Green grow the perfumes, oh! -- A review of Honoré des Prés fragrances
By Jessica M
Honoré des Prés is a new line of natural fragrances that recently arrived from France, bearing the “Ecocert” label. Four of the five fragrances were created by the well-known and much-admired perfumer Olivia Giacobetti, and all of them are blended from organic botanical essences without any synthetic ingredients. This line will appeal to “green” product-seekers, admirers of Giacobetti’s work, people who have experienced allergies to conventional fragrances, or anyone who is looking for a light fragrance for spring-summer wear.
Each eau de toilette from Honoré des Prés evokes a different aspect of the French countryside. Chaman’s Party is an earthy mix of vetiver and exotic woods; Nu Green is a minty herbal blend that has a revitalizing aromatherapeutic effect; and Honoré’s Trip (the only non-Giacobetti composition of the group) is a citrusy Mediterranean tonic. You’ll probably find your own favorite in this line, depending on your own personality and your own past encounters with nature. My own two favorites are Sexy Angelic and Bonté’s Bloom.
Sexy Angelic is a delicate gourmand fragrance that stays close to the skin. Its central notes are hemlock flower, angelica seed, and almond – specifically, the almond flavor of “Calisson” candy. Calisson is a Provençal speciality made from almond paste, similar to marzipan or nougat, sweetened with candied melon or orange. This almond note, in particular, makes Sexy Angelic feel like a little sister to Giacobetti’s Jour de Fête (from L’Artisan Parfumeur), but even softer and a bit more citrusy.
Bonté’s Bloom is outdoorsy without being a clichéd ozonic, “sporty” fragrance. It smells like a cluster of blooming herbs (including sage and chamomile), grasses, and wildflowers picked in a field. It develops gently with a few light, almost lemony, hints of rose and the most subtle base of iris butter. It’s unique, but it fits well into Olivia Giacobetti’s body of work: it feels like a cousin to other Giacobetti creations, such as L’Été en Douce from L’Artisan Parfumeur (which has a fresh linden note) or Eau de Lierre from Diptyque (with its green, vine-like heart).
The staying power of both these fragrances is, admittedly, on the mild side. You’ll probably want to refresh yourself with a few new spritzes at various points in the day. On one hand, I wish Honoré des Prés would release more concentrated versions of these scents – eau de parfum or even perfume oil. On the other hand, their airiness makes them perfect for summer wear, because they’re impossible to “overdo.” Even a generous spraying session won’t give you overwhelming sillage.
I won’t be traveling anywhere outside New York this summer, so I’m finding other ways to put myself in a vacation-like mood from time to time. Honoré des Prés fragrances are like mental picnics for me: just a few sprays, a deep breath, and I feel like I’m spending a day in the countryside.
To purchase Honoré des Prés fragrances from Bergdorf Goodman, call 212-872-2581.
Honoré des Prés advertisement by Anouk Schneider.