DIVINE PERVERSION by HEDONIK (2021)

Hedonik is a new brand in Italy specializing in high-end semi-fetishistic jewellery and leather accoutrements such as ready for gala neck chokers and studded belts: Divine Perversion is the first perfume for the set up, created by niche superstar perfumer Francesca Bianchi.

A leather gourmand, DP is an ambery quartet of iris, leather, caramel and raspberry. On first application, these notes appear together; clearly discernible; ingredients of high quality, ceding, after a slight prickle of rose and pink pepper, to a soft, animalistic purr of amber and to what on my skin smells slightly of coconut. Those who are drawn to sweet, woody, biscuity perfumes such as Frederic Malle Dries Van Noten may enjoy this one : it is well blended and will give off a buttery, suedeish burr on the correctly leather-harnessed skins.

For me, I must admit that this perfume is a little too sweet (I am never very good with caramel); the name of the perfume also somewhat problematic. Perhaps because I am basically not quite kinky enough (if anyone attempted to strap me into the attire above – a more dog kennelly picture that is unconnected to the brand, but a lot more low down and dirty than the pieces from Hedonik – — , I would kill them), so I am probably not the right contender for a fragrance with this overly declarative S+ M theme. I think, though, it’s more that these particular words, for me, don’t go quite go together – (I don’t know: I would maybe have called it Sublime Perversion; Sex Poodle, or just something like ‘Leather Pervertito’) : although obviously, the deliberate jarringness in the juxtaposition of the very contradictory ‘Divine’ and ‘Perversion’ – in a country as full of permanent Catholic guilt as Italy, is presumably the point.

21 Comments

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21 responses to “DIVINE PERVERSION by HEDONIK (2021)

  1. I understand what you are saying to a point. But aren’t divine and sublime kind of similar? In any event, either is better than inane, insane, mundane and arcane.9

  2. Well Mundane Perversion got my imagination going. Sipping PG tips during coitus? Timing one’s orgasm to the theme tune of Antiques Roadshow? Enjoying al fresco sex but only in an Asda car park? In a Vauxhall? Actually there’s something very Cynthia Payne about Mundane Perversion. It would smell like Flash, rich tea biscuits and baby oil.

  3. The whole ‘dogging’ phenomenon – seen from a distance here in Japan – is immediately brought to mind. Sex is a weird thing; what turns us on or off; the thought of Antiques Roadshow is strangely erotic. Anything that isn’t down and out obvious; gay men all in line wearing gas masks and leather attire to get into some club in Berlin or whatever – it bores me to death.

    • although I do keep returning to the picture I chose.

      100% my natural sexuality.

      This man’s legs are PERFECT for me.

      Are they somehow brought into extraly delicious focus because of the leather?

      What am I learning about myself on this tired Saturday morning and afternoon?

    • Dogging came to mind for me too! But the gas masks and leather- it’s not subversive anymore, is it – it’s basic. If something is normative then it can’t really be a perversion, I think, because perversion is the eroticisation of intense or forbidden emotions. What turns people on is such an insight into the most authentic part of them. So interesting.

      • Perfectly put.

        Possibly why this concept doesn’t work for me, even if the perfume itself is perfectly nice.

        It feels like an oversell.

        Oh how liberal we have become !

      • “Perfectly nice” doesn’t really conjure perversion, does it. And all those Secretions Magnifiques type scents are a bit like those guys queuing outside the nightclub. I think we almost have to venture outside the erotic nowadays – as you say, we’re all so liberal…

  4. Christine Boutros

    Hi Neal,

    What advice do you give people on how to wear perfumes? It’s been a long time since we’ve seen each other and these days I have chemical sensitivities. I can’t wear perfumes and I can’t be around people wearing scents within my whiffing distance without reacting. I feel people need a series tutorial on perfume wearing etiquette and how not to impose their smells on others. Sadly we all can’t go around in the world sniffing fragrances without consequences and have to live vicariously through you.
    I’m glad I can see you and D are doing well through SM. xxxx Christine.
    PS you should come visit us in Hawaii sometime. The air here is incredibly fragrant, I think your nose would have the time of its life.

    • Oh my god it would and this is bizarre – I was fantasizing about going to Hawaii just this week. How lucky you are to live there.

      As for perfume sensitivities, I don’t know what to say. If I meet you there, I will desist!

  5. Robin

    I vote Mundane Perversion.

      • Robin

        I’m thinkin’ that for me the mundane aspect is in the kink more than the fragrance. Something about rubber and leather and dog collars and fetishes makes me a touch somnabulant. It’s the opposite of sexual somehow. Who needs lily-gilding when sex, just pure sex, is so raw and satisfying. It’s almost a dilution of the experience, to have the extraneous going on.

        But as far as the fragrance goes, I’d like to see hard leather as opposed to suede, civet-y animalics as opposed to ambery, some sweaty cumin (which I adore in things like the rebooted ’89 Femme), skip the sugar and pink peppercorns, nix the coconut. But no, what a sec. What was I thinking? I was thinking of a fragrance to match that pic of yours with the nice thighs. Then I happened to look at the Hedonik Instagram page. Uh boy. That set me straight on what Hedonik is all about. Divine Perversion is just exactly right for the brand. Kink Lite.

      • Which is definitely a niche in itself. A lot of the Netflix things I end up watching (our projector is broken; I only have what on is offer there) contain scenes of the ‘rich and the beautiful’ at ‘masked balls’etc, and a diamante dog collar is just the ticket for a hint of sauce. This scent would be good for such an evening – but I agree: Bal A Versailles would do much better.

  6. Caramel + raspberry is usually code for ethyl maltol.
    Ethyl maltol has become so ubiquitous in perfumery since the early 90s it just smells cheap (and mundane) to me. Philip Kraft of Givaudan has dubbed this contemporary trend as “The Age of Ethyl Maltol” due to its presence in nearly every popular fragrance of the past 30 years. Mr Kraft often ponders when the craze for this overly sweet smelling compound described as reminiscent of caramelized sugar and cooked fruit or berries will end. I do too. I wore several EM bombs in the 90s (Lolita Lempicka, Coco Mademoiselle, Pink Sugar was my Halloween fragrance for over a decade).
    The only thing that caught my attention were the taut, toned, and slightly furry thighs in that photo. The rest of it just seems like a silly Batman costume.

    • Divine Perversion definitely doesn’t smell cheap or mundane, because the raspberry is distinct, and the iris high quality; Francesca Bianchi’s A Lover’s Tale is also probably the best leather I have ever smelled, so I think she handles that note with her usual deftness: the caramel I personally find a tad stomach churning in that context, but people do like those sweet notes.

      As for the man’s legs….

  7. Love the photo, the fragrance sounds a bit tame though, and the name sounds a bit gimmicky.

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