The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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New Release: Mona di Orio Dõjima

WHAT I SMELL:  Dõjima has a soft and subtle opening which quickly gives rise to a warm and milky rice and a nutty amber.  The perfume is quiet and contained and it seems to possess a zen like reverence.   While the miky rice note remains as it develops, the amber takes on more a floral hue.  And the florals seem to float above the milkiness as if they are dancing lightly atop a ripple on a quiet pond.  The remaining nutty amber seems to flicker in and out which makes the perfume lightly gourmand with hints of green tea.  Dõjima is slow to transform, but being true to the serenity of the fragrance, its gentle unfolding is like a quiet journey for the soul.

From the Mona di Orio website:

The name derives from the Dōjima Rice Exchange founded by Samurai in 1697 in Osaka, Japan. Let us travel back to this moment in time, have the beauty and serenity of a single rice grain work as your seductive armor.

Dõjima turns to powder as it combines with the warmth of the skin and a cloud of rice powder surrounded by jasmin and orris radiates through the day. The soft texture of rice is lifted by a warm powdered amber speckled with dry spices and woods on a creamy musk base.

Rice Accord, nutmeg absolue, ambrette, jasmin, orris, clary sage absolute, labdanum CO2, sandalwood and precious musks.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Lotus flowers scattered amongst the rice fields.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE DÕJIMA:  quiet, serene, balanced

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT DÕJIMA:  CaFleureBon, Colognoisseur

BOTTOM LINE:  I am a big fan of perfumer Fredrik Dalman, his Mona di Orio debut Bohea Boheme was one of my picks for new releases of last year.  Like Bohea Boheme, Dõjima quietly unfolds the mysteries of the east.  There is nothing brash, nor hard about this gem, but like a jewel, its beauty sparkles with a reverent dignity.

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral Woody Musk
  • Nose: Fredrik Dalman
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense:  $200 for 75 ml eau de parfum


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New Release: Arielle Shoshana Eau de Parfum

What’s the next thing you do after you’ve opened the first perfume shop dedicated to niche perfumery in the Washington DC area?  Well, if you’re the petite dynamo, Ari Weinberg, proprieter of Arielle Shoshana, you team up with perfumer Cécile Hua to create your very own branded perfume.

WHAT I SMELL:  Arielle Shoshana opens with a blend of zesty, fresh grapefruit and ripe passion fruit.   It’s citrusy (is that a word??), completely refreshing and applying it gives you the sensation as if you sprayed the most delightful summer cocktail on your skin.  After a bit, the initial zing of the perfume settles down, but the tangy and slightly sour fruity and citrus aspects still remain, as if the sun has evaporated the cool juice off of your skin.  At the same time, a very interesting cardamon note lurks underneath, giving it a more mysterious feel…almost as if the tangy and juicy passion fruit holds a bit of poison.  A dulled rhubarb note then arrives along with a slight soured sandalwood which gives the perfume a dimension of carnality.  In the end, the perfume quiets, but leaves and indelible wake of fruited passion.

From the Arielle Shoshana website:

Perfumer Cécile Hua used a proprietary CO2 extraction technique to create the first natural passion fruit extract in perfumery history. Cécile’s gorgeous passion fruit material was already practically a perfume in itself, but the unexpected tang of saffron elevates Arielle Shoshana Eau de Parfum into a fragrance worthy of the Arielle Shoshana mission statement: “fragrances as interesting as you are.” Sandalwood, ambroxan, and vanilla give the drydown fullness and warmth. 

Notes: Passion Fruit, Grapefruit, Rhubarb, Mandarin, Peach, Saffron, Pink Pepper, Cardamom, Magnolia, Sandalwood, Ambroxan, Vanilla, Vetiver Bourbon, Iris, Musk

Forbidden Fruit Dinner Party by Chris Antemann

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Forbidden fruit.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ARIELLE SHOSHANA EAU DE PARFUM:  zesty, refreshing, naughty

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT ARIELLE SHOSHANA EAU DE PARFUM: Now Smell This, Colognoisseur

BOTTOM LINE:  Ari and Cécile have created a wonderful perfume as an initial launch for this brand.  It’s the perfect antidote for the hot summer months.  And even better, the perfume could have been a simple take on citrus and passion fruit, but instead there’s an added depth making it more interesting than a summer splash.  I have no doubt that this will be the debut perfume in the Arielle Shoshana line….with, many, many more to come.

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral Fruity
  • Nose: Cécile Hua
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $125 for 3.4 oz. eau de parfum via Arielle Shoshana.


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Vintage Guerlain L’Heure Bleue

WHAT I SMELL:  This particular vintage L’Heure Bleue (why do I say it that way?  you’ll see below) eau de toilette opens with a bright and sweet bergamot and spicy anise which first goes on cool to the touch, but then warms considerably and quickly.  It smells mysterious and serious and rather mature and slightly medicinal.  This is not your Britney Spears of perfumes, but is a perfume that instead dazzles and sings with wisdom and grace.  There’s not a great deal of development as the perfume settles in to reside in a floral meld with a spicy carnation and tuberose center that is dusted with a violet powder that wraps the perfume in mysterious wisdom.

The top notes are opening with spicy-sweet aniseed and fresh bergamot that gently lead to the heart of rose, carnation, tuberose, violet, and neroli. The soft and powdery floral notes are resting on a base of vanilla, Tonka bean, iris and benzoin.

Blue silk floral applique gown by Valentino.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: A romantic blue silk evening gown.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE L’HEURE BLEUE:  mild, measured, solemn

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT L’HEURE BLEUE: Kafkasesque, Bois de Jasmin, Monsieur Guerlain

BOTTOM LINE:  The review above it based on a 1980s sample received from the wonderful Undina.  It’s bright, yet serious and very powdery.. and I love it.  I recently found a 1980s unopened EdT bottle on eBay for next to nothing.  The bright top notes seemed to have faded away and unlike the version I’m writing about, it’s pretty, but much darker has much more rounded florals.  It’s nice, but it doesn’t carry the fresh feel like the sample I reviewed.  Then a couple of weeks ago I was in an antique store and found this massive Bacarrat bottle (200 ml?) of extrait from the 1930s/40s.  There was a sale at the store and I got the 1/2 filled perfume bottle for a great price.  The stopper was stuck and thanks to Mr. Freezer, I was able to dive into this treasure.  Again, after all these years, the top notes have faded, but the heart is glorious, deep, rich and very serious.  So three different versions and 3 very different perfumes.  I have to say that the light and pretty 1980s version is a dream and probably my favorite of the three.  But overall, none of the versions project on my skin.  Maybe it’s me that’s the problem?

IMG_0799This story just keeps getting longer…so about a week after I started writing the above, I felt compelled to purchase a bottle of the current version in the eau de parfum formula.  A great price added with a coupon I couldn’t refuse right?  Actually, I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to like it… but to my surprise I adore it.  It’s not quite as sunny as the vintage Undina sample, but it’s lighter and sweeter than my vintage EdT and parfum.  There’s a little incense in it and a little powder as it’s completely understated.  But what it defined for me, is that no matter what formula the perfume is in…my skin just eats it up and that means it has a pretty short lifespan on me.  That’s unusual for me, but I’m OK with it because I love to slather myself in any and all versions.   BTW, the new EdP layered with my old vintage EdT is divine!

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Oriental Floral
  • Nose: Jacques Guerlain
  • Classification: Marketed as feminine but to me it’s very unisex
  • Expense: Prices vary for vintage versions, but the current EdP can be purchased for as low as $60 for 100 ml.