The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


Tom of Finland by Etat Libre d’Orange

Yesterday was my partner’s birthday and I gave him a present of Tom of Finland Eau de Parfum.  This was a fun gift.  For those in the know, Touko Laaksonen, better known as Tom of Finland, created erotic illustrations primarily revolving around gay leather and hyper-masculine men.  I think that it’s ironic that this caricature of masculinity has been turned into an Eau de Parfum, but that’s part of the fun with Etat Libre d’Orange.  So one would expect a rough and tumble scent based on the inspiration.   What you get instead is a lovely, sweet and soothing suede composition.

The first thing you notice is that in the bottle, Tom of Finland is a very bright and artificial orange color.  I wonder if this is a new formulation since all ads show a clear composition.  Upon application, you immediately smell burnt rubber, pine and lemon.  The pine and lemon quickly dissipate and you are left with the rubber and an introduction of leather.  At this point, it’s a bit harsh and you wonder where besides a smoky dive bar you would wear this.  However, as the dry down occurs, the leather turns to suede, with vanilla and a touch of powder.  It turns out to be rather sweet and intoxicating and surprisingly luxurious.  Now, I’m not a fan of leather scents, but this is a fragrance that I would wear.

From the Etat Libre d’Orange website:

This is a fresh, pure water that can wash away the sins of the night. Clothing becomes merely ornamental, an insignificant wrapping paper that only serves to cloak the true erotic power of the flesh. This is a man who wants to play, to love, to ravish, and to be free of all inhibitions. Tom is sex.

Tom of Finland Notes:

Aldehydes, lemon, birch leaves, pine, safraleine, pepper, cypress, galbanum, geranium, vanilla, tonka bean, orris, vetiver, pyrogened styrax, suede, musk, ambergray…

  • Bone Rating: 4 out of 5 possible bones
  • Classification: Masculine
  • Expense: $80 for 50ml EDP


Cuir Ottoman by Parfum d’ Empire

I thought it was timely that I do a review of Cuir Ottoman by Parfum de Empire as I have read some interesting reviews as of late and just received a sample myself.  Now my preferences don’t lean towards the leather scents, but I have learned to be open to new avenues of fragrances.  So after reading what others thought about this fragrance, I decided to give this a try.  The first thing that I found when I applied this was a lovely floral note, mixed with what I found to be almost a rubber or plastic smell.  Is that the leather trying to come out?  Yes.  The rubber smell dissipated quickly and the leather made its presence.  Now this is not leather that is harsh or strong, but is more of a buttery, suede leather.  The mix of floral and leather is very interesting and quite refreshing.  This is a scent that stays close to the skin and is surprisingly light, a little sweet and clean and airy.  Cuir Ottoman is quite different from what I think of a typical leather scent.  As nice as I found this scent to be, my one disappointment was that it disappeared on me after a few hours.  In the end, I found Cuir Ottoman to be an elegant surprise.  For those of you who love leather scents, I recommend giving this a try.

Cuir Ottoman Notes:

jasmine, leather, iris, benzoin, balsams, resins, incense

  • Bone Rating:   4 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent:  Iris and Leather Oriental
  • Classification:  Unisex
  • Expense:   $75 for 50ml EDP