Sunday, July 1, 2018

Honeysuckle Take Two: DSH Perfumes Il Marinaio de Capri and Other Curiosities

When I did my review of honeysuckle perfumes last week I was reminded by the high priestess of perfumes herself that she had a newish perfume entry with a honeysuckle element. I'm talking about Dawn Spencer Hurwitz of course,  and the perfume was one from 2017, Il Marinaio de Capri, or The Sailor of Capri. This is the first in a series Dawn entitled, "flowers for men", although she states it is for women too. She describes the scent as a crisp, green honeysuckle chypre.

Il Marinaio de Capri features a honeysuckle note that is more crisp and green than sweet. There is a realistic essence of salty sea air. I really do not like men's aquatics that have that rush of calone. To me that note as used to simulate aquatic scents is artificial and irritating to the nose, so I am happy to have an alternative to give that seaside vibe. The honeysuckle note is fragrant and a happy note, and this reminds me a little of the Tom Ford scent Fleur de Portofino. The biggest difference is the rush of salt water scent that brings to mind turquoise waters, rocky shores, and sleek white sailing boats. How Dawn achieves that very salty scent  I have no idea but to me it is what makes this scent special. This "flowers for men" scent has the beauty of the honeysuckle without the sassy sweetness, and it is the freshness and the essence of salty water and air that makes this such a vacation in a bottle. The scent wears somewhat lightly on my skin but it is pretty tenacious. This is SALTY honeysuckle.

Another honeysuckle scent I forgot to mention in last week's Top Honeysuckle Scents is Chanel Cristalle Eau Verte, a citrus/floral aromatic and flanker to the original Chanel Cristalle. It starts off full of citrus: bergamot, lemon, neroli. So the opening could be a citrus bomb but this is Chanel, so no, it gets the point across without going JuicyFruit gum territory. The honeysuckle lies underneath all the citrus, at least to my nose. The citrus notes are the queen, but the honeysuckle is the lady in waiting, giving a pretty lilt to all that Vitamin C. But did I say pretty? Wait, don't relegate this to simply a feminine perfume. This is an aromatic after all, and after the citrus dies down (as it always does), you're left with crushed grass, wet leaves, and lively herbal green foliage smells, after a rain, wet and fresh. The honeysuckle is just a thread through the citrus and the green, but it, along with a magnolia note and magnolia always reads a bit citrus-smelling to me, provide the "prettiness" to the scent. Totally wearable for either sex in my opinion. In Cristall Eau Verte the honeysuckle accord is mixed with the magnolia, unlike in Cristalle Eau de Toilette (1974). It has been many years since I tested the two together, but I remember thinking the honeysuckle note was stronger in the Cristalle Eau Verte formula. I didn't have time to seek out the original to compare again. To me this is a very green, citrus take on honeysuckle. This is ELEGANT honeysuckle.

Hindu Honeysuckle by  Providence Perfumes is a scent I've already reviewed here  so I will keep it brief. Usually honeysuckle is light, effervescent, fleeting, but not here. This is honeysuckle with an Indian vibe, picture women in vibrantly bright saris, their neck encircled with flower chains, making their way into the temple to leave their offerings. This is a deeper rendition of honeysuckle and notes of coriander and ambrette definitely give it an Eastern vibe. This is a natural perfume, created by Charna Ethier who runs the show at Providence Perfumes and my bottle is a few years old, so it is possible that newer solutions offer a brighter, sunnier honeysuckle accord. Having lived in India for four years, though, I quite enjoy the bohemian vibe I get from this altogether earthier rendition of the honeysuckle flower. This is MOODY honeysuckle.

Here's something different: Presence(s) de Bach les Fleurs de Bach. I bought my bottle years ago when I was first getting into perfume. If you're not familiar with Bach Flower Remedies as a brand, their tagline on their website reads: a system of 38 flower remedies to help mankind achieve joy and happiness. A tall order, perhaps, but they seem to have many supporters including Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil, along with various celebrities. My first experience with Bach Rescue Remedy (a mix of several Bach Flower remedies created to deal with emergencies and crises, an antidote in stressful situations) was when I fell off a cliff when we were rafting and hiking in the Grand Canyon. Our guides were a mix of sort of athletic hippies who drifted from continent to continent, skiing, rafting, rock climbing; whatever the season allowed. When I rather miraculously survived a fall relatively unharmed, their first reaction was to dose me with Bach Rescue Remedy. So the perfume, Presence(s) de Bach les Fleurs de Bach is meant to provide a feeling of well being, balance, and harmony. The listed notes are: top notes of verbena and clematis, heart notes of wild rose and honeysuckle, and base notes of pine, oak, and crab apple. According to the site, honeysuckle is "to allow you to live in the present". My bottle is probably ten years old and I vaguely remember that it smelled more strongly of honeysuckle back then than it does now. However of the melange of notes the honeysuckle stands out more than the others. This honeysuckle opens couched in lemon verbena. I wouldn't call it a super realistic honeysuckle, at least what I'm smelling now from my ten year old bottle, but it is a pleasurable and, dare I say, grounding scent. It doesn't hang with the honeysuckle forever, moving on toward notes of pine and oak as it ages. This is WELLNESS honeysuckle.

I found a bottle of Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Honeysuckle perfume in the back of my perfume cupboard, another one I forgot about when I wrote last week's review of honeysuckle perfumes. I was surprised to learn that the perfumer was Rodrigo Flores-Roux, a perfumer whose work I admire very much. In fact he has done seven other flankers for the Elizabeth Arden Green Tea line. When I say I am surprised, it is because I am more familiar with his work for high-end lines such as the Arquiste line and the Green Tea line is more cheap and cheerful. When I sprayed myself with Green Tea Honeysuckle I vowed to move it to the front of the cupboard. It is light and airy and perfect for low-key hot summer days. At the opening the scent is green and bright citrus and I can smell the honeysuckle. It is very pleasant and appealing in the same light and carefree style of the Yves Rocher scents, if you are familiar with those. It is not the world's most realistic honeysuckle but it is a very good representation for its price point. As the perfume wears on I began to lose the honeysuckle to the creaminess of ylang ylang and jasmine but that does not lessen my enjoyment. It can be bought for a song on the discount sites. This is BREEZY honeysuckle.

I bought Tokyo Milk Anthemoessa No. 84 Parfum strictly for the bottle. I mean, look at it!

And if you sign up to receive mailings from the website the founder, Margot Elena, occasionally has 24-hour flash sales with everything fifty percent off. That's how I got my bottle and even though it's a safe and simple scent, I've no regrets for the purchase. It starts off a salty grapefruit. The saltiness reminds me of that note in the DSH perfume above. The salt also makes the grapefruit less astringent and piercing. It has a smooth opening. The notes are grapefruit, honeysuckle, jasmine, sandalwood, and salt and it is classified as a floral woody musk. As with many of the Margot Elena fragrances, we do arrive at musk fairly quickly. The honeysuckle is a faint whisper to my nose after the first thirty minutes and the longevity is not great but it is nice for the price and as I did in Il Marinaio de Capri, I enjoy the salt note. This is BEACHY honeysuckle.

The original Kate Spade by Kate Spade (RIP) was one of the earliest scents I bought when my perfume obsession really started taking hold. It was a white floral created in 2003 and I probably bought it that year. I remember I got it as a gift set with the perfume and lotion and I still have the cute green cosmetic bag that it all came packed inside. Although this was a white flower scent, to me it was all about the honeysuckle. I probably used that bottle up faster than I have ever emptied a bottle since. I don't know if it was as good as I remember; cue heavenly harps and unicorns leaping through the clouds. All I know is that by the time I thought about replacing it, it was long gone, other than the occasional bottle that shows up on Ebay for hundreds of dollars. If memory serves, this was the HOLY GRAIL of honeysuckle scents. Why it was discontinued so quickly is a mystery.

Last week when I published Finding the Perfect Honeysuckle Scent  readers suggested other perfumes with honeysuckle notes. One of those was Aerin Ikat Jasmine,  and having tried it I do agree that the lemony note of honeysuckle is emphasized more than the tuberose or jasmine. It's very pretty. Other honeysuckle perfumes suggested were Las Flores EDP Provision, Creed Chevrefeille and Zest Mandarine, Zoologist Hummingbird, STP Stash Unspoken, Penhaligon's Ellenisia, Honeysuckle Absolute Aftelier, and a lotion, La Maison White Honeysuckle. 

The first post of honeysuckle perfumes can be found here.

Top photo from Second photo from Perfumes all my own, except DSH Perfumes supplied sample of Il Marinaio de Capri.