Honore des Pres Chaman’s Party ~ perfume review

Honore des Pres Chaman's Party fragrance

French niche line Honoré des Prés debuted last year with five certified organic perfumes, all (Chaman’s Party, Bonté’s Bloom, Nu Green, Sexy Angelic) save one (Honoré’s Trip) from perfumer Olivia Giacobetti. As I've said here before, I don't really care personally about the synthetic vs. natural debate — to the extent that it is a debate — but it's been nice to see more and more choice for consumers on the naturals front over the past few years, and of course anything from Olivia Giacobetti is going to get my attention.

My early favorite of the five: Chaman's Party, the woody-vetiver entry, of course. I have to note as an aside that the brand's Ecocert status doesn't stop them from issuing the same sort of breathless PR-speak as everybody else; Chaman's Party is described as an "explosive perfume due to its top-secret ingredients with aphrodisiac properties". I don't know about all that, but it's a wonderful vetiver, and like the recent Turtle Vetiver Exercise No. 1 from LesNez, I'd call it a must-try for vetiver enthusiasts.

The opening is beautifully spicy and rich and green (the notes: basil, clove, vetiver, gaiac, plus those aforementioned top-secret notes, which we would tell you about but then we'd have to kill you), and the dry down adds dry, dark, slightly-charred woods. Just enough basil and clove linger on to add an extra bit of zing to the already peppery-earthy vetiver. I wouldn't call it heavy, but it has a satisfying depth — it is not at all airy or transparent, as Giacobetti's perfumes so frequently are. It does tilt most definitely towards the masculine, but also layers nicely with the "field of wildflowers" entry in the line, Bontés Bloom.

Longevity, of course, is not generally what you go looking for in a natural perfume (and the rest of the Honoré des Prés line is mostly what you'd expect in that regard), but Chaman's Party lasts most of the day and through a shower.

Honoré des Prés Chaman's Party is $145 for 100 ml Eau de Toilette; for buying information, see the listing for Honoré des Prés under Perfume Houses.

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  1. bjorn says:

    Hi Robin, I wonder if you know anything about why the longevity of natural perfumes is so poor? Are all good fixatives (is that the word?) synthetic? I would hesitate to spend that kind of money if it’s all gone in an hour or so..

    • Robin says:

      Yes — not all natural materials are long-lived in & of themselves (vetiver is an exception, and of course there are others) and w/o synthetic fixatives, they simply won’t last. The lasting power, for me, is only an issue if the scent isn’t interesting for at least a couple hours.

      But if what you’re after is organic and/or natural, it seems to me to be a reasonable trade-off — you have to apply more often, but you aren’t putting synthetic aromachemicals on your skin.

      • Ducks says:

        Well… I’m making natural perfumes and frankly, some of them really will stay all day (but rarely project much sillage). The problem is that some of the most long-lived ingredients can be overwhelming (or even obnoxious) in sufficient quantity to last long. For instance, patchouli: lovely as a note, overwhelming as a main ingredient. Also, they are almost universally much more expensive than synthetics, which contributes to costly — if ravishing — products. I’ve had mixed luck with staying power: with fragrances of parfum concentration, I have had excellent luck while mixing with alcohol. In EdP, it’s a toss up. In EdC, forget it.

        • Robin says:

          Sure, did not mean to imply that there aren’t any natural materials that are long-lasting, just that many aren’t.

          • Ducks says:

            And if I’d read you more carefully, I totally would have gotten that through my head, haha! I find that sometimes a tenacious natural ingredient will do a nice job fixing one of the more ephemeral ones. FWIW, I don’t have any serious bias against aromachemicals: I’m just a wuss in the lab and usually purchase what I know will smell good without a degree in chemistry.

            Yummy review, by the way — I totally want to try this.

          • Robin says:

            No big deal, we all skim online, right? And sounds like fun in your lab…

  2. Daisy says:

    Hmmm…I was wondering that as well. If it is a lack of fixatives I wonder if you could decant some of the fragrance, mix in a few drops of fixative and then apply. I’m sure there’s perfumer’s fixatives out there —there’s enough aromatherapy websites…like maybe Snowdrift farms or Coastal scents?

    • Robin says:

      I suppose you could, but honestly, there are so many synthetic fragrances already on the market that I’m not sure why you would? I mean, why not just buy something synthetic & long lasting to begin with?

      Personally, I don’t mind fragrances that only last a few hours anyway…and I own plenty of synthetics already that don’t last any longer than that.

      • Daisy says:

        I’m just saying that IF you happened to love a fragrance that contained no fixatives and wanted more than anything for it to last a while longer —there could be a possible fix. Of course if you were dead set against synthetics that would be a problem.
        I’ve noticed that DSH scents are often available with or without fixatives. Which is pretty cool.

        Personnally; I’m more concerned about metals and other byproducts of our industrial world that I’m breathing in everyday than a few synthetic fixatives in perfume. But everyone has the right to place their concerns where ever they prefer. You know, as long as we’re all protected from the horrific-man-eating-effects of evil oakmoss and citrus oils….since we’re all too stupid to not use it if it irritates our skin…..but go ahead and light up a pack of cigarettes every day….okay, I’ve completely gotten off subject here…..

        • Daisy says:

          Apparently I’m an establishment hater today.

          • Daisy says:

            excuse me, I have to go make my “down with government” sign….

          • Robin says:


          • Existentialist says:

            Fear the government that fears your perfumes.

  3. violetnoir says:

    Well all righty, then! I have read that these have no lasting power, but now that you say this one does, I will go ahead and test them.


    • Robin says:

      R, the only other one that I’d say has reasonable lasting power is Bonte’s Bloom…the other 3 are pretty ephemeral. Top notes of Sexy Angelic are great if you’re an almond lover though! And can’t remember if you are?

  4. Jill says:

    This sounds wonderful and I love Olivia Giacobetti, plus am very into vetiver lately. If it lasts most of the day, that’s plenty of longevity for me! Will definitely have to sample.

    • Robin says:

      It’s really pretty tenacious…this is the 2nd time I found it hard to remove in the shower.

  5. SmokeyToes says:

    My, this sounds lovely. “beautifully spicy and rich and green with dry, dark, slightly-charred woods” sigh.

    I want to try this, it sounds right up my alley… There I go, a budget was officially blown up in smoke!!

    • Daisy says:

      Budget? lol oh, smokey, you say the cutest things!

    • Robin says:

      The basil in this is so lovely…would love to try another natural scent with lots of basil.

  6. Nina says:

    Damn. I thought I’d ordered a Chaman’s Party sample from LS. It wasn’t in the package that arrived today, and looking at the order, I remember I dropped it off the order on the grounds it was pretty evanescent. ‘Not airy or transparent’ – now you’ve got me dying to sniff!

    • Robin says:

      Hope you got some other lovely stuff though? I’m sure you did!

  7. Dawnkana says:

    Wow R, I had quite the opposite reaction to this whole line. Not one of them lasted more than a good 10 minutes on my skin. I was really disappointed. Plus, I did not care for any of the scents. Well, actually, I did like Honore’s Trip (it’s the citrusy one) but I will not spend the money on a full bottle because of the poor lasting power and weak sillage.

    Happy to hear a positive review from this line. I haven’t seen very many.


    • Robin says:

      Well, do note that the only one that I’m saying had fabulous lasting power was CP, although I didn’t think the Bonte’s Bloom was bad either. But I did like the top notes of Nu Green & Sexy Angelic too — there just wasn’t much after the top notes, and yes, thought Honore’s Trip was also nice & also a quick experience.

      But you’re saying even CP did not last on your skin? That’s so weird…I applied early this morning, have since had a long hot shower and I can still smell it now (admittedly very faintly) at 5 pm.

  8. Tama says:

    Any more vetiver reviews and I’m putting my fingers in my ears and saying lalalalala! I’m already having narrow-down issues and it seems every time I turn around there are more to try. Sigh….

    • Robin says:

      Sorry! I do love vetiver.

  9. Trish says:

    I’ve got a sample of this coming my way and cannot wait to try it. I’m a huge vetiver fan and after reading your review I’m at the edge of my seat!


    • Robin says:

      Hope you’ll like it!

  10. jtcomboy says:

    Thanks for the review, Robin. I’ve been enjoying Chaman’s Party too, and found it surprisingly complex and long lasting. (One spray on my arm lasted all evening, through the night, and into the next morning). I do think this is the most tenacious of the bunch, in part due to some of the woody notes.

    I do find some of the ad-copy a little overblown, though.

    • Robin says:

      Ad copy is always overblown, isn’t it? I guess the organic companies aren’t any different!

  11. I do not like about the “upcoming” organic trend that it is something for the well-off. I do focus on organic beauty-stuff (execept perfumes, there I want a good sniff ;-) as well as organic living (food, clothes etc.) and I see the trend going in a wrong direction.
    “Organic” is luxury and posh, not for everybody, and that’s is wrong. A lot of the stuff could be cheaper, but then it is not exclusive enough anymore…
    145 USD is a lot.

    • Robin says:

      Well, I suppose it is but from my viewpoint, it’s not at all bad for a niche line…more like mid-priced (for niche). Much cheaper than some other natural brands in the US…

    • Ducks says:

      The ingredients for organic perfumes can be dramatically costly. Trust me, I’m running spreadsheets on my natural-but-not-organic-for-reasons-of-cost formulae right now and the price of raw materials is painful… and would be so much more so if they were all organic. I agree, though — more emphasis on organic farming worldwide would help put organic products in the economic reach of more people, and that is the goal.

      On the other hand… have you tried Pacifica’s perfumes? I don’t know how organic they are, but their ethic trends that direction, and I know they’re natural and vegan. Some gorgeous stuff, too.

  12. Blimunda says:

    I tried this the other day at Space NK, which had the entire range hiding in the corner behind the till register! This is my favourite of the range – it is so earthy, kind of like an old wooden basket full of dried herbs slowly charring and smoking on a fire! That’s the overwhelming image it brought to my mind! Even though it’s very earthy and woody, it is also very fresh and crisp, so it was a perfect scent for a hot summer’s day. I was really happy I tried it. Didn’t last long on me though. Mechant Loup was quickly applied one it had mostly worn off….wasn’t a bad combo, as it turned out!

    • Robin says:

      So sorry it didn’t last on you — I had such good luck with this one. But Mechant Loup is a perfect consolation!

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