Maoli Perfumes: Colonia Dulce Eau de Cologne


o20761Colonia Dulce Eau de Cologne by Maoli Perfumes is a sweet perfume (colonia dulce means “sweet cologne” in Spanish) that has a sweet story to go along with it. Two tween-age brothers, Kai and Kalani Hughes, had to leave their beloved Hawaii and move to the rainy Northwest. Homesickness set in, and they asked their mother if they could create a fragrance for themselves that would smell like the Hawaiian sunshine to help appease their moments of tropical solar longing. Mom said “of course, but let’s do it right”.

Kai and Kalani studied natural perfumery with their mother and Colonia Dulce was their final project. According to Kai and Kalani in this interview at Fragrantica, they never intended to create a business. But as it turned out, there were so many interested moms in the boys’ fragrance, that selling it seemed like a savvy idea.

When you read the interview, you get a real sense of the boys’ dedication to botanicals and natural essences. I love that they each have their own favorite scents. Kai’s are ylang ylang and vanilla, but he also loves to combine Turkish rose and lemon. Kalani’s favorites are tangerine and vanilla. All of the ingredients in Colonia Dulce are organic. When I spoke to the boys’ mom, she said that not all of the ingredients have been certified organic, but she assured me that they are all indeed organic and 100% natural.

So let’s get to what the fragrance smells like. The notes are listed on the Maoli website as: Mexican wild lime, pikake and orange blossoms, juicy Ka’u Gold oranges and vanilla. Upon the opening, it’s all about citrus and pikake, which reads as plumeria to my nose. And this is definitely a good thing in my opinion! There are many types of plumeria which have a variety of smells. But the common white ones with the yellow center, the celadine plumeria pictured above, have a decidedly citrusy neroli accord with a slight suggestion of jasmine and gardenia. Snapping a blossom from its branch and inhaling the aroma literally makes me weak in the knees. It’s one of the reasons I crave trips to the Hawaiian Islands and hopefully their Colonia Dulce makes Kai and Kalani feel comforted, not even more homesick!


o20851Regardless, the plumeria-like topnotes and heart definitely have a sweetness to them, undoubtedly due to the vanilla. This is afterall, Colonia Dulce. The drydown then loses the florals all-together and becomes a simple and sweet fragrance. It’s not cloying, or overly foody, because I can assure you it would have been scrubbed off without a second thought had that been the case. Rather, it’s like smelling the hard shell of a Jordan Almond before the first bite; subtly sugared.


There’s another aspect of Colonia Dulce to love aside from the plumeria scent, its being organic, and the fact that it was created by two boys. Its price; only $28 for 30mls. Or you can get a 4ml deluxe sample for $5. So go grab yourself some Aloha spirit.


posted by ~Trish

plumeria photograph by mad plumerian on flickr


5 thoughts on “Maoli Perfumes: Colonia Dulce Eau de Cologne

  1. it’s my dream to make my own scent one day- I know exactly what it would smell like, although I don’t know that many other people would want it!

    I think it’s so great that they’ve done this. You can really smell when perfume is made with passion rather than for the lowest common denominator/ maximum profit. I’m going to seek some out immediately if not sooner!

    thanks for bringing it to my attention

    1. Hey Rose,

      You definitely should if a fun “tropical gourmand” sounds intriguing. The deluxe sample is the way to go IMO. If you get it, LMK what you think!!


  2. This sounds fantastic. I totally know where Kai and Kalani are coming from as I have been uprooted from my beloved Oahu and placed in the town of “no-mans-land”, Texas. Homesickness is constant for me…especially during the holidays. Most of my family is still in Hawaii and I rarely get to see them. I went home recently…FINALLY…after 3 looong years (haha it felt long to me), and I was as happy as can be. Now I’m back in Texas (because my husband is from here), and have been searching for a scent that smells like home. As of yet, I haven’t found anything. The closest I’ve found is Diesel Zero Plus for Women (I know, weird right?), but it smells somewhat synthetic to my nose, and not quite “Hawaii” to me. Close, but no cigar. I want that fresh-off-the-plane smell… That sweet, crisp, fresh air mingled with lush green trees, tropical flowers, sea water, and exotic fruits. *sigh*…H O M E… And now I’m stuck in a town that is made up of cotton farms and dirt. =( I have to travel at least an hour a way to find decent stores…and post importantly…PERFUMES. How sad. If I can find this fragrance I’ll give it a try. Thanks for the review!

  3. Oh! I just realized you could win a sample! Sorry, I was so quick to read more about the fragrance that I didn’t really thoroughly enough at the beginning.

    Well, I can’t say why I “should” win this fragrance…but I know that I “hope” to since I’m sure it would bring me so many warm and happy memories of home. Since I can’t bring back plants from the islands…I bet a well-put-together fragrance would do the trick. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to at least “try” and win! =D

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