Esxence Diary – Map of the Heart

This map is not a regular map… It is a different kind of map. It leads through emotions, flutters, passion. And it is very personal. Very private…

Map of the Heart
Map of the Heart collection | photo by BonjourPerfume

The first time I heard / read about Map of the Heart was probably in one of the perfume discussion groups on Facebook. And I was so fascinated about this extremely unusual shaped bottle – yes, the shape of a real heart! – that it stuck with me ever since.Visiting the perfume show Esxence in Milan this year helped me on a lot of levels… Along with that, I got to meet the gorgeous Sarah Blair, the co-founder of this brand, and finally got to hold their masterpiece – theΒ heartΒ – in my hand… That feeling was purely unforgettable.

Also, I got to bring a set of samples with me home. I felt elated! And now, as I wear and test them, I’ve made a choice to select fragrances by their colours. Whichever colour attracted me on the day, that one I chose.

Purple Heart v.5Β 

v.5
Purple Heart v.5 by Map of the Heat | image courtesy – Map of the Heart

This is my favourite Heart… It meets me with a gentle punch of sweet fruits, like blackcurrant, plums, and dark cherries… And then it instantly transforms and increases in strength! – with added woody and floral notes – double knockout! I am in love! πŸ™‚ I can’t take my nose off my wrist! πŸ˜€ This is intense… The fragrance, it is like..it feels like it increases in strength even more with time! My head is spinning… I am intoxicated with liquorice, violet, and roses, which later evolve into a delicious blend with tonka bean, vanilla, ink, and amber… And I love it! ❀

The perfume is very uplifting. It transforms, it changes, it is constantly on the move… To me, Purple Heart is a very happy Heart.. According to the brand, it is

An act of valour. Brave instinctive. It is the scent of selfless courage that triumphs.

Red Heart v.3Β 

v.3
Red Heart v.3 by Map of the Heart | image courtesy – Map of the Heart

This is a very romantic Heart. It opens up with a soft kick of pink pepper mixed with sweet and juicy red apple. At heart it joins with tuberose, feijoa – a pineapple guava, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I have never smelled a feioja before, so to me this fragrance reminds of a beautiful tropical blend of pineapple and slightly spicy apple. It is very lovable and passionate. At times, it also reminds me of Elle by YSL – fragrance I was in love with for many years.. πŸ™‚ Half our in, this gorgeously seductive scent is enriched with patchouli, musk and vanilla.. According to Map of the Heart, it is

“Rebelious. Ripe.”

and I totally agree! A beautiful blend! πŸ™‚

Pink Heart v.6Β 

v.6
Pink Heart by Map of the Heart | image courtesy – Map of the Heart

Pink Heart v.6 – within an instant I am embraced by a powerful neroli and narcissus blend. It smells of spring – green and fresh. It smells of a warm sunny Sunday in April… I get a whiff of jasmine, and in a way this scent slightly reminds me of Life Threads Emerald by La Prairie. The green notes in the Pink Heart are not as powerful, though… A good few minutes later, it romantically invites the powdery iris, and I am in floral bliss..

The Map of the Hart calls this scent “a dance of ecstasy”. A similar intoxication I felt when I tried Oud Infini by Parfums Dusita for the first time. Well, they are both far from being similar fragrances, however, to me the Pink Heart still carries some of that orange blossom and oud combination… And here with base notes of spicy sumac, tobacco, labdanum, and sandalwood, the hypnotic narcissus is tamed and framed into a full-bodied picture.. I find Pink Heart v.6 a fragrance of many dimensions; a complex scent with an amazing allure..

Black Heart v.2

v.2
Black Heart by Map of the Heart | image courtesy – Map of the Heart

Now the Black Heart is a completely different story. I find it so weirdly attractive that it bewilders me… The combination in itself is such a contrast! I can see burnt trees, black after a wildfire.. and I can smell nearly medicinal freshness of eucalyptus. Yet what makes the whole experience so confusingly beautiful is that they are not like two separate smells.. They are one..

I haven’t been to Australia yet. Here in Ireland the land is covered in gorse bushes, and they do set on fire during very dry summers… However, I can only imagine the horror the wildfires in Australia bring..

Black Heart v.2 somehow is a scent of hope. But no, hope at this point is a weak word…

It is that kind of miracle that appears after all the hope is lost. It is that kind of strength and will to live, that bold bravery which resides deep in the core. It is destructive and regenerative at the same time…

To me, this perfume belongs to someone strong at heart. Someone who can tackle the hardships of life on their own. Someone who is always prepared no matter what. Someone who had their heart broken many times but got up, brushed the dust off their slieves, and continued on. Head held high, open hearted. Fearless and humble.

Clear Heart.1Β 

v.1
Clear Heart by Map of the Heart | image courtesy – Map of the Heart

This scent is my favourite during the summer time. It reminds me of the seaside so much. And I love peonies, too.. ❀

Clear Heart v.1 is a symbol of innocence and freedom to me. It opens up with a gentle fragrance of slightly green but mainly salty citrus. And it instantly transports me to a sunny beach. The scent is so beautifully blended.. I begin picking up a warm note of peonies.. Also, salty water feature is still very intense, it just lifts up the fragrance. So light! So feathery!

The fragrance does not carry far from the skin. I find this very appealing, as at the end of the day it all depends on the longevity of the scent. And to me it lasts for a wonderful 3-4 hrs. I love it in the morning and during a warm sunny day.

According to Map of the Heart, their first fragrance is

for the free and untamed at heart.

Gold Heart v.4

v.4
Gold Heart by Map of the Heart | image courtesy – Map of the Heart

Now that’s some real animalic stuff! πŸ™‚ At first, I thought I am snorting a spicy peppery ginger-like cinnamon! Then -oh!- oud! Then -oh!- is this Zoologist’s Bat and Civet mix?! And in the midst of this all I am distinguishing sub layers of condensed milk….(?) Wow! Now that’s a surprise! πŸ™‚

A few minutes later this animal calms down and begins to purr… Sweet saffron and milk, with a light sprinkle of spices…A very interesting combination, and I can’t remember smelling anything similar before… After the initial top notes, this baby smooths out into a delicious gourmand accessory.. It would easily stand the night! The fragrance is very sensual, warm… Yet at the same time, it is also sophisticated, cool.. IΒ can distinguish the sweet milky tones only very close to the skin.. And as I pull further away, I get a spicy woody smell, with a rather cooling effect… Very interesting! I really love how it transforms! According to Map of the Heart, Gold Heart v.4 is

sensual, deep and as intriguing as life itself.

Could not be more true! πŸ™‚


Map of the Heart is a wonderful collaboration of two immensely creative people from Australia – Sarah Blair and Jeffrey Darling. The duo come from a cinematography world – film, design, and writing. Scent is another world, another layer, another possibility to touch peoples’ hearts on a different level. And I must say, they have mastered it!

Along with the senior perfumer Jacques Huclier (the nose behind the legendary A*Men cologne by Mugler) and the bottle designer Pierre Dinand (the man behind the iconic Opium by YSL), they have created a pristine brand, unique and exceptional from everything else. What a pleasure it is to discover something so inimitable not only in the fragrance world but creativity in general.


Map of the Heart have a vast selection of stockists around the world. The closest one to Ireland would be in located London, Harrods.

If you’re looking to firstly test the fragrances, the company offers a gorgeous sample pack online for €35, which includes all their fragrances.

Another option – a very wise one too, I think – is a “love it keep it”Β selection online at the checkout. All Hearts come in 90ml size bottles. So, having selected this option, you are also receiving a mini sample of that scent for testing…and…falling in love with! If you do not, however, that way you may return the unopened full bottle. I think this is a brilliant idea πŸ™‚ There have been one-too-many blind buys that just didn’t do it for me… Yet with this option you are safe and sound.

All Map of the Heart fragrances come at €150, and when I checked, it offered a free shipping to Ireland. So, for 90ml of exclusive juice in a one-of-a-kind bottle design, I think, this is yet another investment that will bring you joy for years to come. What’s not to love? πŸ™‚


Have you tried Map of the Heart scents yet? Share your thoughts and feelings in the comments bellow πŸ™‚


I would love to thank Map of the Heart for their generosity providing the sample set and images for this post. Thank you kindly ❀


Prices are correct at the time of writing this post. Thoughts and words are all my own.

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Esxence Diary – Map of the Heart

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