Hesperys by Phaedon

Chamomile tea, iced, and served with a slice of lemon. Gently cool and refreshing after a day spent in the sunshine.

Listed notes

Chamomile, lavender, musk, orange, rosemary, thyme, iris butter, lemon tree leaves, nutmeg, patchouli, sage.

The brand

Phaedon are a fantastic brand to try out if you are new to niche perfume. And even if you’re not, they’ll have something within their stable to delight and excite your nose.

This is a really solid brand. Phaedon produce good quality, high-class, high-end perfumes that appear to be aimed at those of us who don’t want loads of frippery and marketing guff with our scents. They trade on the strength of their perfumes rather than on an abstract gimmick. We’ve reviewed several of their line before, including Ilanguara (almondy ylang-ylang), L’eau de Phaedon (gorgeous aquatic floral, great for those with allergies or perfume sensitivities), Pure Azure (salty, honeyed fruity floral, such a crowd pleaser) and Pluie de Soleil (sophisticated fruity scent with gentle woody nuances).

With Hesperys, Phaedon are referencing the Hesperides; nymphs who tended a garden at the end of the world, where Hercules pinched the golden apples from. According to Wikipedia, they are the ‘nymphs of the golden light of sunset’. And who wouldn’t want to smell like that?

Top notes

So here’s the first thing to note about Hesperys: it’s a really gentle scent. If you know someone who swears they don’t like perfume because it’s too aggressive then buy them this for their birthday. This is such a gentle, delicate little lamb of a perfume that we’d defy anyone to say it was too aggressive for them. That said, if you wear perfume to make a statement and make your olfactory presence known, you’ll perhaps want to skip this one.

The chamomile makes itself known – albeit in a gentle fashion – right from the start of this scent. Along with a sparkling yet delicate lemon. The scent that is evoked is something along the lines of a chamomile tea steeping in hot water with a slice of lemon dropped in for good measure. The chamomile is calming, soothing, floral but slightly grassy or hay-like at times. It has a slight dampness to its scent, if it doesn’t remind you of chamomile tea then think instead of a chamomile plant glistening with morning dew as the first rays of sunshine hit it.

Hesperys, from start to finish, feels like a scent comprised of notes viewed through a watery lens; it’s herbs and flowers turned into a tisane. Hesperys has a dreamy and etherial quality and reminded us of those magical pools of water that mystics stare into to discern the future. Only here what is being referenced is a garden of the past, of myth, but the scents that arise from the pool as the conjuring commences are subtle and changed by the water.

Heart notes

The perfume becomes a touch more herbal in the heart. Subtle hints of the warmth of nutmeg peep through at times, and the rosemary and thyme add a sense of clarity and expansiveness to the scent. The rosemary in particular isn’t immediately identifiable as rosemary, but it gives this lovely green herbal openness to the fragrance.

The iris root also comes through in the heart and adds to the watery nuances. It’s delicate here and smells very fleshy and as if the roots have been freshly exposed to the air, but again it remains very softly and gently handled. At no point does this fragrance suffer from heavy handedness, all is light and air and water throughout.

Base notes

The patchouli in the base is subtle and lends a very gentle sweetness, rounding out the other notes of the base. The herbal tea vibe of the scent comes back along with a soft, dusky musk. The fragrance retains that herbally greenness that it had throughout. In the same way that herbal teas can almost be an aftertaste, this is almost an after-scent; a fragrance that is like the memory of a perfume rather than a vivid and tangible thing in its own right. It’s unusual in that respect and will definitely appeal to those who often find mainstream and mass market products just too aggressive. This is instead a calming, gentle and ethereal fragrance.

One of our testers described Hesperys as “like sniffing the vapours arising from a freshly drawn bubble bath”. And if that’s not enough to tempt you to try it, we don’t know what will, because what could be nicer?!

The other stuff

You won’t be shocked to learn that due to its delicacy, Hesperys doesn’t last all that long, until around lunchtime but by then it was very faint. This is unlikely to be a problem though for those who would pick it to wear – they’re not going to be the sort of people who like loud, shouty, lingering perfumes anyway.

The sillage – or projection – of the scent was also not very large, you’d probably need to be  closer than handshake distance to catch a whiff of it on someone else.

In terms of which gender this would suit best, we could actually see it working on many people. The herbal notes are masculine enough, and the chamomile isn’t really a flowery floral, but everything is so light that it does have a feminine vibe too. If you’re a lover of delicate scents then do try this and let us know what you think. This is the sort of scent that you don’t really need to think too much about wearing; happy and carefree you can spritz it on and be good to go, to the park, to lunch or just to walk the dog.

Buy it

Hesperys is available from Bloom Perfumery London, where it is priced at £112 for 100ml EdP. You can also buy it online from the Phaedon web shop, where it is priced at €125.

Bloom Perfumery kindly provided us with a sample of this scent.


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