Thursday, May 2, 2013

Viktoria Minya Hedonist: fragrance review

It's rare that perfumes correspond to their names, but Hedonist by newcomer Hungarian perfumer (taught at Grasse) Viktoria Minya is the exception to that rule. If Leos Carax's passionately controversial film Pola X was shot again, I'm sure one of the props used would be this fragrance: Not only for its glamorous, French-chateau-evoking  visual introduction that drips of old world class and physical luminosity, but also for its raw, emotionally honest, unassimilated sex scene following the hero's descent into bottomless soul searching. This dark obsession needs its own olfactory track.

[that's another scene, actually]

Introducing a niche line has become an insurmountable task of difficulties by now: how to diverge and differentiate one's brand? It's less easy than it was in 2005 or so. Did I mention that creating a sexy fragrance is just as difficult? If not more? Well, it is. If you have followed perfume you know it's up there as desirable goal numero uno with manufacturers (not necessarily the people who love perfume, though!), but often the whole trial fails because, well, it doesn't work out. Imagine my surprise to find things that do work their magic. Not many but when they do.... ooh la la!!

There is already an interview with the photogenic Viktoria (who is a joy to communicate with) on Fragrantica, so what I wanted to add is just how EFFECTIVE her Hedonist is, in the sense mentioned above. In a previously anecdotal exchange between my significant other and myself, Ms. Minya's fragrance played a particularly decisive role. My man upon smelling it had a few ideas: "Let me see...smells a bit like coffee and honey, wait...that smells like the orange tobacco your cousin likes...some vanilla but not too much, eh? Tell me I'm right!" [My man is a perfumisto in the closet.] Myself I was sure this potent but ladylike potion had peachy-apricoty-citrusy nuances with lots of orange blossom rendered in an animalic fashion, lots of the voluptuousness of beeswax and yes, a super sexy feel! [No wonder he was aroused] I will spare you the carnal details to follow; I know Perfume Shrine's readers are possessive of a fertile imagination to rival Henry Melville's.

The handmade wooden box (with snakeskin leather look) opens to reveal a beautifully crafted bottle filled with hundreds of Bohemian crystals that sparkle in the champagne colored liquid, catching the light. I just wish that there were a way to own the perfume in perhaps a less glamorous presentation so as to cut down on the monetary overlay (195$/130€ for 45ml), but you can't blame a niche brand for wanting to stand out, can you?

Notes for Hedonist by Viktoria Minya:
Rum, bergamot, peach, osmanthus absolute, jasmine abolute, orange flower absolute, tobacco, vanilla, cedarwood, vetiver

Shopping info and more on Viktoria Minya's site.


  1. Jessica16:49

    Awesomeness! Need to try it!
    Taken into consideration the price, I will start with a sample... :-D
    But my birthday is coming next month... and that bottle is breath-taking... poor hubby!!! :-D

  2. Anonymous17:57

    finally something different. the brand seems to have a clear identity and strong vision. i'm fed up with boring new releases.
    the bottle looks like a gem, sure thing, i am very intrigued by the scent.

    have to add though that the picture looks like the couple is in a blood pool and they are actually fighting, not very inviting or sexual.

  3. J,

    I think you're wise and I think your hubby will get to appreciate it in the end *wink wink*
    Happy upcoming birthday btw! :-)

  4. Anon,

    indeed I have also become jaded with many new releases. That's why whatever is different gets me going like this!

    The couple IS in a blood river (that's not the scene I was talking about, that's another scene in the film) and they're copulating more or less, but it's a dream sequence, not "really" happening.
    You can watch it here (though I kinda surmise you'd not like it, it's not a "standard sexy" scene in the Hollywood sense of the phrase, the whole film is rather controversial, auteur stuff):
    Anyway, it's the kind of film one has to experience, I guess, can't really be relayed in words.

  5. misha21:11

    Fun Fun Fun! I will defo try it, I agree with the comments earlier, refreshingly new - as for the packaging at least, perfume is to be checked

  6. Once I have health insurance, I can only hope that my loss of smell is due to something operable. Then I shall rush out and get me some of this, I think. I am past certain kinds of 'celebration' due to age and life style diminishment, but, if there is a scent that can make me feel like I wish I could still dance, then I will rush to the majic.

  7. Aldehyde_lover09:55

    Oh my, what a blushing review !

    Much appreciated, certainly, but also very unusual !

    We want more of these kinds of reviews !!!!

  8. Misha,
    do check it out, very worth it IMO. ;-)
    And thanks for commenting.

  9. Nadine,

    I can join in wishing for that outcome! I hope you find it.

  10. AL,

    thanks for your comment and your encouraging words. Well, it was a tentative approach, but glad you like it.

    I think this is something to be experienced. It'd cheapen it to go on and on about how lush and winking it is. C'est ce qu'il est. :-)

  11. 100$ too expensive.

    1. It's almost $200! Read the blog again.

    2. And I said it was 100$ too expensive, not 100$, too expensive. So please learn to read....

    3. Can you read and write?

      I wrote: 100$ too expensive, not 100; too expensive. ;)

  12. Hilde,

    alas….but glorious.
    Now if Viktoria makes a travel edition without the bling, I'm sure the price would go down (and that would be ace in my books as I'd get a bottle of this).


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