin, cinnamon, sandalwood and, above all patchouli, musk and frankincense. It takes off with an excessive dosage of the best Turkish rose essence that Dominique Ropion linked to the rest of the formula, thanks to a red berries and spice accord.

After hundreds of trials needed to balance such an excessive formula (Portrait of a Lady is undoubtedly the perfume containing the strongest dosage of rose essence and patchouli heart), a rare symphonic perfume appeared:  a new oriental rose, a sensuous beauty that attracts people like a magnet, a modern classic:  Portrait of a Lady. 

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: Gillian Anderson in “The House of Mirth.”  Yes, I know this is fragrance is based on a Henry James novel, but The House of Mirth is what popped up in my mind!


WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT PORTRAIT OF A LADY: Scentsate, Katie Puckrik Smells, 1000 Fragrances

BOTTOM LINE:  This is definitely full bottle worthy.  I just wish Frederic Malle’s perfumes weren’t so on the high-end of cost.  And don’t let the name fool you, this can easily be worn by men or women.  Thank you Undina for this wonderful discovery.

  • Bone Rating: 4.5 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent: Oriental Floral
  • Classification: For women, but I believe this is easily unisex
  • Nose:  Dominique Ropion
  • Expense: $225 for 50ml EdP


Weekend Quick Reviews

It is definitely harder to write about something that you don’t have strong feelings about.  If you either love or hate a fragrance it seems that the words just flow.  As the following scents will be put to rest in my samples box because they don’t invoke love or hate, I thought I would try something different and so some very short reviews.  I’m not sure how helpful they may be, but let’s give it a shot!


WHAT I SMELL: Ineke’s Hothouse Flower opens with a burst gardenia and green tea.  The fragrance then blooms into a warmer gardenia with hints of fig.

Hothouse Flower Notes:  Earl Grey Tea, green foliage, cypress, gardenia, galbanum, fig, frankincense, guiaiacwood, musk, corn silk

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: very grandmotherly

  • Bone Rating: 3 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent: Floral
  • Classification: Feminine
  • Expense: $95 for 75ml EdP


WHAT I SMELL: Kerosene’s Santalum Slivers opens with sweet juicy orange, like orange concentrate orange juice.  It then turns to more of an orange/lemon cleaner like composite.

Santalum Slivers notes: vetiver, musk, sandalwood, bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, orange, rose, pepper, hay, cucumber and cedar

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: a very clean house

  • Bone Rating: 3 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent: Citrus Aromatic
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $140 for 100ml EdP


WHAT I SMELL: Frederic Malle’s Geranium Pour Monsieur opens with a blast of camphoric mint…strong, strong mint.  It’s very powerful and overwhelming at first, almost toxic in its volume.  When it dies down it becomes a bit spicy and warm.  It’s a familiar scent that seems powered through chemicals.

Geranium Pour Monsieur notes: mint absolute, peppermint oil, Chinese geranium oil, rhodinol, anethol and floralozone, CO2 and cloves oil, white musk, ambroxan, sandalwood, resinoid incense and Siamese styrax benzoin

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  classy barbershop tonic

  • Bone Rating: 3 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent: Oriental Floral
  • Classification: Masculine
  • Expense: $240 for 100ml EdP

BOTTOM LINE:  All of these are semi-interesting compositions that just don’t work for me.  Hothouse Flower is not for men and Geranium Pour Monsieur would not work for most women.  Santalum Slivers is nice, but there is something there that leaves me a little cold, but I do love Kerosene’s artful bottles!