The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


Etat Libre d’Orange Cologne

Etat-Libre-CologneWHAT I SMELL:  Cologne opens with a clean crisp warmed bergamot and blood orange.  It’s tangy and sparkling without being overly juiced.  An orange blossom soon joins the mix of this nice and easy composition.  Not too sweet and not too sour, the perfume maintains this perfect balance of carefree wear.  After around 10 minutes a musk comes into play.  It’s not too clean and it brings in some added dimension.  However, it does make the fragrance seem more like Febreeze than a perfume.  After another 5 minutes, a sugared element comes forth making the orange blossom more prevalent and it helps to dissipate the musk.  And then a bit later, the jasmine comes in to give the cologne a really nice boost of fresh florals.   In the end, Cologne stays in this easy to wear mode that works at being fresh, without being too fresh.

Composition: Blood orange, orange blossom, bergamot, jasmine, musk, leather…

Welcome to LAWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Welcome to L.A.  The ease of sun and casual living with a hint of a wicked underbelly.


WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT COLOGNE:  CaFleureBon, Colognoisseur, Perfume-Smellin’ Things

BOTTOM LINE:  I like Cologne but I don’t like it.  How’s that?  I like it because it takes the standard citrus perfume and make it a little bit dirty.  Unfortunately, the musk gets in the way; and it seems to be random.  At times, the musk isn’t present, then all of a sudden it comes charging through.  Take away the musk and you have a winner.

  • Bone Rating: 2.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Woody Spicy
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $149 for 100 ml Eau de Parfum


T. Habanero by Rania J.

T. HabaneroWHAT I SMELL:  T. Habanero opens with a discordant spiced shoe leather that’s covered in dung.  It’s thick, fecal and a huge slap in the face.  I am hoping that the fragrance veers away from this bomb of a cow patty and thankfully after a few minutes it does.  That was the strangest opening that I have come across in a long time!  Thankfully after around 5 minutes a lightly woody and nutty cardamom comes to the forefront.  It’s peppered and it brings the perfume from heavy to a lighter range, lifting the perfume out of the initial depths.  But even though this helps to make the perfume lighter there is a darker and dangerous edge to the scent.  The oud, smoke and a dirty leather make this feel like a perfume that you should wear to a back room poker game.  There is nothing feminine about T. Habanero…it’s all man.  After around 20 minutes, the perfume hits its’ sweet spot when it gets to its dry, woody, smoky and slightly nutty conclusion that seems to rise off of the skin like the smoke at the end of a lit cigar.

From the Rania J. website:

Tobacco Habanero is a spicy, dark & fresh black Tobacco with the Rhythm of Cuban nights… A dance on the hot and mysterious notes which combine grace and love of life. High energy and deep emotions.

Top note : Pink & Black pepper, Cardamom
Middle Note  : Black tobacco
Base Note :  Sandalwood, Agarwood/Oud, Incense, Myrrh, Leather

I couldn't resist...dogs playing poker!

I couldn’t resist…dogs playing poker!

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A back room poker game full of smoke, sweat and grit.



BOTTOM LINE:  The fecal opening was an eye opener if there ever was one and I’m not sure that spritzing on some funk is how I want to start off a wearing of perfume.  But the fragrance settles down to a nice and easily wearable woody perfume that would work for a man who likes his fragrances less unisex and more manly without being overly butch.

  • Bone Rating: 3 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Woody Spicy
  • Nose:  Rania Jouaneh
  • Classification: Leans masculine
  • Expense: $149 for 50 ml Eau de Parfum

Sample courtesy of Twisted Lily Fragrance Boutique & Apothecary


Herod by Parfums de Marly

herod2WHAT I SMELL:  Herod opens with a mere second of sweet cherry pipe tobacco then quickly moves into a layer of cinnamon and sugar.  We used to put sugar and cinnamon on warm buttered toast as a child and it kind of smells like that.  Then after a few minutes more. the fragrance gets drier and more woody.  Still yet, a warmed rum note sits in play, but its not heavy and thick but instead is more creamy and contained.  From everything that I am smelling, I would kind of expect this to be big and loud, but so far, it’s holding back which is a very pleasant surprise.  At around the ten minute mark, the tobacco note begins to come back.  It’s nice and mellow and kind of cherry sweet, but it’s a muted sweet.  At 15 minutes, I’m still waiting for a bang, but it never seems to come.  And in the end, Herod stays in this very controlled state of lovely lightly vanilla’d sweetened woody tobacco bliss that dries with age.

Herod notes from the Parfums de Marly website:

Head notes: cinnamon, pepperwood

Heart notes: osmanthus, tobacco leaves, frankincense, ciste

Base Notes: vanilla pods, woody accord (cedar wood, vetiver, patchouli, ISO E Super), cypriol, musk

mensclubWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Walking by the library of a very old and established men’s club and getting a whiff of the fine tobacco mixed with the old wooden paneling and floors.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE HEROD:  restrained, comfortable, assured


BOTTOM LINE:  Herod is what I think a good Tom Ford should smell like.  Classic, classy, restrained and not over the top.  This was my first testing of a Parfums de Marly fragrance.  If this is typical of their other offerings, I need to sample more!

  • Bone Rating: 4 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent:  Woody Spicy
  • Nose:  Olivier Pescheux
  • Classification:  Unisex – leans a bit masculine
  • Expense:  $275 for 125ml EdT