Creating Honeysuckle & Davana

Our new fragrance captures the scent of honeysuckle, taking us on a winding, twisting journey through the English countryside. We spoke to our Head of Fragrance Development, Celine Roux and Master Perfume Anne Flipo to find out more…

What was the inspiration for this scent?
Celine: Honeysuckle is a quintessential English flower, and it’s not a flower we talk about a lot in perfumery. In England, it’s very rare to not have a story about honeysuckle. It always brings you back to a happy moment. It grows wild and almost surprises you. With a rose, you go to smell it in your garden. With honeysuckle it surprises you on your walk.

How did you go from concept to creation?
Celine: Honeysuckle is such a special English flower, and we really wanted to work with it for this fragrance. However, it does not exist naturally in perfumery, so it was very important to capture English honeysuckle in nature. Myself, our perfumer Anne Flipo and a technical perfumer went to Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, in Gloucestershire to begin creating the headspace we needed for the scent.

The flower blooms for a very short time, so we really had to be patient and catch it at the right moment. When we were at The National Arboretum, we discovered that the scent changed throughout the day – it was not something we expected. We smelt it three times and it was different each time. We then learnt that it was evolving in order to attract different butterflies and bees as the day goes on. By the end of the day we wondered if it would evolve anymore, so we went back to at midnight to do it one more time. The scent had become more interesting over the course of the day.

We added a chypre construction which really helped to convey the sensuality and warmth of honeysuckle after dark, and brought a third dimension to the scent in a very Jo Malone London way.

What is the Jo Malone London twist to this fragrance?
Celine: The twist comes from the davana. I had smelt it before, but came across it again whilst looking at other natural ingredients and realised that it would be perfect for this fragrance. It brings a fresh, fruity, green note at the top of the fragrance. It was really nice to have davana as no one really knows it and it is something that exists naturally in perfumery.

Which Jo Malone London scents would you recommend combining Honeysuckle & Davana with?
Celine: I love it with Oud & Bergamot. It’s great for both men and women – it gives it an elegant woody twist. For women I would say Peony & Blush Suede. It makes it very sensual and feminine at the same time. Pretty and addictive with the freshness of flowers, but totally warm with suede, moss and patchouli.

How did you capture the English countryside in this scent?
Anne: It was very important for me to capture the bucolic feeling – that pleasant feeling of countryside life – as well as all the facets of the honeysuckle flower. Honeysuckle is a complex, particular flower, there are a lot of facets, and it’s the creamy, addictive part of the honeysuckle that we use.

Have you previously worked with Honeysuckle in this way, where you have captured and created a scent based on how the ingredient smells at two different stages in the day?
Anne: This was the first time I’ve worked with honeysuckle. I was waiting for a big launch to work with it. It was a great experience to smell and analyse the difference between the daytime smell and the night-time one at The National Arboretum, and to develop a formula with the best result. When you smell the flower during the day the scent is less strong, but it’s very fresh and floral. By the evening it becomes a little bit more addictive and sensual.