Hansel and Dreidel (Smell Bent)

Who doesn't like the scent of a fresh-baked loaf, a moist slice of cake still warm from the oven, a tray of buttery shortbread or a savory pie cooling on the rack? Answer: the demon who whispered the formula for Challah Atcha Boy in Brent Leonisio's ear. I suspect that little hellraiser (the demon, I mean; not Mr. Leonisio) never set foot in a bakery in all his immortal life. It's too bad. He might have been diverted from his diabolical errand by a single sugar-glazed bear claw... or a sniff of Hansel & Dreidel, the long-lost honeybun scent of my dreams.

Now, I'm not making the converse claim that an angel was responsible for Hansel and Dreidel. Perhaps it was another divine force-- some nameless sweet sprite of the perfumer's workshop, commandeering Leonisio's other shoulder to do some whispering of its own. Perhaps it told him a tale of whole grain and honey, as strong a partnership in myth and Märchen as in the kitchen or chem lab. And for once, the perfumer didn't get all smirky and ironic-- he just faithfully took divine dictation.

Hansel's honey is the same big ol' beast found in Après Soleil-- a rich miel de sarrasin mixed with chunks of honeycomb, so potent and fudgy it could be described without hyperbole as fecal. Scared? You should be: there is no pretty jasmine to shield you here, meine Kinder. Instead, this honey's been baked into a dense, sticky malt loaf or pain d'épices; loaded with spice, it's the size of a house-- and the witch who lives here is extremely persuasive.

Can you resist her? Do you even want to?

Having encountered a not-so-hot version of sandalwood in HoX3 and Après Soleil, I half expected this fragrance to crash in the drydown. But it didn't-- possibly because the sandalwood is hardly detectable under that enormous spiced honey accord, which simply floods the senses forever. I love it so much, I don't care what other notes are trapped in it like flies in amber, unable to escape. Like Hansel and Gretel gorging themselves on gingerbread and icing, I just want more and more and more.

Danger be damned... this is Happily Ever After... at least until this limited edition holiday sample runs out, at which point I'm lost in the woods without a breadcrumb to save me.

Scent Elements: Wheat absolute, honey, baking spices, sandalwood, hiba, musk