It’s Rosh Hashanah, Honey!

Happy 5776, y’all! It’s the first day of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. You might be familiar with the best-known Rosh Hashanah tradition, eating apples dipped in honey for a sweet new year. (Less popular customs include eating fish heads. Perfume blog material right there!) As much as I know you were hoping for a list of fish head fragrances, you’ll have to settle for my favorite honey perfumes instead.

Capturing the bright sweetness of honey as a perfume note is tricker than you might expect. Perfume Shrine reports, “Phenylacetic acid is perceived as golden and honeyed in minute amounts, urinous in higher concentrations.” Yes, you read that right: urinous. An unbalanced honey note is a one-way ticket to cat pee territory. (Apparently it’s Gross Animal Byproduct Monday here at Scents of Self!)

If you’re still feeling brave enough, start 5776 off right with these delicious-and-totally-not-urinous-I-promise honey scents!

Ginestet Botrytis


Honey and white florals sing a crystal-clear soprano duet. Honey at its most delicate and tender.

M.A.C Africanimal


A glorious M.A.C limited edition, from back when M.A.C actually made fragrances instead of endless Miley Cyrus collections. It’s worth hunting down for its darker, richer honey note, like those $15.99 jars you see at organic grocery stores.

Absolue Pour Le Soir 


Heavy-hitting honey! A highly concentrated honey note and powerhouses like incense, cumin, and resins make Absolue Pour Le Soir potent, capital P perfumery.

By Kilian Back to Black 


Voluptuously thick honey drizzled over sweetly almond-flavored pipe tobacco. Back to Black was obviously named for Amy Winehouse, but I’ve always associated it with a rather different British beauty: this devastatingly sultry photo of Nigella Lawson.


CB I Hate Perfume Wildflower Honey


The description I wrote for Arielle Shoshana says, “A honey fragrance so shockingly realistic that we’re convinced it belongs in a bear-shaped squeezy bottle.” Nothing further to add!

Do you have a favorite fragrance with a honey note? Any other Rosh Hashanah-inspired recommendations? Please feel free to share with us in the comments!

Disclaimer: This post does not contain affiliate links. Wildflower Honey image source:

Perfumes for Hella Cold Beaches

I always knew that cold beaches existed, of course. I guess I just preferred to think of them as an unpleasant urban legend, like bonsai kittens or Chris Hemsworth’s marriage.

They're so cute together, too. YOU'RE KILLING ME, CHRIS.
They’re so cute together, too. YOU’RE KILLING ME, CHRIS.

That urban legend became cruel reality this past weekend, when my family moved University of San Francisco’s newest freshman into the dorms.

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Now, my grandparents live in Orange County. I’ve spent 23 Chanukahs in California. I was pretty sure that California and I had an understanding, the understanding being that California is supposed to be warm. San Francisco is apparently not aware that it is part of California. I DID NOT LEAVE THE EAST COAST FOR 59°, SAN FRANCISCO.

Needless to say, San Francisco’s idea of a beach involves fog, wind, and shivering. We’re talking two sweatshirts, minimum; don’t even think about packing a bikini. So what do you spray on those two sweatshirts? A blog post is born! Allow me to recommend a few fragrances for un-beachy beaches.

Embrace The Cold

CB I Hate Perfume Mr. Hulot’s Holiday. Mr. Hulot’s Holiday was filmed in Saint-Nazarene, a French town on the chilly Atlantic coast of Brittany. Fittingly, the film’s namesake fragrance opts for a salty slap of seawater instead of the typical sunscreen note.

Gorilla Perfumes Furze. Furze, also known as gorse, are sweetly fragrant evergreens. Their bright yellow bushes bloom even during those legendary British winters.

Luckyscent Decennial Lys du Desert. A deliciously warm ambergris fragrance to counter the extreme cold of desert nights. Deserts are pretty much beaches, what with all the sand, right? Right.

In Denial

Kai. A few dabs of Kai transforms even the most subpar beach into Malibu. Cloudy skies? Cold sand? I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over all this gardenia.

Smell Bent St. Tropez Dispenser. The notes come straight from your beach bag: a streak of sunscreen, coconut from your beachside piña colada, and a little aloe vera for the inevitable sunburn.

Estee Lauder Azuree Soleil. Literal liquid sunshine. The dearly departed Azuree Soleil was the perfect blend of fresh coconut milk and tropical gardenias. Reincarnated every summer as Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess, but I still love the original best.

Do you have a favorite beach fragrance? Please feel free to share it with us in the comments!

Disclaimers: This post does not contain affiliate links. All fragrances pictured are my own purchases, much to my wallet’s dismay. Sand dollar comes straight from a San Francisco “beach”. 

CB I Hate Perfume At The Beach 1966

When I first encountered CBIHP ATB 1966 (which will henceforth be referred to as “1966”), I concluded that it was a fairly blatant knockoff of Bond No 9 Fire Island. However, Basenotes informs me that Fire Island was actually released a year after 1966, making Fire Island the copycat. The two scents are not identical, of course, but both are based on the cheap-and-cheerful smell of sunscreen. Fire Island was famously modeled on the French sunscreen Ambre Solaire, while the sunscreen note in 1966 smells a bit more down market, probably Coppertone or Banana Boat.

Is anyone else super confused by this ad? I mean, are they not essentially admitting that their product is defective?

1966 takes its beachy notes to their logical conclusion, adding aquatic notes to evoke the ocean. In my opinion, this is where 1966 stumbles. The ozone muddles what was otherwise a great-smelling scent.

The key difference between 1966 and Fire Island lies in the general feel of the two scents. To me, 1966 seems too literal-minded, more of a good smell than a perfume. Fire Island takes a more abstract approach to the “beach in a bottle” concept, and as a result it comes closer to fine fragrance than 1966 does. 1966 may be a more authentic representation of the beach than Fire Island, but I find Fire Island’s gardenia note to be frankly more pleasant than 1966’s marine effect. Full credit goes to CBIHP for originality, but as far as I’m concerned, Fire Island constitutes an improvement on its predecessor.