Thursday, September 1, 2011

Beautiful Nectars

September is the national honey month in the USA. Although I am bellow the Equator, I decided to embrace the spirit of this celebration.
I just adore when winter is at its very end and spring is about to begin. Here in Brazil it is supposed to start at the very end of September, but this year it came much earlier. Birds are already singing louder, white and yellow flowers are already blooming, and the temperature raised to 28ºC. The leafs are greener, sweaters went back to the storage drawers, and I my jasmines are more fragrant than ever!
It is a great opportunity to select amazing fragrances that have been presented over the years with the honeyed spirit of September!

Photo credit: + Q Perfume Blog

The first related thought I have to spring are bees, followed by flower nectars and honey. 
The human fascination for honeybees began thousand of years ago when men started to hunt for honey 10,000 years ago.
In ancient Egypt honey was used to sweeten cakes and cookies, for embalming the dead and offered to Gods. Honey is also one of the five elixirs of immortality for Hindus, and for the Jewish faith it is the symbol of the new year (Roshashana) as Israel is the Holy land of milk and honey. Honey is also a term of endearment in almost every English speaking culture. Fact is that honey is a fascinating mixtures of sugars, made by bees from the collected nectars of flowers. It is a source of energy, of health and beauty.
As honey comes from a floral source, its aroma can be mono-flower if coming from one source of flower only; Poly-flower when the source is a combination of flowers (in this case the  the aroma will be more or less intense depending on the prevalent blooming; or  the aroma of stewed fruits or fig jam if the source is not nectar, but honeydew.
To me honey contains a rich, syrupy, sweet, waxy, slightly smoked and slightly caramelized fragrance. Someone told me that pure quality honey has to have only the scent of the flower sources, without the smoke and caramel...

Photo credit: Mandy Aftel - Aftelier Perfumes

Honey Blossom EDP by Mandy Aftel - This is a delicious fragrances with a duality of textures. Although it brings the sticky waxy touch of honey and honeycombs, it also contains a transparency, a fluidness or airiness of flowers nectars. The notes composing the fragrance are: mimosa, linden blossom CO2, orange blossom absolute, phenyl ethyl alcohol, ambergris, benzoin.
Wearing this perfume feels like nature has touched you and whispered in your ears "spring is about to come. Feel happy, thrilled"!
Ambergris and benzoin bring body to the scent, a sensual if the gentle touch from the top and hearts notes decided to hold you more tenderly.
Although many wearers of this perfume will imagine yellow blooms, butterflies, bees and hummingbirds flying around, I can only think of Degas and his masterpiece - The Ballerinas.

The Ballerinas - Dancers Bending Down, Degas -  1885

Just as in the painting, Mandy Aftel's Honey Blossom EDP contains a certain sensuality, but gracefully and romantically exposed. Both artistic compositions are complexed and fluid. With sensibility Degas juxtaposed brush strokes of pastel colors; Mandy juxtaposed olfactive notes. Both works reveal femininity, not fragility. As Degas ballerinas move in a weightless and ethereal graceful perfection, they also reveal a ravishing feminine strength inside yellow tutus; Mandy does the same, capturing it in a flacon of Honey Blossom. Both artists have an exquisite sense of movement,  each in his field of expertise. 
This perfume can be purchased at Mandy Aftel's website by clicking HERE.

L'Abeille EDP by Guerlain - although this fragrance deserves one review apart from others, I decided not to do so, due to the fact that the price and availability made this fragrance almost impossible to be purchased - only 46 were made and cost the amount of 12,500 euros. I am lucky to have a rather big sample hidden in my treasury safe deposit box (I am kidding!). The fragrance is luxuriously honeyed scent. The Royal Jelly of the honey-beewax fragrances, at the very best Guerlain style. Notes of this composition are orange blossom, mimosa, honey, lilac, mimosa, acacia. A rather chlorophyllic green opening announces that spring has arrived, and pretty soon you are puffed with pollen, a syrupy luxurious  nectar of orange blossoms, mimosas, jasmines and acacias and a powdery iris. You will see bees flying around your head. But not just any bee! Bees in tuxedo! Oh yes, the fragrance is a "tux-lux" kind of perfume. Signed by Thierry Wasser, it is intense, it is chic, but somehow it got too honeyed and at one point I felt like having one of those spa treatments were you lie down with your body covered with wild flower honey, or other type of edibles. Too much naivité, too much Royal bouquets, too much angelic yellow blooms for one single fragrance! I must say, not my favorite Guerlain. (I am not being a snob here because I have what many would kill for, but instead, I am being completely honest).

Yellowish fragrances with honey nectars
Photo credit: + Q perfume Blog

Summer by Kenzo EDP - my favorite scent of the brand, Summer by Kenzo, although inspired by solar days of summer, it is the very essence of spring. Uplifting, almond-y & milky, warm, flowery and most of all, loaded of mimosa nectars perfectly blended to create a feminine non-sticky perfume. Notes of this composition are: citron, bergamot, mimosa, violet, almond milk, musk, amber, styrax and wood. Alberto Morillas developed a fragrance that leaves a trail of yellow beauty behind. I love the opposite sensations of the astringent citruses to the milkiness of the almonds, and the honeyed mellow intensity of the mimosas. The bonus is the sheer luminosity of the scent, that brings light to my heart and soul. Fragrance found in every perfumery store near you.

Prends Gare a Toi EDP by Egofacto - click HERE for a complete review. Lantana nectars heavenly composed to result in a very sensual, very intense but also very delicate and fluid. Like bees and hummingbirds are attracted to flowers, you will feel compelled to smell yourself during the fragrance evolution. It is kinky-chic and somehow daring you to commit a fragrance crime and taste it on the skin.

Le Mimosa EDT by Annick Goutal - One of the latest AG launches, this flowery-fruity composition has notes of peach, mimosa absolutes, anis, iris and white musk. It is a very mellow yellow fragrance, almost juvenile.

Le Chevrefeuille EDP by Annick Goutal - This composition brings notes of wild narcissus, lemon, petitgrain, green notes and jasmines. The combination of lemony notes and the sweetness-nectar like notes of honeysuckle are simply divine. A happy potion for all seasons with the aura of a sunny day in a Brazilian spring. Simple and honest, the scent smells like a real flower, but with a sophisticated touch of a very skilled perfumer.
Annick Goutal fragrances can be purchased online at the brand's site or in any luxurious perfumery near you. You will also find Annick Goutal at Essenza Nobile.

Mimosa pour Moi EDP by L'Artisan Parfumeur - This composition has notes of mimosa, blackcurrant buds and violets leafs. A beautiful creation of perfumer Anne Filipo bringing the yellow scent of the mimosas with a green-ish opening and a alluring sensation.

Fleur de Liane EDP by L'Artisan Parfumeur - click HERE for a complete review.

Chèvrefeuille EDp by Le Jardin Retrouvé - This fragrance composition captures the scent of honeysuckle in a very natural way. Notes of Italian lemons and petitgrain Paraguay brings a slight acid effect to add freshness to the perfume. A joyful and sheer way to enjoy the spring allure a year round!

Thinking about nectars, honeyed notes and fragrances, I decided to post also combination of scents that make me smile:

I just love the combination of honey and leather. In my opinion they complete one another. Honey gives the leather the sweetness that "rounds" the composition. Tobacco and honey are also very well accepted by me. As tobacco itself already contain honeyed facets, it enhances it to provoke a sensual effect. Patchouli and honey are also complementary for almost the same reason tobacco and honey are. As patchouli has a slightly tobacco alike note, it blends fantastically with honey. I also love the powdery patchouli complemented with honey. The honey-acid combo is very common, as honey is combined with lemons, limes and citrusy notes. I prefer something more elaborated , such as honey and acid fruits, like some berries or plums. Honey and roses are not my favorite, but once I find good compositions I do enjoy them. I can affirm that dark notes such as dark chocolate, coffee, frankincense, burned sugar, licorice etc...go extremely well with honeyed notes. Spices and vanilla do bring a kick to honey and are also very common to find. From all the spices, black pepper is my favorite combination to honey.

Do you have a special honeyed favorite combo? A perfume that I did not mention?


Anonymous said...

Great post!
I think acacia has a naturally honeyed scent.
I love the honey-blond tobacco aspect in Fougere Bengale.

Patricia said...

I loved this post!
It sounds like poetry fragrant.

+ Q Perfume Blog said...

Dear MOS
Thank you! I will have to check this one, I don't know it !!
is it your favorite? XX

+ Q Perfume Blog said...

Thank you Patricia!!

mandy said...

Thank you Simone, I really enjoy your writing about fragrance, and am especially pleased that you like Honey Blossom! I love your comparison with the Degas ballerinas - the color, warmth, grace, and strength all fit so well with what I felt when creating it. That’s just the mood I wanted to capture. Mandy Aftel.

+ Q Perfume Blog said...

Thank you Mandy for sending me your fragrances. They are so rich, so complexed and they have this brilliant allure that transcend from your amazing persona to each perfume. it is a pleasure to review them because they bring me so much joy. You are a dear one!

Lavanya said...

You had me at Degas!! Degas is my favoritest painter (and I love Mandy's work too) ..I have resisted so far - now I am going to have to smell honey blossom- you make it sound beautiful!!

+ Q Perfume Blog said...

Dear Lavanya, please come back to share if you really think there is a connection between the 02 creations!XX

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