Skip to main content

Honeysuckle and Davana - Honeyed radiance to sultry chic

Until about a year ago, I regularly bought several magazines but now I buy only one, which is Vanity Fair. It has a new editor, a young woman by the name of Radhika Jones, so it has a brand new streamlined look and pace, which took some getting used to for a long-time VF devotee like myself, but now I’m hooked.

The beginning of every month finds me scanning newsstands for the new VF issue with its spanking new spread of great contemporary stuff…culture, politics, art, history, science, biographies, opinions, fashion, scandals and gossip. Every issue is a journalistic smorgasbord of articles which are always well-written, and always contain food for thought. Plus sometimes a little bit more…

Sometimes, a new VF issue includes scent strips for new perfume launches, which I never ever pass over, rubbing them immediately on my wrists. This month’s issue included Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum Intense, a deeper darker sweeter version of Chanel’s best-seller Coco Mademoiselle, and also Honeysuckle and Davana, a brand new floral from Jo Malone, and this is the one that instantly stole my heart.

First of all, there’s nothing quite like honeysuckle. I know  honeysuckle first-hand because there’s a fence on the corner near our house which is covered with the vine in mid-summer, and its distinctive scent is always in the morning air. Its white blooms with yellow centers have a sweet honeyed citrusy scent, delicate and fresh, which intensifies as the day passes, becoming swoon-inducing when the sun sets and the blooms are in shadows, indescribably intoxicating and luscious. Close to orange blossom, sort of like jasmine or tuberose, but different. Younger and softer.

Davana, on the other hand, is unknown to me. A little research tells me that davana is a green plant native to India, its essential oil is rich, sweet, fruity and herbal, slightly woody with a hint of vanilla and a subtle licorice note. It’s a chameleon in fragrances, taking on the qualities of other notes but lifting and enhancing them at the same time, and it’s also known to change according to different skin chemistries.

The opening accord of davana and rose and neroli in Honeysuckle and Davana on my skin is divine. Green and earthy, slightly fruity and fresh citrus-sweet, this vibrant accord soon softens with notes of hay, and quickly leads into the honeysuckle heart which is bright and youthful and radiant, sweet and bursting with intensity. Images of bees and hummingbirds appear in my mind, buzzing and whirring as they feast on the honeyed nectar from the centre of each white bloom.

As Honeysuckle and Davana dries down the honeysuckle note shifts dramatically into its evening persona.  The addition of the traditional chypre notes of oak moss, patchouli and sandalwood transform the honeyed heart into a deeply rich floral fragrance with a warm subtle waft which lasts for hours. Sultry with hints of leather from the distinctive sueded apricot of the osmanthus note, luscious with the creamy aromatic waft from sandalwood, darkly inviting from the earthy patchouli and oakmoss, Honeysuckle and Davana dries down from happy youthful radiance into a true femme fatale floral.

Honeysuckle and Davana was created by Celine Roux, Creative Director at Jo Malone, along with Master Perfumer Anne Flipo creator of countless best-selling contemporary fragrances, many for L’Artisan Parfumeur. Faced with the fact that the scent of the honeysuckle flower actually does chemically change throughout the day and is therefore almost impossible to render as an essential oil, they opted to use headspace technology, a technique which captures and analyzes the olfactive compounds emitted into the air by both the daytime and nighttime scents of the actual blooms, which they then tried to replicate.

The fact that Roux and Flipo have truly captured both the daytime and nighttime version of honeysuckle in a single fragrance, and that it unfolds and evolves on skin in the same sequence as the aroma of the living flower on the vine, is almost unbelievable. But that’s what they’ve achieved. Honeysuckle and Davana is exactly as described, in the best possible way. This is the new gem in the long line of Jo Malone colognes. 

Scent strips in magazines? Try them. You never know when you’ll discover a gem.

Honeysuckle and Davana is listed in our Decant store. Decants are $6.00 for 1 ml.

Images - jomalone.com