The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


21 Comments

The Scented Hound’s 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

dog-with-christmas-gift-2015Once again ’tis the season for holiday magic.  But finding that magical gift can sometimes be rather difficult as there are so many wonderful items to choose from.  So here a few holiday offerings that are recommended by the Scented Hound…maybe just one of these will help you or Santa complete your holiday shopping wish list!

 

ROJA PARFUMS ESSENCE OF CHRISTMAS CANDLE

Roja Parfums Essence of Christmas candleThe best way to ease you into the holiday season is to enhance your surroundings with the festive scents of the season.  And add Roja Parfums to your holiday decorating and you’ll end up with a luxurious feast for the senses.  Fit for a king, the Roja Parfums Essence of Christmas candle incorporates fir balsam, fir needles, pine, guaiac and cedar woods which mingle with the gourmand delights of gingerbread, cinnamon, fenugreek, cocoa and toffee shot through with delicate heliotrope.  In addition, birch tar, leather and vetiver are added to create a smoky effect redolent of a roaring fire with tonka bean, making a perfect bed for a rich offering of precious frankincense – the original Christmas gift.

“For me, Christmas is the magical scent of majestic pine filling your home. It’s the excitement of festive treats – of ginger bread and cinnamon in abundance. It’s the crisp, fresh smell of winter air that, for a fleeting moment, clings to guests as you welcome them in from the cold. It’s the comforting warmth of a cosy log fire that makes us feel safe as it brings out the eternal child in us all.” – Roja Dove.

Available via the Roja Parfums website for 75 pounds.

 

ATELIER COLOGNE SAMPLE SET AND GIFT CARD

Atelier Gift SetOne of the biggest issues in presenting perfume as a gift is that just because you might like a particular perfume, doesn’t mean the receiver of the gift will also.  And what might work with your body chemistry, may not work for someone else.  This year, Atelier Cologne has come up with a fantastic gift idea.  With a minimum amount of a $70, the Atelier Cologne Gift Card is enclosed in a signature keepsake metal box and is accompanied by 12 Colognes Absolues 1,2 ml (Mandarine Glaciale, Sud Magnolia, Figuier Ardent, Cèdre Atlas, Orange Sanguine, Cédrat Enivrant, Pomélo Paradis, Vanille Insensée, Rose Anonyme, Vétiver Fatal, Silver Iris, Santal Carmin).  This way the person receiving the gift card can sample and then pick out the perfect scent just for them.  Now you won’t have to worry about if your perfumed gift is going to sit on the shelf unused anymore.  What a fantastic gift idea!

Sample and gift card available via the Atelier Cologne website.

 

ALEXANDRA VON FURSTENBERG ACRYLIC VANITY MIRROR TRAY

AVF Vanity Tray Clear Front PefumeI know that some people will argue that you’re not supposed to leave your perfumes out on display because of light and air degradation.  But if you’re like me, you don’t want to go digging through boxes and drawers to find the perfect perfume each and every day.  Yes, I do rotate my collection based on the season, but for the most part, I want my perfumes to be easily accessible and displayed in all their glory.  Perfume bottles can be art unto themselves.  Alexandra Von Furstenberg offers this beautiful acrylic vanity tray that is simple in its beauty and as such, doesn’t take away from the beauty of the bottles.  And what I love about the tray is that it comes in 3 colors; clear, bronze and black.  With these options, even the gents can display their perfumes in a setting with a touch of masculinity.  Trays come in varying sizes with prices starting at $180 at the Alexandra Von Furstenberg website.

 

BEARD AND MOUSTACHE COMB BY KENT

61dKFLKyVRL._SY355_I think the hipster beard and moustache trend is beginning to fade, but that means it will continue to live on outside the realm of the big cities for some time to come.  What I have noted however, is that many of the men folk are not grooming and caring for their facial hair as they should be.  To me, there’s nothing more slovenly than an unkempt beard and moustache.  It’s an easy fix.  For $5.50 you can provide some help to tame the jungle with a beard and moustache comb.  It’s cheap, practical and much easier than renting a lawn mower to fix the tangled mess.  The Kent Beard and Moustache Comb is available via Parfum1.com along with other Kent products as well as beauty products from perfumes to soaps for any person on your Christmas list.

 

THE PEARL HOME COLLECTION BY KILIAN

kilian-scented-paper-weight_grandeBy Kilian keeps upping their game with new and extravagant scented products that fall outside the realm of traditional perfume.  The new Pearl Home Collection is infused with the fragrance, French Boudoir.

From the By Kilian website:

Kilian Pearl Tassel FRENCH BOUDOIR is an olfactory phantasm … the boudoirs of Ninon de l’Enclos, the Marquise de Montespan and La Castiglione. 

A majestic bouquet of tuberose, erotic and elegant, just like these big scandalous 18th and 19th century.

And unlike other companies, By Kilian scented products go beyond the traditional candles and/or home diffusers.  This new home collection does offer candles as part of the line, but they also offer a a scented paperweight, scented soaps and a perfumed tassel.  Strangely enough, they also offer a mother of pearl box of matches, but at $125 euros, I think I’ll stick to a standard box of matches to light my candles.  Check out the entire collection at the By Kilian website.

 

PERFUME DISCOVERY GIFT SETS

Discovery gift sets are the perfect way to introduce someone to a brand that they are not familiar with; or they are familiar with but would like to get to know better.  A good discovery set provides a perfumed amount that is large enough to give a wearer the ability to try to test the perfume more than just once or twice, but yet small enough so that if a perfume is not exactly to their liking, they’re not stuck with an unused 100 ml bottle.  The following discovery sets are a couple of favorites of mine:

L'A Parfumeur Gift SetL’Artisan Perfumeur Holiday Discovery Gift Set:  The set contains collectible 5ml bottles of the following classic scents: Caligna, La Chasse aux Papillons, L’eau d’Ambre Extrême, Mûre et Musc Extrême, Rose Privée, and Timbuktu.  And to boot, it comes in this wonderful presentation box.  The best part is that it’s only $55; which equals less than $10 for each of the perfumes.  You can’t beat this deal.  The L’Artisan Perfumeur Holiday Discovery Gift Set is available at Arielle Shoshanna and other fragrance retailers.

NVC DiscoveryNeela Vermeire Creations Discovery Coffret Set:  If you haven’t discovered the magic of Neela Vermeire Creations, this is the perfect way to find out why this perfume house has some of the most intriguingly unique and beautiful creations in the niche marketplace.  From the soft and subtle rose beauty of Mohur to the fantastically bright and full of energy Bombay Bling this coffret set allows you to travel to the mysterious east with just a quick spritz of perfume.  Each of the 4 perfumes, Mohur, Trayee, Bombay Bling and Ashoka are packaged in a box each filled with 8 ml per perfume.  You better act quickly though as each of these sets is sent from Paris and shipping ends on December 15, 2016.  The Neela Vermeire Creations Discovery Coffret set is 125 Euros and can be purchased via the e-boutique at the Neela Vermeire Creations website.

 

AFTELIER PERFUMES SOLID PERFUMES IN AN ANTIQUE CONTAINER

Aftelier CompactA couple of years ago I included this item on my holiday gift list.  I am doing so again because it truly is a perfect one of a kind unique and special perfumed gift.  Perfumer Mandy Aftel has resurrected these beautiful antique works of art and has infused her own perfumed art to make this one of a kind gift filled with a solid perfume of your choice.  Prices for each vary based on the particular container, but most vary from $240 on up.  Depending on the perfume chosen, additional charges may be incurred.

Of course, if a special compact is not your idea of the perfect gift, Aftelier Perfumes has an extensive selection of unique gifts from perfumes, to candles to fragranced organic teas as well as collection of Chef’s Essences and sprays which would be perfect for the foodie lovers in your life.  For more information on all the wonderful gift ideas at Aftelier Perfumes, check out Mandy’s website!

 

VINTAGE PERFUMED ADS

Joy AdSometimes getting a hold of an old classic vintage perfume isn’t enough for a perfumista.  If you have a favorite classic you may want to get your hands on anything from a large factice to vintage ads that you can frame.  I can’t attest to the integrity of each of the perfumed ads listed at this website, but what the site does offer is a centralized location to shop around for perfumed ads from yesteryear, most of which appear to be ads from magazines and other publications.  But if the price and quality are right, one could be just the perfect gift to frame for your special lover of all things perfume!  For more information click here.

 

NORDSTROM PERFUME ATOMIZER

Nordstrom AtomizerGreat as stocking stuffers, this is the perfect gift for all perfumistas on the go.  If you have ever had to leave a perfume bottle behind with the airport Transportation Security Agency because they confiscated it because it contained too much liquid, then you know how important it is to carry these handy travel atomizers.  Nordstrom offers these at an easy $6 per .5 oz. unit and they come in three very fun colors too (emerald, blue and gold)!  Available via the Nordstrom website.

 

ARCHIE MCPHEE

My yearly gift list would not be complete without the inclusion of the fantastic Archie McPhee.  Archie McPhee carries the most irreverent gifts that are perfect for tickling even the most hard to buy for Scrooge on your gift giving list.  This year’s favorite from the extensive list for me would be the Crazy Cat Lady Action Figurine!

From the Archie McPhee website:

crazy_cat_lady_action_figure_1This 5-1/4″ tall hard vinyl figure comes with a dash of eccentricity and six cats you can pose around her. She has a seventh cat perched on her shoulder and an eighth cozily tucked inside the pocket of her bathrobe. The house-shaped package gives you a glimpse into her home and even features a quiz to help determine if you or someone you know might be a crazy cat lady. 

This “crazy” gift can be yours for the low-cost of $14.95 from the Archie McPhee website.  If cats aren’t your thing, there’s plenty of other wacky gifts that might be just what you’re looking for!

I hope you found some inspiration for some fun and fabulous gifts for this holiday season.  Happy shopping and Happy Holidays from The Scented Hound!


17 Comments

New Release: Noir Exquis by L’Artisan Parfumeur

Noir Exquis

WHAT I SMELL:  Noir Exquis opens slightly sour at first, quickly moving to a gourmand breaded pastry that is covered with a hazelnut glaze.  After a couple of minutes, the perfume begins to grow and it smells just like Coffee-mate Hazelnut Non-Dairy Creamer.  After a few more minutes the perfume takes on a slight hair spray note, making the perfume slightly prickly, but it also makes it feel like it’s covered in raw sugar, meaning that it’s sweet without being saccharine sweet.  After some more time, a maple syrup note creeps in and it melds with the existing nutty structure.  Thankfully, after 30 minutes, the whole structure seems to tame.  The sweetened hazelnut becomes quieter and the perfume takes on a more woody sandalwood and patchouli note tinged with a burnt amber.

From the L’Artisan Parfumeur website:

The inspiration for Noir Exquis is an unexpected rendez-vous in a French patisserie.  Two people meet over a coffee. In this delicious atmosphere of patisserie and coffee, hushed looks are exchanged. This delightful rendez-vous is the beginning of a new story with Noir Exquis.

Noir Exquis is a work of contrast and the unexpected. The addictive note of coffee, combined with the warm and comfortable notes of maple syrup, glazed chestnuts and orange blossom, brings an intriguing juxtaposition to this fragrance.
Rich and velvety, Noir Exquis connects these two persons during this moment beyond time and place.

Opulent and gourmand, Noir Exquis is a fragrance with a warm and charismatic aura.

Notes: Glazed chestnut, Coffee, Maple syrup, Macassar Wood 

Coffee-mate HazelnutWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  I can’t get this out of my head…Coffee-mate Hazelnut Non-Dairy Creamer

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE NOIR EXQUIS: creamy, sweetened, breakfasty (is that a word?)

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT NOIR EXQUIS:  Kafkaesque, Bois de Jasmin, Megan in Saint Maxime

BOTTOM LINE:  If you like flavored coffee creamers in your morning coffee and like gourmand scents, this may be for you.  Personally, I don’t want to feel like I just rubbed a breakfast pastry over myself.  In the end, the perfume does quiet down, but it still radiates this artificial creaminess.

  • Bone Rating:  2.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Oriental Vanilla
  • Nose:  Bertrand Duchaufour
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $120 for 1.7 oz. eau de parfum