Hedonist by Viktoria Minya was one of the brightest perfume spots of 2013. The Husband got me a bottle of this gorgeous boozy floriental for our anniversary last year, and I like wearing it on special date nights, New Year's Eve and the like. Champagne has to be involved. Recently Ms. Minya has released three new fragrances as a follow up: two Hedonist sequels, Hedonist Rose and Hedonist Iris, as well as Eau de Hongrie, which is a tribute to her native Hungary (more on that below).
|The Hedonist trio|
Hedonist Rose: I didn't expect to like this one and almost dismissed it as an on-trend rose flanker. I'm not much of a rose person, but Hedonist Rose grew on me because it takes the velvety peach aspect of the original Hedonist, amplifies it, pairs it with chilled white wine (instead of the rum of its predecessor), and finishes with a touch of spicy powder with a vintage feel. The result is another "smells like a million dollar" perfume that's fit for a queen. I'm beyond smitten.
Hedonist Iris: This one was kind of a disappointment, or at least I like it better on the Husband than on myself, as my skin brings forward a berry note at the expense of just about everything else. I keep thinking that I must be missing some major part of the base notes. as there's a promise of cocoa and labdanum. Nope, just blackcurrant and wan flowers. On the Blond, this is a clean and soapy iris, very pleasant and wearable. It would have made a nice office perfume for him if he didn't work from home where I'd much rather have him in more daring stuff.
|Vintage label of Eau de la Reine de Hongrie|
Eau de Hongrie: I think that this is the true sequel to the original Hedonist. There's an interesting backstory, making this Viktoria Minya's tribute to two Hungarian traditions: the dessert wine Tokaji Aszu, and a perfume, Eau de la Reine de Hongrie, dating back from the 14th century. The story of the latter attributes the fragrance to Elisabeth of Poland who was queen consort of Hungary between 1320 and 1342. Versions of this traditional eau de cologne can still be found today, but Viktoria Minya's perfume is actually an oriental gourmand(ish), that takes honey and immortelle and lifts them up with citrus and wine notes. The result is a warm and rich fragrance with a similar golden aura to Hedonist. Hongrie takes its own path and feels cozier where Hedonist is more grand. This is my favorite of the three new releases, and oddly enough, the husband who usually doesn't wear gourmands finds Eau de Hongrie perfectly acceptable (he smells more caramel popcorn than pancake syrup in the immortelle note. I'm not going to argue). If I need to choose just one of the three new releases this would be it. Hongrie is utterly scrumptious. Right to the wishlist it goes.
Eau de Hongrie ($165, 100ml EDP), Hedonist Rose and Hedonist Iris ($210, 45ml EDP each) are available from luckyscent. The samples for this review were sent to me by the retailer.