The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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Maison Francis Kurkdjian – Aqua Celestia Cologne forte

WHAT I SMELL:  Aqua Celestia Cologne forte’s first spritz is a very fresh sparkling bergamot that’s fizzy and lightly sweet and tart at the same time.  Quickly, a blackberry note joins the bergamot, or I should say, sits on top of the bergamot because it feels layered as if they’re part of a fruit parfait.  The perfume is clean and bright, so much so that even if you were a little sweaty and hot from the day, the perfume would make you feel like you just stepped out of the shower.  The blackberry note continues to grow as the bergamot begins to fade into the background.   As the bergamot recedes, a fruit infused jasmine highlighted by peach comes in to take its place.  The fruit is bright and just so slightly juicy, but not enough to add any weight to the perfume.  As it continues to develop, a sandalwood pencil shaving note appears adding just the right amount of depth to bring this light and bright beauty back to the earth.  In the end, Aqua Celestia Cologne forte rests in a wonderfully light musky floral haze that’s ever so easy to love and easy to wear.

From the Maison Francis Kurkdjian website:

The bergamot becomes tinged with the fruity notes of blackcurrant, mimosa (with its raspberry and blackberry facets), and jasmine (strawberry, apricot and peach accents), before gradually melting into the mellowness of a fruity musky accord. Aqua Celestia Cologne forte releases a bright, crystal-clear aura and offers a flight towards the horizon.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Picking berries in the cool sweet morning air.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE AQUA CELESTIA COLOGNE FORTE:  pretty, delightful, refreshing

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT AQUA CELESTIA COLOGNE FORTE:  Contents

BOTTOM LINE:  The great thing about the Maison Francis Kurkdjian perfumes is that they are so easy to wear and many have this crisp clean finish that is impossible not to like.  Aqua Celestia Cologne forte (which is an eau de parfum) is no exception.

Aqua Celstica Cologne forte was released this year along with two other perfumes for a trio of Cologne fortes.  The following are my abbreviated impressions of the other two in the collection:

Aqua Vitae Cologne forte:  An inviting perfume that is perfectly delightful with the prettiest of florals that are topped with a mandarin orange.  I would call this a warm perfume that would be perfect for wearing even in the heat of summer.  Another 4 bones from me as it’s really lovely.

Aqua Universalis Cologne forte:  To me, this is the least interesting of the three perfumes.  Comprised of citrus and white muted flowers, it’s not bright, nor pretty, but rather salty and musky.  3 bones.

Samples courtesy of Twisted Lily Fragrance Boutique and Apothecary.


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A Perfume Made for Valentine’s Day: Baccarat Rouge 540 by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

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WHAT I SMELL:  Baccarat Rouge 540 opens with a striking warm and luxurious jasmine that feels soaked and saturated with saffron.  It’s heady, exotic, spicy and mysterious.  It’s also incredibly sexy and erotic.  There’s a very slight incense and smoke that feels like an extinguished candle that moves off the skin.  And the perfume itself seems to live a couple of inches off of the body.  After some time, a woody base which was there all along, comes more to the forefront, with the radiant jasmine and saffron still pulsating.  As the perfume continues to develop, the perfume becomes more of an ambered spice.  In the end, the fragrance evens itself out and your left with a nicely spiced and lightly sweetened cedar and amber perfume that lingers with the memory of the passionate flame that burned when the perfume first hit the skin.

From the Maison Francis Kurkdjian website:

Luminous and sophisticated, Baccarat Rouge 540 lays on the skin like an amber, floral and woody breeze. A poetic alchemy. A graphic and highly condensed signature.

Notes:  Jasmine, Saffron, Cedar wood, Ambergris

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Marilyn Red Velvet, 1949

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A sexy and erotic boudoir scent.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE BACCARAT ROUGE 540:  lustful, erotic, sexy

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT BACCARAT ROUGE 540:  No reviews to be found outside comments on Fragrantica.

BOTTOM LINE:  Baccarat Rouge 540 is a collaboration between Maison Francis Kurkdjian and Baccarat, to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the iconic crystal house.  As such, I was expecting a big, bold and proper perfume.  Instead, I found the perfume to be highly sensual, and erotic…which makes this the perfect perfume to tempt your Valentine with.

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Oriental Floral
  • Nose: Francis Kurkdjian
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $300 for 70 ml Eau de Parfum

Sample courtesy of Twisted Lily Fragrance Boutique and Apothecary


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Hello 2016!

2015-16Well, 2016 is finally upon us and today brings back the reality of going back to work after the holidays and all the festivities that have been enjoyed in the past month.  The Scented Hound is not much for looking back at what “was,” but as an eternal optimist steers forward knowing that the year ahead is going to be the best ever.  But before moving forward, we’ll take a little walk down memory lane at 2015, one last time!

The Best Perfumes of 2015 –

I, by no means, experienced the majority of new releases this past year.  But instead, had the pleasure (or displeasure) of experiencing a small percentage of the new.  As such, I’m not going to make any claims about what were the best new releases, but what I found to be my personal favorites of the year…

Puredistance WhitePuredistance WHITE:  Undoubtedly this release was my favorite of the past year.  The beautiful, warm and majestic florals have me craving this perfume almost on a daily basis.  I cannot get enough of this radiant beauty.  It easily is my favorite from the line and that says a lot, because the entire Puredistance line is magic.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Vitae Forte:  Aqua Vitae Forte is the second cousin to Puredistance WHITE.  Very similar in its composition, Aqua Vitae Forte has more of a citrus zing which I found to be perfect for the hot summer months.  Easy to wear and absolutely beautiful.

Blomma Cult by Room 1015:  As many of you know, I tend to lean towards the more traditional when it comes to my perfume likes.  Blomma Cult veers away from the trend with its rock star energy and dynamic creativity.  In the end, the perfume purrs like a kitten, but the stage show getting there is one hell of a ride.

Although technically launched in 2014, I didn’t experience the following until 2015…

Mohur ExtraitNeela Vermeire Creations Mohur Extrait:  The original Mohur eau de parfum is incredible, but the extrait is like a satin and cashmere wrap of exquisite beauty.  This is one of those perfumes that I wish that everyone could experience at least one time in their life.

Maria Candida Gentile Syconium:  Maria Candida Gentile offers perfumes that either people love or hate…I find that there are very few in-betweens.  Syconium I do believe is one of those perfumes that everyone can love.  For myself, fig can sometimes be troublesome and overbearing, but with this creation, it’s a soft and creamy garden delight.  And shout out to Maria Candida Gentile for offering smaller 15 ml amounts that don’t break anyone’s budget!

The Worst Perfumes of 2015 –

gentlewoman-juliette-has-a-gun-interiorJuliette Has a Gun Gentlewoman:  A nod to androgyny, this perfume is a basic citrus cologne that is a weak imitation of a man’s cologne.  Boring, uninspired and pointless.

Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum:  What started off with promise and beauty turned into a cotton ball chemical bomb.  I’m not one that promotes natural ingredients, but this ended up like a lab experiment on my skin.

My 2015 Reality –

2014 to me was the year of the big florals.  That continued to a point in 2015.  I found that the perfumes that I wore the most were traditional florals…my top 3 being Puredistance WHITE, Roja Parfums Risque (Creation-R in the US) and Caron Tubereuse.  All three of these perfumes I found myself craving time and time again.

Roja-Dove-Danger-Parfum-ExtraitBut as I say that, I also found that I was heading back to traditional male perfumes as well.  This year, Roja Parfums Danger, Vetiver  and Amouage Dia Man were worn at least once or twice a week to work.  None of these perfumes are overly butch in their demeanor, but both are easy to wear and rather buttoned up.

Less is More –

When I was first introduced to this wonderful world of niche perfumery, I, like many wanted to purchase, purchase and purchase new perfumes.  Around every corner there was a new perfume that was wanted and desired.  However, over that past several years, I find that much of my collection is not being used.  Additionally, some of the perfumes that I couldn’t live without have now turned on me (has this happened to anyone else?).  Case in point, Amouage Fate Woman.  Two hours after wearing the perfume, the dry and dusty base, creeps up through my nose to give me this blinding headache.  I thought maybe it was just a fluke, but every time I wear it now, the same happens.  Needless to say it is sitting neglected on my perfume tray.

As a result of not requiring a great deal of perfume and by wearing many of the perfumes multiple times a week, I found that I only purchased two perfumes this year; Roja Parfums Danger a 10 ml bottle of HMC at Coqui Coqui Perfumes in Mexico.  I was wracking my brain wondering if I had missed something, but that is it!  My wallet is extremely happy and so am I as I don’t need a large collection to make me love this industry.

Looking Ahead to 2016 –

I have to admit that I possibly have become a bit jaded when it comes to perfume.  Even though there are a plethora of newly released perfumes that are beautiful and of which would be a great addition to any perfume collection, there seems to be only a few new releases that really stand out as exceptional.  Maybe 2016 will buck that trend and we’ll find that 2016 is the year of the “exceptional perfume!”

Happy New Year from The Scented Hound!