Brand guide: Viktoria Minya

The provenance of Hungarian perfumery is a bit of a mystery to us here at The Sniff, and we weren’t sure what to expect from this house as a result. But what a treat! Beautiful perfumery marketed towards the female end of the scent spectrum; chic and classy, wearable and delectable. These scents really are worth checking out if you are looking for something polished yet with a modern edge.

The vibe

The high quality Viktoria Minya fragrances are largely marketed to women. The bottles have crystals dropped into them so they sparkle when they catch the light, it’s pretty but gives a sort of “princess” vibe to the brand. Don’t be put off by that though, the fragrances contained within are much better and far less girly than the marketing would have you believe. There’s also a metropolitan feel about this brand, something about the extent to which they are polished which says “big, vibrant city” rather than “suburban” or “parochial”.

The brand

Here at The Sniff we aren’t fans of gender distinctions in perfumery; fragrance to us shouldn’t be pigeon-holed into “these are for girls” and “these are for boys”. We are firm believers in your right to wear whatever the heck makes you happy regardless of what it says on the bottle and regardless of how you choose to present yourself to the outside world. As a result it always makes us a little sad when a company chooses to set itself as being for one gender over the others. Many of the Viktoria Minya scents are clearly aimed at women, but take that with a pinch of salt if you want to try them and don’t happen to be one!

The scents

In total there are currently five scents in the Viktoria Minya line. We have tried them all and they are all utterly delightful. There’s an identity here which translates well across the brand and if you like one of the scents we thought it would be highly likely that there would be another one, at least, in the set that you would also like – this was certainly the case in our office when we tested them.

Hedonist

Listed notes: jasmine, orange blossom, rum, woods.

Hedonist opens with a powdery, nutty, sweet and honeyed accord. It’s buzzy with intensity and has a fresh immediacy about it which we very much enjoyed. There quickly follows a sort of blackcurranty nuance which, when combined with the honey accord, made the whole perfume go syrupy and delicious. It felt a bit like some sort of Roman bacchanalian scent; decadent, opulent and sweet without being too heavy. There’s a beautiful contrast between the sweet and powdery and the sour and juicy  which really drew us into the scent and kept us sniffing our wrists as we wore the fragrance.

Hedonist is delightfully complex yet well-blended; the orange blossom peeps out as the scent wears and then the boozy rum accords come into play before everything melts into rich, dark, ambery woods. It’s really very pleasant indeed and definitely a fragrance that could be worn by more than just those of the feminine persuasion.

Hedonist Cassis

Listed notes: blackcurrant, rose, grass, cedar, incense.

As far as blackcurrant scents go, this one has to be one of the best that we have tried. The perfume opens with the blackcurrant accord; it is fresh, green, tart and juicy and so very evocative of picking blackcurrants that your mouth will water. If you like that fruity tartness then you simply have to try this scent.

Hedonist Cassis doesn’t stop there though. The blackcurrant note gradually fades as the scent wears, but it successfully morphs into a really sophisticated (and expensive) smelling woody scent. The scent has a cool tone throughout, but it does warm as the woods come out to play. It’s clean, crisp, musky and thoroughly pleasant.

We couldn’t find much of the typical incense type scent in the composition, but we weren’t disappointed by that. This feels like a fresh and outdoorsy type of scent, and if the incense had been handled clumsily then it could have overpowered and confused the composition but as it stands, it doesn’t at all.

Hedonist Iris

Listed notes: iris butter, cocoa, blackcurrant, musks.

Hedonist Iris was the most traditional feeling of the set of perfumes, but it is glamorous and sophisticated in spades. The iris is buttery, soft and not overblown, perfect for those who like the elegance of iris without it going over the top and becoming suffocating. There is a beautiful powdery nuance about Hedonist Iris, it’s rich, opulent and very clean smelling. The composition of the scent is perfectly balanced throughout the wear; there’s enough florals for it to feel pretty but enough musks for it to be seductive too, and the white musk in the base notes really won us over with the gorgeous way that it mingles with skin.

Out of the Hedonist line, we felt that Hedonist Iris was one of the nicest, albeit one of the more traditionally female-leaning of the fragrances. It’s just so utterly classy that it is hard to not fall for its charms.

Hedonist Rose

Listed notes: rose oil, white wine, amber.

Whilst the iris in Hedonist Iris is restrained, the opposite is true of the rose in Hedonist Rose. The fragrance, particularly at the start, is dominated by the rose note, but it is fresh, creamy, and delicate. Like a true rose blossom, there is a touch of greenery in there, a crispness in the background, obscured at times by the huge, blowsy flower. The white wine notes are also evident in the composition, and they added a really refreshing crispness. It conjured up the feeling of being sat in the garden on a warm summer’s evening drinking a glass of wine as the sun dips towards the horizon, and what could be nicer.

As the scent wears it becomes fruitier, with what felt to us a little like a peach note in the mix, at times, and then something that was almost apple or pear later on. The delicate-yet-powerful rose never disappears though and its creamy vibe lingers beautifully – and rather romantically – on skin.

Eau De Hongrie

Listed notes: honey, jasmine, sandalwood.

Eau De Hongrie is inspired by a Hungarian dessert wine and it is our stand out favourite scent from the Viktoria Minya range, it’s beautiful.

The perfume opens with a big, rich floral jasmine and honey accord that just blew us away with how true and real it smells. Behind the sweetness though there is a leafy greenery lurking, that stops the scent flying away totally, and gives it an anchor. As the perfume wears it goes a bit nutty and in doing so transported us from a jasmine garden at the height of summer, to a cooler day in autumn holding a packet of sugared hazelnuts to warm our hands.

Eau De Hongrie is creamy and rich. At times it felt like there was something lurking in the background which smelled a little like green coffee beans, in and amongst the blossoms and foliage, especially when it was tested on blotting paper. This spicier nuance rounded the scent out and gave the pretty, floaty and ethereal notes something to stand against, showing their beauty even more as a result.

Eventually, the scent melts into a slightly cakey, slightly nutty and slightly boozy reverie with the sandalwood undercutting everything flighty on top. Eau De Hongrie is a very beautiful scent which we are captivated by and which we hope to bring you a more in-depth review of at some point soon.

The verdict

Quite frankly we were stunned by how lovely the Viktoria Minya range is. Standouts were Hedonist Iris and Eau De Hongrie which wowed us with excellent, intelligent composition and were easy to wear and sophisticated.

Many of the scents could be worn by men, or those towards the more masculine end of the spectrum, in particular Hedonist and Hedonist Cassis would both work well on male skin, in our opinion at least.

The Viktoria Minya line would work for someone looking for something sophisticated and traditional but with a modern wearability. The fragrances don’t stray into the weird and wonderful end of the perfume range at all, so will appeal to those who like to smell delicious but not challenging. We really strongly recommend that if that sounds like you then you give them a try.

The longevity from all the scents was really good – most lasted well into the afternoon before fading, some stayed well into the evening. We didn’t have any concerns with the longevity of any of the fragrances when they were tested on skin.

Buy it

The Viktoria Minya range is available from Scent City, an exclusive online perfume store. Prices range from £30 for a discovery set, to £150 for 45ml EdP of Hedonist Iris and Hedonist Rose.

Scent City kindly provided us with a sample set of the Viktoria Minya perfumes, with no strings attached.

Article photo by Marco Secchi on Unsplash.

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