The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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Robert Graham Valour

WHAT I SMELL:   Valour has an incredibly wonderful opening that’s made up of bergamot and brown sugar goodness.  It tingles and sparkles like light brown amber crystals.  Not long after the initial opening, the light sugared deliciousness begins to warm as a wonderful creaminess begins to smooth out the sparkle.  The brown sugar (which never is too sweet) feels as if its mixed within the cream along with the lightest note of coffee.  At the same time a clary sage enters adding a marvelously herbaled dimension to the lightly gourmand mix. Eventually, the perfume moves away from the enjoyably edible and takes on a more traditional amber tone.  Valour feels as if it should be heavy and hefty, but instead it remains restrained and contained.  In the end, Valour remains an ambered hue of masculinity wrapped up in gentle sophistication.

From the Robert Graham website:

The art of audacity and boldness for the loyal and the dynamic. The bulldog has always been a symbol of fierce individuality and willful intelligence a fitting way to top off such a determined essence housed in a faceted decanter and finished with a foulard print. This bottle gives a nod to the well-dressed modern gentlemen.

This blended essence walks the line between fresh and sybaritic mixing top notes clary sage coffee santos and amber wood to give it the epitome of eclectic sophistication.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A 1970s sophisticate.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE VALOUR:  easy, smooth, subtle

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT VALOUR: CaFleureBon

BOTTOM LINE:  Valour is one of three perfumes in the “Collector’s Trio” which also includes Fortitude and Courage, but Valour is my favorite.  The perfume is nicely refined and very easy to wear.  It does have a nostalgic vibe to it, which to me, makes it all that more attractive.

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Oriental Spicy
  • Classification: Masculine
  • Expense:  $125 for 100 ml blended essence (I’m not sure if that means cologne, eau de toilette or eau de parfum)


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Bois 1920 Sushi Imperiale

WHAT I SMELL:  Sushi Imperiale’s opening is decidedly not sushi like as it opens with a warm crunchy bergamot and sugared orange.  The perfume is sweet, but not sugary sweet; instead its sweetened naturally as if it’s tinged with brown sugar.  Soon enough, the natural sweetness begins to give way for a more flattened floral spice.  The perfume is slightly gourmand, but that quickly moves away and the perfume begins to unleash a warm, shimmering radiance and a lovely warmed sandalwood comes to the forefront.  At this point, Sushi Imperiale becomes enveloping and rapturous…the base notes are a light blanket of comfort that don’t weigh down the perfume, but instead add just the right amount of security.  After this, Sushi Imperiale doesn’t transform much, except when it finally settles in with light and soft patchouli that feels tufted with light cotton.  In other words, it’s comforting and reassuring.

From Bois 1920:

An intense beginning where the citrus notes blend harmoniously for an eau de toilette that speaks of love.  The heart releases its spicy personality:  the vibrant and exotic luminosity of Pepper, Nutmeg and Cinnamon.  The fragrance develops into a brilliant and almost nonchalant wisp of woods and Vanilla of Madagascar.

Top notes are bergamot, mandarin orange and lemon; middle notes are pepper, nutmeg, jasmine, rose, star anise and cinnamon; base notes are sandalwood, vetiver, patchouli, tonka bean and madagascar vanilla.

Italian Crown Prince Umberto II

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  To me this is less “sushi” imperial, but it is indeed more italian imperial, meaning that the perfume is fit for a prince.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE SUSHI IMPERIALE:  shimmering, comforting, contented

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT SUSHI IMPERIALE: AustralianPerfumeJunkies, EauMG, Kafkaesque

BOTTOM LINE: Sushi Imperiale is a wonderfully wearable and elegant perfume that has surprising projection and longevity and is rather beefy for an eau de toilette.  This is a perfume that is perfectly elegant without being snobbish.

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Oriental Spicy
  • Nose: Enzo Galardi
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: Approximately $140 for 50 ml EdT


6 Comments

New Release: Silphium by Stora Skuggan

WHAT I SMELL:  Silphium goes on the skin incredibly herbal, medicinal, warm and mentholated.  It really vibrates with a vaporous sheen and the perfume is incredibly reassuring without being soft and cuddly.  Instead, since there is a medicinal edge it feels more like an elixir of health.  As the perfume begins to settle, the herbal turns to an energized spice that is somehow flat, yet full of movement.  Still rather medicinal, the perfume throws out an aura of energy which now begins to lighten with a rounded moisture fused in ginger and a slight citrus.  After some time, the perfume removes the majority of the medicinal tone and lightens to a fuzzy and lightly powdered wood that albeit full of projection, feels somewhat ethereal and wispy brought on by the breath of an opaque incense.  In the end, the perfume softens considerably and becomes a comfort scent…in the sense that the therapeutic aspects of the fragrance make you feel like you don’t only smell good, but the perfume is good for you.

From the Stora Skuggan website:

Silphium (probably of the genus Ferula) was a plant that grew in the area of Cyrene, present day Libya, and was widely renowned as a spice, medicinal herb and perfume ingredient throughout the empires of the classical antiquity. It was praised by Greek philosophers and writers, as well as Roman emperors and cookbook authors.

There were many attempts to cultivate Silphium, but they inevitably failed. It would only grow wild in a limited area of the north African coast. This in combination with its qualities as seasoning and medicine made Silphium the most valuable spice in the world, outshining both saffron and cinnamon. The demand for Silphium eventually became so overwhelming that it was harvested to extinction, and the taste and smell of the once greatest spice in the world was lost in time.

Our rendition of this historical plant is created by researching surviving assumed relatives of Silphium, using aromachemicals (the molecular building blocks of scents) to create an accord that we feel represents what descriptions remains. This is set against a background of ancient incense, woods and leather.

Silphium features top notes of Silphium accord and Cistus. The heart notes are Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Tobacco, Ginger, Geranium and Clove. Base notes are Frankincense, Myrrh, Cedarwood and Leather.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Medicinal cotton.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE SILPHIUM: herbal, medicinal, therapeutic

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT SILPHIUM:  None found.

BOTTOM LINE:  This new release from the Stockholm Sweden based Stora Skuggan is interesting and different and I love the fact that they are creating a perfume through the re-creation of an extinct and historical plant as a central theme.  And for perfume lovers who also gravitate towards incredible bottles…Silphium does the trick.

  • Bone Rating:  3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Oriental Spicy
  • Nose: Olle Hemmendorff and Tomas Hempel
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $140 for 30 ml eau de parfum

Sample provided by Twisted Lily Fragrange Boutique and Apothecary.  Opinion my own.