Forest nymph, Viktoria Minya Hedonist Cassis

Perfume as something indulging, something that brings pure pleasure. Perfume as a symbol of hedonism was the idea Hungarian perfumer Viktoria Minya had in her mind when she established her own fragrance house and launched her 1st composition simply named – Hedonist. Over two years have passed since then and the range is slowly getting bigger. After Hedonist met two sisters in 2014, in 2015 a third sister joins the family. She comes dressed in purple.

Hedonist Cassis opens with a very specific aroma of cut grass. First of all it smells very fresh and green. I also find something slightly sappy and juicy about this note. You are probably familiar with the smell of lawn mowing. That’s how the opening smells to me – green sap from grass, the feeling of freshness. There is also something a bit watery, dewy in the opening. Just as if someone decided to mow the lawn really early in the morning before the Sun helps a morning dew to evaporate.

Just a few minutes later green cut grass accord is followed by cassis. It quickly starts to dominate in the composition of new Hedonist, pushing forward this interesting tart aroma. Personally I am not a fan of cassis perfumes. In this particular creation I find this accord to be a bit chilly in its initial stage. Once it settles on the skin it turns a little bit camphorous and mentholated on me. What I smell kind of reminds me of Airwaves Cool Cassis chewing gum. I even liked the way it smelled and tasted and Hedonist Cassis goes a bit that way for me. After some period of time I seem to notice very faint fruity facet of black currant but it’s not in official notes. It’s probably a side effect from cassis.

After 1,5 hours Hedonist Cassis starts to smell more of rose and this aroma is gradually growing stronger, though it doesn’t become dominating at all. Rose introduces a nice floral touch to the blend by effusing the aroma that is gentle and serene. Petals are silky here, a little bit dewy also. Their color would be some shade between beige and light pink – definitely nothing bright and bold when it comes to color. Going down the structure of Viktoria’s new fragrance I finally reach the base. It’s woody thanks to cedar wood. It feels substantial but in a mellow way. You can smell its presence there but the weight of the note had to be kept low to match the whole concept. Also I find this cedar to be well-mannered: woodsy and not dirty.

Hedonist Cassis by Viktoria Minya embodies serene and grace in the fragrance universe. It’s a pretty and nice combination of fresh, green and aromatic notes with floral and woody touches. Obviously this new offering is more modest than its rich, lush & opulent predecessor. Saying that it fits well together with Hedonist Rose and Hedonist Iris which were also lighter. I would rate sillage or Cassis as moderate and longevity as good. I could smell it for around 6 hours after using 2-3 small smudges from my sample. One more note – this is a very feminine, very girly perfume. I don’t see too many gents wearing it on regular basis. This review finishes with a mini story I came up with:

There was this young lady. Cassie was her name. She was a little bit more than just an average girl. She was not a star as shyness was her biggest, invisible scar. Surrounded by old friends, not many, but faithful ones; she knew she’d open up to people, that this will happen once. Her voice was sweet like berries and lips were pink as rose; Pale skin, round cheeks and little graceful nose. She loved wearing girly dresses in her favorite purple hue; One day when she grows up she’ll break a heart or two.

New fragrance is available in eau de parfum concentration. Bottle is 45 ml and has purple bohemian crystals immersed in the fragrant juice. Do you think you might like it?


Tagged , , ,

Riches of far-away land, Arquiste Nanban

Do you like traveling? If you do, what is it that makes you most exciting about any new journey? Is it the thrill of visiting some new place for the first time in your life? Or a perspective of magnificent views, warm seas, high mountains or even the local food that makes you happy about another trip? Carlos Huber who founded Arquiste sure does like to travel (you can easily tell by seeing his Instagram feed) but that’s not the case. It’s the new perfume that was introduced by the brand a little bit earlier this year, in September. A distant travel of a Japanese galleon to the West in 17th century is a canvas on which a story for a new scent was written. Meet Nanban.

At first Nanban doesn’t ring any bell, most of us probably would think that such word doesn’t even exist. But it does, in Sino-Japanese. It means “southern barbarian” and this term refers to the foreigners coming to Japan from the South. Speaking of the perfume itself, it’s a very well-thought composition that contains essences of many of the goods that were carried by the galleons then.

On my skin a composition of this fragrance begins with warm leathery aroma. It’s not that strong at first but the intensity builds up in the next couple of minutes giving you stronger and stronger smell. With leather fragrance it’s very easy to overdo it, what makes it feel offensive, a bit aggressive. Nanban is not like that. The opening is powerful but it’s not wild & furious. Leather might feel a little bit acrid initially but this will fade away, no worries. After a few more minutes it even becomes slightly powdery on me. More things are about to happen next.

As far as my “imagined” powdery leather phase goes, cuir of Nanban turns balsamic and resinous. Myrrh is the first note that comes up, adding this slightly balmy touch to the continuing leathery thought. I also find something a little bit salty and tad animalic in it, but it’s just the way myrrh works on me. We don’t get along too well together, myrrh & I. At least it doesn’t smell like melting plastic… Later on this new Arquiste perfume spices up. It becomes piquant and tingly with black pepper accord. It’s warm and dry, introducing this slightly metallic facet to the scent.

Nanban is also enriched with coffee note. It carries this dark, slightly bitter aroma that also has something warm and roasted about it, just like whole coffee beans. This aroma nicely blends with the initial leather scent combined by now with some nice spiciness. At some point quite a portion of smokiness sneaks into the structure of this fragrance. There is copaiba balm and olibanum that boost the resinous feeling and at the same time they add a thick, dark smoky layer to Nanban.

Arquiste Nanban is a pretty substantive perfume. Right from the start until the very end it packs a serious punch of many heavy aroma materials that bring weight and substance. This perfume is rich and quite heavy. Addition to the resins that appeared earlier is a nice portion of sandalwood. This perfume is too wild for a smooth & luminous sandalwood though. Nanban has the rough, not polished piece of wood that I find sexually oriented and even a bit provocative. Saffron that appears after a longer period of time adds a nice touch of spiciness that is more fresh and vibrant. Still I’d like it more if it was more plush.

As the time flies and notes of the composition re-orchestrate, revealing some more woody-spicy nuances every now and then, Nanban inevitably aims for a drydown phase. In it you might detect some black tea – it’s the specific aroma of tannin and smoked (plum). Osmanthus which has a profile similar to green tea (with some peach flavor often) somehow got lost here in my case. In the very end I could smell some fresh and spicy juniper berries with their lightly metallic, alcoholic sensation of gin. From my perspective I can tell you that this perfume is a chameleon. When sampled during Pitti, on Megan it was sweeter while on me it was all about wood & smoke.

Arquiste Nanban apart from having an excellent power that gives you a nice punch, also has a fantastic longevity as the perfume lasts all day long and you don’t have to spray much, unless you want to. It’s a heavy, oriental and intoxicating fragrance that has a lot of sex appeal if you ask me. It’s a powerful mix of sensuality and strength that reacts with the senses. This composition is definitely designed for a night-time and winter-time. Composed by perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux, comes in 100 ml bottles of eau de parfum. Are you tempted to go on a trip with it?

Tagged , , , ,

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,693 other followers