Perfume Directory

Slowdive (2017)
by Hiram Green


Slowdive information

Year of Launch2017
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 39 votes)

People and companies

HouseHiram Green
PerfumerHiram Green

About Slowdive

Slowdive is a warm tobacco-themed fragrance that captures the mood of those languid afternoons when the sweetness of the Indian summer air is almost palpable. The heady scent of summer flowers and the humming of bees surround you as you flee the high summer sun.

Slowdive fragrance notes

Reviews of Slowdive

What a gorgeous and strange honey this is. Medicinal and syrupy, it begins as a river of intense aromas all knotted together so thickly that it’s difficult to make out what one is smelling. On my first wearing, I thought the opening had something of that anisic, clove-scented cherry dough that forms the medicinal heart of L’Heure Bleue (Guerlain) or even Kimonanthe (Diptyque), but a second wearing told me I was wrong.

Even in the opening, this is all about a thick floral honey with a rustic, if not medieval flavor. The honey is not animalic or smoky, but waxy and opaque with a golden, late afternoon sunshine feel to it. Dotted with tufts of mint, hay, licorice, anise, and wildflower herbs, the intensity of the honey is lifted just in time, moments before the dreaded cloy. It must have been difficult to achieve the balance between syrup (density) and air (lightness), especially in an all-natural composition, but I think Hiram Green’s managed it.

You might look at the notes list for Slowdive and imagine that the tobacco, the orange flower, and the tuberose dominate the composition. This would normally be the case, given the presence of such bullish notes. But there’s a series of pleasant surprises here in how Green has restrained these more exuberant notes in favor of the more delicate floral mead/honey/herb aspect.

The tobacco, or rather, coumarin, smells more like dry hay and chamomile tea than pipe tobacco. The tuberose hands over its textural qualities of butter and rubber, but holds back on its plushier, candied side. And although the green, waxy neroli that Green uses so well in many of his fragrances is present, under the surface, it only makes itself known through a slight orange tint to the honey.

The overall impression is of a slow-moving river of honey dragging whole drifts of meadowfoam, sunburned hay, and lacey wildflowers along with it. Imagine the court of King Henry VI camping for the night in the sprawling hunting grounds of Anne Boleyn’s uncle’s castle. It’s late summer, the hay is brown in the fields, and all about there is the gentle hum of honey bees. Cook has spilled the pale, waxy honey so beloved of the bad-tempered king, and scrapes it up off the ground hastily with a knife, not realizing that it is now flecked here and there with the malty herbs strewn on the ground to cleanse the air of unhealthy odors. And in fact, Slowdive is what the king will later taste on his bread, a delicious but inedible enfleurage of flowers in honey.

The rustic, medieval feel I get from Slowdive is underlined by the beery smell of fermenting hops in the drydown. At this point, it reminds me very much of a thick face cleanser I got in Koreatown, New York, a few months ago, called Natura Republic Honey and Herb Cleansing Cream. I love the smell of this cream, because like Slowdive, it reminds me how close the natural scent of honey is to both hay and beer hops. The smell of the Irish countryside on a good day! There is also the richness of dried fruit, but again, this gives less of the Lutensian vibe one might be expecting and more of a sour dried cherry aroma, dry and unsentimental. Like flowers doused in nutritional yeast.

Despite the syrupy intensity of its opening, I would place Slowdive more towards the clean end of the honey spectrum than the carnal one. It is not, for example, as smoky as Absolue Pour Le Soir (Maison Francis Kurkdjian), as retro-fabulous as Tubéreuse III Animale (Histoires de Parfum), or as pissy-dirty as Tabac Tabou (Parfum d’Empire), although it does share the strong rustic-rural bent of the latter. Instead, I would classify it as belonging to the same group of strong, floral, or harvest-time honeys as Golden Cattleya by Olympic Orchids and Botrytis by Ginestet. If you love thick, narcotic honey scents that balance syrupy sweetness with a herbal or floral cleanliness, then I can’t recommend Slowdive highly enough. It’s one of the best scents I’ve tried in this particular genre, and all-natural to boot.
17th August, 2020
Happy to finally be sampling Slowdive, the seemingly most publicized release and my first try of the house of Hiram Green, certainly living up to the hype as a sweet/spicy/fresh/floral honey scent, with the honey/amber accord being dominant but excellently accented by the supporting case of notes, and it feels irresponsible to omit them: neroli, orange flower, tobacco blossom, tuberose, honey, dried fruit, resin. I do not detect tuberose or tobacco blossom per se but there is a general floral quality to it beyond simply the orange blossom and neroli.

Its opening is loud, with some of the spiciness especially coming out strong, before drying down to a more agreeable (albeit still strong) blend, still with the honey resin aspect being most prominent but with the dried fruit and spices being complemented by the fresher floral bits.

Also, Slowdive certainly has a slight sweet side but overall leans more to the floral and spicy side than more gourmand-leaning amber/honey scents (Zoologist Bee and Rania J. Ambre Loup come to mind, of recent favorites. Its dry down is quite balanced overall, though, and quite lovable.

Slowdive is in EDP concentration, priced at $165 for 50ml and sold in the US by Luckyscent, Twisted Lily, and Ave Parfum, though is only currently in stock at Luckyscent. The pricing seems very reasonable given the quality and potency, and I can see why Slowdive seems to have a good reputation.

8 out of 10
08th June, 2020
This is a most arresting fragrance; honey unlike any kind you find at your average supermarket. Instead, it's a reminder that bees are, in fact, wild animals. I've once had a swarm of bumblebees nesting in my ceiling, and let me tell you, the sound that comes from hundreds and hundreds of these flying beauties is quite terrifying. As is Slowdive, but in a good way. It's raw, thick, and almost overwhelmingly sweet; honey with waxy comb, pollen, and a few angry bees still stuck in it. It reminds me of a jar of chestnut honey my mother once brought from Italy that was so intense that it could not be eaten undiluted, but it was absolutely heavenly in dishes and pies. I have a similar experience with Slowdive: it's a bit too much for me up close, but from a distance it is just gorgeous, especially the dry down. A little goes a long way with this stuff; I think a 10ml travel spray would last me a lifetime.
30th December, 2018
More like honey than honey itself, previous reviewers have taken the words out of my mouth on this one and not much more to add. Yes I can see the connection to Eau du Ciel and it also reminds me obliquely of Penhaligon's Hammam Bouquet, (though that is not claimed to be a honey fragrance).
27th December, 2018
Absolutely gorgeous realistic honey, sweet and waxy and strong. Smelling closely, I detect a pinch of orange blossom underneath, as well as some cinnamon/nutmeg/mace pie spices. There's also just a touch of an acrid undertone for maximum realism.

It doesn't really change over time, which is the only criticism I can muster, but it smells so good that doesn't bother me at all. Easily the best honey perfume out there.
30th August, 2018
I am completely off my head for this one, to the point where I've been auctioning vintage Shalimar(!) in order to offset buying a full bottle.

I used to train with a natural perfumer and have a strong bias for fragrances with a high percentage of natural essences, though I don't think always think they're more interesting or compelling than what I can casually mix up at home. But Slowdive is special. Not only is it potent and lasting, but it's honey while also being the smell of the whole field the honey came from on a hot day. There's a lot of craft behind something that comes off this rustic, because it's actually painstakingly composed, but you just don't notice the work.

The treatment of neroli in it reminds me very much of the gentle neroli I loved so much in Goutal's Eau du Ciel, such an evocative scent in its own right. And overall it's rather in the same ballpark as D.S. & Durga's Isle Ryder, another one I've been circling. That one is also lovely, but the longevity just isn't there on me.

02nd August, 2018

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