The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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New Release: Rrose Sélavy by Maria Candida Gentile

rrose_fla_fronteWHAT I SMELL:  Rrose Sélavy has a very herbal opening with a minted tarragon sitting on top of a vibrant deep and masculine rose.  I don’t want to say that the opening is discordant, but its incredibly different and unique in a way that makes you to wonder where this perfume path is going to lead you.   After a few minutes, a mentholated and camphorous warmth helps to give the perfume a pulsating heart.  Here the perfume feels beautifully earthy as if there’s a great story that accompanies the wearer of the fragrance.  The perfume is deep, warm, slightly spicy and completely herbal and a little goes a long way as the projection is quite big, but it still manages to remain down to earth.  Even though this is a rose perfume, there’s something so darkly mysterious and beautiful about it that belies my vision of a rose.  In the end, Rrose Sélavy quiets considerably, leaving you with a faint wisp of a creamy rose that feels as if it’s holding a secret.

From the Maria Candida Gentile website:

A Velvet rose, persistent and unique, dedicated to one of the leading artist of Dadaism: a homage to Marcel Duchamp and to his “double” Rrose Sélavy.

 Rrose Sélavy

Rrose Sélavy

With Rrose Sélavy Maria Candida interprets the “double” of Marcel Duchamp, and his jeux des mots Rrose Sélavy which sounds in French like “eros, c’est la vie”, or “arroser la vie”, to make a toast to life. Maria Candida pays tribute to Duchamp, making a toast to life with her velvet, soft, fresh, just harvested, with its olfactory vibration, which fill the air and the space, tridimensional just like his art crafts. The name Sélavy emerged in 1921 in a series of photographs by Man Ray of Duchamp dressed as a woman. Through the 1920s, Man Ray and Duchamp collaborated on more photos of Sélavy. Duchamp later used the name as the byline on written material and signed several creations with it.

Notes:  Rose petals, Turkish rose, May rose , Rose accord, Michelle rose, Rose stems, Rose leaves

Victorian ParlorWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A Victorian parlor, full of the non-air conditioned worn wood, rugs, upholstery and books – it’s earthy, natural and comforting.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE RROSE SÉLAVY:  herbal, mentholated, meditative

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT RROSE SÉLAVY: Colognoisseur, perfumesilove

BOTTOM LINE:  As I have said in the past, Maria Candida Gentile’s perfumes have a very MCG distinct fingerprint that is all hers.  Rrose Sélavy is no exception.  I find that you either really love her perfumes or you don’t and that there’s not a lot of in between.  I really like her creations, they’re bold, different and incredibly unique and to me, this take on rose is wonderfully unexpected.  Rrose Sélavy is a masculine perfume that melds to the feminine in the end and it perfectly fits the inspiration; the alter ego of Marcel Duchamp, Rrose Sélavy.

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Floral
  • Nose: Maria Candida Gentile
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $195 for 100 ml or $49 for 15 ml Parfum Extrait

Sample courtesy of Twisted Lily Fragrance Boutique and Apothecary.  Opinion my own.


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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!


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New Release: Elephant & Roses by Maria Candida Gentile

MPG Elephant Rose

WHAT I SMELL: Elephant & Roses opens softly with a wonderfully herbal thyme that is sweetened so slightly with osmanthus.  The perfume is light, soft and reassuring and unique in that it doesn’t start off with an oft seen bergamot or citrus blast.  After a few minutes, a warmth from the amber develops and it helps to push-off the herbal and floral notes, lifting them up from the ground and sending them flying towards the sky.  The rose begins to come towards the center, but it’s a lightly earthy rose that is anything but sweet and it’s very tender in its existence.  As tender as the perfume is, an anamalic note begins to appear to give the perfume some wonderful depth and a bit more of an exotic feel…which was already exotic from the beginning.  A vetiver and musk note brings the perfume to a more linear base, but helps to keep the perfume, soft, comforting and lightly radiant.

From the Maria Candida Gentile website:

A late afternoon, sitting at my desk, exercising to recreate an elephant smell, while writing my perfume formulae I had a kind of a vision, which merged the elephant’s image, its smell and a large field of roses, of an intense colour, almost fuchsia. Within this vision the elephants were running and, trampling on the roses, were dispersing a scent of flowers, mixed together with the strong smell of their bodies. Slowly – while I was weighing and smelling my formula – after trying it on my skin I realised that it was mine. I used the Turkish rose: this fragrance is derived from the blending of two different formulae, using the so called “dans le tiroir” method, by which I merged animal notes with skin and floral ones.

Name’s origin :  The elephant comes from a remembrance of Indian and African colonies, and the rose is the British rose. An encounter between an elephant and the roses has got some British sense of humour. There is an assonance with London district Elephant & Castle.

Top notes:  Thyme, Custus, Osmanthus
Heart notes:  Rose, Jasmine, Grey Amber
Base notes:  Java vetiver, Sandal wood, Animal accord

Rose Elephant

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  I can’t argue with the perfume’s name and inspiration, it makes for a lovely visual.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE ELEPHANT & ROSES: comforting, herbal-infused, personal

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT ELEPHANT & ROSES: Colognoisseur

BOTTOM LINE:  I am a big fan of Maria Candida Gentile perfumes.  They are all distinctively hers and this perfume is no exception.  Elephant & Roses is less of a “rose” perfume than and herbal floral arrangement and would be a good rose perfume for those who don’t want to smell like a fragrant bouquet of sweet roses.

  • Bone Rating:  3 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Aromatic
  • Nose: Maria Candida Gentile
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $185 for 100 ml or $45 for 15 ml eau de parfum

Sample courtesy of Twisted Lily Fragrance Boutique and Apothecary