Honey

Group: Animal Sources

Honey
Honey
Honey
Odor profile: sweet, edible, golden autumnal note which illuminates a composition relying on citruses and oriental notes and gives profusion to floral notes

The sweet golden liquid known as honey is one of the nature’s most miraculous products. Honey, the nature’s sweetener, is a syrupy delicacy made by bees. There are more than twenty thousand different species of bees, but just a couple of them are skillful enough to make honey.

Honey bees are making this sweet food using nectar from flowers, and a single pound of honey stands as a lifetime work of about three hundred bees. It is estimated that the bee colony needs to visit about two million flowers before it collects enough nectar to make a single pound of honey, and this is why honey bees never sleep! Instead, a standard crowd of a single beehive makes up to 400 pounds of honey each season!


Honey is partially digested food that bees store in the hive during the long months of winter, when plants and flowers aren't blooming and no nectar is available. Each worker honey bee can make only a 1/12th teaspoon of honey in its lifetime, and only two tablespoons of honey could provide enough energy for a honey bee to fly once around the world.
 

Of the more than 20,000 bee species in the world, about 2,000 are native to Mexico. However, the true honey bee (with its seven recognized species and a total of 44 subspecies) was brought to the New World by the Spanish conquistadors, in the early 16th century. The Native American tribes have named them "white man's flies," because flying swarms often indicated the proximity of the European settlers. But even long before Europeans, Mayan people harvested honey from nests of stingless bees native to tropical forests and used it as a sweetener, as an antibiotic and for production of honey wine.


The production of honey and its use have a very long history. It is believed that the practice of honey harvesting dates as far back to at least 15,000 years in past, as demonstrated by cave paintings in Valencia, Spain. However, honey was not always used only as food. Even the nature of its name suggests more powerful, sacral significance - “honey” originates from the ancient Hebrew word for “enchant.” In Hebrew tradition, honey is considered kosher, even though it is produced by non-kosher beings – flying insects. The rabbis of the Talmud discuss this question in detail and for us to understand it we have to remember that, in ancient Israel, beekeeping was developed much after Biblical times- some 3,000 years ago. The classic Biblical teachings mention wild bees for which it was not believed to produce honey but to simply carry the pure nectar of flowers to their hives, and store it as a sweet liquid gold. Today we know that honey bees actually do produce honey thanks to the special enzymes synthesized by the body of the insect. In this process, saccharides from plant nectar are transformed into honey through numerous cycles of regurgitation (expulsion of undigested material from the mouth) until it is partially digested.

In almost all sacred documents of both East and West, honey stands as a metaphor for all good things. The Promised Land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River – Canaan – is “a land flowing with milk and honey.” In many other cultures it represents the same symbol of sweet life and prosperity like in Jewish tradition, where it still keeps a special place as one of the symbols of Rosh Hashanah - the Jewish New Year. In Celtic mythology, a river of honey wine – mead – runs through paradise and the bees are the very messengers of gods. Mead plays a large part in countless Celtic traditions – as the conferrer of immortality, artistic inspiration and knowledge, it is used in the sacral rites, the grand ceremonies, as well as in everyday life. Mead is the gift of gods and the drink of kings, a magic brew that makes sovereigns immortal and levels them with deities if only they drink the “blood red wine” bestowed by the Fairy Queen.

This natural nutritive sweetener offers many substantial health benefits. Not only that it represents nature’s energy booster, but it also builds up our immune system and acts as a remedy for numerous ailments. Honey is great therapy for sore throat; it fights against bacteria, viruses and fungi, promotes good night sleep and helps with heavy hangovers caused by drinking too much alcohol. Phytonutrients found in honey are shown to possess cancer-preventing and anti-tumor properties, while experimental evidence indicates that it may improve blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity. In Islam, honey is recommended directly by Prophet Muhammad for healing purposes and because of its numerous medical favors. It is, in the same manner, considered as one of the five elixirs of immortality in Hinduism.

But, did you know that the honey itself is pretty much immortal? You could place honey anywhere and keep it for thousands of years and it will not spoil! In fact, honey that was found in King Tutankhamen’s tomb was still edible after more than 2,000 years it spent underneath the sands in the Valley of the Kings. Until now, the oldest remains of honey have been found in Eurasian country of Georgia, dating back to about 4,700 - 5,500 years ago, but bees have been producing honey for at least 150 million years.

Unfortunately, these are the hard times for honey bees. Back in 2006, the sudden and mysterious disappearance of honey bees was first recorded in the United States. Since then, the bees are continuing to disappear without trace, at an accelerating rate and all over the world. This frightening and unusual phenomenon is named Colony collapse disorder (CCD), and it doesn’t only affect our honey supplies but also endangers the agricultural crops worldwide, which are pollinated by bees. The exact cause of the syndrome is not yet understood, but scientific evidence from Europe suggests that modern use of pesticides somehow affects the nervous and immune system of the bees, causing them to vanish from the face of Earth. If the problem doesn’t get solved urgently we may be facing a large crisis in food production. I’m sure that you know that what we eat changes our health, our environment and our communities. So, if you want to help in this issue, remember that each time you eat you vote with your fork. Choose organically grown food and help shape a better, honeybee-friendly world. You could also grow a small organic garden in your backyard or plant some flowers around your house to provide beautiful, fragrant and natural habitat for many animal species.

In perfumery, the honey note is distinguished by its soft and balsamic sweet chords, ideal to underline and emphasize floral notes. The scent, as well as the taste of honey, depends on its sort: it can be predominantly woodsy, floral, herbal, or even tobacco-scented. This note used to introduce gourmand nuance in the composition, and it is typically created from beeswax combined with various other molecular ingredients that are usually found in organic honey.

For example, a perfumer may combine the scent of Black Locust flower for floral types, or use Pine Tree extract to achieve a honeydew honey note. The bee’s wax absolute is obtained from the honeycombs of European bee - Apis mellifera – and extracted with ethanol and the ethanol evaporated. In this process, the bee’s wax absolute retains some of the aromatic molecules of the waxy substance. Honey can also be solvent extracted to produce an absolute which is highly fragrant and typically used in perfumery to render golden-ambery notes.

The honey note is soothing and comforting; it beautifully equilibrates the composition and adds rich and warm backdrop for other ingredients. If you wish to explore the honey note, try to find it in the sweetness of Thierry Mugler’s Angel, which is a perfect example of the gourmand fragrance category. The Serge Lutens’s Miel de Bois opens with a sweet and radiant honey note, while Red Door by Elizabeth Arden, uses honey for the base to convey a message of opulence and luxury. You can enjoy the aroma of honey in Miel d`Oranger by Yves Rocher - a fragrance for women and its accompanying collection of body care products. Something similar can also be found in Miel & Vanille (Honey & Vanilla) line by L`Occitane en Provence. If you seek modern commercial editions with honey note, the Lollipop Bling Honey Perfume By Mariah Carey could be just what you need.

You could also use our search by notes to embark on your own quest for more great fragrances with honey.

 


Author: Marina Milojević (Mary)
Fragrantica Writer, Translator & Editor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfumes and Colognes With Honey

1.5134210526316
Eau de Miel L`Occitane en Provence
1.5115789473684
Mirror Mirror Collection - A Travers Le Miroir Thierry Mugler
1.5085964912281
Miel d`Oranger Yves Rocher
1.5068303333333
Armani Code for Women Giorgio Armani
1.5018421052632
O Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5014912280702
Dana O'Shee Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5005263157895
Pure Honey Philosophy
1.4768040350877
Honeycomb Library of Flowers
1.4565336842105
Honey and the Moon Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.4551590350877
Gatsby Pacoma
1.4528650526316
Honeymania The Body Shop
1.4497368421053
Imari Mystique Avon
1.4288653333333
MAC Creations Hue: Naked Honey M∙A∙C
1.4284832807018
Aurora Acqua Micaelangelo
1.4213161578947
Iris Berben LR
1.4144567368421
A*Men Pure Havane Thierry Mugler
1.4137426140351
Lady Million Paco Rabanne
1.4124282631579
Le Parfum Elie Saab
1.4120905263158
Chergui Serge Lutens
1.4006140350877
Mio Bjao Parfumerie Generale
1.3999122807018
IKKS Baby IKKS
1.3975354912281
Que sais je? Jean Patou
1.3932973508772
Wildflower Honey CB I Hate Perfume
1.3855080701754
Angel Thierry Mugler
1.3841193508772
Delivre Moi Libertin Louison Technique Indiscrete
1.3815660350877
Lelong Lucien Lelong
1.3768421052632
Sunset Boulevard Gale Hayman
1.3766666666667
Dragon's Milk Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.3760526315789
Fresh Fig Arran Aromatics
1.3750877192982
4elements Ramon Molvizar
1.3717402280702
Fame Lady Gaga
1.3670516140351
A*Men Thierry Mugler
1.3663160526316
Treselle Mystique Avon
1.3660044210526
MAC Creations Hue: Africanimal M∙A∙C
1.3644254736842
No. 08 L’Eau Baptiste IUNX
1.364337754386
Arabian Prestige Original Arabian Oud
1.3607894736842
Miss Varens Fashion Ulric de Varens
1.3576693157895
BV Secret Bottega Verde
1.3575286491228
Gucci by Gucci Gucci
1.3555906315789
Honey I Washed the Kids Lush
1.3532405964912
Miel De Bois Serge Lutens
1.3496290877193
Botrytis Ginestet
1.3468765614035
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.3434965263158
L'Instant de Guerlain Guerlain
1.3409717368421
Miel & Citron (Honey & Lemon) L`Occitane en Provence
1.3365532105263
Miel & Citron Pailletee Shimmering L`Occitane en Provence
1.3342101929825
Rucher Fleuri Phoenicia Perfumes
1.3339984385965
Sensuous Estée Lauder
1.3335961578947
Moroccan MOR
1.3334207192982
Roses Aftelier
1.3328363333333
Honey Coconut Love & Toast
1.3229209298246
L’Abeille de Guerlain Guerlain
1.322735754386
Party Queen Oriflame
1.3209231578947
Aqua Allegoria Flora Nymphea Guerlain
1.3205263157895
Wild Ginger Chai Soivohle
1.3188245614035
Sweet Oriental Dream Montale
1.314075877193
Miele Rosa Il Profumi di Firenze
1.3135907719298
Immortelle de Corse L`Occitane en Provence
1.3118679122807
Back to Black By Kilian
1.3077797192982
Miro Night Fever Miro
1.307692
Rue Pergolese Gold Parfums Pergolese Paris
1.3062778245614
Dehn Al Oud Al-Rehab
1.3037744035088
Aromatic Blends: Orange Flower & Lychee Kiehl`s
1.3026415263158
Poison Dior
1.3021055964912
Cologne Pour Le Soir Maison Francis Kurkdjian
1.3011403508772
LOVANN Santi Burgas
1.3004078245614
El Attarine Serge Lutens
1.3000877192982
Hugs & Kisses Judith Williams
1.2958871754386
Hermessence Ambre Narguile Hermes
1.2942057192982
Velvet Rose Anglia Perfumery
1.2938023684211
BOSS The Collection Silk & Jasmine Hugo Boss
1.2890560701754
Asmar SoOud
1.2884111578947
Island Vanilla Pacifica
1.2877315438596
V Gloria Vanderbilt
1.2876811754386
Mamluk Xerjoff
1.2865034736842
MCM Success Mode Creation Munich
1.2858017192982
English Lavander Caswell Massey
1.2788306315789
Amor America Paramela Natura
1.2787429122807
Sweet Tea Elizabeth W
1.2782979298246
Le Parfum Eau de Parfum Intense Elie Saab
1.2780411578947
Black Coffee Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.2762391929825
St Tropez Dispenser Apres Soleil Smell Bent
1.2756293684211
L'Eau D'Issey Absolue Issey Miyake
1.2732533157895
Majestic Boadicea the Victorious
1.2729901578947
Lamsa Arabian Oud
1.2728147192982
Butterfly Nectar DSH Perfumes
1.2692726666667
Oriental Lace Oscar de la Renta
1.2690354210526
Comandante Xerjoff
1.2677196315789
Comme des Garcons Series 7 Sweet: Sticky Cake Comme des Garcons
1.2658772982456
One Man Show Ruby Edition Jacques Bogart
1.2654885789474
Intense Boadicea the Victorious
1.263508877193
Evasion Digo de Havane L`Arc
1.2634649122807
Tabac Rouge Phaedon
1.2633334385965
Osmo Scents Palmerose Il Profvmo
1.2606625087719
Vohina Huitieme Art Parfums
1.254599
Absolue Pour le Soir Maison Francis Kurkdjian
1.2532456140351
Luciano Soprani Luciano Soprani
1.2531777719298
Miel & Vanille (Honey & Vanilla) L`Occitane en Provence
1.252760754386
Relax Lollia
1.2522810350877
Realm Women Erox
1.2507894736842
Noche Del Fuego Spadaro Luxury Fragrances
1.2506140350877
Armani Code Mirror Edition Giorgio Armani
1.2505263157895
No. 06 Le Cherche Midi
1.250350877193
Linden Library of Flowers
1.2501754385965
Magnolia Santa Maria Novella
1.2501754385965
Aspens Drift Parfum de Terre
1.245588
Sweet Honesty Avon
1.2431485263158
Rumba Passion Ted Lapidus
1.2426871578947
Revelation CB I Hate Perfume
1.2416181929825
Tonka Reminiscence
1.2396314385965
Elie Saab Le Parfum Eau de Toilette Elie Saab
1.2389721929825
Pheromone for Men Marilyn Miglin
1.238095
Karolina Kurkova LR
1.235294
Espoir - Hope Ajne
1.2342777719298
Pistachio Ganache Payard
1.233683877193
Sienna DSH Perfumes
1.2329443508772
Patchouli Mazzolari
1.2325398245614
Lady Million Eau de Toilette Paco Rabanne
1.2324484385965
Ghost Deepest Night Ghost
1.2280991929825
L'Instant de Guerlain Eau de Noel Iris Millesime Guerlain
1.2272862105263
Prairie Nymph Smell Bent
1.2261425789474
Rose Barbare Guerlain
1.2255383684211
Oajan Parfums de Marly
1.2248620350877
Rare Pearls Avon
1.2239763859649
Magnolia Pourpre Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier
1.2229750175439
A La Nuit Serge Lutens
1.2223097192982
Field & Flowers Library of Flowers
1.2211537017544
Golden Cattleya Olympic Orchids Artisan Perfumes
1.2191142982456
Sa Majeste la Rose Serge Lutens
1.2184356140351
Noora Swiss Arabian
1.2172201754386
Oblique Rewind Givenchy
1.214947754386
White Musk Libertine The Body Shop
1.214636877193
Al Attar Al Thameen Al Bahy Rasasi
1.2122964385965
Vacances Strange Invisible Perfumes
1.2118458596491
Violette Cherie Parfums Berdoues
1.2116907719298
Hypnose Senses Lancome
1.2109645964912
Honey Velvet & Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery
1.210876877193
Cumberland Ti Soivohle
1.2102461929825
Poivre Piquant L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.209777245614
Sensuous Eau de Toilette Estée Lauder
1.2097071578947
Quelques Fleurs Royale Houbigant
1.2088327017544
No. 25 Indochine Parfumerie Generale
1.2084258596491
Ozbek Rifat Ozbek
1.2075549824561
Lollipop Bling Honey Mariah Carey
1.2073355964912
Chic Ann Taylor
1.2065503333333
Animale Animale for Men Animale
1.2056853508772
To Bee Roxana Illuminated Perfume
1.205478877193
Regina Farmacia SS. Annunziata
1.2052560526316
Ambre Muscadin LM Parfums
1.2043522631579
Cielo Olivina Napa Valley

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