Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Historiae: Perfumes of History Review

There is compelling aura that surrounds perfumes inspired by historical scents or people or places--a sort of unexplainable connection that can't be obtained by looking at portraits or reading the latest biographies or even digging through archives. Even though the scents are not exact recreations of something that Marie Antoinette or Josephine may have dabbed on their wrists, the connection between the perfumes and history gives them that extra "something" which makes me want to reach for them every time a scent begins to fade. This is, of course, why I was unable to resist purchasing samples of several of Historiae's "Perfumes of History."

Historiae is known for their fair trade scented products, which include eau de toilette, scented soaps, home sprays and more. They are currently offering five scents--Rose de France, Orangerie du Roy, Violette Imperiale, Bouquet du Trainon, and Hameau de la Reine.

Of these five scents, I decided to sample Rose de France, Bouquet du Trianon and Hameau de la Reine. The picture above shows how I received them. Ordinarly, I receive perfume samples in a small nondescript vial, sometimes with a little information sheet along with my receipt. Historiae's perfumes come individually packaged, as you can see, and even the sample vials have their name and the name of the company printed in gold lettering! It may sound like I'm gushing about the packaging, but this relatively small touch leaves a great first impression! Now onto the scents:

Rose de France

Marie Antoinette adored roses and their fragrance so much that she practically filled the Petit Trianon with them. But can you ever have too much rose? I was a little worried after I read the note description that the perfume would be heavy and almost musky. However... Rose de France is surprisingly light. It is almost like a "dusting" of rose over your skin--floral and wispy instead of overbearing or cloying. It reminds me of walking through a garden sprinkled with roses... soft and inviting. A wonderful choice if you're looking for a rose perfume that isn't heavy or too intense.

Top: may rose, damascena rose, pear, bergamot, tagetes
Heart: rose absolute, magnolia, mock orange, clove, davana, peony, géranium, listea cubeba
Background: benzoin, vanilla, musc, amber

Bouquet du Trianon

Bouquet du Trianon is comprised of numerous scents that Marie Antoinette herself enjoyed--it really is a perfume "bouquet" of the scents she enjoyed at her Trianon. In a strange way, Bouquet de Trianon feels like a walk through a country estate. When I first put it on, it was very bright and citrus-y and reminded me of fresh meadow air. But as the perfume went on, the underlying notes--particularly tuberose and rose--began to emerge, and the scent was more like a well-tended country flower garden. Towards the end, just before the scent began to fade, a definite woodsy scent came into play. A great choice if you are looking for a more complex floral, natural perfume.

Top: lemon, bergamot, mandarin, galbanum, mint, freesia, blackcurrant bush leaf
Heart: tuberose absolute, ylang ylang, beeswax absolute, rose, honeysuckle
Background: vetiver, patchouli, amber, musk, sandalwood, cedarwood

Hameau de la Reine

Hameau de la Reine strives to emulate what Historiae calls "the heart of the Queen's Hameau," and I am inclined to believe that they have succeeded. The scent, although it is the lightest of the three that I sampled, is very much like stepping into a natural garden. One word to describe it would be "green." Hameau de la Reine is more leafy and woodsy than floral, but there are underlying currents of flowers that shine through--especially rose and ivy. Of the three Historiae scents I sampled, Hameau de la Reine is my favorite. It makes me feel like I'm strolling through an English garden. A wonderful choice for anyone who loves green, soft scents!

Tête: bergamot, blackcurrant bud, tomato leaf, fig leaf
Heart: rose, galbanum, peony, geranium, mock orange, ivy
Background: vetiver, patchouli, white wood, musk, honey

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