When Marc Jacobs launched Honey last summer, the PR team at Coty Prestige (the company that holds the license for Marc Jacobs Perfumes) teamed up with a group of fashion bloggers and asked them to create images and "Honey Spots". It resulted in various mood boards and nail art photos, many of them far more interesting and original than the perfume in question. I don't know if the people at Coty approached any perfume blogger with this offer. I'd go out on a limb and say that they didn't even consider it. They're not that stupid.
Honey is aimed at the same audience that bought other Marc Jacobs perfumes because they have cute bottles with a label that says Marc Jacobs. Are they interested in perfume? Maybe. Kind of. They do buy perfumes and presumably enjoy them (I hope). They want to smell nice, which I guess is what they get from Honey. Does it smell nice? Well, it doesn't smell particularly bad. Is that a good enough answer? Honey is a sort of fresh, sort of fruity-floral. Sort of perfume, but not quite. It's more like a detergent or shampoo, though not particularly luxurious, as the most dominant notes are a sort of pear, sort of peach, reconstructed fruit juice, plastic honeysuckle, and a chemical orange blossom.
The opening of Honey is a declaration of intents: fruity, sticky, and the kind of young that listens to One Direction. But as Robin said in her review on NST, it's tolerable. We've all smelled worse. The green and white plastic bouquet is more difficult for me to endure. It's trying too hard to be pretty, and it shows. The honey in Honey is more of that kind-of-sort-of thing that marks this perfume. You don't need to get your Miel de Bois for a side-by-side comparison. There's absolutely nothing in common there, and the animalic beeswaxy thing you and I tend to recognize as honey is completely absent from this Marc Jacobs offering. Why they even bothered to call this perfume Honey? I'd venture a wild guess and say that the bottle design came first as a sequel to Dot, the ladybug perfume from spring 2012. Someone created the bumblebee version, which lead to the honey theme.
As the fragrance settles on skin it becomes more and more about a not particularly good honeysuckle note. It penetrated the vague and generic department store perfume dry-down and makes the long hours Honey survives on my skin quite unpleasant (of course. You knew it'd hold on for dear life). The right skin chemistry and preference might not find Honey so aggravating, but I do. In a world that offers so many fantastic perfumes for those who dare to look outside of Ulta or Sephora, this dumbed-down idea of commercial perfumery is less and less acceptable.
Notes: pear, fruity punch, mandarin, orange blossom, peach nectar, honeysuckle, honey, vanilla, wood.
Honey by Marc Jacobs ($52, 1 oz) is available from Ulta, Sephora, and most department stores.
Top photo: Marc Jacobs in his PJs at the Louis Vuitton A/W 2013-2014 show in Paris, March 2013.