The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


1 Comment

Vintage Guerlain Vol de Nuit

When we were over to a friend’s house for dinner a couple of weeks ago, the conversation turned to perfume as their neighbor was talking about how she missed the old Opium from the 1980s.  My friend had mentioned before that she loved perfume, but since developing allergies related to fragrance years ago she had to give up wearing it…along with now having to use fragrance free detergents, soaps, etc.  She walked me up to her bedroom and said that her signature perfume was Guerlain’s Vol de Nuit.  She pulled out an old bottle that was 1/2 full, a bottle that looked to be from the 1980s.  I put a little on my wrist and it was heaven.  She took a sniff and loved it as much as I did, but immediately she could feel it overtake her throat.  I was thinking how horribly sad it was that she would never again be able to enjoy this perfume she loved so much.  She saw how much I loved the perfume so she reached to the back of her dresser and pulled out a box that contained an unopened new bottle that she has been hanging on to since the 1990s and she proceeded to give it to me.  I balked at first, but then she said that she would rather the perfume go to someone who would truly love and appreciate it as much as she did.  An incredibly lovely gesture, I was humbled and still am by this generous and thoughtful gift.  I have many perfumes, and a few vintage perfumes as well…but this perfume will always occupy a special place in my heart whenever I wear it.

WHAT I SMELL:  Vol de Nuit opens with a warm, encompassing dried galbanum and a subdued bergamot.  The perfume is light, but it has a strange depth to it as it’s slightly spicy and lightly earthy.  The perfume tingles my skin as it begins to powder and dry with a wonderful layer of oakmoss and dried flowers.  After some time, the perfume begins to lighten to reveal a soft and tender, but earthy and lightly leathered iris.  The whole composition is extremely subdued and it wears very close to the skin, but unlike the other early 20th Century nod to aviation, Caron’s En Avion that is thickened with the dirt spattered first flights, Vol de Nuit is ultimately more romantic and dreamy.  The drydown is a slow and soft ride, but it’s the wait that’s worthwhile as the perfume glides in a hazy state of pure, but restrained bliss.

The top notes are bergamot, galbanum and petit grain; the heart reveals jasmine, daffodil and spices; the base combines earthy woods, iris, vanilla, amber and woodsy notes.

Night FlightWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A romantic night flight above the clouds.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE VOL DE NUIT:  positive, subdued, dreamy

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT VOL DE NUIT: Bois de Jasmin, The Non-Blonde, The Black Narcissus

BOTTOM LINE:  Vol de Nuit isn’t about the grandeur of other Guerlain classics like Shalimar and Mitsouko.  Instead, it has a quiet heart that sings softly.  If the eau de toillette is this beautiful, I can only imagine what the extrait is like.  Let the hunt begin.  Thank you Paula for letting me fly above the clouds!

  • Bone Rating:  4.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Woody
  • Nose:  Jacques Guerlain
  • Classification: Feminine, but easily worn by a man
  • Expense: Varied.  Review based on the EdT version.


19 Comments

New Release: Arbolé Arbolé by Hiram Green

arbole_arbole_box

Oooooh, I love a Hiram Green perfume and can’t wait to see what this new creation has to behold…

WHAT I SMELL:  Arbolé Arbolé opens with a putty like chewy patchouli that feels encased in a light rubber or elastic.  It’s pretty, but also has this futuristic feel (futuristic like what we thought the future would be like in the 1960s)…as such, it has vintage futuristic vibe.   Soon, the opening kick to futuristic nostalgia adds a citrus and woody edge that moves the rubberized consistency away, although there is still a bit of a putty edge to the perfume.  After some more time a warmed base emerges with a chewy, thickened vanilla…and the perfume really starts to project.  Once again the chewy moves away and the perfume begins to dry considerably.  Here, the perfume radiates this calming lightly sweet rich vanilla that’s tamed by the tonka bean…and the perfume reminds me of something in my youth, but I just can’t put my finger on it.  But I can tell you that it’s a warm fuzzy connection.  Continuing on, the perfume becomes velvety smooth as if the ingredients were lightly warmed to create seamless infusion.  In the end, the perfume deepens, still smooth, still creamy with a light powder.  I absolutely love this perfume.

From the Hiram Green website:

Hiram Green’s latest perfume, Arbolé Arbolé, is a warm and woody fragrance that takes its name and spirit from Lorca’s eponymous poem. Ostensibly simple, yet subtly complex, this is an unashamedly romantic fragrance for those who dare to dream.

Arbolé Arbolé opens with a burst of earthy patchouli that slowly merges with rich cedar wood and velvety sandalwood. Vanilla and tonka bean anchor the fragrance and provide a sweet and powdery base.

The following is Hiram’s inspiration from Frederico Lorca:

Arbolé, Arbolé

Tree, tree
dry and green.

The girl with the pretty face 
is out picking olives. 
The wind, playboy of towers, 
grabs her around the waist. 
Four riders passed by
on Andalusian ponies, 
with blue and green jackets 
and big, dark capes. 
“Come to Cordoba, muchacha.” 
The girl won’t listen to them. 
Three young bullfighters passed, 
slender in the waist, 
with jackets the color of oranges 
and swords of ancient silver. 
“Come to Sevilla, muchacha.” 
The girl won’t listen to them. 
When the afternoon had turned
dark brown, with scattered light, 
a young man passed by, wearing 
roses and myrtle of the moon. 
“Come to Granada, muchacha.” 
And the girl won’t listen to him. 
The girl with the pretty face
keeps on picking olives 
with the grey arm of the wind 
wrapped around her waist.
Tree, tree
dry and green.

suburban-lifeWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Suburban living in the 60s…family, optimism and life was good (based on my childhood memories).

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ARBOLÉ ARBOLÉ: nostalgic, reassuring, unique

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT ARBOLÉ ARBOLÉ: Take One Thing Off, Jaroslav Blog (in Polish), AustralianPerfumeJunkies

BOTTOM LINE:  Hiram has done it again…and I have to say as much as I loved Moon Bloom, this perfume may be my favorite yet.  Some perfumers just seem to connect with you…Hiram certainly does with me.  In reading “What I Smell” above, you wouldn’t think that words like “putty” and “chewy” would lead to love, but it does.  Absolutely beautiful.

  • Bone Rating:  5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent Woody
  • Nose: Hiram Green
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $135 Euro for 50 ml eau de parfum.  Hiram is currently running a special on his website, purchase the 50 ml bottle and get a 10 ml travel size for free.  Perfect to keep for yourself, or to give as a stocking stuffer for someone you love!

Sample courtesy of Hiram Green.  Opinion my own.


11 Comments

Palo Santo by Carner Barcelona

Carner-Barcelona-Palo-SantoWHAT I SMELL:  Palo Santo opens with a milky coconut, boozy rum accord.  It’s sugared without being sweet, but it crackles with a wonderful gourmand and slightly earthy goodness.  The sugared aspect begins to retreat as the perfume starts to become a bit more woody.  Add on top of that a light burnt hue as if the woods and rum have attracted a lit fire which singed the sweetened wood.  The guaiac wood starts to become prominent as it begins to dominate the perfume.  Thankfully, the guaiac is tempered quickly by the addition of a woody vetiver which helps to bring the perfume into a more sharpened tonality.  After around 30 minutes or so, the perfume begins to blend with hints of incense and tonka bean sitting on top of a woody base that is full of cream.  Palo Santo is at first rather big, bold and in charge, but with a rather sweet demeanor.  In the end, all those elements are still there, but they settle down to more of a whisper.

From the Carner Barcelona website:

A ‘’sacred wood’’ steeped in magic and mysticism for thousands of years, releases an enchanting aromatic essence that swirls to life in a spellbinding blend that infuses earthy hints of wood and incense.

Coveted by shamans for centuries, it is believed that this spiritual wood has the power to protect and usher in good fortune. A faint misting will cleanse the mood and raise spirits, invoking the true purifying virtues of Palo Santo

top notes: Indian Davana, Rum Accord

mid notes: Warm Milk, Paraguayan Guaiacum Wood, Venezuelan Tonka Bean

base notes: Moroccan Cedar Wood, Vetyver from Haiti, Dominican Republican Amyris

brown-bear-4689WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Don’t ask me why, but for some reason this brings to mind a very happy and content brown bear.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE PALO SANTO:  milky, calming, peaceful

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT PALO SANTO: Chemist in the Bottle, Colognoisseur, Kafkaesque

BOTTOM LINE:  Palo Santo is smooth and creamy and full of guaiac wood which unfortunately never seems to work on my skin.  However, if you do like guaiac wood…this might just be a good fit as it softens to a nice woody glow in the end.