The Scented Hound

Perfume blog with abbreviated perfume reviews & fragrance reviews.


Focus on Mexico: Sandovalis Perfumes and Cicle Club Review

Before leaving the US in 2017 for Mexico, it was clear that there was an entrepreneurial groundswell happening with small start-up companies, stores and restaurants happening throughout the country.  It was exciting to see craftmanship return to the marketplace with people who had the love and spirit to make and provide new and unique products and services.  Here in Mexico, the same is happening, especially with the younger generation.  And because of it, many are bringing a new twist to the traditional in a very exciting way.

One of these entrepreneurs lives right here in Merida; Jose Sandovalis of Sandovalis Perfumes.  As a self-taught perfumer, Jose has used his love of perfume, botany and the Yucatan to create a line of perfumes, candles and personal grooming products that are rooted in the local environment.  Jose cites that his interest in perfume began with his grandmother who had a book of perfumes from the late 19th century.  But it wasn’t just his grandmother that helped to influence this interest; his father and grandfather helped to educate and mentor with a shared passion for botany.  Now, together with his wife Cindy, they have handcrafted a collection of unique products that are tied to the history and botanicals of the Yucatan.  And they source their materials throughout the peninsula with a concentration on fair trade.  To Jose, sustaining and supporting the local people is key to his mission.   Sorry to say however, that these products are only available in Mexico.  So if you need a good excuse to come experience this wonderful country, this is one good reason to do so

WHAT I SMELL:   Cicle Club first spins off of the skin with a fresh and tangy lightly sugared tangerine.  The pefume sparkles with a bright energy.  After a couple of minutes, the cheery opening starts to retreat, leaving the wearer wondering if the perfume is about to disappear after a quick hello.    But as expected, the perfume begins to reveal a more herbal heart with hints of dewy wood.   The light sugared sweetness is still there, but it has retreated in such a manner giving it a quiet and understated level of positivity.  After some time, a tobacco note starts to swirl and rise through the center of the perfume.  It’s projection is just right as it feels a bit windswept off of the skin.

Head notes:  Tangerine and Rosemary

Heart notes:  Good grass and Basil

Background notes:  Cedar and Tobacco

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A quiet early evening bike ride underneath Merida’s Arcos de Dragones.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE CICLE CLUB:  understated, classic, comfortable


BOTTOM LINE:  Cicle Club is clearly a gentlemen, but one with a sporty heart.  It’s herbal and woody tobacco freshness is perfect in the heat of the summer and for any time of year.

  • Bone Rating: 4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Aromatic Woody
  • Nose:  Jose Sandovalis
  • Classification: Masculine
  • Expense: Approximately $50 for 60 ml eau de parfum.  Also available in 30 ml.

For more information, please check out the wonderfully historical Sandovalis Perfumes website (in Spanish – easy to translate using Google Chrome).


Where in the World is The Scented Hound?

Greetings from Mexico.  So you may say to yourself that you’ve seen these greetings before….so you’re on vacation.  Actually, this time it’s a bit different; we have moved to Mexico!  After talking about this for several years, we finally executed our long thought out plan to start a new life and adventure.  This past spring, we put our house on the market, had an estate sale getting rid of 80% of our possessions, sold both of our cars, moved into temporary housing and quit our jobs (we are now retired).  Finally, last month we packed up our 2 furry kids and flew down with 2 suitcases each to start our new life in Merida.  The past 6 months seem like a blur at this point and to be honest, it kind of feels like we’re just on vacation as it really hasn’t sunk in that we’re retired.  But after all the craziness, it’s nice to have some down time and frankly we’re rather exhausted!

So what does this mean for The Scented Hound?  I’m not sure at this point how this blog will morph and develop; but it will.  We’re living in temporary housing right now so I don’t have a permanent address.  And I’ve heard that getting packages here in the country can be a bit tricky, so I’m not sure how I’ll get my hands on new releases, etc.  That may take some time.  Additionally, I’ve found that perfume in a hot tropical environment wears much differently and anything that seems to have any heft (orientals, etc.) just becomes incredibly cloying and heavy.  And those that do wear well, seem to disappear very quickly.  Maybe once I get used to the heat, I’ll get this dilemma settled.  Or maybe I’ll just have to ensure that I test perfumes in an air-conditioned environment.  Additionally, I don’t believe that niche perfume is very prevalent down here.  But maybe that makes for a business opportunity??!  In any case, now that I’m retired I’ll have time to work this all out.

So with the move, out of all the things that needed to be done, there were two items that really stressed me out.  The first was getting the cats down here.  We had to ensure that they were certified by our veterinarian 10 days before departure.  We had heard horror stories of people getting down here only to have their pets put in quarantine for weeks because they didn’t have the right health certifications.  Thankfully, both kids managed their flight without issue and the customs inspectors were nothing but nice.  They’re still not thrilled with their new digs (the housecleaner is here as I write and they are not happy), but they’re adjusting as well as can be expected.

The other thing that gave me lots of anxiety was how to move my perfume collection.  Now, I have to admit that my collection is not huge (it can all fit on one gilded West Elm tray), but since we put all of our possessions that we were keeping in storage (could be up to 6 months) I couldn’t do that as they wouldn’t be temperature controlled.  Then I inquired into having them shipped down via DHL or some other service, but was told that they would be considered “dangerous goods” because they are flammable.  Thankfully, my brother and sister-in-law travel to Mexico and will plan on visiting us sometime this winter.  They said if we ship the perfumes to them, they’ll bring them down in their air-conditioned travel bus.  So we carefully packed up the perfumes and shipped them to Washington state (via UPS which was a no-no) and I am hoping that they’ll arrive safe and sound towards the end of the year.  I did manage to put at least 20 perfumes in my suitcase that were small and thanks to Undina they traveled without any issue.  So you ask, what did Undina do?  If it had not been for her post concerning how to seal perfumes with Parafilm, I don’t think my perfumes would have traveled nearly as well.  And BTW, on eBay you can purchase small amounts of Parafilm for a relatively small cost.   Trust me, it works well.

So in brief, that’s my story for now.  It’s an exciting time and I have no idea where this adventure is going to take us, but I’m sure it will be a fun journey!

For more information on securing your perfumes for shipping with Parafilm, check out Undina’s helpful post here.

Viva la Mexico!


The Scented Hound Goes to Mexico…again!

Merida Mexico

The Scented Hound has finally returned from another trip to Mexico.  In our quest to solidify retirement havens, we have found that Merida, Mexico keeps calling us back.  This was our fourth visit and the one that solidified our resolve to turn our dreams into reality.  No, we’re not moving yet; we have a good year and a half before we make the plunge.  But we did decide this is the place for us.  To help us make up our minds, we rented a house for 2 weeks without a car so that we could see more realistically what living in the city would be like.  The visit included walks to the market, and the scouting of the various neighborhoods, as well as some house hunting to get an idea of what is available.  It was a great trip which included making some wonderful new friends.  Although it’s nice to be back home, we are looking forward to this coming new adventure in our lives.  I’ll be getting back into the perfume realm quickly, but in the meantime, here are some pics that help capture a little of the spirit of Merida.