In all my years of “fragrance acquisitions,” I’ve owned five natural perfumes (and three of those were from Aveda). It’s not that I am “against” natural perfumery, but many natural perfumes are similar in style (leaden) and scent (unoriginal). Often when I test natural fragrances, I feel I’m wearing a smelly naturopathic cough syrup or joint rub (apply to arthritic knees and elbows and feel the relief!)
Providence Perfume Co* Hindu Honeysuckle does not fall into the “remedy scent” category of natural perfumery. Hindu Honeysuckle includes fragrance notes of bergamot, jasmine, vetiver, ambrette seeds, rose and coriander. I have no idea if “honeysuckle” is in the perfume or if its scent is conjured by the other fragrance notes; nor am I sure if “Hindu” honeysuckle refers to a type of honeysuckle plant from India or if the designation “Hindu” is simply Providence Perfume Co’s ‘PR speak’ (the marketing materials mention Bhramari Devi, the bee goddess, and honeysuckle’s symbolism in India — the flower represents generosity, kindness).
Hindu Honeysuckle starts off sweet and syrupy, with rich bergamot and (non-indolic) jasmine. The opening accord smells most like honeysuckle (though no honeysuckle on the vine provides the floral richness Hindu Honeysuckle does.) In India, honeysuckle flowers are steam distilled into a sandalwood base to produce a floral-woody attar; in Hindu Honeysuckle, coriander and ambrette seeds anchor the flowers, producing a floral-spice-vegetal musk perfume.
As Hindu Honeysuckle develops, a black-tea-with-honey scent mixes with the floral aromas (some “dark” rose and dense jasmine). In the dry down, there’s even a hint of tuberose-like scent combined with an aroma that reminds me of “hay.” In the extreme dry-down, there’s a touch of vetiver, and I layered Hindu Honeysuckle with khus — vetiver attar — with great results.
I’ve smelled many Indian attars lately, and Hindu Honeysuckle fits right into the Indian style of perfumery — rich, opaque, floral and forceful. On the days I wore Hindu Honeysuckle, I wanted to keep reapplying the scent (and book a flight to Delhi).
My only problem with Hindu Honeysuckle is its longevity; though it’s an Eau de Parfum, it lasts on my skin about two hours (you can extend that time by getting dressed immediately after spritzing yourself with the perfume — cloth holds onto scent longer than flesh). Most natural perfumes have mediocre lasting power, and I can usually deal with that if I love a fragrance, but at $115 for 30 ml I’d go through a bottle of Hindu Honeysuckle a month; for me, it’s simply too expensive for a cologne-type scent. Though it possesses a powerful floral punch, Hindu Honeysuckle’s vetiver, coriander and musk notes make it a unisex fragrance (to me, at least).
Providence Perfume Co Hindu Honeysuckle Eau de Parfum is available in 30 ml spray ($115) and 6 ml travel atomizer ($26). Samples are also available. For buying information, see the listing for Providence Perfume Co under Perfume Houses.
* Providence perfumes are 100% natural and blended in a pure alcohol spirit base.
Note: top image of honeysuckle via Wikimedia Commons.