• Harem Girl: Together with Bernie!, Harem Girl is the perfume that best subscribes to the brand’s nostalgic, vintage philosophy. In fact, if this was placed in a rare vintage flacon and sold at a vintage perfume fair, you wouldn’t be blamed for being fooled into thinking that this was indeed an old perfume as it even comes complete with slightly ‘off’ top notes. The official notes of iris, musk and opoponax prepare one for a curvy, voluptuous elixir, but in reality this is much more stinging femme fatale than curvy odalisque. What we have here is a thorny bouquet of flowers -all red lipstick and impossibly high heels- enfolded in smoldering incense. The resinous, warm musk base lends beautiful sensuality to the blend, a touch of softness that can be likened to a chink in this vicious lady’s armor. Unisex incense scents (currently enjoying great popularity in the niche sector) can often be boring for they fail to deliver a strong message, relying instead on creating a stable ambience. This perfume is just the opposite, being strongly feminine and deliberately sexually aggressive: it definitely has an agenda. Probably my favorite in the entire line.
• L’eau Exotique: According to the brand’s website, L’Eau Exotique is inspired by the tropical waters of 1930’s French Indochine and features light aquatic notes along with champa flowers and sandalwood. Yes, the aquatic notes are there, so if you absolutely hate ozonic/aquatic scents steer clear of this one. However -and even though this is certainly not one I’d soon acquire a full bottle of- I have to jump to its defense and say that as far as aquatics go, you could do worse. True to its name, the scent is indeed very exotic, bringing to mind summery locales, blindingly white linen ensembles and a sense of calm. There is a fruity sweetness accompanying the ever-present aquatic overtones, while the sandalwood base is completed with clean musks and woody vetiver. This is the only perfume in the line that I’d consider unisex and the only one that veers completely away from the brand’s vintage approach, being instead thoroughly ‘90s in feel. Fairly linear and decidedly not for me.
• Pure Sin: Opening with a strong (and might I add delicious) strawberry marc de champagne truffle accord, Pure Sin seems decidedly modern instead of vintage as well, but who cares when you have a sweet tooth to cater to? Yummy-yummy chocolate infused with champagne and bursting with strawberry will do the trick if you want to smell edible and scrumptious. As time goes by the intensely gourmand character calms down, allowing the earthy, musky base to show through. This turn tends to take me by surprise, for the scent goes from being all girly and fun, to an altogether more serious and adult territory, courtesy of the rather animalic base. I am undecided on this one: On one hand I can’t stop sniffing my arm because it is so tantalizingly delicious and its changes are so fascinating, on the other hand I am pretty sure I wouldn’t want to go out wearing this. I’d probably enjoy this more as a body butter where the scent would be subtler and perfect for layering, or as a candle.
• Tainted Love: Violet has definitely been en vogue the last few years and those of you that love Creed’s Love in Black and Van Cleef & Arpels’ Feerie for their combination of powdery, romantic violets with berries should definitely give this one a try. Tainted Love tones down the berry aspect to a flirtatious gasp and showcases a beautiful feminine bouquet of violets spiced with carnation and light hints of clove. The base is creamy sandalwood and soft resins sweetened with a prominent honey note. I am often scared when I encounter honey in the official notes for it is often sharp and dominant, but the honey employed here is sweet and well-behaved. Incredibly romantic and very American in spirit (think 80’s florals like Beautiful), this is a beautifully constructed fragrance.
Haydria Perfumery fragrances come in simple, rounded atomizers decorated with Swarovski crystals which add a flirtatious boudoir flair. Different colored crystals correspond to each individual perfume. The fragrances are all Eau de Parfum concentration and the 33ml flacons retail for 35$ each. By following this link you can be directed to the site’s webshop where you can also find the perfumes in solid format sold in cute compacts or lockets. You can also order a sample set of the entire fragrance line for 15$ (plus shipping costs for international orders) by following this link.
My favorites of this line are Harem Girl, Tainted Love and Gypsy Girl (in order of preference).
Images: Flickr by ff137, Flickr by javic, the truffles pictured here were found via www.prestat.co.uk who has been selling beautiful chocolates in London since 1902, www.sxc.hu and www.haydriaperfumery.com