The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


5 Comments

New Release: Frassaï El Sur Collection – El Descanso

2020 has been a difficult year, one which I’m sure most would say they would rather put behind them.  I thought about doing a year end list of recommendations for Christmas earlier this month, but I just wasn’t feeling the spirit of the holidays.   So instead, I decided to look ahead to 2021 and the promise of a new year.  And thankfully, Frassaï has just released a trio of perfumes as part of their new El Sur collection.  All three perfumes in the collection, El Descanso, Cuir Pampas and Rosa Sacra are wonderful in their own respective ways and I will be reviewing all three in the upcoming weeks.  But today, I thought I would start off with probably the most unique perfume in the collection, El Descanso.

WHAT I SMELL:  El Descanso opens with a breath of lemony green and a warm and dry ambrette that is soon met with a lightly nuttied grain.  Right from the first spritz, the perfume feels earthy without the dirt and soil, but in the abundance that the earth can bring in grains and grass.  The perfume begins to grow in volume, but it remains in the grassy field as starts to warm in a late afternoon sun.  After some time, a layer of puttied mimosa hovers over the wheat like grass which makes the perfume more rounded.  The addition of the mimosa is ever so slight and it adds just the right amount of sweetness to the natural splendor of the grass.  As the perfume continues to slowly develop, a spice is added along with an ambery sandalwood.  Still natural in the grass, the perfume now is deeper in its warmth and radiation with just a tinge of green.  El Descanso is a perfume that can bring the golden warmth to the day no matter what the weather is like outside.


5 Comments

Oriza L. Legrand Gentry Jockey Club

WHAT I SMELL:   Gentry Jockey Club goes on the skin with a warm and comforting bergamot with soft touches of iris and rose. It buzzes with vibrancy, yet at the same time retains a sense calm and a sense of security.  A light leather soon enters, but like the florals, it too remains soft and inviting.  To warm the perfume even more, an ambered hue of sandalwood is injected which begins to dry out the opening softness of the perfume.   I’m not sure what is responsible for the next movement, but a light earthy element is brought in.  It’s a combination that feels like earthy and mossy soil which has been dried in the sun.  A birch note helps to give it a slightly burnt edge as if in the distance you can smell the remains of recent fire.  This is where the perfume settles in for bulk of its wear, it radiates and pulses as continues to grow with some intensity resting in a dry burnt wood and hay consistency.

Feast day at the racecourse: ribbons and hats in the wind, the elegant look at the fiery horse, the one that will lead to victory …
The air perfumes the leather of the horses treading the hot sand and the smell of blond tobacco.
Jockey Club, the perfume of victory …
 
Top notes:  Italian bergamot – Ylang of the Comoros – Saffron
Heart notes:  Iris Pallida – Bulgarian rose – Leather notes – Patchouli – Birch essence
Background notes:  Real Sandalwood from India – Tonka Bean – Ambrette – Ambergris – Vetiver Haiti

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: 
Gentry Jockey Club smells less like a race track and more like what I envision a medieval farm to small like…dirt, hay and scorched earth.


THREE WORD
S THAT DESCRIBE GENTRY JOCKEY CLUB:  rustic, earthy, dried

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT GENTRY JOCKEY CLUB:  None found.

BOTTOM LINE:   Gentry Jockey Club remains true to the roots of the Oriza L. Legrand brand.  It has a nostalgic sensibility, but feels modern at the same time.  If you like the smokiness of birch tar you’ll probably like this.  To me however, after some time, the perfume just gets too smoky on me.

  • Bone Rating:  3 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Woody
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense:  120 Euros for 100 ml Eau de Parfum


13 Comments

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.

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.