Aftelier Honey Blossom : Natural Fragrance Review



Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

The scent of linden trees in bloom is an indication for me that spring is at its full peak. It comes at a time when one is starting to get used to the consecutive days of sun and mild warmth, to the grass turning greener every day and to the cherry blossoms wilting and disappearing. The sidewalk cafes are reopening their outdoor patios, and even the dyed in the wool New Yorkers shed their black uniforms in favor of something more colorful. And then one day you walk through the shady, green alleys and here it comes—the smell of spring at its most languorous and most temperate, the scent of linden blossoms. It is like a wave of warm honey and white jasmine petals, and its effect is simply magical. Every year I long for spring to experience this fragrance, and I am just as devoted to discovering it in perfume. Two years ago, MAC Naked Honey captured my attention for its beautiful evocation of linden, but this year I found something else to replace that lovely, but limited edition– Aftelier Honey Blossom.

Created by Mandy Aftel, Honey Blossom follows her natural perfumery philosophy. On that point I am largely agnostic, but not on the beautiful fragrances that Aftel crafts. There is beauty and sophistication about many of her compositions which have an interesting development and strong character. Some are polished interpretations reminiscent of classical French grand parfums like Lumière, others are fascinating and original like Cepes and Tuberose. Honey Blossom is perhaps among the less cerebral of the Aftelier fragrances, but like Candide, it has an irresistible charm. Wearing it makes me feel like I am stepping back into the spring days of my childhood—running home from school through the linden tree lined alleys, enjoying the feeling of wearing sandals for the first time and anticipating the long, carefree days of summer that are just around the corner.

Honey Blossom opens up on the effervescent notes of citrus and red grapes, which slowly vanish into an opulent floral accord that makes up most of the composition. The linden blossom is conveyed through the interplay of honeyed jasmine and orange blossom notes, with a splash of indoles lending it a pleasantly dark facet. Overall, it is a lush and vivid floral composition that captures beautifully the narcotic effect of sun warmed blooms. As Honey Blossom dries down, like the late spring itself, it begins to allude to summer warmth. The amber and sweet oriental notes deepen the white floral character, lending Honey Blossom an alluring richness. Like most natural fragrances, Honey Blossom stays relatively close to the skin, yet it creates such an appealing, intimate aura that I forgive it its lack of tenacity. After all, even the most beautiful of spring blooms last but just for a brief moment.

Aftelier Honey Blossom includes notes of linden blossom, mimosa, honeysuckle, orange blossom, ambergris, and benzoin. Available at Henri Bendel in New York or directly from Aftelier website.

Photo of linden blossoms from wiki commons, some rights reserved.

Sample: my own acquisition.



  • Olfactoria: I have a love-hate relationship with honey and linden blossom notes. Some days I cannot get enough, some days I cannot scrub it off fast enough.

    I generally find Aftelier perfumes to be incredibly lovely, especially the solids are wonderful. March 21, 2011 at 5:01am Reply

  • KathyT: I also have a love/hate relationship with linden and honey notes, and linden can trigger migraines for me. This fragrance sounds so nice that I might sample it anyway. Thanks for the review. March 21, 2011 at 10:26am Reply

  • Marina: I found it very appealing too. It is late may – eraly june, bottled, for me 🙂 That kind of still delicate warm weather, before the real heat starts. March 21, 2011 at 8:56am Reply

  • chayaruchama: I truly love this one; it summons sweet memories, and lilts so gently… March 21, 2011 at 3:14pm Reply

  • Victoria: I also love Tango, which has a lush, sultry quality to it. March 21, 2011 at 12:01pm Reply

  • Victoria: That’s exactly what I love about late spring. I feel that on the East Coast we do not get too many days like this. One day it snows, the next it is 90F. March 21, 2011 at 12:04pm Reply

  • Victoria: It is very pretty, and the honey notes are rendered as very tender. Definitely worth trying for those who love linden. March 21, 2011 at 12:05pm Reply

  • kiralık: thank you. i love to read this type of information posts. again thank you… March 21, 2011 at 5:01pm Reply

  • sweetlife: So glad to see you review this one as I’ve been very interested in it. In my fantasy it smells like the warm air that hovers over a field full of wildflowers in the sun–that live, honeyed scent. Sounds like Mandy got pretty close to my imagination. Hooray! And on the list it goes. (Must make this an actual as opposed to mental list–it’s getting very long. And just when I thought I was done sampling… 🙂 March 21, 2011 at 1:16pm Reply

  • linda fey: Oh this sounds so sweet. I must try it as well. Thank you for the lovely review, as always, Victoria 🙂
    I love to support Mandy’s work…not only for the beauty in her fragrances but for her kind ethics toward animals. None are ever hurt in the making of her compositions.
    Yay Mandy! March 21, 2011 at 5:22pm Reply

  • Victoria: >>And just when I thought I was done sampling… 🙂

    You mean that there is ever an end to this!? 🙂 March 21, 2011 at 1:27pm Reply

  • sweetlife: Ha. Apparently not. But you know, every now and then I start to feel very satisfied with what I have and interested in other things besides perfume and I think, well, OK, that was lovely… And then it starts all over again. 😉 March 21, 2011 at 1:43pm Reply

  • Victoria: I was only teasing you. As much as I love perfumery, I do not often get into the urge to sample everything in sight. I am very selective these days, although when it comes to new launches, I do try to sample them.

    Honey Blossom is actually quite close to what you've described. There is that languorous warmth in it that evokes the late spring-early summer to me.
    Tango, Lumiere and Cepes & Tuberose are my favorites too. March 21, 2011 at 1:54pm Reply

  • Victoria: I was only teasing you. As much as I love perfumery, I do not often get into the urge to sample everything in sight. I am very selective these days, although when it comes to new launches, I do try to sample them.

    Honey Blossom is actually quite close to what you've described. There is that languorous warmth in it that evokes the late spring-early summer to me.
    Tango, Lumiere and Cepes & Tuberose are my favorites too. March 21, 2011 at 1:54pm Reply

  • What a beautifully written review for a beautiful perfume! I love Tango, Candide, and Wildflowers too. March 21, 2011 at 4:40pm Reply

  • Victoria: It definitely does, and you’ve put it so nicely! March 21, 2011 at 6:27pm Reply

  • Victoria: I haven’t tried Wildflowers yet, but it sounds so pretty. Candide is pure happiness, very uplifting fragrance. March 21, 2011 at 6:28pm Reply

  • Victoria: You are most welcome! March 21, 2011 at 6:28pm Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you, Linda! I admire the work of all perfumers, knowing how hard of a job it is, but my respect for independent perfumers is especially deep. Mandy’s passion is what makes her work very special. March 21, 2011 at 6:29pm Reply

  • Mandy Aftel: Thank you so very much Victoria for such a specific and insightful review of Honey Blossom. Your description of the perfume and they way that it creates a certain feeling make me feel that I have succeeded in conveying with aroma what I had hoped for.

    I also want to thank everyone I know (and the people that I don’t know) who took the time to respond about my perfume here. It really is a joy for me to read. March 21, 2011 at 6:57pm Reply

  • Victoria: Mandy, thank you for your nice comment. Honey Blossom today really made me forget about the overcast skies and incessant rain. For that alone, I am grateful! March 21, 2011 at 7:39pm Reply

  • Lucy: You must try the Wildflowers in solid perfume, it is truly a breath of summer air March 21, 2011 at 7:53pm Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you, I will. Sounds so wonderful… March 22, 2011 at 10:34am Reply

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