The Scented Hound

Perfume blog with abbreviated perfume reviews & fragrance reviews.


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Tom Ford Ébène Fumé

WHAT I SMELL: Ébène Fumé opens with a soft woody smokiness tinged with labdanum and leather.  It’s calming, serene and wonderfully subtle. As the perfume develops, the incense loses a bit of its sharpness and a smooth and slightly creamy cistus enters.  At this point, the perfume feels like a sheath of light leather is embracing your skin.  Hints of florals help to make the creation more rounded which helps to keep it from becoming too smoky.  Beyond that, the perfume doesn’t develop much except for the addition of a lightly sweetened guaiac woody note.  Ébène Fumé isn’t a game changing perfume, but it’s perfect for those times when you are looking for quiet reflection.

From the Tom Ford website:

ÉBÈNE FUMÉ MERGES THE PURIFYING ESSENCE OF PALO SANTO WITH NOTES OF SEDUCTIVE EBONY WOOD, AROUSING EXQUISITE CALM AND HEIGHTENED SPIRITUAL LUXURY.

ÉBÈNE FUMÉ CONJURES TRANSCENDENT SPIRITUAL CALM THROUGH THE MYSTICAL ESSENCE OF PALO SANTO SMOKE – STOKED BY THE WARM ELEGANCE OF CISTUS ABSOLUTE, ROSES, AND SEDUCTIVE NOTES OF EBONY WOOD, CAPTURED IN SLEEK, SUBLIME NOTES OF LEATHER.

Top notes are Incense, Palo Santo, Black Pepper and Violet Leaf; middle notes are Leather, Labdanum, Cade oil, Papyrus and Rose; base notes are resins, ebony tree and Guaiac Wood.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Old leather bound books which have been stored in a church rectory for hundreds of years.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE ÉBÈNE FUMÉ:  serene, calming, contented

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT ÉBÈNE FUMÉ:  CaFleureBon, Temptalia

BOTTOM LINE:  It is Memorial Day today in the United States.  A day that is for remembering and honoring those who have served the country since its inception.  I thought that this calming perfume would be the perfect scent to pay tribute to those who came before us and to pray for peace around the world during these trying times.  No, perfume can’t create world peace, but if anything, it can help to soothe our souls.

  • Bone Rating: 3 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Amber Woody
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $270 for 50ml eau de parfum


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Bleu Abysse – Les Parfums de Rosine

WHAT I SMELL:  Bleu Abysse opens with a salty bergamot warmed by the sun which is quickly met with a more mineral accord that is punctuated with an inviting rounded rose.  The combination of the rose and the salty mineral facets are quite interesting and I can’t say that I have ever experienced this in a perfume before.  However, as it continues to develop I realize that at this stage the perfume is much more akin to mineral salts for the bath.  And as soon as I make that connection, I wonder if that is how I would like to smell when I leave the house.  As the perfume continues to develop, Bleu Abysse seems to head out to the sea.  The brief introduction of the rose makes way for a more intense mineral sea sensation with the addition of vetiver and seaweed and a hint of oud adds a layer of sour to the mixture which seems to dull the minerals a bit.  Thankfully, a bit of sweetened patchouli helps to pull the perfume back to the shore making it a bit more approachable.  Unfortunately, shortly after a metallic note seems to sweep in bringing in an unwelcomed bite.  But apparently that made way for an evened mix of patchouli, vetiver with a light incense that is actually quite beautiful in a very serene way.  Too bad that doesn’t last all that long and in the end you’re left with salt and seaweed.

From the Les Parfums de Rosine website:

BLEU ABYSSE is a perfume of contrasting sensations: a deep, yet dry, marine-blue note. Inspired by the French rose, ‘Rosa Moschata’.

BLEU ABYSSE is a fresh fusion fragrance.

In creating BLEU ABYSSE, the young perfumer, Serge de Oliveira, sought to capture waves of euphoria that sweep over us when we are near the sea.

Top Notes – Bergamot, Elemi, Cassis; Heart Notes – Rose, Mineral accord; Base Notes – Oud, Patchouli, Vetiver, Seaweeds, Incense

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Salted seaweed.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE BLEU ABYSSE: salty, metallic, unique

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT BLEU ABYSSE: Chemist in the Bottle, Now Smell This

BOTTOM LINE:  I will readily admit that I am not a big fan of mineral or marine scents.  The sharpness makes me feel detached from these fragrances and it’s as if I’m wearing a “thing” vs. wearing an essence.  That said, there are some interesting twists and turns in the development of this perfume, but in the end I just get salty, sharpened seaweed.  Thankfully I live not too far from the ocean so that if I want to experience blue abyss, I can just head to the nearest beach for the real thing.

  • Bone Rating:  2.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Marine woody
  • Nose:  Serge de Oliveira
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: 150 Euros for 100 ml Eau de Parfum available from the Les Parfums de Rosine website


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Guerlain Insolence

WHAT I SMELL:  Insolence (eau de parfum) opens with an ambered violet that quickly begins to turn creamy.  It’s slightly thickened and very pretty without being soft and demure.  Soon after, a more rounded vanilla and berry note comes forward and is added to the creamy concoction which feels like it would make for the perfect body lotion.  After a short time, the vanilla helps to move the perfume to the sweetened side which is a combination of candied and floral sweetness.  Here, the perfume really begins to radiate and grow in strength.  The addition of a sandalwood note helps to bring the sweetness down to earth while creating a wrap of warmth around the florals.  In the end, the perfume settles with a lightly sweet powdered vanilla’d violet resting on a subtle base of sandalwood.  Insolence is a “nice” perfume.

From the Guerlain website:

This fruity floral fragrance highlights an unprecedented powdery duo of violet and iris, given a modern edge by a dash of berries.

The Eau de Parfum Insolence showcases an overdosed, high-voltage violet: a triumphant violet that registers at the opposite end of the spectrum from the shy whisper usually used to treat this flower in half-shades and shadows. This dazzling violet rubs shoulders with a timeless, chic and feminine iris.

Top note is Violet; middle notes are Wild Strawberry and Orange Blossom; base notes are iris, Vanilla, Tonka Bean and Sandalwood.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:   A perfume that “Pat” would wear in the 1970s.  It’s not offensive, it’s lightly girlish, yet slightly mature and her husband thinks she smells “swell”.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE INSOLENCE:  sweetened, effective, pleasant-enough

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT INSOLENCE:  A Tea-Scented Library

BOTTOM LINE:  Insolence is a pleasant enough of a perfume.  But I’m not sure that it’s enough.  To me, it’s an everyday perfume that doesn’t feel like something that I would want to wear every day.  And that’s too bad because I love my Guerlain perfumes.  As I said earlier, Insolence is a “nice” perfume.

  • Bone Rating:  3 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Fruity Floral
  • Classification:  Feminine
  • Expense:  $135 for 75ml eau de parfum.