When preparing a review of a fragrance I usually wear it on five or six separate occasions, whilst each time jotting my thoughts down in my perfume book. There is a method to my madness it seems and this process allows me to piece together the many intricacies (or lack thereof in some cases) that make up a perfume.
Most follow this trajectory, allowing me to form a strong opinion at the end of my trials. This however, is not the case for all perfumes that I sample and there is a small category of ‘undefinables’ that seem almost tricky to fathom out. These slippery fishes can either cause great interest or mass frustration, depending on how things pan out and perhaps one of the most severe cases of perfume miffed-ness comes from Viktoria Minya’s Hedonist.
Viktoria Minya is an “award winning Hungarian perfumer” and her first perfume ‘Hedonist’ is described as a “powerful and provocative perfume for a woman who dares to be true to her desires”. With a name like ‘Hedonist’ one expects an indulgent, sensory explosion – a feast of odours for one to dine on like a true glutton. But is this hedonist perhaps a tad too over indulgent?
Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Rum Absolute and Woods
How Does it Smell?
Hedonist’s initial impression is of a big boozy orange, one that has soaked itself in a rich bath of cognac and rum. It’s all incredibly intense right from the outset and there’s an unusual syrupy, almost stewed quality to the thick layers of the top notes that at times can almost feel a little bit difficult to digest.
The heart is chockablock with shimmering honey and whilst the note is particularly opulent it is in fact rather clean, emitting sunny peach facets as opposed to the deep, pollen and sour animalic features the note is well-known for. I find the honey note to be the most enjoyable part of Hedonist, it melds perfectly with the orange blossom to present an almost euphoric core of golden sun.
In the base, the solar qualities of the heart fade to make way for an opaque accord of wood and leather. There is a touch of coconut that adds some contrast to the heavier notes, but for the most part Hedonist is thick and unwieldy. The description promises “the sleek look and feel of snakeskin leather” and one can’t help but sniff Hedonist, especially in the base and think ‘man, I wish I got some of that’.
There is absolutely no denying that Hedonist is a complex perfume but at times it becomes unpalatably dense and its this density that stops me from sharing what seems to be a general enthusiasm for this scent. Viktoria Minya clearly has a unique talent and whilst Hedonist is definitely a case of over indulgence for me I look forward to seeing what she has to offer in the future.
Hedonist is available in 45ml Eau de Parfum for €130.
Sample via Viktoria Minya. Image 1 via thinkdo3.com. Image 2 via plus.google.com. Notes via basenotes.net. Quotes via viktoriaminya.com.