I’m a “honey-child.” I love to eat honey; I love the scent of honey in soaps, shampoos, lotions, candles; and I am a PROUD admirer of Serge Lutens Miel de Bois. I’ve been looking for a fragrance that showcases honey for a long time (Miel de Bois is as much about wood as it is honey), so I was happy to read the announcement of MAC’s two new honey fragrances.
MAC (Make-Up Art Cosmetics Inc.) has not been on my perfume “radar”; I didn’t even know the company produced perfumes. Africanimal and Naked Honey (in MAC’s Creations Hue line) were developed, perfumer(s) unknown, to showcase different aspects of honey aroma: spicy and floral.
I know many people who think 'honey' smells neither spicy nor floral, but “piss-y.” My friend Hilda who sampled Africanimal with me at Nordstrom exclaimed: “Cat pee!” about 30 minutes after spraying her arm with the fragrance. I don’t have any problem with honey notes in perfumes and never think “urine” when I smell honey accords! If you hate the scent of honey, you’ll probably want to ignore these new MAC fragrances.
Creations Hue: Africanimal
Africanimal starts with ‘warm’ intense honey, citrus and a light floral accord; there is also an undertone of ‘spice’ (well-blended) and sheer unidentifiable ‘wood’. Honey is the star of Africanimal. I was expecting Africanimal to be “wild” given MAC’s description: “an aromatic orgy…far from sweet” but Africanimal is tame. I’m happy for the tameness since I don’t want my honey obscured and overwhelmed by spices or woods (spices and woods I can get in any number of fragrances, “honey” is harder to come by). Africanimal is “sweet” (not gourmand) but it’s not too sweet that a man can’t wear it. As the fragrance dries down, there’s a lovely iced-oolong-tea-sweetened-with-honey phase and then Africanimal reverts to pure, piquant honey.
Creations Hue: Naked Honey
One of the great scents of springtime is the penetrating aroma of blooming black locust trees. I’m lucky; I have a black locust tree in my yard. The sharp, almost powdery, honeyed aroma of black locust flowers can be smelled on the air for weeks in May and June. I always think each spring: “Why, oh WHY, isn’t there a perfume to duplicate black locusts’ fragrance…?” Naked Honey comes close to duplicating the scent of black locust blossoms, and I’m grateful. Naked Honey is a “spring-y” green floral perfume that is suffused with bright-sunny honey notes; it is fresh, scintillating and it puts me into a great mood. Naked Honey is a simple fragrance, but simple in the best possible way: clear, emphatic.
Africanimal and Naked Honey blend well together; they have average-to-good lasting power and stay close to the body. I always apply light fragrances without restraint (10-12 sprays for most Eaux de Colognes); even with that amount of scent on my skin, I needed to reapply Africanimal mid-day (Naked Honey has more tenacity). I’m hoping these fragrances will be so popular MAC will extend their run but please let me know of any other honey fragrances that are worth a sniff. (No need to mention L’Occitane’s honey. Though L’Occitane’s Honey & Lemon soap is a staple in my house, I find their Honey & Lemon Eau de Toilette unwearable and unbearable.)
MAC Creations Hue: Africanimal and Creations Hue: Naked Honey are available in 20 ml for $25; for buying information, see the listing for MAC under Perfume Houses.