Honey, Lost and Found

When I went to Sniffa in October, I went a day early so I could go to CB I Hate Perfume in Brooklyn.  I met a couple gals there, and we sniffed all sorts of fun things.

But it was his Wildflower Honey that entranced me.  Later that night, in the movie theater as I watched Coco before Chanel, I inhaled the sweet, musky honey smell like a force field – the weather that weekend in New York was dreadful (is this the Winter of Dreadful Weather?) and I was sick-ish.  The golden smell of Wildflower Honey made all the pain go away.

But I’d been in a hurry and hadn’t bought a bottle, so I ordered one up when I got home.  It arrived and … it just wasn’t the same.   Whatever they make “honey” scents out of, as many of you already know, can go wrong in all sorts of directions – total anosmia, or boxwood (aka “cat pee,”) or the smell that we on the Posse delicately refer to as “sperm.”  (Yup – it must be March posting this morning, although Lee’s giving me a run for my money.)   In fact it was Lee and I who laughed at the intense spunk note (is anyone still reading?) in Santa Maria Novella’s Acqua di Cuba.  Here, let me quote from their website: This masculine scent, with a pleasing mix of tobacco and leather has decisive and dry undertones. The perfect gift for a man. And if you’re a manly man who wants to smell like sperm, well, Cuba’s your scent.  (Okay, okay, it smells perfectly normal, a honeyed tobacco smell, on/to all sorts of people.)

Back on topic:  I emailed CB (yes, I know him.  He speaks to me.  And I bought my bottle at full retail.) and described the problem.  He sent me another bottle which he mixed himself.  And … FAIL.  Utter, utter fail.  Let me emphasize that he couldn’t have been nicer and more helpful about it, and we had a long, interesting exchange about the ways that weather, and the fact that I was sick, could have affected my perception.  The upshot, though, is that I have a bottle of Wildflower Honey that I can only smell the ghostly edges of, as if I were seeing the outline of a shape and none of the sculptural detail.  It’s very frustrating.

So I did what any rational person would do, which is buy a full bottle of Serge Lutens Miel de Bois.  There have been rumors forever that MdB was going to be axed; surely it must be the least popular of the line?  But it lives on, although the most recent news from Helg at Perfume Shrine is that they’re pulling it, along with Santal Blanc, Chypre Rouge, and Douce Amere, from the export line. Miel de Bois is “a sensuous woody Oriental scent with notes of ebony, oak, gaiac, aquilaria aguillocha (used to make incense sticks) and honey all resting on base notes of beeswax, iris and hawthorn.”

I tried MdB when I was first getting to know the house o’ Serge, and I hated MdB with a passion.  I thought it was one of the thickest, furriest, most unpleasantly strange things I’d ever smelled.  And because of that, and some part of it, after all the hideousness, that got its hooks into me, I kept trying and trying and trying.  And for me, well, once I tried it, we were pretty much done with other perfumes for the day.  It was all I could do to live through that one.

And then awhile ago, I fell for it.  I don’t want to say I “got it” because that would imply some awakening of a higher intellectual plane of understanding, or some such.  I put it on, and I put up with the first bits, which are hawthorne-y on me and, okay, a hair rough – that magnolia/Cheeto smell that’s a bit like rancid butter.  But after that?  It’s like standing in the warm embrace of the sun.  In heaven.  While angels play their harps.  And etc.  I totally understand why many, many people are honey-haters in perfumery.  But if you’re a honey-lover, IMO you haven’t walked the walk unless you’ve tried Miel de Bois.

Here, let me quote from TS in The Guide – “animalic floral,” one crummy star.  And here’s why:  “Phenylacetic acid smells like honey in dilution, like urine at concentration.  Miel de Bois (honey of wood) gets the balance drastically wrong and smells like a New York sidewalk in July.  A very small percentage of people find it floral and don’t know why the rest of us are howling.”

A full bottle of Miel de Bois will last me until the sun explodes, I’d imagine.  And the ride is pretty different if you dab vs. spray.  Dabbing takes away from some of the terror, but let’s face it – you’re making a commitment here, putting this on.  Go Big or Go Home.  You have to spray.  Because although you get the worst – really, that buttery, furry part at the beginning is a bit much – you also get the best when you spray – the sweetest part of the honey itself, the part right in the center that smells the way a drop of excellent honey would taste on your tongue – and I never get that unless I spray it.

I feel guilty wearing it out; I wonder if people around me think I’ve wet myself, even though that’s not how it smells to me.   On the plus side, if I sidle up to the girls six or eight hours after spraying, they spontaneously exclaim that I smell wonderful, so it can’t all be in my imagination.  If you get it on your clothes, it will be there until they disintegrate.  I’m just saying.

And now… I really want to try it layered with Santal Blanc on one arm, and Fleurs d’Oranger on the other.  But I’ve had a sinus headache and I’m too scared that the combination on the wrong day would be so punishing I’d never want to smell MdB again.  My personal bet is that MdB might well bury SB, but if it worked, it could be magic.  I’m thinking FdO + MdB would be astonishing – orange-flower honey! – unless it makes me retch and reach for the Liquid Tide.  What say you?  Does anyone else layer Lutens?  And I’m talking the ballsier ones, not Clair de Musc (which I put on almost everything, if it needs some sparkle.)

UPDATE: okay, I layered MdB and FdO, which is like inviting Genghis Khan and Godzilla over for dinner; who’s going to die first?  As it turns out, Genghis and Godzilla are quite the conversationalists.  It’s two parts FdO to one part MdB, and nobody wanted to sit next to me at dinner, but my god, it’s gorgeous.  FdO suppresses the Cheeto-feet of MdB nicely, and that honey really works with the orange blossom while muting the cumin-y note at the top of FdO that bothers some folks (although not me.)

PS.  For folks interested in honey, there are links to my earlier honey posts here and here.  Also, we’re having an image upload FAIL, so until we get that resolved, you’ll have to imagine a nice photo up there.

Source: full, wrapped bottle of MdB purchased from eBay seller in Canada; private sample of FdO.

  • aotearoa says:

    Thanks so much- I’ll try those options – even Latvia!

  • aotearoa says:

    I loved Miel de Bois at first sniff – it’s like putting your head in a hive on a hot summers day with the added danger of the bees buzzing around. Funky pollen,wooden hive and raw honey.
    Does anyone know a reliable ebay discounter to get a FB – I live on the other side of the world in New Zealand and it’s not easy. Love TPC for samples but sometimes a gal’s gotta have the bottle…

  • london says:

    Has anyone tried Soivohle Honeysuckle Bird? That’s honey and honeysuckle to me and I love it.

  • nozknoz says:

    I have had some fun reporting snow hazards to the county – indulging my inner vigilante <):) Thanks for bringing up honey, a note I have neglected. I'll definitely be seeking a sample of BdM! I haven't ventured into layering much - and reflecting on your mad experiment, I got an image of you, Gene Wilder, and Igor in the Young Frankenstein lab - but I did accidentally layer Schiaparelli Si with a vintage Lanvin extrait once and found myself enveloped in a deep, warm olfactory fur of sandalwood and birch tar - yum!

  • nozknoz says:

    “I wonder if people around me think I’ve wet myself” Oh, March, how long can it be before EdOL gives us the “Incontinent Bag Lady” version of honey? LOL!

    With respect to Snowmageddon/Snoverkill, I just wonder if it will EVER again not be H*ll getting to work 😕 Please tell me the snow will melt by August and everyone with any sense will get out of Dodge, as they always do….

    • March says:

      I had to do a little driving today and the roads are terrible – not the roads themselves, but the fact that on most commuter roads we’re missing a lane. The kids are supposed to go to school tomorrow, which I think is nuts. There is no way a schoolbus can make it through here.

      It will melt in … March?

  • sweetlife says:

    Late to the party and not much to say–we’ve had all our honey conversations already! But I am sorry to hear the CB went awry.

    My new favorite honey note is the one buried in Parfum DelRae’s Bois de Paradis. Which you will hate, probably, because of the Rose. But I picked up a scarf, the other day, that I’d worn after spraying some on, and there it was, just…GORGEOUS…and now I can smell it in the perfume when I’m wearing it…

    • March says:

      It was so sad. I didn’t blog on it because I kept expecting Triumph. But I think it is not to be…

      And you are right, unfortunately, about Paradis. 🙁 Although I am sure you are right about your scarf.

  • Shelley says:

    Here’s what happens when I start the day with you…

    So, I decide I want to smell some honey perfume and decide what up, at least today, with that. Can’t immediately locate my little vial of Botrytis, so I dig out the MAC Naked Honey, which was raved about by somebody who perked up my ears, and I had hunted down, but didn’t think was all that. Sprayed, wondered if I might end up in Francesca’s corner of honey perfume opinion. Went out for a few rounds of X-C skiing in the park, came in, unpeeled layers…VOILA! *Now* it smelled good.

    Given my timidness in response to Lee’s post, I have no idea what to make of any of this. I showered, re-applied to see if I could recapture, and…nope. Just sweet. Too sweet. I guess this will be a fragrance I wear to go dancing. Not a bad concept, actually. I also started daydreaming about honey + incense.

    No pee, btw. Not at all. I think I’m going to need to get my back up and try MdB.

    • Musette says:

      Hey, does Lad Bradley have that in his arsenal? I seem to remember Lydia, O Lydia spritzing this one on me (is that possible?) to no great success…perhaps time to try again?

      xo >-)

    • March says:

      You and Musette can hook up in Chicago and go be skeered together. :-ss

      I can’t remember whether I bought Naked Honey or Africanimal for my kid. I think it was Naked, though — it was whichever one smelled more like straight honey and less like a gourmand musk. Smells great on her, though.

  • Winifreida says:

    Well count me in as a MdBois lover; I sampled it actually hoping I’d get the pee note to understand the fuss, but no, it smells like lush woody honey to me…actually, it has that raspy feel that real natural honey has if you eat it straight, to me. Like most of my now FBs it was love at first sniff that didn’t change…
    Unlike my lovely summery sweet gourmandy things, it does seem more like a winter frag to me tho’.
    (I do get the crotch, sperm, blood, greasy hair, civet f**ts in tha ‘fumes they are supposed to be in also, but sometimes think I do have a bit of musk anosmia…but how the heck do you tell?)

    • March says:

      “actually, it has that raspy feel that real natural honey has if you eat it straight, to me.” That’s beautifully put. It definitely has that aroma of honey, beeswax, and everything else.

  • mariekel says:

    I envy you that bottle of CB Wildflower Honey, March. I adore the various smells of floral honeys (especially the chestnut honey I once brought back from Collobrieres in France, the epicentre of marrons glacees) but the CB perfume is the only to date that I like and that genuinely smells like honey to me. I am afraid I find MdB too repulsive in the first few minutes to see what develops. Ava Luxe Honey is way too sweet. Most of the others I have sampled have seemed synthetic and lifeless.

    I have only a tiny amount of my Wildflower Honey decant and eke out a drop whenever I need a cozy, warming feeling of impending spring. If I ever find full-time work again, thsi is definitely on my to-buy list. Sigh.

    • March says:

      So it works for you?


      I wish I could smell it again, like I did that night. Maybe I just need to get really sick and go back to NYC.

  • Astra says:

    The only honey scent I’ve tried is DSH’s Mahjoun. It didn’t do anything odd on me–it smelled of honey–but I am not on board much with gourmand scents yet. Very well done, though.

    • March says:

      I like Mahjoun, although it isn’t my go-to honey (honey is definitely in there.) And I love some of those DSH comfort scents.

  • Disteza says:

    MDB is one of the few honey’s that doesn’t go gaggingly sweet on me–it reminds me more of bee pollen than the actual honey. Turth be told, the mental image I’ve always associtaed with MdB is that some sort of feral woodland god in early summer rut, so I can see why it might scare some people off. 😮
    It can be layered quite sucessfully with Burning Leaves or Black Tourmaline, BTW.
    The only other ‘fume in the Lutens oeuvre that has an obvious honey (to me) is in the Fleurs that you didn’t like: Fleurs d’Citronnier. The perfectly preserved linden flowers with a light, golden honey, and some wisps of citrus is entirely too well-behaved and pretty for the rest of the line. The word ‘diaphanous’ applies, and every time I smell it I think it should have been done by L’Artisan.

    • March says:

      “the mental image I’ve always associated with MdB is that some sort of feral woodland god in early summer rut” — and what a great description that is. Honey can (and should) be animalic to start with, and the rest of the notes in MdB intensifies that.

      I love, love, love honey layered with Burning Leaves. Demeter Bonfire is a cheap, workable alternative. Anything smoky like that eats off some of the sweet, the same way that smoke and vanilla together are so glorious.

      Citronnier — maybe it’s the linden I struggle with. I went through a linden jag, and then … not. Linden’s a little funky as well.

      • Disteza says:

        I don’t get funky from linden, but I drink so much linden tea that I should buy my own grove already, so my opinion may be biased. 😉

  • janh says:

    I have a bottle of cb honey and it smells like honey on me–doesnt last long tho.

  • Francesca says:

    Honey in frags doesn’t smell like pee to me. Just too sweet.

    • March says:

      You’re another honey-magnifier, then? Someone else above does that. I can certainly see how quickly it could overwhelm and be cloying.

  • Style Spy says:

    I remember the horror of my first sniff of MdB, but that was a very long time ago. I’ve come around and am re-trying a lot of things I’d dismissed 4 or 5 years ago and finding that I really like them after all (Fd’O, for one), so I’m willing to give MdB another sniff. But I do usually get pee out of honey things, still, so I’m not hopeful. My favorite honey note by far is the one in Amoureuse — it’s clear as a bell and gorgeous on me.

    • March says:

      That’s the excellent thing about re-sniffage over time, I think we’ve kicked the idea around on here. Often the things we hated, we just weren’t quite up for yet. 🙂 However, if honey tends to go the pee direction on you, yes, MdB is unlikely to be a huge success.

  • Kate says:

    House full of kids…MdB…I see…bad mommy!

    • March says:

      Bad Mommy is right. But they’re used to it by now. They almost never comment on something I am wearing, unless they despise it, or really, really love it. And to be fair, since the Cheese is here as well, I try to tone it down when I’m testing things. And when they all have to get in the car with me.

  • Musette says:

    thank you for a Really Good Laugh.

    I never thought of Godzilla and Genghis Khan at dinner together – what a delightful concept.

    I’ve not quite mastered honey, except the Perlier Honey lotion, which I love (but you can’t wear it with poifume, as it sort of messes up the smell).

    CB sounds like a delightful person – so glad he was willing to work with you on that – and dang! on the Not Working Out!

    It’s snowing here today. I am unhappy. Wearing Lys Med, which may be my new Sunny Scent!

    xo >-)

    • March says:

      Snow, snow, go away!!! We’re supposed to get more this afternoon, and ugh.

      CB is a delightful person — he’s curious, and interesting to talk to. Although even he can’t fix the problem that I can no longer smell that wonderful smell. 🙁

      Honey I blog on because it interests me and why not? (I don’t do a ton of ROSE posts, as you know.) But I understand completely why many people don’t like it, having read their descriptions of what THEY are smelling. It seems to me to be the flukiest note in perfumery.

      • Musette says:

        your blogging on honey would be the one reason I would be interested in investigating it!

        xo >-)

        ps. one reason I hate snow? jamming my feet into boots and my fat butt into ‘spring-weight’ jeans!=))

        • March says:

          I have been wearing the same pair of gd boots for … how many days has it been now? Although I’ll say: I bought them on a whim in Vienna awhile ago, I called them my Nazi boots (very un-PC.) They come up to my knees and are lined leather with a good tread and very, very warm. I’ve gotten more wear out of them this winter than since I bought them.

  • Francesca says:

    Wow, my whole previous post (before the pee one) disappeared, not like you are missing much…
    What I wanted to say was, I love honey. The kind you eat. Clover, mixed blossom, orange blossom, chestnut, thyme, linden (woo!) even pine. But I can’t stand it in a fragrance. And I don’t have the patience to wait for it to turn into something orgasmic four hours or even four minutes later.
    And to second Chayaruchama’s question, who’s going to Sniffa NYC in April? I’m toying with the idea since I missed the last one due to stupid broken vertebrae.

    • March says:

      But it’s up there! I mean, I can see it. Weird. I will say the page is not refreshing properly when I respond to comments. I have to literally go up to the top of Firefox and “refresh” the page, or nothing new shows up. Don’t know what that’s about. :-w

      • Francesca says:

        Ugh, I hate repeating myself, which my husband is constantly busting me for. Old age? Tee many martoonis?b-(

        • March says:

          No, honestly. I think they aren’t showing up sometimes on the blog unless you refresh. (Not that you need refreshing.) You’re not the first to have this issue. 😡

  • Fiordiligi says:

    I don’t get the “wee” note from honey scents, but I’m just not all that keen on them. Miel de Bois is just a bit too thick for me (my complaint about most Serges, apart from the ones that practically don’t exist they are so thin). In any event, I love “knicker perfumes” and have a big bottle of original formula Shocking to prove it! I agree, The Party goes there too, which it would, being so closely related to the legendary Mitsouko (I know, I always have to get a Guerlain mention into my posts).

    • March says:

      Knicker perfumes, there’s a great name. Jicky parfum is like that on me, although I understand why that makes some people loathe it. And PIM and Shocking and The Queen Mitsouko as well. 😡

      • Francesca says:

        I gave my standard “The Party” description to a whole bunch of non-frag people at a dinner party on Saturday: No-better-than-she-should-be girl goes to a non-air conditioned party on Park Ave in the thirties. She’s clean and is wearing a lot of perfume and an apricot-silk teddy. She does a lot of dancing and sweating, and The Party is what her teddy smells like the next morning.

  • Francesca says:

    Oh, the horrible irony: If you scroll way, way, down here, there’s a google ad with the headline “The pee stink is gone!”:d

  • Francesca says:

    I. Love. Honey. The sort you eat. Chestnut, clover, orange blossom, thyme, even pine. But I cannot stand to wear it. It makes me gag. And you know I don’t have patience to wait four hours (or even four minutes)for it to turn into something orgasmic.
    A propos of Chayaruchama’s post above, IS anyone else thinking of going to Sniffa in NYC in April? I’m toying with the idea since I missed the last one due to fractured vertebrae. But I’d like to know if I’d see Posse people there.

    • March says:

      I won’t be going, although I’m sure lots of people will. And regarding your comment — hey, I love the smell of various liqueurs, and wine, but I loathe those smells in perfumery.

  • Robin says:

    Love Miel de Bois. Been trying to decide if I should buy it, but like you, I think the bottle would last me until the sun explodes. Serge needs to make 10 ml bottles, as does everybody else.

    • March says:

      I followed my decant rule. I used my decant up and (being under-represented in the honey dept.) went for it. I’ve sort of gotten over the I’ll-never-use-it-up thing. In general, I’d rather have a hundred samples than one bottle; I file them away. But if I really love something, enough to have worn out a decant, and it’s not hideously expensive, I go ahead and buy a bottle, knowing full well that I already own far more perfume than I could ever wear in this lifetime. @};-

  • melanie says:

    I have no idea where you find all these unusual scents; I go to the mall and Sephora and find the more or less usual stuff they have. I don’t know when I will smell leather or honey perfumes; I love that you are gutsy and committed to trying and wearing them. Let’s’ hear it for perfumistas who aren’t afraid to go beyond conventional. Long live individuality!

    • March says:

      Well … none of these things are at the mall or Sephora, unless your mall is way nicer than ours. Much of the perfume on the perfume blogs is unusual stuff, found online or at niche perfumeries. In fact that becomes part of the thrill, hunting things down. I guess my analogy would be: if you got really into wine, and your local liquor store only stocked ordinary stuff, maybe at some point you’d start visiting wineries, or go to private wine parties (there are flaws in my comparison, given liquor shipping laws, but you see what I’m saying.) Probably a lot of people do intial sampling either through swaps, which used to be easy to do on MakeupAlley until they threw the swappers off. I’ll mention The Perfumed Court which has tons of samples, and I’ll also mention that my blogmate Patty is one of the sellers on TPC (so I’m doing full disclosure), although I don’t make any money from TPC and am NOT affiliated with them. They are honest and have a huge selection of niche perfumes.

      • Disteza says:

        I’ll also add that, depending on your location, you may have to go a bit farther afield to try things in person. If you’re at all close to places like LA, Denver, Chicago, DC, or NYC, I suggest you do a bit of research to find some boutiques you’d like to hit, and then take a mini-trip (if it’s possible) to do some sniffage. We went up to NYC last year for 1 day of museum-hopping and one day of perfumed bliss with massive tea consumption. It made for a nifty, cheap-esque vacay (if you don’t count stocking up on the Amouages as part of the total price). 😉

        • Musette says:

          OMG! with the Amouages thrown in, it prolly would’ve been cheaper for you to go to Bermuda!=))

          But I’ll second your advice to melanie on mini-vacation/fieldtrip. I’m fortunate to have only moved a 2 hr train ride (very comfy – and cheap!)away from Chicago, so every couple weeks I hightail it the hell out of Cowtown and go back home. A nice day of snifferage and trying on of large-scale diamonds, a good lunch (made better when I’m hanging with Mistress Shelley) and a relaxing train-ride back to the sticks.

          If you’re not anywhere near a major hub The Perfumed Court is your best bet – you can try any/all niche stuff relatively inexpensively. I would definitely start there – it makes no sense to buy before you try!

          ps. I am NOT affiliated with TPC. Not sure if posters have to state their affils – just sayin’ [-x 😀

          xo >-)

      • Louise says:

        MUA alley still allows swaps..just not publicized splits, so it’s still a good source for learning about new scents-you just have to wade through a lot of Swap and Wishlist, though the search mechanism is pretty OK :d/

  • dissed says:

    I love laughing in the morning.

    The best honey scent ever was the one (name? who knows) that Avon discontinued about eight or nine years ago, it cost next to nothing. I read about it on MUA (Christian, I think), bought a bottle and used it up — except for the 10 ml decant at the back of the cabinet, which shall be hauled out as soon as I’ve showered. Too skeered to try Cheeto Feet, missed Naked Honey and Africanimal, haven’t tried any others in ages . . . now I want honey.

    • March says:

      Naked Honey and Africanimal were around for about 20 seconds. I bought one for my daughter (whichever one is more honey, I forget) and it smells great on her, but I’m not going to kill myself trying to hunt down more of it. The Avon I’d not heard of.

  • kathleen says:

    Mmmmm….Miel de Bois. Someone spritzed this, when a few of us were at AWF, I thought it smelled good on her. So I spritzed, except for that initial whiff, which made Nava jump back (which was funny, as I’ve never seen that kind of reaction), it was quite floral. I was receiving complements for the rest of the afternoon. I asked Don to have a whiff (in case people were having a laugh, and wanted me to walk around smelling like pee), and he realy liked it, as well. I wear it layered over a honey scented body lotion, totally enjoyable. I’ve also heard, but not tried, that it layers quite nicely with Un Bois Vanille.

    So, if your bottle ever needs a loving home, well, I know of one.

    • March says:

      Your combination sounds lovely, with a honey scented body lotion, which would maybe suppress the hawthorne … brave girl, spraying it on at AWF. That’s where I smelled it (several times) and thought, oh, that’s awful! Until it wasn’t any more.

  • vicuna1 says:

    MdB was my first Serge full bottle purchase. One wearing out of the tiny sample thingie and I was totally hooked. My backup bottle is ordered, but is apparently coming by slow boat. I would dearly love a bell jar of it. FdO is one of my least fave SL’s but will have to try it with MdB- I know it plays well with Cuir Mauresque- which then makes me wonder how MdB would be with Cuir Mauresque…hm…

    • March says:

      Hah, your first full bottle! Good for you. I’m wondering why you don’t like FdO, which seems similar to me? Although I don’t like Fleurs de Citronnier or however it’s spelled, and lots of people like those two. And you’re layering too!

  • chayaruchama says:

    The one that takes “four hours under a boulder in a cave” –
    Before it morphs into loud, but heart-breaking beauty.
    The one I gave to a Moroccan GF [ 20 years old], because SHE didn’t worry about such minutiae :”>

    Serena makes a gorgeous Honey- pure, simple, lovely.
    You could surely inquire on Etsy…..

    I’m a fan.
    But sometimes, I have to factor in other folks’ needs-

    [Will we see you in NYC at Sniffa, oh winsome one ?

    • March says:

      Really? I should track it down. DSH makes a couple nice ones too, one is very musky on me. And yum.

      Probably not at Sniffa this time. 🙁

  • Rappleyea says:

    You’re a brave, brave woman March with your experimenting, and you had me ROTFL with this review/description of said experiment. You brightened my snow white out morning! Thanks.

    • March says:

      We’re getting Snowmageddon Part III (Revenge of the Snowmen) later today. I wonder if the children will ever go back to school.

      The SL experimenting initially sounded awful, but sort of makes sense — they are soliflores in spirit, if not in reality. It seemed less crazy the more I thought about it.

      I will add that after five hours, MdB had killed off FdO, which is saying something.

  • JAntoinette says:

    My perfume-phobic sister confiscated my sample of MdB when I was trying to lure her to the dark side perfume worship. I was shocked as obviously MdB has a rep for being difficult for oh, everyone on the planet. I had forgotten to replenish at least my sample when she came to visit. She had bought a decant and such a delicious cloud followed her out of the bathroom. I can’t justify a train ride to Paris for this can I? No, I can’t. Yes, I can. Yes? No. Grr. I do hate the tug of war of the full bottle purchase.

    • March says:

      Aha!!! Isn’t it funny when they latch onto the “difficult” ones? The first two frags my non-perfume-lovin’ SIL wanted from me were… Messe de Minuit and Mitsouko. Go figure.

      I know I’m probably going to hell for it, but I think I paid a little more than half the retail cost for my bottle. There isn’t a huge demand for full bottles on eBay 🙂

      • Musette says:

        well, she adores you – so that’s her first mark for excellent taste.

        Mitsouko is her second (I would make it her first but you are in that place and Empress M is nothing if not gracious. except when she isn’t8-x

        xo >-)

  • Louise says:

    As much as I adore CB and his scents (and yes, he is so nice-via email and fb!)-I’ve found a lot of variability in one batch or another.This has been very true of my favorite accord of his-the Smokey Tobacco.

    I have my perfect honey (scent) now-Tokyo Milk’s Honey and the Moon :d/ I just tossed it into the cart as an extra to get to free postage (you know the logic) during one of their recent sales. And woohoo-true rich honey, strong, not at all pee-pee. It’s longlasting even on me, and must be sprayed lightly. Layers well with various Lutens and Bell’Antonio. Just too lovely 😡

    There is no contest on the sperm count between Lee and you. Just that-no contest :d/

    • Louise says:

      damn wrong emoticons @-) l-) o-+

    • March says:

      How did I miss your comment? Sorry. 🙁

      Remember that one you gave me? Some burned-wood accord? And it seemed not there and all wrong? I think I’m anosmic. I remember seeking it out in particular to sniff that day and it was the same thing — like sniffing mildly-scented water. I’m assuming it must have more smell than that, and I simply can’t smell it.

      I tried the Tokyo Milk and was annoyed — it will not hold the honey on me! I mean, maybe it’s there and I just lose my nose-sensitivity to it, but where’s the fun in that? It was nice, even then, but I really want the honey.

  • Silviafunkly says:

    I love your experiments, March !

    Honey on me smells just like…honey, it’s neither love nor hate, but my skin does tend to amplify the note. For example By Kilian Back to Black is only honey on me.

    “Losing” a fragrance you love is so so sad.

    • March says:

      Amplifying the honey where it’s supposed to be small would probably be annoying. And losing a fragrance was, in fact, very sad.

  • nancy says:

    I first tried MdB when I was very new to perfumery, and knew nothing about anything. I sprayed it on my left arm and fell in love with it immediately. I happened to spray FdO on my right arm as well. About an hour later I had a coworker sniff each arm and give me his opinion. I remember he looked at me strangely and said: “Whatever you do, don’t buy what’s on your left arm.” So I did, of course. And I still love MdB, but it wasn’t until I read your posts on honey that I understood why he said what he did.

    • March says:

      I think … what am I trying to say. I can smell a musk, and understand that it’s a pleasant smell to me but not pleasant to others (in that, why would you want to wear that? way.) Honey I find trickier, because it generally smells great to/on me. And so I forget how wretched it smells to many other people — people who, if they know nothing about perfumery, must surely wonder why I’m dousing myself in something that smells like urine.

  • Lee says:

    Funny bunny.

    I’m no honey fan, either in taste or in scent, though quite beloved of beeswax.

    And I think you’re the queen of the sperm. I’m just a pale imitation.

  • Honey’s a tricky one, isn’t it? Yesterday I smelled a gorgeous, early 20th century honey base by De Laire with Octavian, Miel Blanc: it was both delicately floral and, I imagine, quite tricky to use in a fragrance… My first impulse was to think of it paired up with orange blossom.
    Honey would also work well with rose and sandalwood. Add muguet and civet and you’ve pretty much got vintage Shocking.
    In fact, the combination of rose, sandalwood and honey would probably produce a slight “odeur de gousset”, ie ladies’ undies, which is what I always compare Shocking with (and all the perfumers I spoke to about that agree with the description).

    • Francesca says:

      Oh, Denyse, I love the “odeur de gousset” description; I could have used that when talking about The Party in Manhattan to some fellow dinner-party guests the other night.:x

    • March says:

      See, look at the fascinating things we learn on this blog, thanks, D! It makes me tempted to put on some vintage Shocking.

      You’re much better informed than I am, aromachemically. I understand the urine-like problem with honey. But what are the anosmia issues, is there a musk component? What about the spermy bits? :”>

      • Honestly, I don’t know how those particular honey scents were achieved so there might be musk… As for the spermy bits, I never got that from honey, it might be something that comes out because you don’t get the full effect? I’m stumped.

        • March says:

          I think you’re probably right about the spermy bits, as it only happens when I’m clearly having trouble smelling the fragrance.

  • ChickenFreak says:

    I’ve lamented that honey never works on me – most honey scents are a nightmare on my skin, including Miel de Bois and Wildflower Honey and Botrytis and I’m not sure how many others. My only remotely OK honey scent is Velvet Gardenia – roughly every third wearing, it produces a lovely beeswax and butter combination on my skin. (And on the other two, it’s just a vaguely satisfactory floral.)

    Well, actually, I once had a layering combination using ElizabethW Sweet Tea and something with cumin that produced a truly glorious beeswax scent for about fourteen seconds, about two minutes in, if I got the order right and let the first layer dry for the right length of time. But that doesn’t really count. 🙂

    • March says:

      Botrytis was pretty wretched on me, and I have no idea why some honey scents work and others have that, uh, male-essence thing going on.

      Beeswax is such a great, great smell. That was the other part of the Wildflower Honey I loved, it had a long beeswaxy section.

  • tmp00 says:

    MdeB has become one of those scents that perhaps I won’t wear on the weekdays to the office (at least not liberally spritzed) but on weekends I’m going for it. Because if I have to stand the smell of your red hot cheetoes on the Metro I think you should have to stand my challenging Fwench perfume… 🙁

    • March says:

      Heh, look at all the freaks coming out of the woodwork today… well, we wear musk, right? People look at me funny on those days too. 🙂