You may have heard of Habanita’s original purpose by now. Yes, it was a product introduced initially for people to scent their cigarette smoke. Yeah, you heard that right. Scenting cigarette smoke in 1921 was probably not as weird or as novel a notion as it is now. Habanita evolved into a regular perfume just three years after its introduction in 1924.
In Bottle: Dry green and woodsy fragrance. Like leaves clinging to a branch and scorching in the sun.
Applied: Initial flare of dry woods that doesn’t evolve much for a little while and by the time the flowers hit you, you were probably wondering when that happened and why no one gave you the memo. Habanita is a dusty, woodsy, mildly floral fragrance with a slightly grassy note in between its opening and middle stages. It’s strange–but very interesting when compared to most other recent perfume offerings. One of the best things about this fragrance for me is the dry down that reaches a warm, leathery, amber note at the bottom with a hint of sweetness and a lingering dusting of the dry woods. It’s fascinating to smell. Even more fascinating to contemplate cigarette smoke that was supposed to smell like this.
Extra: I imagine with its initial purpose, Habanita might have mingled a bit with the smoke which would have altered the fragrance just a little bit possibly tempering or at least masking how dry this scent can be.
Design: Black bottle with Molinard’s signature water nymph design on the glass. The nymph design is very reminiscent of the 1920s’ sensibilities in design. The bottle features a gold metal cap and sprayer nozzle.
Fragrance Family: Woodsy Classic
Notes: Bergamot, peach, orange blossom, galbanum, oakmoss, jasmine, rose, ylang ylang, heliotrope, patchouli, amber, leather, vetiver, cedar, sandalwood, benzoin, vanilla.
Habanita is surprisingly cheap for a fragrance that’s been around for so long and is, by all accounts and purposes, a rather pleasant and unique take (well, unique when you consider the other stuff being put out these days). Online discounters often carry Habanita’s Eau de Toilette version for $20-40.
Reviewed in This Post: Habanita, ~2000, Eau de Toilette.