The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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Van Cleef & Arpels Bois d’Iris

Image result for bois d'irisWHAT I SMELL:  Bois d’Iris is oh so inviting when it first goes on the skin.  It’s like soft iris infused cashmere that’s lightly sweetened and tinged with sun.  The perfume feels like a late spring morning where the dew of the evening before has just evaporated off the flowers and greenery of a beautiful garden.  The iris is very contained, but nicely warmed with the lightest amber that helps to give the perfume a golden hue of radiance.  After some time, the iris retreats to make way for a buzzing labdanum.  Still golden, the perfume moves from floral to almost entirely wood.  Eventually, the perfume moves to the powdery and it becomes slightly sweeter , but the sweetness is kept contained by a dried woody vetiver.  Overall, a very easy wear.

To smell wood, to see its scent from a totally different angle, forget the idea of the forest, leaves and earth , and picture it on a beach, floating in waves, and washing up on the sand.  Driftwood warmed by the sun.  I paired it with Ambergris and Labdanaum to underscore the solar and sensual dimension of this wood.  Iris and Vetiver bring out the texture and elegance of this fragrance.

– Emilie Coppermann

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: Beach bonnet.  It’s a lightly sweet floral wood tinged with the sun, with a salty woodiness that is pretty, yet elegant and refined.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE BOIS d’IRIS: clean, tidy, proper

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT BOIS d’IRIS:  Now Smell This, The Non-Blonde, Perfume-Smellin’ Things

BOTTOM LINE:   Bois d’Iris is sweet, pretty, rather demure, and fun in a 1950’s kind of way.  A perfect perfume for wearing at the office, or a fun day out on the town.

  • Bone Rating:  3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral Woody
  • Nose: Emilie Coppermann
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $125 for 1.5 oz eau de parfum


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Russkaya Kozha by Berdoues

WHAT I SMELL:  Russkaya Kozha has a discordant and biting opening that quickly moves to a flattened wood tinged with leather and oud.  There’s a sour edge and a pungent aspect, like worn leather pants that have absorbed the dirt and sweat from the wearer.  The perfume is beefy without being weighted, but it does have presence.  After a few minutes, the funky opening starts to sweeten and a wonderful radiating amber and benzoin ride above the now rough hewed sueded leather.  There’s a slight booziness that meets the mix and what was a bit rough and tumble at the beginning is now confidently sophisticated.  It also seems like there may be a light rose note buried under the leather, but I’m not seeing that listed as one of the notes.  The perfume settles down into a warmed smoky leather that is masculine without being overt but is still clearly in charge.  Instead, it projects confidence in a wonderful grandeur that is born from the majestic heart of Mother Russia.

From the Berdoues website:

An elegant leather perfume.

All the sophistication of Russia captured in a glass bottle. A blend of the noblest raw materials, Russkaya Kozha develops into an intense, mysterious perfume through the combination of Cade wood from Spain, Siam Benzoin from Malaysia and Cardamom from Guatemala.

Russkaya Kozha is a leathery, amber perfume that bares eternal Russia’s soul through the blend of Cade wood and an elegant accord of Benzoin from Malaysia and Cardamom from Guatemala.  An elegant and sophisticated Grand Cru.

Prince Alexander Konstantinovich Gorchakov

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A perfume fit for a Russian Prince.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE RUSSKAYA KOZHA:  secure, cultivated, resolute

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT RUSSKAYA KOZHA:  Colognoisseur, The Perfume Expert

BOTTOM LINE:  Russkaya Kozha is a lovely leather perfume that feels refined, yet still embodies the rough edges that come with the harsh environments of the Russian landscape.  This is a really nice leather perfume that doesn’t overwhelm the wearer and as a cologne, this has incredible lasting power.

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Leather
  • Nose: Flavien Laurandeau
  • Classification: Leans masculine, but easily unisex
  • Expense: $80 for 100 ml eau de cologne


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Les Parfums Louis Vuitton

I have to admit that I neglect getting to the local shops to check out new releases as I am probably the furthest from somebody who loves to go shopping…especially at the mall.  But we had to head to the local Galleria (the local posh mall) this past weekend.  While there, I was really curious to check out the Les Parfums Louis Vuitton collection that was released last year.  Not surprisingly, the display at the store was understated and luxurious and the bottles were simple and chic (and graced with some hefty weight).  What I loved most was a coffret set of all 7 of the perfumes in 10 ml bottles.  It was cute, and again, packaged perfectly.  The sales associate was as gracious and accommodating with my many questions and when I asked if I could get samples, stepped away and then returned with a small bag filled with the complete set.  In the next couple of days, I went through all of the line and made the following determination…

the collection is nice, but nothing more.  I really wanted to love each and every one of these, but all of them seemed to have been conceived in a laboratory with a void of any emotion; they just exist.  I know, perfumes are meant to smell pretty…but these just lack any depth.  Now, don’t get me wrong, they are pleasant enough, but I was expecting the finest, finished, smooth creations, like the most luxurious Louis Vuitton bag…instead I got a no name brand bag from Macy’s.

It’s hard writing about perfumes that you don’t love…but I will say that my favorite out of the bunch (and that’s not saying much) is Matière Noire, a woody rose combination that opens with a lovely blackcurrent note but which fades to a pleasant, but nondescript sweetened patchouli.  From the Louis Vuitton website:

A blend of dark wood and white flowers ventures into a world of mystery.  Exploring the universe is the ultimate travel fantasy and most thrilling adventure. Matière Noire plumbs intangible depths with a journey through the darkest, most precious woods, namely patchouli and Laos agarwood. The agarwood’s animal notes are intensified by blackcurrant and contrasted with the whiteness of narcissus and jasmine, a floral vibration that cuts the darkness like a comet. Plumes of sacred notes unfurl on the skin. The disruption is total, almost mystical.

My second choice would be Turbulences, an earthy and big and bold tuberose perfume that gets taken over by a musky jasmine that quickly fades away.  From the Louis Vuitton website:

An extreme tuberose to stir the heart.  Discovering faraway lands can sometimes feel like soaring among the clouds. Inspired by a feeling akin to love at first sight, the perfume Turbulences pays tribute to the most narcotic of flowers: the tuberose. Here, it fuses with the most precious petals of jasmine. A light touch of leather, and you swoon. Intensely. Deliciously.

Overall, I would give the collection a 3 bone rating.  Nothing bad, but nothing great.  The perfumes, for a rather hefty price, seem to fade rather quickly.  Overall, this was a big disappointment to me as there was so much promise with the launch of this collection.

You can learn about the full collection at the Louis Vuitton website.  Each perfume costs $240 for 100 ml eau de parfum.  The cute coffret set is $290.

What others are saying about the Les Parfums Louis Vuitton collection:  Perfume Posse, Kafkaesque