I have been lusting after this perfume for quite a while. Everything about it seemed to indicate that I would fall head over heels. Golden, glowing peaches and woods? Yes please! A bottle filled with delicate amber beads? Stunning! The scent of hedonism? Well why not? It has got to that time of the year when I just want to indulge all my senses with wild abandon. I’ll repent in the new year.
‘Hedonist’ is the first signature fragrance from Viktoria Minya, a Hungarian born, award winning perfumer with classical french training. ‘Hedonist’ has received high acclaim since it’s launch earlier in 2013 and the perfumer herself much praised and admired for her talent, dedication and beauty.
The Viktoria Minya website describes ‘Hedonist’ thus:
“A powerful and provocative perfume for a woman who dares to be true to her desires. Lush notes of jasmine and orange blossom absolute flirt with the dark intensity of rum and the world’s finest woods for a scent that is as captivating as it is unforgettable.”
With a name like ‘Hedonist’, this perfume promises to lavish my senses with all things pleasurable, to transport me into a land of delight, to do away with the mundane and gild everything in golden sensuality. I have great expectations of intoxicating, mind spinning moments, of turning every head as I sashay down velvet carpeted halls…..
Ok so maybe I got a little carried away. I found ‘Hedonist’ extremely pleasurable, in fact I’m totally in love with it but not because it is the perfume equivalent of ultimate gratification. For me it is far too restrained and flawless to be classed as hedonistic. On my skin ‘Hedonist’ is a whisper of plushest velvet peach skin, warm honey and golden tobacco leaves with dark rum and bright amber citrus. I find myself sinking into the enveloping embrace of this perfume in an almost peaceful way. It has the hushed anticipation of the theatre before a performance rather than the rush and swoop of a heartbeat aroused. It is decadent, it is golden, in a sophisticated, classical way. It has depth, brightness, sweetness and smokiness, stitched carefully into tailored perfection. I found no wild abandon here. ‘Hedonist’ is sexy in a very soft way. Slightly flushed skin, dusted with rouge, breath sweetened with herbs. It has a glowing intensity that does not slip into a pervasive glare, warmth in the most comforting, baked peach and honey dream. It is a sublime experience while it lasts.
Usually a perfume with citrus top notes bursts upon the skin right away. ‘Hedonist’ has the sensation of honey and fruit juices drizzled onto my wrist. There is the bright sparkle of orange which is immediately sweetened and warmed by the most delicious nectar of honey and rum. That wonderful baked peach accord blooms like a sunlit smile and feels very classical yet also light and breezy. The woods beneath are smoothly polished with beeswax and a suede cloth. All is seamless and golden.
As the perfume warms into my skin it becomes more full and I notice a beautiful tobacco note. Not burning tobacco but flaked amber leaves, damp between the fingertips. The dark rum becomes more prominent amidst the dripping peach and orange and honey, deepening the colours into autumnal tones. It is comforting as the softest eiderdown and I feel soothed by these sweet depths.
‘Hedonist’ is not a radical shapeshifter, it steadily breathes it’s golden light forth, losing only the initial feeling of drenched juices. The orange subsides ever so slightly and a more floral orange blossom and soft jasmine blend themselves smoothly, so smoothly that I barely notice their arrival. That amazing tobacco is ever present, mingling with the honeyed peaches to make this a perfume of incredible balance and intricacy. Rum and woods could so easily have dominated the main development but here they remain controlled below the top fruity layer, smoothing, supporting and cushioning the lighter shades.
Towards the end of this perfume’s life a dryness develops. It is a fine cashmere shawl draped across shoulders warmed by evening sunlight. The tobacco begins to smoulder and the smooth woods absorb the golden nectar. Little white flowers crown it all. It is heartbreakingly lovely and over far too soon.
This is the only sadness that I felt whilst sampling ‘Hedonist’. It does not last longer than three hours on my skin. I wondered at first whether I was being stingy with my sample. It was a surprise gift from my dear Silver Fox and I wanted to make it last! The third time I tested it I practically doused myself with it, (by my standards, about a third of the vial) hoping for a more lasting pleasure. Alas, after three hours there was nothing left but a faint woody sweetness. I am not someone who likes to radiate scent like a force field, but ‘Hedonist’ is so lovely that I would have been quite happy for others to catch a drift of it’s golden goodness as I passed by. Other reviews I have read do not seem to mention a problem with longevity, so maybe I have been too careful with my application. But there is just enough in the tiny vial for a few more glorious hours and I am not about to waste it!
To conclude, ‘Hedonist’ is a truly lovely, deeply comforting and highly crafted perfume that deserves all the compliments that have thus far been lavished upon it. The fact that wearing it brought me so much pleasure makes it deserving of it’s name in many respects, but those looking for dizzying heights of gratification may find it a little too warm and gentle to satisfy those deeper urges. I would dearly love to own a beautiful bottle of ‘Hedonist’, but knowing that beauty is fleeting makes me concerned about how quickly I would fritter away it’s golden nectar. Perhaps I will ask Father Christmas for a bottle to keep for special occasions….