The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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New Release: Vivacious – Hiram Green

WHAT I SMELL:  Vivacious makes its entrance with a full-bodied sunny bergamot and a sweet and lilting violet which quickly gives way to a waxy carnation full of energy and a boldness.  I find the opening unexpectedly rapturous and exciting.  As the perfume warms on the skin, the cool violet pops it head out from under the carnation.  Here, the perfume feels as if it resides on two planes, the violet happily skips upon the rounded carnation as if the perfume is full of mischief, but not so much as to take it over with flippant silliness.  As the perfume continues to develop, a rich, round, waxy mix of warm carnation and powdered spiced florals make for a lightly leathered hue.  Vivacious is as pretty as it is bold, but it’s not demure by any means.

From the Hiram Green website:

Vivacious is a violet-themed perfume that takes its cue from those prim Victorians who adored this precious flower so much. Updated for the 21st century, this scent has a happy and carefree flair.   

The fragrance opens with bright and joyful bergamot that seamlessly merges into a floral bouquet of flirty violet and spicy carnation. Waxy orris smoothly anchors this boisterous heart and soft, powdery amber adds a warm and luxurious finish.  Vivacious is an exuberant and joyful perfume. Perfect to zing your life.

Notes: bergamot, violet, carnation, orris, amber 

Flapper Joan Crawford in “Our Dancing Daughters” – 1928

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Vivacious is the quintessential 1920’s flapper.  It’s a modern perfume that comes out of the Victorian era with the just the right amount of old and newly bold.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE VIVACIOUS:  waxy, full-bodied…and of course, vivacious!

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT VIVACIOUSA Bottled Rose, CaFleureBon, Colognoisseur

BOTTOM LINE:  Vivacious is a lively perfume that brings forth something new every time you draw the perfume to your nose.  Sometimes fresh, sometimes spicy, but all of the time bold and beautiful.  This is a lovely new direction for perfumer Hiram Green, and its one that’s very welcomed.

  • Bone Rating: 4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral
  • Nose: Hiram Green
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $165 for 50 ml eau de parfum

* Sample provided by Hiram Green.  Opinion my own.


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New Release: Le Joker – Art de Parfum

WHAT I SMELL:   Le Joker takes an immediate dive off the perfumed platform with an explosive charge of pepper and spice which quickly sours into a menacing bite.  Before you can absorb the surprise of the perfume hitting the skin, a rush of leather enters the mix along with a moistened earthy black dirt accord that evens out the biting edge that came on so quickly.  Here, the perfume reminds me of a well worn leather jacket encased in many years and memories of sweat, cigarettes and the sights and smells of the city.  As Le Joker continues to develop, as weird as it sounds, the perfume reminds me of textured flannel sheets that carry a few nights of warmed wear; which I find rather comforting.  In the end, Le Joker’s rough and tumble attributes merge into a salty woody amber accord.  There is no doubt, Le Joker takes the wearer on one wild ride.

From the Art de Parfum website:

Le Joker aims to awaken different emotions in different people; inviting the wearer to be more daring, more evocative, and not afraid to make a statement or challenge the status quo.

This idea has been expertly shaped by Art de Parfum’s French perfumiers in this stand out perfume with its unusual, unexpected pairings, and intriguing ingredients which play with contrasts; light and shadow, moody, mysterious, dangerous.

Le Joker is a fascinating woody fragrance, intertwining fruity spicy notes with powdery notes of make up, smoky cigarette facets and salty ambergris. 

The overall character of the scent plays with contradictions yet creates a magnificent whole. Playful yet dark, the use of sparkling Timur pepper, which is still rare in perfumery, shines in this creation revealing spicy and tropical accents. The Timur offers a sparkling lemony effect on the top with nuances of passion fruit.

Top Notes: Pink Pepper, Timur Pepper, Elemi

Heart Notes: Star Anise, Nutmeg

Base Notes: Atlas Cedarwood, Cypriol, Patchouli

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  The infamous ‘Joker” fits the perfume’s narrative to a T.  However, to me, the perfume tells the story of the New York City subway of the 1970s:  dirty and dangerous while at the same time exciting and exhilarating.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE LE JOKER:  complicated, menacing, intriguing

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT LE JOKERThe Plum Girl, I Scent you a Day

BOTTOM LINE:  Le Joker is not a perfume that is meant to be worn at the office.  It is however, a perfume that evokes the wildly chaotic planet we currently live in and is perfect for wearing when you just want to take on the world.

  • Bone Rating: 3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Woody Spicy
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $150 for 50 ml parfum extrait

*Sample provided by Art de Parfum.  Opinion my own.


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A Visit to the Mexico City Guerlain Boutique & Joyeuse Tubéreuse Review

The Scented Hound and hub just got back from a short getaway to Mexico City, which is quickly becoming one of our favorite places to visit due to its rich heritage, beautiful parks, incredible restaurants, fantastic shopping and numerous and interesting museums, not to mention the warm and friendly people.  Now that the first Guerlain Boutique is open in Latin America, a “must-stop” for anyone travelling to Mexico City is located in the El Palacio de Herrerio Perisur department store.  Located outside the central city, the boutique was an easy Uber ride from where we were staying and completely worth the trip.

The first thing you notice when you step into the boutique is a display of all the colorful bee bottles.  To be honest, looking at the collection is a bit head spinning knowing that you have the option to put your favorite perfume into one of these spectacular little jewels of a bottle…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

As soon as I walked in, I was warmly greeted by the boutique staff as well as the boutique manager, Alberto Plata. Unfortunately, he spoke very little English and I speak very little Spanish.  But without hesitation, Melina Rodriguez, makeup artist, came over from the Guerlain makeup department to help translate.  We were all business at first, but through “fun with translation” and just having a great time, we all quickly became fast friends.

So with the hub sitting patiently on the side, Alberto had me sit down for a fragrance consultation.  Of course, having already a collection of Guerlain perfumes, both current and vintage, I pretty much knew what I was looking for, but I wanted to go through the consultation process to see what it would reveal.  Alberto started off with questions about the comforts of home, foods that I like, special memories associated with smell, etc.  I revealed that I love luxury in the bedroom with nice linens, but that my favorite food is pizza.  I knew I was going to be a challenge.  After going through the questions, I was then asked to rate the smell of some blotters.  After putting this information into their consultation system, it revealed that my fragrance personality was “Floral/Fresh.”  I clearly had no arguments with this as I do love my florals!   Given that and based on other provided information, the system made four recommendations for perfumes:

  1.  Chamade Pour Homme – My goal for the day was to buy a bottle of this lovely perfume which I had just written about.  So far I was impressed with the results!
  2. Samsara – Samsara is already in my collection.  I have a big bottle of vintage parfum that I wear when I want to be noticed.  It really is a spectacular perfume….still impressed with the results.
  3. Bois d’Armenie – This recommendation was a bit of a surprise as it’s an oriental.  I like the perfume, but knew it was not for me because wearing it in the heat and humidity of Merida would make it suffocating except for the one or two months where it was just a bit cooler out.
  4. Joyeuse Tubereuse – Another surprise because the perfume was no where on my radar of something that might be to my liking.  Actually, it stole my heart.

As I mentioned, I knew that Chamade Pour Homme was on my “to buy” list, but I decided to go ahead with a purchase of the Joyeuse Tubereuse as well.  So off to the bee bottles…

Of course, you can purchase the perfumes in their original bottles, but how many times do you have the opportunity to have your very own customized bee bottle?  Alberto and Melina led me over to the display case where I picked out a lovely green bottle for the Joyeuse Tubereuse and a grey bottle for the Chamade.  The next task was for me to decide what to have etched on the bottle.  I chose for both, a simple font of my initials.  The bottles were then placed in the etching machine and given to the technicians.  Here, the technicians suited up in sterilized robes and gloves prepared the bottles for filling.  First, they cleaned the bottles out with alcohol and then with a small amount of the perfume and then filled the bottles, recording on the bottom the perfume batch information.  These ladies were masterful in their handling of the product and it was so fun to be able to witness their skills.

One of the things that I was not thrilled about with the bee bottles is that they’re only available in splash.  Not to worry, for each perfume I was given a 30 ml refillable spray bottle and funnel.  And too boot, as part of the purchase I was given a free gift of a suede fringe purse…not really my thing, but it’s beautiful and it will make for a fabulous present for someone special.

The technician’s ended up wrapping up my new treasures in the most beautiful of way and after sharing hugs we ventured off on our way.  This truly was a fun and wonderful experience.  The customer service from Alberto and Melina and staff was exceptional and I left feeling like I had some new friends.  I cannot wait to head back to Mexico City….in fact I wish I would have purchased a bottle of my beloved Chamade in parfum extrait….but that just means that I’ll have to go back sooner than later.  Thanks Guerlain, for making Mexico City just that much more wonderfully perfumed.

JOYEUSE TUBÉREUSE REVIEW – 

WHAT I SMELL:  Joyeuse Tubéreuse opens with freshest of green stems.  The perfume is soft, pretty and feels like dew that’s sitting on top of the morning’s fresh cut flowers.  A tinge of lily starts off the fresh introduction of florals with the mildest of tuberose coming in slowly.  There’s nothing harsh with the pretty white florals; instead they glide in effortlessly and remain in the most delicate of state.  Still dewy, the perfume brings promise of a beautiful spring day ahead.  As the perfume develops, the tuberose begins to take it’s place as the quiet focus of the perfume and the perfume begins to lightly warm with the softest of vanilla.  Joyeuse Tubéreuse makes wearing tuberose and easy joy with its soft and light touch.

From the Guerlain website:

An airy and radiant tuberose. Exquisitely innocent, amazingly fresh.  Floral green.
Top notes: green notes.
Heart notes: tuberose, lily, sambac jasmine.
Base notes: sandalwood, vetiver, vanilla.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A fresh and dewy spring morning.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE JOYEUSE TUBÉREUSE:  Soft, serene, fresh

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT JOYEUSE TUBÉREUSE:  CaFleureBon, The Black Narcissus, Stephan Matthews

BOTTOM LINE:  Joyeuse Tubéreuse is a simple perfume…simply lovely.  But that’s part of it’s charm.  It doesn’t take you on a ride of development. Instead, it eases you into a spring day in the most perfect of way.

  • Bone Rating: 4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral
  • Classification:  Leans feminine
  • Expense: $260 for 2.5 oz. eau de parfum