The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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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.


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Sultan Pasha Attars: Aurum d’Anghkhor & Irisoir

sultan-pashaI often wondered if being a perfumer only requires a purely scientific skill, like that of a chemist; or if a perfumer holds an innate ability or talent that can be developed and nourished.  I have seen quite of few upstart perfumers who begin their journey with a love of perfume, who then decide to create their own perfumes which then turn out to smell exactly like a scientific experiment; an incongruous mix of ingredients with an end result of a perfume that smells like it was conceived in a lab.  That makes me wonder if being a perfumer requires an ability that can’t be measured by science, but of which comes from within; like an artist.

I had heard a great deal of buzz about a perfumer from Britain who had created some attars that were unique and beautiful.  Kafkaesque had written much about perfumer Sultan Pasha and his creations  and I have seen many exchanges on the perfume feeds in Facebook.  Always wary of trends, I didn’t rush out to find out more about these attars.  And I have to admit, when I hear the word “attar,” I automatically think of heavy ouds.  The wonderful Esperanza introduced me to Sultan Pasha and I will be the first to admit that this “trend” is well deserved.  I received a sampling of 27 of his attars…with not one in the 27 being anything but incredible.  These perfumes have a soul and it makes me believe that you can’t just be a chemist to create incredible perfumes, you have to a god given talent.

Of course, with 27 perfumes, I can’t sing praise on each of them, but will speak to two of my favorites:

Aurum d’Anghkhor

WHAT I SMELL:  Aurum d’Anghkhor goes on my skin with a deep, warm honey and cream, that unfolds with a ripe rose.  It’s so beautifully weighted and almost gourmand.  In short time, an orange blossom, tobacco honey seems to swirl around the rose, which has become a bit decayed with a slight hay like consistency.    The rose is incredibly contained, as it feels like it could burst brightly at any minute, but instead the surrounding notes keep it under guard in the most beautiful prison.  The perfume remains captured in this timeless state for quite some time where the rose,  warmed and rapturous, is wrapped in a cocoon of labdanum and the purest sandalwood.  Aurum d’Anghkhor isn’t a carefree rose, instead, there’s something rather melancholic about it as if it holds an incredible secret.  As the perfume continues to develop, it begins to grow and expand and what was melancholic is now grand and majestic.  Still controlled, the perfume starts to emit this confident golden radiance as if projected like rays from the sun.

Top Notes: Saffron Oil, Jasminum Auriculatum absolute, Persian Rose Otto

Middle Notes: Bulgarian Damascena Absolute, Honey Absolute, orange blossom, Henna, tobacco,

Base Notes: EnsarOud’s Encens D’Angkhor, Beeswax, Hand Macerated Ambergris, Hand Made Shamama(aged sandalwood, 30yr old patchouli, henna, labdanum, Siamese benzoin, musk) raw Persian and Spanish Saffron Strands maceration, Siamese benzoin resinoid, Labdanum, tobacco absolute and Mysore sandalwood

enchanted-roseWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  The enchanted rose from Beauty and the Beast; kept as a beautiful prisoner until love can set it free.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE AURUM D’ANGHKHOR:  knowing, mysterious, careworn

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT AURUM D’ANGHKHOR: Kafkaseque, Take One Thing Off

Irisoir

WHAT I SMELL:  When Irisoir first goes on my skin it feels as if it’s devouring me with its warm and buttery floral cream.  The perfume feels like the most exquisite elixir worthy of any princess or queen.  I can envision a small bowl of this pure heaven being rubbed all over the living deity.  I’m not going to try to pick apart the notes of this magnificent beauty because doing so would be futile and would not provide any justice to it.  Suffice it to say, this perfume has bewitched me.  When I think of iris, I tend to think “cool” and “aloof.”  Here, mixed with other florals it’s warm and caressing.  As the perfume continues to develop it begins to dry and the buttery opening moves to a more deep and radiant amber and sandalwood.  There’s also a slight medicinal smell, which may be the mimosa.  But don’t worry, this is one medicine you will have no problem taking.  Beyond gorgeous.

Top Notes: Iris absolute, violet absolute, heliotrope, lilac, mimosa, peach,

Middle Notes: Orris Pallida butter, carnation absolute, Jasmine grandiflorum absolute, Persian rose Otto, violet leaf absolute,

Base Notes: White Ambergris, mimosa absolute,Tonka absolute, sandalwood Mysore, Cedar, Haitian Vetiver, Orris Pallida butter

Irisoir is my ode, my homage to iris of the yesteryear, from my favourite period of European art and culture… La Belle Epoque.

From the outset, one is greeted with the rooty notes of the finest Florentine iris and violet. Slowly revealing a honeyed fruity woody core with a deft touch of spice, just to tease ones senses with something extraordinary rather than the mundane and lacklustre examples of this genre that one is accustomed to.

This is a composition that even took me by total surprise as it revealed countless facets of the usually shy and timid iris, and now you shall be able to experience them with me! Be prepared for a journey back in time…” – Sultan Pasha

moses-in-a-basket-by-konstanti-f-02015_02_04_23_03_08-0WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Irisoir is less Belle Epoque to me, but instead it makes me think of when the pharaoh’s daughter found baby Moses in the bulrushes.  She is beautiful, warm and comforting, yet very regal and royal.  The sun and earth shine brightly on the baby Moses and the royal princess.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE IRISOIR:  ancient, majestic, other-wordly

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT IRISOIR:  None to be found.

BOTTOM LINE:  It’s clear that Sultan Pasha has an incredible gift for perfumery.  These creations are beyond spectacular and solidify my thoughts on perfumery as an art form.  As these are attars, a little goes a long way, but the way these beauties unfold is a magnificent experience and one that I can say that I was lucky enough to witness.  Beyond the two perfumes, some of my other favorites in the collection are Thebes 1 and Encens Chypre.  Trust me, there’s something for everyone in this collection.


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Berdoues Oud Wa Ward

oud-wa-ward-500x500WHAT I SMELL:  Oud Wa Ward jumps out of the bottle with a sweetened patchouli and luscious bold and juicy red rose with a soured and lightly biting oud.  There’s a bit of a metallic edge to the perfume, but overall it is what it promises to be… a rose oud perfume…well, maybe add just a hint of incense to the mix.   After quite some time, the sweetness begins to dissipate and a lovely understated woodiness takes over making the perfume a bit more grounded.  But what used to be bright and free-spirited in the beginning after 30 minutes turns to the more serious and the perfume gets bigger, bolder with the honeyed, smoky and slightly dirty oud now fully in charge. But overall, Oud Wa Ward delivers a nice rose oud and patchouli sweetened fragrance that’s not too heavy, but with just enough sexy and exotic to make this a fun and easy wear.

Fragrance Notes:  Patchouli, Turkish Red Rose, Oud

Skateboarding Shia LeBeouf - pic: Just Jared

Skateboarding Shia LeBeouf – pic: Just Jared

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A smooth, easy and rather sexy perfume that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE OUD WA WARD:  sweetened wood, kickin, fun

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT OUD WA WARD: None to be found.

BOTTOM LINE:  Oud Wa Ward takes you on quite the ride although it doesn’t do it in short sprints; instead it really takes it time.  The perfume starts off fun and carefree, but in the end you’re left with something that’s much more serious and a little bit dangerous, but still incredibly beautiful.  This is a perfume that begs to be challenged with a cool attitude.  Oud Wa Ward is a hip perfume at a reasonable price to boot.  What’s not to love?

  • Bone Rating:  3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Woody Oriental
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $140 for 100 ml eau de parfum