Honeysuckle is a perfume ingredient that adds a floral note to scents, and the household name for 180 species of arching shrubs and twining vines in the Caprifoliaceae family.
Native to East Asia, Central Asia, and Southern Russia, honeysuckles were first brought to Europe through trade routes, then, thanks to their perfumy and beautiful white-to-yellow flowers, introduced as a decorative plant to America.
The honeysuckle plant thrives in all kinds of habitats, from fields and forests to all sorts of wetlands and disturbed lands. It’s not particularly capricious and grows in the sun as much as it does in the shade. In the United States, most honeysuckles are native to the east coast.
Honeysuckle’s blooming flowers have a fruity and nectarous aroma with a sweet and warm character that’s best described as an alchemy of jasmine, vanilla, and honey.
To get a whiff of honeysuckle, picture a sugary floral scent, as sweet as matured maple syrup, as white and pure as vanilla, yet as blossoming and youthful as bright-colored flowers, gently welcoming you as you walk through a botanic garden at dusk in a late May evening.
Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to naturally extract a significant amount of essential oil from honeysuckle flowers. This is the main reason why most perfumers concoct synthetic molecules that mimic their lovely smell for their formulations.