The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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George Sand by Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier

The weather today was actually decent today, so after going for a long walk and then tending to the yard, we took out the convertible and headed into Washington DC.  Every now and then I lament the fact that when we moved to this area we purchased a house in Virginia instead of the District of Columbia.  DC is progressive and liberal.  Virginia is conservative and Southern.  We may only live 3 miles to DC, but the laws and politics are diametrically different.  In any case, I wanted to go check out some townhomes in the upper NW side of the city.  The townhomes are right off Rock Creek Parkway so it seems that you are in the country in the middle of the city.  In fact, when we were at one of the open houses, we walked out to the car only to be greeted by 4 deer grazing across the street.  So these townhomes were built in the 1970s and were designed for entertaining and adults in mind. Beautiful neighborhood, beautiful home that needed a little updating.  But I could imagine the wonderful parties and entertaining one could do.  Which leads me to George Sand by  Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier.  It was the perfect fragrance to wear for such elegant surroundings.

WHAT I SMELL:  George Sand opens with a flash of lemon and bergemot, but you can’t barely blink before the patchouli comes out with the amber.  Whenever I see patchouli as a note in a fragrance, I typically will go running.  I have learned however, that patchouli doesn’t always mean hippieish.  This is definitely one of those cases in which the patchouli and the warm amber and musk meld to make for an incredibly warm and luxurious and boldly feminine fragrance without being girly-girl.  George Sand is a fragrance that changes with your body temperature, one minute seemingly strong and musky, the other vaporishly spicy.  I also find that this fragrance hugs close to the skin and with dabbing on it seems average in sillage.  But I have the feeling that if this were to be sprayed on the sillage would be substantial.

George Sand Notes:  lemon, bergamot, patchouli, rose, amber, musk, Mysore sandalwood, spices

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  This fragrance is a limited edition as part of Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier’s collection of fragrances dedicated to remarkable and influential French people, who marked the 19th century with their high class scandals.  George Sand was an aristocratic writer who had a penchant for speaking her mind and wearing men’s clothes.  Very much a woman ahead of her time.  The funny thing is, I find this fragrance incredibly elegant and very proper. George Sand should be worn at the opera and at the ball in full gown attire.  What drew me to this fragrance is that I thought it would be a bit masculine; it’s not, but I can see men wearing it easily.  I really love this fragrance and could see myself wearing this often.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE GEORGE SAND:  warm, elegant, haunting

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT GEORGE SAND: The Scented Salamander, Nero Profumo, Scenteur7

BOTTOM LINE:  I’m in love.  The more I wear this fragrance, the more I am enraptured by its incredible beauty.  Unfortunately I don’t believe my words give this fragrance justice.

  • Bone Rating: 5 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent: Oriental Woody
  • Classification: Feminine
  • Nose:  Nicolas de Barry
  • Expense: Approximately $120 for 70ml EdP


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Sunday Shopping Surprise

I love a good shopping surprise.  Even better when it’s right in your home town.  Yesterday, after doing my yard chores, me and my hubby went toddling off to Old Town Alexandria to do some window shopping and to get some unneeded gelato.  If you have never been to Old Town Alexandria, it’s right outside Washington DC and it’s cute, quaint, very historic (think George Washington lived here).  If you ever come to DC, you have to visit.

In any case, there is a store, Patrick’s Designs which I enjoy going into to look at all of the beautiful decorative items that I can’t afford.  They have furnishings, barware, tabletop, gifts, etc. that are very unique.  This is where I purchased my first Dr. Vranjes diffuser (I have been a faithful purchaser since).  I have noted that in the past, they have had a couple of niche perfumes in the shop, but they have recently expanded and added some more.  Some of the lines include: Juliet has a Gun, Montale, Costume National (I had never heard of this line before), Maître Parfumeur et Gantier, Fragonard, Manuel Canovas, Miller et Bertaux and others.  The owner said that they will be adding other lines in the near future (goody!).  Of course, it’s my job as a hometown boy to support local business I had to make sure that I bought something.  But first lets discuss what I didn’t buy and why:

  1. Miller et Bertaux’s Om:  I don’t know why, but the darker the juice, the more I am attracted to a fragrance.  Om is a deep amber-colored incense and vanilla scent.  Wonderfully spicy, rich and peppery…beautiful on paper and initially on me, then straight to a metallic sharpness that I wanted to scrub off.  Very disheartening.
  2. Fragonard’s Billet Doux:  OK, the scent itself is a light and pretty powdery carnation which is pleasant but maybe not so special.  It’s much more feminine than I would normally like… but look at the bottle!!!  It’s like a princess jewel.  Is it OK to buy perfume just for the bottle?  I may have to go back and try this again, the price wasn’t bad… but I really just want the bottle!

“I want to go to there” – Liz Lemon

OK, good sense prevailed and I ended up purchasing what others rave about for good reason, Maître Parfumeur et Gantier’s Ambre Precieux.

WHAT I SMELL:  Golden warm amber and vanilla.  Slightly spicy, smoky and buttery creaminess.  At times, it seems lightly soapy.  I find that this fragrance doesn’t morph as you wear it, but for an Eau de Toilette, Ambre Precieux has incredible depth, sillage and I find incredibly long-lasting.  I usually find that most ambers are better suited for the fall and winter.  Surprisingly, because of the vanilla sweetness (not too sweet mind you), this works just fine in the heat of summer.  Beautiful.

From the Maître Parfumeur et Gantier website:

All the splendour of the Orient is bottled in this perfume in which the much coveted amber unfolds its sensual and unique scent for us.
Accompanied by precious woods, balms and spices, Ambre Précieux is a true Eastern symphony.

Ambre Precieux Notes:  Top notes are myrrh and lavender; middle notes are nutmeg and vanilla; base notes are amber, tolu balsam and peru balsam.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  As I was sitting at my desk at work today I was trying to pinpoint what this scent smelled like to me.  As strange as this may sound, it reminds me of the late 70s and 80s and a doctor that I used to go to.  So what does that mean??!  This doctor was very tailored in his white smock, had impeccable grooming and was very much a gentleman.  To me, Ambre Precieux is understated elegance.  It’s the kind of fragrance that would linger comfortably on your favorite weekend tweed jacket as well as your tux.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE AMBRE PRECIEUX:  warm, refined, sophisticated

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT AMBRE PRECIEUX: Bois de Jasmin, I Smell Therefore I Am, Pour Monsieur

BOTTOM LINE:  I don’t know if this will ever replace my love for Serge Luten’s Ambre Sultan.  But to me Ambre Sultan is a fall/winter fragrance.  So in the meantime, Ambre Precieux is going to satisfy my amber fix until the leaves start falling.

  • Bone Rating: 5 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent: Oriental
  • Nose:  Jean-Francois Laporte
  • Classification: Unisex – leans masculine
  • Expense: Approximately $100 – $120 for 100ml EdT


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Chypre Palatin by Parfums MDCI

Last week I received six samples that I haven’t had a chance to start reviewing until today. Of course, that didn’t stop me from stealing a quick sniff of each fragrance when I first got the package.  The one scent that really stuck a nerve upon first sniff was Chypre Palatin by Parfums MDCI.  So when I reached into the package today… that was my first choice.

Chypre Palatin’s first offered up a rush of citrus and cedar and then quickly a warm amberish lavender and what seemed to be eucalyptus (but I’m not seeing eucalyptus in the notes?? hmmm).  The fragrance goes on very warm without being heavy and it’s very comforting.  In a little while the scent then moves to an even warmer almost floral setting.  It’s very peaceful and serene.  The kind of scent where you want to close your eyes and breath in its aromatherapeutic qualities.

As Chypre Palatin continues it’s drydown it moves into a very familiar what I would call barbershop phase.  It’s traditional and old world and masculine at this point.  But stop, don’t let me confuse you by thinking this fragrance is old-fashioned and masculine.  It’s not.  The opening and the dry down make it much more universal and modern.  In the end, Chypre Palatin quiets down to a nice oak moss and vanilla scent with just a touch of powder.  However, depending on what you’re doing, those middle warm aromatic notes will still come to surface as the day wears on.

Longevity is average as is the sillage.  Chypre Palatin is a lovely surprise that feels old and new world at the same time and I think would be perfect for men and women alike.

As I have issues with deciphering the notes from a fragrance with complicated compositions; just note that all the ingredients below make for a perfect fragrance!

From the Parfums MDCI website:

The result is incredibly complex and rich, a velvet-like fragrance, a sort of gold-embroidered, fur-lined brocade, somptuous and wild…

The surprise comes from the discovery that “Chypre Palatin” is utterly masculine, but could also be one of the most sensuous, voluptuous feminine fragrance !

Chypre Palatin Notes:

Head:  jacinth, clementine, aldehydes, cistus essence, galbanum essence, thyme, lavender 

Heart: rose, jasmin, iris concrète, prune, gardenia
 
Base: benjamin, styrax, leather, vanilla, tolu, castoreum, costus, oakmoss, everlasting absolute 

  • Bone Rating: 4 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent: Green Oriental Chypre
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: Expense:  $250 for 60ml EDP with bust, $375 with bust