Right now I'm completely under the spell of To Bee by Roxana Illuminated Perfume. It's encompassing the idea of raw honey and the beehive it came from, comforting yet feral, with a sexy musky dry-down. Naturally, I started thinking about other honey perfumes. This is one of my most favorite perfume notes, yet I'm rarely satisfied with honey fragrances. The mainstream ones tend to be cleaned up and stripped from everything that makes the honey note so unique, mainly the animalic facets. Others are more fake sugar syrup than real honey, and lean very strongly towards edible. It's probably because a great many people perceive this unique note unfavorably. Where I smell honey dripping on skin they smell cat pee. I have no idea what they're talking about (as a cat owner I can vouch that my whiskered darlings do not pee Absolue pour le Soir), but look at online reviews of Miel de Bois and you'll see what I mean.
In any case, here's my shortlist of honey perfumes, in no particular order:
- To Bee (Roxana Illuminated Perfume). See above.
- Wildflower Honey #359 Premium Accord (CB I Hate Perfume). A delicate floral honey with enough heft to ground it.
- Miel de Bois (Serge Lutens). If you only ever smell one honey perfume, let it be this one.
- Ginestet Botrytis. Quince suspended n honey. A rich and golden gourmand like no other.
- Absolue pour le Soir (Maison Francis Kurkdjian). A wickedly animalic perfume, forever remembered as the honeyed kitten.
- Honey and the Moon (Tokyo Milk). A cheap thrill that goes from an almost true to life honey to a soft skin musk.
- Back to Black (By Kilian). Honeyed tobacco or a smoky honey. Dark, cozy, and very gender-neutral.
Gone but not forgotten:
- L'Occitane Eau de Miel was part of their incredible Miel range from the early 2000s. I went through countless bottles of the body wash and body cream, but never bought the actual eau because it had absolutely no longevity (I think it was labeled as a mother & baby perfume, or something along these lines). I'd sell my soul for this stuff in a rich extrait version.
- MAC Creation Hue Naked Honey & Africanimal. I no longer remember which one of the two 2009 limited edition fragrances from the makeup company was my favorite, but both were pretty awesome. I actually went to the Bloomingdale's counter to buy one after testing them a couple of times, but the lady at the counter was unbelievably rude so I left empty-handed. It sold out everywhere by the next day.
Artwork: Golden Honey by Kandy Hurley.