What do you do when you’ve run out of new perfumes to smell? You sniff shampoos and fabric softeners to get inspiration, and then make your own formulas, of course! That is the type of curious nose that perfumer Viktoria Minya posses, the very kind which had led her to found her own self-titled fragrance brand in 2013. Trained in Grasse, France on traditional perfumery, she became distraught at the state of the market as an avid consumer. She found the packaging lacked originality, and the scents themselves were so blatantly (and often openly) similar that she wanted to do something entirely different (and we’ve ALL been there). So she put her money where her nose is, and today I bring to you my thoughts on her first five perfumes for ladies. You can purchase this sample set for €19.00* on her website, links below.
The labels on the samples I received for review consideration really reminded me of Hourglass’s packaging, especially the bottles for the Veil Fluid Makeup Oil Free line. However, the actual bottles for Viktoria’s creations are a relatively unique idea. Each bottle encapsulates a generous amount of bohemian crystals that sparkle and shimmer within the perfume fluid, contributing to a sense of luxury and opulence. The difference between these and traditionally “sparkling” juices (see La Vie Est Belle Glitter) is that you won’t get glitter everywhere once you spray the atomizer! The Hedonist line comes in bell-bottom bottles in four colours, which reminds me of Vera Wang’s Truly Pink collection. Eau de Hongrie comes in a wine-bottle shaped flacon in a deep amber hue that is similar to the Fresh range. The full-sized EDP bottles range from 45 to 100 mL and retail for between €120.00 and €155.00*. You can find the collection in stores in parts of America, the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
As her first release, Hedonist truly sets the tone for what to expect from Viktoria. She likes traditionally masculine woodsy notes and ultra feminine floral combos, and you can actually see that in action with this one. The name means someone who pursues pleasure and sensual self-indulgence – fancy! The most dominant notes to my nose from this ultra rich composition are warm vanilla, boozy peach, smoky sweet incense, and caramelized honey. It is a rather mature wintertime number for a woman who wears luxurious exotic furs and black leather gloves, always smoking up a mysterious cloud and clicking down the hotel lobby in red-bottom shoes. It is very strong and lasts a long time on my skin. I love peach scents, and this one plays on peach’s incredible gourmand aspect rather than its fresh fruitiness.
The rest of the Hedonist line is inspired by specific florals, like cassis, iris, and rose. Cassis opens with a gorgeous fruity citrus accord, and then mellows down to black currant, cedar and a warm musk. This one is better suited for spring. Iris is very similar, but with a noticeable pink pepper note and a hint of bitter cacao, lending it a more wintry appeal. And finally, Rose is (drum roll, please) surprisingly NOT just about rose! This one has a super strange amber and clove aroma mixed with a succulent, earthy, sweet rose. I don’t hate it, but I definitely prefer the other three. The entire range is very successful at being different!
And you can’t talk about different without mentioning Eau de Hongrie, inspired by the renowned Tokaji Essence wine from Hungary. Imagine a white-marble villa in the rustic European countryside, overlooking miles of lush grass and gallons of sunshine. Imagine this villa’s spacious backyard, with a full-sized pool, outdoor kitchen, and miniature vineyard. Now, imagine YOURSELF living in this paradise, sipping chilled wine from long-stemmed crystal and dipping your dainty toes in the cool water of the pool, wearing nothing but expensive underwear and a sheer kimono, listening to the birds and classical music from hidden speakers. Sounds good? This is the perfume you would wear in such a fantasy life. Buttery immortelle mixed with creamy sandalwood, syrupy honey, and sweet iced wine (a little hint of caramel, too!). Heaven in a bottle. Absolutely perfect year-round as a date perfume for the professional woman.
Are you curious yet about Viktoria and her scents? Think you might enjoy smelling like her ideas of luxury? You absolutely need to try out at least two of these scents to understand how impressive Viktoria’s skills are. She takes an old-school and romantic approach to creation and her products literally reek of contemplation. I’ll be ordering a couple bottles ASAP. Let me know which of these fragrances sound the most appealing for your tastes!
*Prices true at time of writing.
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