The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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Vintage Habanita by Molinard

habanita1WHAT I SMELL:  Habanita has a dramatic opening that is glowingly sweetened, with a blast of fruit followed quickly by a warming floral mix that is highlighted by lilac and rose.  The perfume is so deliciously inviting as it seems to envelops the wearer.  Habanita has a sweet edge to it, but it’s not a perfume that I would categorize as sweet.  Maybe because as it develops the dryness of the oakmoss, the fresh tobacco and sheen of leather tone down the higher pitched notes.  As the perfume settles down, the various notes even out creating this incredible balance between the spice, florals and woody notes.  Habanita is sexy without being dangerous, but it draws you in making you want more.

From the Molinard website:

1921 – Habanita was born in the exuberance of the Roaring Twenties. With trailblazing spirit, Molinard revolutionized perfume codes, creating the first women’s Oriental fragrance featuring vetiver, an essence hitherto reserved for men. From perfume extract to the essence of the femme fatale, Habanita’s innovative style was eagerly embraced by the garçonnes-  France’s flappers – and soon became Molinard’s runaway success and an icon in the history of French perfume.

Top notes are orange blossom, raspberry, peach and bergamot; middle notes are lilac, orris root, jasmine, heliotrope, ylang-ylang and rose; base notes are leather, amber, musk, benzoin, vanilla, oakmoss and cedar.

cyd168WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Cyd Charisse

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE HABANITA:  whirling, energetic, dynamic

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT HABANITA:  Fragrance Daily, Yesterday’s Perfume, Grain de Musc

BOTTOM LINE:  Habanita is one of a kind.  It’s the kind of perfume that I crave.  Unique, beautiful, radiant…I can’t imagine not owning a bottle.

  • Bone Rating:  5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Oriental
  • Classification: To me this is perfectly unisex
  • Expense: Review based on the vintage parfum extrait version.  Prices vary on eBay, etc.


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VINTAGE REVIEW: PARURE by GUERLAIN

ParureWHAT I SMELL:  Parure starts off deep and when first sniffed it hits the back of your throat with an initial blast of heavy plum with a layer of bergamot on top.  It’s somewhat medicinal and rather antiseptic, like what you expect a cleaning product for a doctor’s office would smell like.  After a few more minutes it becomes almost lemony and fizzy and it begins to grow larger in its projection. To me, it’s very warm and cool at the same time as the green keeps it cool, but the rose and amber keep it warmed on the bottom.  After around 15 minutes the fragrance loses the coolness and the oakmoss comes to the surface drying out the scent with it’s familiar woody powder.  Add that to a very noticable, but sudued rose and that’s very pretty and a bit spicy.  Funny, after around 30 minutes or so, the warm base begins to retreat but the fragrance retains the floral spiciness.  In the end, it’s a very calming and pretty floral chypre that is not too dry.  Wait!!!  After around almost 1.5 hours the oakmoss really dries the fragrance out, but no worries, it’s still pretty and rather proper.   Parure is perfect for the coming spring as I don’t really see that as a winter fragrance.

Parure Notes from Fragrantica:  plum, bergamot, green notes; lily of the valley, rose, iris, lilac, jasmine, narcissus; and oak moss, spices, amber, rose and patchouli in the base.

red-rose-in-the-breezeWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A pretty spring day, where there’s a dry breeze flowing through the flowers.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE PARURE: calming, pretty, reserved

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT PARURE: Yesterday’ Perfume, Eiderdown PressPerfume Shrine

BOTTOM LINE:  I have read so much about this discontinued Guerlain treasure and since I love my chypres I had to seek it out.  I’m not disappointed as I love the fact that it’s not an uber chypre, but instead it is wonderfully subdued.  Why did they discontinue it?  Who knows, but I’m glad I got my hands on some.  Now all I need to do is to find some of the parfum extrait!

  • Bone Rating: 4 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent: Chypre Fruity
  • Classification: Leans feminine
  • Expense: Varied through eBay and other sources.  Review is based on the Eau de Toilette version.