The Scented Hound

Perfume blog with abbreviated perfume reviews & fragrance reviews.


BDK Parfums – Velvet Tonka

WHAT I SMELL:  Velvet Tonka opens with a soft and silky orange blossom that’s riding on top of a thickened wave of almond.  The perfume starts off big and very rounded with what seems to be a taffy like glaze.  It’s sweet, but more buttery almond sweet than sugary sweet.  As the perfume begins to develop it radiates greatly and it reminds me of my mother’s confectionary kitchen cabinet where smells of vanilla, almond, paste and frosting created a veritable olfactory sugar rush.  Continuing on, the addition of tobacco absolute helps to tame the perfume from growing out of control.  However, the almond is still front and center and rather hard to resist.  As the perfume continues on its journey, the almond melds with the tonka and vanilla.  Here, the perfume softens oh so lightly along with a dash of wood just to even it out.  It’s much later where I believe Velvet Tonka hits its “sweet spot” when it quiets to an ambered gourmet delight.  It’s pretty, slightly sweet, lightly warmed and quite delightful.

From the BDK Parfums website:

Tonka bean is an ingredient full of contrasts, sometimes reminiscent of vanilla leather, sometimes of almonds, sometimes even revealing chocolatey facets. Velvet Tonka is characterized by its trilogy of tonka bean, orange blossom and almond. When worn on the skin, it coats it like an oriental delicacy dusted with icing sugar. The balmy tonka bean is adorned with almonds and rose petals for a velvety touch, and with a hint of tobacco absolute to give it a honeyed feel. In the base, addictive notes of milky amyris wood unfurl, enhanced by ambroxan and vanilla absolute for an unparalleled velvetiness and sensuality. Velvet Tonka is a tribute to the Moroccan origins of founder David Benedek and to the iconography associated with the region through its flavors and its landscapes, like a sweet, indulgent breeze coming straight from the Atlas Mountains.

Top notes: Orange blossom, Almond

Heart notes: Rose absolute, Tobacco absolute from the Balkans

Base notes: Tonka bean absolute, Vanilla absolute from Madagascar, Amyris wood essence, Amber woods

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Frosted almond cookies.


WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT VELVET TONKA:  The Candy Perfume Boy, Colognoisseur

BOTTOM LINE:  Velvet Tonka is a perfume where a little can go a long way.  It’s confectioned almond goodness can be wonderful; just ensure that you keep your spritzing to a minimum otherwise you’ll create a sugared forcefield that will be too much to handle for you and those in your wake.  However, if you love gourmand fragrances, this might be a good fit.  I’m not a gourmand lover and sweet perfumes can be challenging to me.  But I found a little Velvet Tonka can be quite nice and rather cheery to wear.

  • Bone Rating: 3 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral Gourmand
  • Nose:  Alexandra Carlin
  • Classification:  Unisex
  • Expense:  Starting at $215 for 100ml eau de parfum


La Perla – Just Give Me Roses

Valentine’s Day is just a week away, so of course I have to review a perfume based on the most iconic romantic flower.  Isn’t that required for a perfume blogger at this time of the year?  Not that I’m complaining, who doesn’t love a rose perfume?

WHAT I SMELL:  Just Give Me Roses opens with a soft cashmere puttied saffron, that feels wonderfully sexy like silken lingerie that softly lays upon the skin and which moves with such ease like waves that caress the curves of the body.  The perfume is warm, deep and lightly peppered.  The rose is there from the beginning, but it lurks below the saffron fully enraptured and bold in a rather serious manner.  As the perfume continues to develop, the rose begins to lighten along with a light woodiness and a bit of a tobacco note that smells like just baked bread.  Here, Just Give Me Roses begins to grow as if the rose is about to bloom on the stem.  And with the development of the green of the stem comes a brushstroke of radiating powder.  As the perfume settles, a warmed woody tobacco acts as the perfect finish for the rounded red damask rose.  Just Give Me Roses is a beautiful, full bodied rose perfume.

From the La Perla website:

It’s simple, yet utterly profound – the memory of a rose can melt your heart.

Like your most cherished memories of flowers received and gifts exchanged, there is no token of love more meaningful than the rose. Just Give Me Roses saturates the universal charm of the iconic flower into a warm, rich bouquet.

The scent explores the rose’s enchanting depths. Spicy top notes of oriental saffron and pink and black pepper evoke the friends, lovers and memories that have coloured your life. These aromas melt into the pure, single heart note of Damask rose , in celebration of all its infinite romance. As the fragrance develops, find yourself wrapped in the warm and woody intensity of amber-tobacco and musk, as if sitting on a cedarwood bench in summer, among a blooming rose garden

Key Ingredients:  Top – Saffron, Heart – Damask Rose, Base – Cedarwood

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  The eternal rose.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE JUST GIVE ME ROSES:  warm, passionate, semi-melancholic


BOTTOM LINE:  Give Me Roses may have a playful name, but the perfume is anything but playful.  Instead, it’s a beautifully weighted, uncomplicated and serious perfume that is wonderfully unisex.  And for those of you who believe the bottle is as important as the perfume; the La Perla bottles are fantastic and the Just Give Me Roses red bottle with the green cap is the perfect vessel for this gorgeous perfume.

  • Bone Rating: 4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Amber Floral Spicy
  • Nose:  Dominique Preyssas
  • Classification:  Unisex
  • Expense:  Starting at $120 for 30ml eau de parfum