Marc Jacobs Honey ~ fragrance review


The Marc Jacobs vinyl-accented juggernaut continues with Honey, a sort-of flanker to 2012′s Marc Jacobs Dot, which of course followed Lola and Daisy and all of their flankers. More specifically, Honey "channels the eclectic appeal of Marc's Dot signature and adds her own golden touch".

If you've liked what they've done with the bunch so far, you'll probably like Honey too. Like the rest, it's basically a cheerful and wearable fragrance. To my mind, Daisy was the most cheerful and most wearable of them all, and while Honey isn't going to knock Daisy off her pedestal, it's arguably less threatening than Lola or Dot — not that either Lola or Dot was particularly threatening.

Honey starts a bit crisp, but it's sweet from the start, with lots of pear shampoo and with what they're calling, in a rare case of truth in advertising, "fruity punch" (other notes include mandarin, orange blossom, peach, honeysuckle, honey, vanilla and woods). The fruity punch is also presumably a clue to the target market, which is no doubt youthful, but Honey is not the sugar-laden fruity floral it could have been, and I found it perfectly tolerable even in the heat. The heart is the usual sheer florals, although the orange blossom is more easily identified than is common with floral notes in this sort of youth-oriented, mid-tier department store sort of fragrance, which frequently cannot be described with any more precision than fruity punch + floral bouquet. The base is mostly pale, but the honey note adds some warmth to the dry down without drowning it in sweetness. It is sweet, mind you, but I've seen worse, and a few sprays on skin, while rather loud at first, tone down to an endurable level in reasonably short order.

Verdict: All in all, another decent outing from Marc Jacobs, and I would say of it pretty much what I said of Dot, although if forced to choose, I might prefer the Honey:

Dot is neither sophisticated nor sexy, and it isn’t trying to be. Memorable, no; distinctive, no again. It’s just what it needs to be: cheerful and easy to wear. It isn’t quite as perfectly calibrated to “massively pleasant” as Daisy; I found it “likable enough” instead of “darned likable”. That may seem like a minor distinction, but I don’t think Dot is going to find as large an audience as Daisy, which appealed to a wide range of ages and tastes. Dot’s appeal strikes me as more narrow, but it should find legs with its youthful target market, and that may be exactly what was intended.

More to the point, of course, is the über cute packaging, which will either appeal to you or it won't — you know who you are.

If you have a favorite of the Marc Jacobs vinyl series, do tell!

Marc Jacobs Honey was developed by perfumer Annie Buzantian; it is available in 30, 50 and 100 ml Eau de Parfum and in matching body products.

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  1. mutzi says:

    Thanks for the review, Robin. It sounds like my 11 year old great-niece will be getting a bottle of Honey to sit next to the bottle of Dot we gave her for Christmas. Dot isn’t great, but she loves it and it suits her. So will Honey and they are preferable to the Justice scents she was wearing.

    I’m not overly fond of any of the vinyl series myself, but if forced to choose would go with Daisy EDP.

    • Robin says:

      I’d go with Daisy too. The little tiny bottles for Dot & Honey are adorable though.

  2. Marjorie Rose says:

    I find myself wondering if MJ is really going for the collectibles route rather than the fragrance route–all these kitschy bottles reminds me of the G bottles (which at least Guen Stefani didn’t even try to create new scents for each time). They don’t appeal to me, but I can see how someone might get drawn in and find themselves wanting a little line-up of them on their dresser.

    For honey, my go to is a DC DSH scent called “Lush Honey.” It is precisely what it sounds like–a pure, sweet, warm honey note, like licking a spoon dipped in rich wildflower honey. It’s very cozy to me, when I’m in the right mood!

    • Robin says:

      Definitely a similar “fatal attraction to cuteness” thing going on…I’m looking forward to seeing what they do next.

      MAC had a great honey scent too, shame it isn’t around now — sometimes they come back though.

      • Lys says:

        I liked that MAC, altho if I remember it pulled that “honey notes in perfume being chemically near to urine notes” trick late in the drydown.

        • basia says:

          I love that MAC Naked Honey. Have a back-up bottle and wish they would bring it back.

          • Robin says:

            You never know — they did just bring back Turquatic. It could happen!

  3. Dao says:

    I always like how MJ is able to bring some surprise and smile with their cute bottles. Nothing pretentious but at least real novelty! I will definitely go and try this latest fragrance. Love the idea and honey fragrance is totally worth exploring. As for DOT I loved the idea and top notes, but dry down didn’t work for me, kind of cheap and a bit disappointing..Any suggestion on similar fresh/fruity/watermelon fragrance? thks!

    • Robin says:

      The packaging is definitely great fun — they know what they’re doing. Fresh/fruity/watermelon isn’t my own style so can’t think offhand of anything, but gosh, there must be many, right?

    • jonr951 says:

      Have you tried D&G L’Imperatrice for watermelon? I think it’s perfect and I adore it. : )

  4. antonpan says:

    Tried this one today too. Honey is a fresher, citrusy version of Dot. It opens with a sparkling citrusy note, then becoming melony (the same melony feel as in Dot) generic white floral. There is not even a hint at honey here. The fragrance is less opulent and less sweet (frankly speaking Honey is sour than sweet) than Dot which I like much more.

  5. My daughter is going to want this. She’s obsessed with the Dot bottle and she probably likes bees even more than she likes ladybugs.

    God help me though, although Dot is certainly innocuous enough (in fact, I sort of like it, though not for myself) I can’t bring myself to buy department-store perfume for a four-year old.

    • Robin says:

      That’s hard, and the rollerballs, while cheaper, miss a lot of the cute factor. Maybe you’ll get lucky and she’ll never see it…

    • dewey eyed says:

      If it makes feel any better, I’m probably buying this for my 6 yr old because her name is Bea.

  6. Anna Stromberg says:

    I was disapointed in Dot, but I’ll definetly try Honey. The bottle is very cute, imo.
    My favorite of the vinyl ones is Oh Lola, I’m a sucker for raspberry notes, and Oh Lolas top note is all about tart raspberries. If a bottle was given to me, I’d wear it.
    I find Daisy boring, almost as dull as the Splashes.

    • Robin says:

      Ack, I can’t even remember if I tried Oh, Lola. I did try Lola, and I should have tried Oh, Lola just because that’s a great name.

      “As dull as the splashes” is a SERIOUS cut down, LOL…

      • jonr951 says:

        Lol Robin! You reviewed Oh Lola! Haha! : )

        • Robin says:

          Holy cow…and just about exactly two years ago. I probably remembered it for all of 6 months…and I predict that’s about how long I will remember the smell of Marc Jacobs Honey, LOL.

          • jonr951 says:

            LOL! : )

  7. Merlin says:

    When I first saw a photo of the dot bottle I loved it! I think the right term would be fugly? When I saw it on the shelf though, it seemed more on the monstrous side! Monstrously kitch, without being a parody… No lemming for me:)

    • Robin says:

      Money saved.

    • mutzi says:

      I like the smallest size bottles, the others not so much.

  8. Omega says:

    I do confess to being a Daisy fan, have the Daisy in both the clear and black bottles. Dot was lame beans, imo, but willing to try that honey. Though the bottle somehow reminds me of a baby rattle with pearls. Better than a squished ladybug, I guess.

  9. Omega says:

    Oh and I do love the Daisy body lotion and shower gel!

  10. jonr951 says:

    I really don’t care for Dot. But I really want this Honey bottle! It has to be better than Dot! It just has to! Haha! : )

    • Robin says:

      I think it is, but marginally. And obviously you might not :-)

      • jonr951 says:

        Yeah, marginally better than Dot pretty much sums Honey up. I won’t be needing a bottle. Well, definitely not for the juice. Haha! Oh well. On to the next one MJ. : )

  11. Lys says:

    I wanted to like this one more, thanks to the build-up and that bottle, but it was kind of a yawner. I do like the idea of these bottles being aligned to the idea of a vinyl collection.

    (Forgive my sentence construction, it’s been a long day!)

    • Robin says:

      And with all the other brands joining in, you could do a darned decent vinyl collection!

  12. eminere says:

    LOL vinyl collection

  13. mals86 says:

    I really like Daisy. Still. For inoffensive-yet-pleasant it’s a winner. For what it’s worth, it doesn’t have a lot of fruit on my skin; it’s mostly white florals plus that soft woody-musk thing in the base.

    Dislike Dot very much (froot punch, anyone?) and despise Lola with the fire of a thousand blazing suns (froot punch caramel, anyone?), but this one sounds slightly nicer.

  14. SmokeyToes says:

    I’ve always loved the fun bottles, I tried a sample the other day but it didn’t last very long. I was hoping for a bit more of a honey note, but got way too many fruity notes instead. Oh well, $$ saved.

    • Robin says:

      I am so surprised…even chlorine did not take it off my body. But if it was too fruity, doesn’t matter, right? And $ saved is always a good thing :-)

  15. Nile Goddess says:

    Dolce Vita packaging inspiration?

  16. PerfumeLady says:

    Been trying the summer edition of Daisy called Sunshine and it is great! It’s fun and easy to wear and the bottle is super cute! Got tons of compliments too. If this is anything like that then I’m looking forward to it too! You can’t go wrong with MJ!

  17. beautifulotus says:

    I miss Dolce Vita :-(
    Is there anything even close to it?

  18. joybells says:

    So here I was in my fragrance store of choice, I tested Dot and Honey side by side. “Honey,” I thought, um, no! that’s not sweet, it’s sour! Too much tangerine, no no and no! So I bought Dot. And the next time I went back I bought Honey because I couldn’t get that orange blossom jasmine heart out of my nose. Honey is really a misnoma. I don’t think it smels remotely of honey. I do find that mandarin pear top note too crisp for my taste, sometimes it really can make my eyes water, but once it calms down I can’t get enough of the heart and base notes. The dry down lasts on me a long time, is sweet without being sickly and opulent without being loosh. I’m glad I bought the 50ml bottle, because I’ve a feeling the smaller one wouldn’t have lasted me too long! :)

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