The sun rarely shines in April as brightly in the Northwest as it did the day Hanami arrived. It was also the day I planned to take my boys to the Japanese Gardens, so the sample’s arrival felt inspired. After gingerly opening the padded envelope, Hanami immediately went on my wrists and neck. And then stepping outside, I could feel my bones finally being warmed by the sun’s rays on my skin. I grabbed my boys from school, and off we went to stroll the gardens. The cherry blossoms were radiant in the sunlight, twinkling against the impossibly clear sky. Rows of pink gauzey blooms were dreamlike, and it was all I could do to keep from smelling my wrists.
Hanami, the Ayala Moriel Parfums fragrance, twinkles like a light and floats like gauze upon the opening. It’s sparkly with mildly peppery topnotes, and weightless like gossamer with its minimalist rendering of mimosa and frangipani. The fragrance also possesses unexpected buttery and dewy qualities, and the woods are immediately palpable which carry you right to Hanami’s heart which is a beautifully blended woody floral. Hanami then shifts back and forth in the drydown, evolving with your motion, the breeze, and warmth of your skin; from the sweetness of vanilla, back to woods and florals. Sometimes the woods are more pronounced, then honeyed mimosa peeks in again, powdery citrusy magnolia breezes by…
Hanami was created by Ayala Sender after she was invited by Heather Ettlinger to be a part of the Perfume in a Poem project. Ms. Ettlinger is the founder of the blog Memory and Desire, who over a year ago asked several perfumers to create a fragrance inspired by the following two-lined poem:
In a Station of the Metro
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
Ayala discusses her experience and inspiration for creating Hanami here. I recommend stopping by the link as she is a poetic writer in addition to being a fabulously talented perfumer.
Clearly Ezra Pound’s poem is not evocative of sunny, pastoral days like I had in the park. Dark, overcast days on an anonymous city street is the tone the poem elicits. But not to be mistaken for another part of the country, rainy days came quickly, and Hanami’s temperament fit them as well. The woods took on more of a damp, moody quality in the wet weather. And the vetiver, while more subdued in the warmth, opened its grassy earthiness more readily. Subsequent wearings also heightened my awareness to a subtle hint of sandalwood within the drydown, and interestingly bakul attar is in the base notes. I came across a fascinating piece about bakul trees on Floracopeia, which I highly recommend reading. Bakul attar is made from the essential oil of the bakul flower and sandalwood oil. And while I am not familiar with the scent of the bakul flower, the sandalwood provides a warm woody base for the florals of Hanami.
As mentioned above though, the base provides a foundation for morphing to occur, and it transpired again in the cooler, rainy weather when the earthier, mustier notes became more apparent. I love this aspect of Hanami, and find it incredibly appealing that it seems to be a fragrance for all seasons. Spring and Fall at least. I’ll have to see how it wears in extreme heat and cold temperatures. But I have been wearing Hanami all week and I give it high praise indeed.
Hanami means “to enjoy the cherry blossom season” in Japanese. It can also mean “flower party.” Well, for those of you in the Los Angeles area, there’s a flower party going on at Blunda Aromatics on Saturday April 18th and Ayala Sender will be there to exhibit her gorgeous Hanami. So if you are in the area, stop over there for tea and chocolates that Ayala crafts herself, and meet this incredibly talented perfumer who is dedicated to the use of 100% all natural ingredients in her perfumes. See the Blunda Aromatics link for full details.
Hanami is available at Ayala Moriel Parfums.
Posted by ~Trish
13 thoughts on “Ayala Moriel Parfums: Hanami”
Great review. 🙂
Thanks Dawn! Good to see you here.
Nice description and background info, Trish! I’ve been wanting to try this line but haven’t done it yet. Hanami sounds like a nice one to try when I sample.
If you like woody florals, you should definitely include Hanami in a sample pack!
Trish, quick question about the lotus note in hanami — do you notice it? Is it strong? I’ve disliked a prominent lotus note in the past, so I’m wary, but it sounds so lovely…
I have to confess that I am no lotus expert, but I don’t get a prominent lotus note from Hanami. I really get mostly mimosa as the floral aspect. And it really leans woody on the woody/floral category.
If you dislike the sweetness of lotus, Hanami is not a sweet floral. And it really is so lovely! 🙂
If you want more detail, or maybe even a smidge of it if I can spare it from my sample….send me an email at the contact link.
Thanks, Trish — that is generous of you to offer me a sniff. But I love mimosa, and I love Ayala’s other florals, so I took the plunge and bought unsniffed! Thanks for the detailed review 🙂
I think you will be very happy with Hanami. I asked another Ayala fan who has a sample of it and she agreed that the floral is mostly mimosa with some violet leaf 🙂
Beautiful review, Trish. I just received my own bottle of Hanami this week, and it’s gorgeous – and I can confirm that it wears beautifully in the fall. In fact, it has a kind of mood to it that I find particularly appropriate in the rainy, cool weather we’re now having after a blistering Texas summer.
Thank you so much.
I love woody florals in the fall, and you have inspired me to pull this out and wear it on the next rainy day (which will be soon and frequent here in the NW). I love Hanami and the project as a whole that you created. Kudos to you for such a fabulous idea 🙂
PS: I was happy to edit my post and take out the part that described your blog as no longer active!
I hope to prove your confidence in my activity is not misplaced! 🙂
I’m willing to hedge my bets 🙂
But no grand expectations on you my dear, we in the perfume and poetry loving blogosphere just look forward to your thoughts and impressions.