The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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Russkaya Kozha by Berdoues

WHAT I SMELL:  Russkaya Kozha has a discordant and biting opening that quickly moves to a flattened wood tinged with leather and oud.  There’s a sour edge and a pungent aspect, like worn leather pants that have absorbed the dirt and sweat from the wearer.  The perfume is beefy without being weighted, but it does have presence.  After a few minutes, the funky opening starts to sweeten and a wonderful radiating amber and benzoin ride above the now rough hewed sueded leather.  There’s a slight booziness that meets the mix and what was a bit rough and tumble at the beginning is now confidently sophisticated.  It also seems like there may be a light rose note buried under the leather, but I’m not seeing that listed as one of the notes.  The perfume settles down into a warmed smoky leather that is masculine without being overt but is still clearly in charge.  Instead, it projects confidence in a wonderful grandeur that is born from the majestic heart of Mother Russia.

From the Berdoues website:

An elegant leather perfume.

All the sophistication of Russia captured in a glass bottle. A blend of the noblest raw materials, Russkaya Kozha develops into an intense, mysterious perfume through the combination of Cade wood from Spain, Siam Benzoin from Malaysia and Cardamom from Guatemala.

Russkaya Kozha is a leathery, amber perfume that bares eternal Russia’s soul through the blend of Cade wood and an elegant accord of Benzoin from Malaysia and Cardamom from Guatemala.  An elegant and sophisticated Grand Cru.

Prince Alexander Konstantinovich Gorchakov

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A perfume fit for a Russian Prince.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE RUSSKAYA KOZHA:  secure, cultivated, resolute

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT RUSSKAYA KOZHA:  Colognoisseur, The Perfume Expert

BOTTOM LINE:  Russkaya Kozha is a lovely leather perfume that feels refined, yet still embodies the rough edges that come with the harsh environments of the Russian landscape.  This is a really nice leather perfume that doesn’t overwhelm the wearer and as a cologne, this has incredible lasting power.

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Leather
  • Nose: Flavien Laurandeau
  • Classification: Leans masculine, but easily unisex
  • Expense: $80 for 100 ml eau de cologne


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New Release: Sandor 70’s by Carner Barcelona

carnersandos70sWHAT I SMELL:  Sandor 70’s completes a kick-start with a quick blast of bergamot that soon melds into a wonderfully warm floral suede.  The florals then move to the more herbal with a clary sage note that is front and center.  The perfume is smooth and incredibly engaging.  Neither feminine nor masculine, the perfume defies a label.  As the perfume continues to develop, it really begins to project and a dry woody timbre pushes out a light powder.  Continuing on, a smoky note appears along with a dry vetiver, but as soon as I write that, the dryness makes way for a buttery vanilla.  Here, the perfume is simply sublime as it fills the air with a rich, sophisticated suede that feels like it’s coming from a well of nature.  It’s not dirty, nor heavy, instead, the perfume feels earthy and grounded and nostalgic.  As it continues to unfold, the tobacco and the leather mix in a swirl of wafting smoke.  Here, the dirt from the cobblestone streets meet the soles of the well-worn shoes that walk them.

From the Carner Barcelona website:

inspiration:  “At the crest of upper Barcelona once a place to see and be seen, an iconic bar where the smoke of cigars flirted with the aristocratic leather armchairs…”

top notes – Suede Accord, Italian bergamot, Vintage Jasmin absolute, Chinese osmanthus absolute, Bulgarian rose essence

mid notes – Tobacco Accord,  Clary sage absolute, Virginian cedar wood, Peru balsam, Mexican vanilla extract

base notes –  Spanish leather accord, Patchouli essence, Vetyver essence, Ethiopian frankincense extract, Oak moss absolute

wellwornsandalWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Your favorite pair of well-worn leather/suede sandals.  So comfortable, like an old friend.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE SANDOR 70’s:  vintage, careworn, comfortable

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT SANDOR 70’s: Fragrance Daily

BOTTOM LINE:  Part of the new Black Collection, Sandor 70’s is my favorite among the three perfumes in the line.  Here, the nod to nostalgia is done perfectly and makes this a leather perfume that’s perfect for those who don’t like their leather over the top.

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Leather
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $220 for 50 ml eau de parfum

Sample courtesy of Twisted Lily.


17 Comments

Bucoliques de Provence by L’Artisan Parfumeur

bucoliques-de-provenceWHAT I SMELL:  Not surprisingly, Bucoliques de Provence opens with a soft cashmere iris which is soon met with a deep brown sugared and herbal lavender.  It’s slightly medicinal, but very comforting; and in all it’s just so pretty and calming.  Soon, a mix of herbs and spices pepper the lavender, making the perfume feel a bit chewy vs. the standard powdered dry lavender that we associate with the note.  As the perfume continues to develop, it begins to flatten and it takes on a more woody consistency.  At the same time, the spices really come forward…actually, in a quite caustic manner.  What used to be calming, now has an unfortunate bite.  After quite some time, the lavender turns to a laundry detergent familiarity and the perfume feels like it should be used as more of a bed or room spray.  Supposedly there is some leather in here, but I’m not picking any of it up.  Instead I am getting a dried flower kitchen witch vibe…and that’s not a good thing.  After quite some time, the iris comes back in with a light powder and the kitchen witch begins to dissipate.  The perfume becomes soft and kind of pretty…but unfortunately I’m left with a headache caused by the kitchen witch development

kitchen-witch

Kitchen Witch

From the L’Artisan Parfumeur website:

Bucoliques de Provence is a limited edition fragrance. It marks the beginning of a new collection inspired by different regions of France. This perfume pays homage to the history of Grasse. Perfumery in this region with its distinctive lavender fields, dates back to the 17th century and is linked to the historic production of leather. The perfumer has combined lavender and leather with iris and spices creating a soft, faceted scent. Bucoliques de Provence is modern in its pure and naturalistic approach.

Inspired by the savoir-faire of artisans in Grasse, an accord of leathery lavender, modernised by iris and spices.

gray-gooseWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A gray goose…kind of pretty, but not as pretty as a white swan, a little annoying and not as fun as a duck.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE BUCOLIQUES DE PROVENCE: wannabe, wafting, cleanser

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT BUCOLIQUES DE PROVENCE: The Scented Salamander, Chemist in the Bottle

BOTTOM LINE: The perfume’s opening is divine until you get to the kitchen witch in the middle which makes you want to run.  In the end, the perfume does calm down and becomes a quiet powdered iris, but that’s not enough of a save to make me want to come back.

  • Bone Rating:  2.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Leather?
  • Nose: Fabrice Pellegrin
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $105 for 50 ml eau de parfum