Thursday, 19 April 2012

Habanita by Molinard

(Picture source:

I have wanted to test Habanita by Molinard for quite some time and a couple of weeks ago I got a sample of it. I got a bottle for my birthday, so now I can really indulge, because I like it a lot.

Top note: Vetiver, peach, strawberry, orange blossom
Middle note: Rose orientale, ylang-ylang, orris, lilac
Base note: Leather, vanilla, cedar wood, benzoin

Habanita's first incarnation in 1921 was not as a perfume, but for ladies to scent their cigarettes. That sounds a bit strange to me, but evidently it was liked so much that women started to wear it as a perfume. Perhaps it always smelled better than it tasted. In 1924 in was launched as a proper perfume and it is still being made. I haven’t tried the vintage version as it is very expensive so I can’t say how much the modern one differs from the old one.

My first impression was chocolate and vanilla, but I don’t find this scent foody at all. I can’t feel the fruits and flowers at all in it, but I can feel the spiciness of orris and ylang ylang. It’s the base notes I feel from the beginning, even if they deepen and evolve as I wear it. Not the leather, though, nothing in it reminds me of leather. Some people think it smell like an ashtray and I can kind of understand that. I’m not a smoker and I dislike the smell of smoke, but when I was a kid my grandfather gave me a wood box that had contained cigars. Habanita do remind me a bit of the quite delicious scent that box had. The last scent I feel is the cedar wood- even before I read the notes I recognized the comforting woody scent and mingled with vanilla and benzoin it reminds me of old books in old bookshelves, but it doesn’t smell dusty. It’s powdery and surprisingly strong for being an EdT, I put it on after showering one night and when I woke up I still got a distinct vanilla-and-cedar wood whiff from my wrist.

I can’t decide if Habanita is a nice girl who surprises you with something really naughty in the bedroom, or a naughty one that surprise you with breakfast in bed the next day. A perfume for a librarian, perhaps- proper on the outside, but perhaps not so proper after all when she removes her glasses. A duality that I’m not the only one to feel if you read other reviews. It’s an old fashioned perfume that certainly don’t smell like an old lady and I love it.


Andrea said...

i've never heard of this one but from your description, it sounds like something that would suit me.

Lithia Black said...

Wow, it's sounds awesome!
I've decided that until I have finished at least 5 garments for my wardrobe I have a shopping stop for perfumes. It's so easy to spend the fabric money on accessories and perfume...instant gratification.

Mim said...

I've got a bottle of the parfum, it's lovely stuff. In the parfum there's definitely a cigar smell, but it's the fruity smell of curing tobacco leaves, not a smoky scent.

Isis said...

Andrea: I think you should test it. It's an interesting perfume to sniff, even if one doesn't like it.

Lihia: What a good idea. I should probably do something similar... But you can try Habanita next time you come and visit. :)

Mim: I agree, it's not smoke it smells of! Cigars, when unlit, smells quite nice too. :)

Eve said...

I wear this perfume since.... almost 20 years, and still loooove it !
It's different, powerful, I think very special when I feel it over my skin.
Everybody always say to me : "what is your perfume, it smells very nice ?"
It's for women who like strong perfumes. I think it's the kind of sent you have to wear when you want to catch a men ! It works !
Thanks for the olds images.

Isis said...

Eve: It's very special, isn't it? I love it!

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