The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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Santa Maria Novella Patchouli

WHAT I SMELL:   Patchouli’s opening is warm, with musty and thickened earthy patchouli that increasingly radiates off of the skin at every breath you take in.  There’s also a medicinal quality that is a cross between herbaceous and mentholated.  In a short time, Patchouli becomes woody, rather dry and it feels like the perfume was dug out from the bottom of a forest.  This is not a pretty patchouli, nor one of sweet youth, but a patchouli that reins from ancient times and one that has been fermenting in a cask until ready to be released after years of careful curation.  As the perfume develops in slow, deliberate and small nuances, it quietly settles in a woody, musky and dried, yet creamy crush of patchouli.  Patchouli would be perfect for those cool and rainy contemplative days when you don’t want to be troubled by current events.

From the Santa Maria Novella website:

The Patchouli perfume from the Officina Profumo Farmaceutica of Santa Maria Novella is a bouquet of oriental woody notes, which evoke the homonymous plant’s homeland: Malaysia and India. In the regions of origin, the unmistakable smell of patchouli pervades public and domestic environments, as traditional medicine believes that it acts on the physical balance and has a positive effect on the psyche.

Olfactory Notes:  Woody notes

Top: floral note

Heart: rosewood

Base: patchouli, sandalwood, oak moss

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  An abandoned Italian villa with remnants of ancient memories still lingering in the air.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE PATCHOULI:  ancient, earthy, serious

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT PATCHOULI:  Take One Thing Off, Perfume Smellin’ Things

BOTTOM LINE:  Patchouli is beautiful without being loud, funky or sweet in any way.  Although not an everyday perfume, it’s one that you’ll go back to again and again when the mood is just right.  For those of you who love patchouli, this is one for your collection.

  • Bone Rating: 4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Oriental Woody
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense:  $125 for 100 ml eau de cologne


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Jusbox Perfumes Beat Café

WHAT I SMELL:   Beat Café eases it way on to the skin with a warm, deep, striking coriander which is met with a soured boozy note.  The perfume almost has an undertone of body odor…but not in a repellent way, but in a way that says a shirt has been worn for a few days and has retained a mix of smoke, sweat and booze.  As soon as I write that, a leather note adds another layer to the well worn ensemble.  The leather adds a bit of funk combined with a light hint of danger and a lot of “I just don’t give a damn.”  As the perfume continues to develop, the funky turns more subtle as a sweetened tobacco and light wood adds the right amount of chill.   Here the perfume sits in the perfectly relaxed state of comfort, with a hint of an edge that says although it’s OK to kick back, at any time it might be time to stand up to make a difference in the world.

From the Jusbox website:

The early sixties mark a turning point in history. While war rages around the world, the youth starts to rally against the blind violence and oppression of an establishment it can no longer tolerate. The Beat Generation composed of a group of authors whose literature explores and influences American culture in the post-World War II era, finds its voice in Bob Dylan’s music. His bluesy melodies tinged with vitality, a rich and direct timbre, spread their message of freedom from the USA to Europe. Poet, writer and underground singer, he starts his career with amazing cafe performances. Back then cafes have become mythical meeting points where the younger generation come together to build a counter culture through music, poetry, politic, literature and fashion. A scent of revolution hangs in the air, saturated with tobacco, spirit and leather exuded from the couches where this rebel generation sits imagining a new order till the break of dawn.

Perfume Notes: 

Black Pepper, Coriander Seed, Fine Cognac Accord

Cistus Labdanum Oil, Black Leather, Tobacco

Vetiver, Cedarwood, Benzoin Balm

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A young Bob Dylan.*

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE BEAT CAFÉ:  semi-funky, semi-dangerous, semi-hip

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT BEAT CAFÉCaFleureBon

BOTTOM LINE: Beat Café delivers on its’ evocation of the Beat Generation.  It feels like a modern perfume, but has the soul of a bygone era.

  • Bone Rating: 3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Oriental Woody
  • Nose:  Domanique Ropian
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: Approximately $190 for 78 ml eau de parfum.

*Jusbox is an exclusive range of perfumes whose concept is based on the similarity between perfume and music. Music is the key inspiration for all of their fragrances.  Each of the perfumes is accompanied by a playlist of music associated with the perfume.  In the case of Beat Cafe, much of the playlist contains music by Bob Dylan.  To play the playlist, go to the Beat Café page on the Jusbox website.

Sample courtesy of Twisted Lily Fragrance Boutique and Apothecary.


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Vintage Habanita by Molinard

habanita1WHAT I SMELL:  Habanita has a dramatic opening that is glowingly sweetened, with a blast of fruit followed quickly by a warming floral mix that is highlighted by lilac and rose.  The perfume is so deliciously inviting as it seems to envelops the wearer.  Habanita has a sweet edge to it, but it’s not a perfume that I would categorize as sweet.  Maybe because as it develops the dryness of the oakmoss, the fresh tobacco and sheen of leather tone down the higher pitched notes.  As the perfume settles down, the various notes even out creating this incredible balance between the spice, florals and woody notes.  Habanita is sexy without being dangerous, but it draws you in making you want more.

From the Molinard website:

1921 – Habanita was born in the exuberance of the Roaring Twenties. With trailblazing spirit, Molinard revolutionized perfume codes, creating the first women’s Oriental fragrance featuring vetiver, an essence hitherto reserved for men. From perfume extract to the essence of the femme fatale, Habanita’s innovative style was eagerly embraced by the garçonnes-  France’s flappers – and soon became Molinard’s runaway success and an icon in the history of French perfume.

Top notes are orange blossom, raspberry, peach and bergamot; middle notes are lilac, orris root, jasmine, heliotrope, ylang-ylang and rose; base notes are leather, amber, musk, benzoin, vanilla, oakmoss and cedar.

cyd168WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Cyd Charisse

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE HABANITA:  whirling, energetic, dynamic

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT HABANITA:  Fragrance Daily, Yesterday’s Perfume, Grain de Musc

BOTTOM LINE:  Habanita is one of a kind.  It’s the kind of perfume that I crave.  Unique, beautiful, radiant…I can’t imagine not owning a bottle.

  • Bone Rating:  5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Oriental
  • Classification: To me this is perfectly unisex
  • Expense: Review based on the vintage parfum extrait version.  Prices vary on eBay, etc.