The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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Blondine by Frassaï

WHAT I SMELL:   Blondine graces the skin with a smooth buttery cream that’s deep without being heavy.  Unlike many breezy top notes, It feels like a base is being built for something amazing that is about to come.  And just as I suspected, soon enough the depths of the opening begin to lighten and a floral element appears.  There’s a dreamy quality that embodies the perfume and it seems to hover over you as if it’s part of your natural aura.  As the perfume continues to develop, the florals start to bloom until they’re front and center.  The exotic flowers feel as if they’ve just been plucked from the jungle, but they don’t have an overwhelming sweetness to them.  Instead, it feels like they have been ripening in the hot rainforest sun and have been dusted with the lightest of cocoa.  I have to admit that Blondine to me is a hard perfume to describe because it seems to continually morph as you wear it….sometimes more floral, sometimes a bit more gourmand and at times, a lovely musk. But in the end it’s easy for me to categorize it as incredibly unique and absolutely exquisite fragrance.  I love this perfume.

From the Frassaï website:

A seductive and playful fragrance crafted to intrigue the senses, inspired by the 1920’s French fairy tale. Innocent sensuality is revealed through notes of sacred Ashok flower, spicy Tiger Lily and the seductive allure of cocoa, salted butter caramel, and vanilla in a base of irresistible blond musks. 

A few notes: Salted Butter Caramel, Pear Leaves, Ashok flower, Cocoa, Blond Musks

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Hammock dreaming in a sun kissed jungle.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE BLONDINE:  dreamy, creamy, stunning

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT BLONDINE:  CaFleureBon, Colognoisseur, Undina’s Looking Glass

BOTTOM LINE:  Blondine is a perfume that is beautiful and easy to wear.  One reason it’s so wearable is because there’s an incredible depth to the perfume without it being weighty.  That’s great for someone like myself who lives in a hot and humid environment as Blondine blossoms on the skin in such a wonderfully graceful way.  What’s not to love?

  • Bone Rating:  5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Floral Musky Gourmand
  • Nose:  Yann Vasnier
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense:  $130 for 50 ml eau de parfum via the Frassaï website.


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Frost by St. Clair Scents

WHAT I SMELL:  Frost (not to be confused with cool weather, instead the perfume is named in homage to poet Robert Frost) is first warmed with a sun-filled bergamot and waxy herbal lemon and honeysuckle.  It’s so beautiful in its warmth and radiance that you can feel the sunshine bask off of your skin.  The opening is pure comfort and reassurance that all is right with the world.  After a few minutes the waxy and depth of warmth begins to lighten in mass, only to bring out a layer of incense that is incredibly subtle and which has an effect of a fire that’s off in the distance.  Then as that haze begins to soften, a cocoon of labdanum begins to rise from beneath, once again taking the perfume into an intoxicating warmth.

From the St. Clair Scents website:

An homage to the great New England poet, Robert Frost, whose summer writing cabin in the woods still stands a mere 25 miles from our farm.

Many of Frost’s poems are filled with olfactory imagery.

This scent follows the story of Frost’s poem, “To Earthward” which describes the transformation of youthful love, from “sweet like the petals of the rose” and “sprays of honeysuckle” to painful love, which stings like “bitter bark”, “burning clove” and “rough earth.”

This scent weaves together accords of clove and smoke; bitter woods and earth; sweet rose and rose geranium; sprays of honeysuckle and sparkling citrus.

  • Top Notes: Bergamot, Mandarin Yellow and Green, Coriander, Petitgrain sur fleur, Meyer Lemon
  • Middle Notes: Honeysuckle Accord, Rose Geranium, Elderflower Absolute, Petitgrain Absolute
  • Base Notes: Cistus, Labdanum Absolute, Vanilla Absolute, Vetiver , Cedar, Smoke, Clove Absolute

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  smoky serenity

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE FROST:  comforting, radiant, serene

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT FROST: I Scent You a Day, Now Smell This, Kafkaesque

BOTTOM LINE:  Perfumer Diane St. Clair has created an incredibly beautiful and serene scent that soothes the soul.  Frost is an intimate perfume that when you wear it, it feels like yours and yours alone.

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Nose:  Diane St. Clair
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense:  $65 for 13 ml via the St. Clair Scents website


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Joy Eau de Parfum by Jean Patou

WHAT I SMELL:    Joy (current version eau de parfum) is truly a joy when it first goes on the skin as it’s full of lush ylang-ylang and soapy white flowers and bright aldehydes.  It’s a clean smell and one that’s slightly metallic.  The florals are wrapped up in warmth, but at the same time there is a coolness or a bit of aloofness that makes the perfume proper and rather removed.  After some time, a light controlled rose blends with the metallic notes and the soapiness begins to dissipate.  As Joy continues its slow and deliberate path, a jasmine blends itself with the rose…but combined, they’re still very controlled and incredibly proper.  Joy doesn’t transform or morph very much, but in the end, the florals fade and soften a bit, and what you’re left is a lightly warm breeze of light floral sandalwood musk.

From the Jean Patou website:

Created in 1930 at the height of the economic crisis. Joy, a sumptuous blend of roses and jasmine, is the antidote to gloom. Conceived as a perfume to reveal the essence of femininity of every woman, “Joy” is a timeless fragrance, the signature of the house Jean Patou.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Floral steel.  A bit soft, yet rather hard.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE JOY:  controlled, reserved, distant

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT JOY: There are many reviews on Joy, but I haven’t found any on the current eau de parfum version.

BOTTOM LINE:  Joy is legendary as the pillar of the house of Jean Patou.  That said, I can’t honestly say that I don’t know anyone who continues to wear the perfume.  Classics don’t always transfer well to the modern age and to me, Joy is a bit too removed in its personality.  However, I’ll admit that I have a vintage bottle of the eau de cologne version from the 1970s.  It’s clearly Joy, but it’s a much lighter wear as the florals aren’t tinged with the metallic edge and it’s just so much easier to like (but not love as it still leaves me a bit cold).

  • Bone Rating:  3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral
  • Nose:  Henri Almeras
  • Classification: Feminine
  • Expense:  Varies