Monday, October 29, 2012

It flutters like soft wings in flight...

Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery Honey

Dear reader:

Despite my obsessive fantasies of travel, I have only been out of the country one time. It was less than a year ago. My friend LillieMae and I went to Victoria, B.C.

While we were there, we had some plans: we were going to go see a castle (turned out to be a big mansion, but hey, it was still historic and cool), have high tea (delicious!), and go to the Butterfly Gardens. FN1. Though it took a long, bumpy (and in Lillie's case moderate car-sickness-inducing) bus ride to get there, the gardens were worth the trip. In fact, they were pretty amazing. FN2.

There were so many beautiful winged beasties, both minuscule and enormous, and the air scent was a mixture of the cool, wet mist pumped through the space to keep the leaves of all the tropical plants green and flowering and the sweetness of the copious sugar water feeders hanging everywhere to keep the butterflies fat and happ. After the long ride in the massive heat, it was a great respite in an active day. Despite the summer crowd, it felt kind of magical to wander in the dewy air under hanging vines, among huge fronds, and  twisting around trees with fat leaves, supple and heavy with life, while all around you tiny iridescent creatures in more hues than the rainbow has colors swooped and dove through the air.

When I smell Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery Honey by perfumer Laurie Stern, I think of that place. Honey is described as follows:
Notes: All hail to the queen bee! This regal, opulent composition of French orange blossom, and Moroccan and Bulgarian roses sits on a throne of deep vetiver, Madagascar vanilla, honey, beeswax from the Purrfumery’s bees and my bee guru’s propolis. It is crowned with rare antique clove, pomegranate and pink grapefruit. This royal blend is set in a rich base of sandalwood and vanilla infused alcohol.
Honied and sweet, this scent is the Air of Spring. It has clarity and openness like light glinting on water, like the brush of butterfly wings against skin. I get quite a bit of beeswax, and the floral, fruit, and vanilla sweetnesses blend smoothly, like the warmth flow of poured honey.  As a lover of honey scents, I tend to like these scents, and this one is unique in that it seems less foodie in its honey essence and more the idea of being surrounded by pure honey atomized into the air.

Honey, as the name implies, is a rather sweet scent, but it is truly lovely. Though the opening is quite strong, about 45 minutes in it lightens considerably, so if you like sweet scents on the lighter side, this might be a good scent for you if you can give it a bit. It's an intense experience at first, much like the deep darker wings of butterflies hiding in shadows;  the lingering effect, however, is the image of pale-winged Lepidoptera Papilionoidea soaring through a bright sun overhead, light gleaming through their iridescent skin.

As Laurie Stern states, "honey liquid perfume makes a royal gift, bottled in an elegant Brosse crystal stopper bottle and tucked into an enchanting dupioni silk purse with its own Victorian scent card." It is available direct from the perfumer in three sizes: 8 ml for $185; 15 ml for $325; 1 oz for $550.

Editor's note: Honey is also available in an EdP at 6ml for $75.00 and a solid crème perfume at 10ml for $225.00. Thanks to Monica for the note.

You can buy the entire Primordial Scent Project: Air Set for $28.00 here.

For more reviews of the Primordial Scent Project: Air Scents, try: Perfume-Smellin' Things; The Perfume Critic; John Reasinger, writing for Perfume PharmerIndieperfumes; Donna Hathaway, writing for Perfumer Pharmer.

I feel it when you're with me,
It happens when you kiss me,
that rare and gentle feeling that I feel inside.
Your touch is soft and gentle.
Your kiss is warm and tender.
Whenever I am with you I think of butterflies.

~ "Love is Like a Butterfly," Dolly Parton


FN1. We decided to pass on Butchart Gardens for a number of reasons: expense, time, my allergy to bees, etc.

FN2. Next time, Lil, we will either take the car or rent one. I promise. While the public transit system in Victoria is very easy to use and all the bus drivers were really nice, it was really not worth the additional illness, especially given...the ferry.

Perfume photos taken by me. Awesome butterfly photos taken by LillieMae Stone, 2011. Used with permission. All rights reserved.


Monica said...

Honey is also available as an EDP 6 ml for $75 and as a jewel box creme parfum- check Velvet and Sweet Pea Purrfumery webpage!

Diana your butterfly infused AIR memory is very similar to one I have of walking through the gardens and out to the farm at Esalen Institute California...I remember a day when the warm sweet air was so full of butterflies and life I realized the AIR was ALIVE and an entity that we swim in and breathe as a live was a wonderful realization..... thank you so much for your beautiful posts and stories!

btw peeps if you havent tried Velvet & SP Purrfumerys perfumes...they are a MUST, they are all so very wonderful. Fir Ever Young was mentioned in Oprah Magazine recently! OXXO Monica

Lyn Ayre said...

I have Laurie Stern's Honey and it is truly a beautiful scent, Diana, as you say. Great review for our glam girl Laurie.
Congratulations, Laurie on this wonderful review; you deserve it.
FN1: I'm allergice to bees and wasps, too, and it always annoys me because I would love to see the gardens. Victoria is a short ferry ride from me. Did you see whales?
Love Lyn

Diana said...


Gardens are my tourist Achilles' heel.

Sadly I've never been to see the whales. It's a PNW past time I really need to correct.

Thanks for stopping by,


Diana said...


Thank you so much for the follow-up! I must have missed the section that talked about the EDP. I'll add a note right now.

I am new to this line and excited to try more. And congrats to V&SP on the O mention.


Laurie Stern said...

Diana, thank you so much for your review of my Honey! I also love your connection of the butterflies and the bees! I LOVE pollinators! I had the pleasure of seeing the butterfly migration in Mexico last winter and it was wondrous!


Diana said...


Thank you for including our lovely scent in this project. I am really excited to try more from your line.