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I had not seen Hanae Mori perfumes until I discovered them on a trip to America a few months ago, but since then I have checked to find out where I can buy them and they are available on Amazon and Cheapsmells.com.
Hanae Mori is a Japanese fashion designer and Butterfly is her most popular perfume. It comes in eau de toilette, eau de parfum and pure perfume concentrations. These different strengths are recognisable by their different coloured packaging. The one I have used and am reviewing here is the eau de toilette, which has pink butterflies on the box. The bottle itself is simple and elegant. It is a tall rectangle with a glass stopper modelled on the shape of a butterfly opening its wings, but it only loosely resembles a butterfly and looks quite abstract. The name Hanae Mori is printed across the front. Because of the glass stopper I would not recommend travelling with this, but it looks lovely on a dressing table.
I tried it when I bought a big mixed perfume sampler box from Sephora containing small bottles of 10 different perfumes. Hanae Mori butterfly was the one which made the biggest first impression on me.
The notes according to Fragrantica are as follows:
top notes: wild strawberry, blackberry, blackcurrant, billberies
heart notes: Bulgarian rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, peony
base notes: rosewood, almondwood, sandalwood, French cedar
As you can probably imagine from these, it has quite a deep, rich and fruity smell with a woody and oriental twist. I can smell the blackberries quite prominently on first spray. The strawberry also makes it quite sweet but the sweetness is balanced by some of the sharper fruit notes like the blackcurrant, so I personally don't find it too sugary and cloying. It does have a certain powderiness to it, even in the top note stage, and this remains as the scent develops.
I find that the top notes remain strong for quite a while before the floral notes start to come through. I am surprised that Fragrantica does not list violet as one of the heart notes, as I felt that I could detect violet quite strongly. I am not normally a big violet fan and I have tried some perfumes which remind me of the parma violet sweets, such as Kenzo flower, and really strongly disliked them, but I like the violet (or what I thought was violet) in Butterfly. The scent stays quite strong but soft. As the woodiness starts to come through it seems to have a hint of vanilla in my opinion and this is probably because of the almondwood.
Something about this scent smells really comforting to me. I just felt drawn to it and couldn't resist it! It is different to any other perfume I have tried. It smells very feminine and the sweetness is different to what I would normally imagine from a "sweet fruity" perfume. That would have conjured up "tropical fruit cocktail" images for me, which I would not be so keen on, but this is really not like that. The darker berries and woodiness mean it is much more mysterious and interesting than a tropical fruit type scent. I think it smells of the colour purple. Before I tried it, I would have expected something much lighter due to the name Butterfly, but I think it does really fit the name in a way I was not expecting.
The sillage is amazing, especially considering it is an eau de toilette, and I could catch hints of this throughout the day whenever I wore it. I like to spray it on my pulse points and a little bit in my hair. I really enjoy wearing it because I can actually smell it around all day. Hopefully other people around also like it, because it is definitely one that people would notice!
The lasting power is also outstanding. A spray in the morning lasts right up until I go to bed. It is one of the best lasting perfumes I have ever used - and this is only eau de toilette concentration! I normally buy eau de parfum, which lasts longer, but considering I was so impressed with how long the eau de toilette lasted and I liked the fragrance in this version I have not been tempted to change to the stronger eau de parfum.
Overall this is a perfume which surprised me in a positive way and once I got past the fact it was not at all what I had expected, I ended up loving it.
You can buy a 100 ml bottle of the eau de toilette for around £30 on Amazon or Cheapsmells, which is a very low price compared to what I would normally expect to pay for a perfume.