When I was sharing a beach house the most hectic time wasn’t the morning. It was when everyone returned from their day. That was when there was a wait for the shower as everyone traded swimsuits for shorts. This was when the house was at its liveliest. Music would be playing. Dinner was being cooked or pizza was being ordered. Everyone was talking to each other. There is a term for this when people do it after snow skiing called “après ski”. I always thought there should be a summer equivalent for the laid-back evenings called “après beach”. Hollister Mandarin + Honey would fit right in.
It seems I am being repeatedly shown there is perfume life at the mall where I don’t expect it. The most recent place to find interesting economically priced perfumes is the California-based beachwear brand Hollister. They have been a brand which plays it safe with some flashes of inspiration. For Summer 2021 they have released a five fragrance Juice House collection. These are the equivalents of a summer beach novel. When I received my sample set, I thought they would be simply what was on the label. It turned out all five had much more depth than that. Coconut + Lime, Lemonade + Pink Pepper, Strawberry + Acai, and Watermelon + Mint do more than just give you that simple equation. I think all five are a cut above most of what you find at the mall. The one I like best is Mandarin + Honey.
The perfumer for this is Jerome Epinette. What drew me to it more than the other four is this had that après beach vibe I described. This felt like the one I would wear on one of those evenings. M. Epinette makes it much more complex by enriching each of those ingredients.
The top accord is not just the juicy citrus of mandarin. It is also the tropicality of passionfruit. The sweetness of peach and the softness of plum blossom. It makes a fruity accord which feels like sunset to me. The other half is built around the viscosity of honey which he uses the rooty type of iris to give real depth to. Amber and a set of the slightly heavier musks bring out a hint of that hidden animalic piece of honey.
Mandarin + Honey has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.
I know everyone is just getting back to shopping. I just want to make sure you know there are some excellent perfumes waiting in unusual places like the Hollister store.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample set provided by Hollister.