The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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Guerlain Lui

WHAT I SMELL:  Lui opens with a warm, lightly spiced benzoin that’s deeply sensuous and lightly tar like, but without the heavy weight.  Soon enough, a buzzing carnation makes an entrance in the quietest of ways.  And then, a nutmeg and clove spice begins to take shape after a short time adding just a bit of a bite.  The perfume is rather brooding in it’s spicy persona with a mix of benzoin, leather and vanilla spice carrying the perfume on its journey.  In the end, you’re left with a light smoky dry haze of a perfume that hugs close to the skin.

From the Guerlain website:

Feminine. Masculine. Why choose? LUI is a fragrance that likes to blur the boundaries. Not entirely feminine, nor truly masculine, it is both at once. Inspired by a generation that is breaking free from gender norms, Guerlain had the idea of an unmistakably universal fragrance.

Its ambiguous fragrance trail is based on benzoin: floral, spicy and woody in turn, this resin is revealed in all of its complexity as the composition created by perfumer Delphine Jelk unfolds. Fused with powdery and spicy carnation accents, they form an equally unexpected and harmonious blend.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:   Autumn in Paris.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE LUI:  reserved, contemplative, semi-spicy

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT LUI:  The Black Narcissus, Colognoisseur

BOTTOM LINE:  I love Guerlain perfumes, but I don’t love Lui.  Truly a fall and winter perfume, the nutty-ish spice almost reminds me of the season’s tragic “pumpkin spice” phenomena.  And weirdly, Lui doesn’t make me feel any emotion as I wear it.  Instead, it just rather bores me.

  • Bone Rating:  2.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Spicy Woody Floral
  • Nose:  Delphine Jelk
  • Classification:  Unisex
  • Expense:  $185 for 50 ml eau de parfum


4 Comments

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


5 Comments

Roja Parfums Scandal Pour Homme Parfum Cologne

WHAT I SMELL:   Scandal Pour Homme Parfum Cologne isn’t quite scandalous as it opens, but it is rather uplifting with zesty bergamot, lemon and lavender with a perfect touch of spearmint.  Instead of being infused with juice, the perfume enters with a dryness that reminds me of an application of talc.  From first spritz, Scandal is a refined masculine scent and its herbal sweetness is incredibly magnetic.  As the perfume continues to develop, the dryness begins to lessen in order to allow for the most delicate of florals to begin to grace the skin.  Here, the mix of florals, with a quiet violet and rose being most prominent, make the perfume a bit brighter and more lighthearted.  Continuing on its journey, a woody vetiver rises to take its place at the heart of the perfume.  After some time, the perfume warms with a wonderful tonka bean and becomes ever so lightly sweet and sour.  Scandal is a traditional fougère with just the right amount of “twist.”

“When a scandal hits, heads turn and secrets unravel. Everything is exposed as barriers are pushed and limits are tested. You either hide, or embrace it. A true head-turner, Scandal opens with an exciting burst of Lemon, Spearmint and Lavender, which flirts with an unusual Rhubarb note spread across a rich and sensual bed woven around the indulgent nuances of Tonka Bean. Tempted to do something which causes a scandal, it ensures you are talked about.” – Roja Dove.

Scandal Olfactory Description:  Basil, Spearmint, Lavender, and Tarragon add their pronounced aromatic freshness to a medley of Bergamot, Lemon, and Petitgrain, then given touches of sweetness from a mix of Jasmine, Violet, Rose, and Lily of the Valley, warmed by Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Casmir Wood, Cardamom, Nutmeg, and Clove, held captive by Vetiver, Patchouli, and Mosses, with an unusual note of Rhubarb, on a sensual base of Ambergris, Musk, leather-like Labdanum, and Tonka Bean.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Alain Delon in ‘Plein Soleil’ (Purple Noon) 1960…rakishly handsome.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE SCANDAL:  refined, self-assured, polished

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT SCANDAL:  CaFleureBon

BOTTOM LINE:  Roja Dove has mastered the quiet development in perfumes where the mix of ingredients unfolds in a graceful and easy way, and Scandal is no exception.  Roja Parfums has created the Parfum Cologne collection of five men’s fragrances with Scandal and Danger being the stars in my estimation, but all are fantastic in their own way.  Scandal is perfect in its modern nod to a vintage past.

  • Bone Rating: 4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Fougère
  • Nose:  Roja Dove
  • Classification: Masculine
  • Expense:  $290 for 100 ml parfum cologne