Heya POSSEEEEEEE! Portia from AustralianPerfumeJunkies with a wonderful 4th of July post about one of your own: small batch, American, niche perfumery, Anya’s Garden. Anya McCoy launched the brand from Miami, Florida in 1991 and labels it America’s first modern natural perfumery line. Anya is President of the Natural Perfumers Guild plus being Founder and Head Instructor of the Natural Perfumery Institute. Currently there are around 11, I think 2 new ones are appearing soon, perfumes available from the house and Anya very kindly sent me a sample pack with about .5ml of all 11 fragrances. Kewdra is one of my favourites.
Kewdra by Anya McCoy for Anya’s Garden 2010
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
From the Anya’s Garden site I grabbed this spiel and most of my story about Anya. Monica from CaFleureBon named Kewdra one of her Top Frags for 2010.
Kewda flower melds with the iconic heroine Kudra of Jitterbug Perfume into a floral heart of Chinese Gardenia and Golden Boronia. Then the musk hits. Oh, the musk, sweet, sultry and like a second, sensual skin.
Modern Indian Floraliental
gardenia Anya’s Garden
gold boronia Tasmania
ambrette seed India
sandalwood Sri Lanka
WOW! Quite an impressive line up of ingredients. as always though my question is, How does it smell?
Photo Stolen RedBubble
To start with GREEN, but sweet green, very natural, herbaceous, earthy and grass clippings-ish. After the initial rush calms I get a country road feeling, maybe a paddock after rain, totally devoid of humanity Kewdra is alive and vibrant greenery, this is the perfume that triffids wear. At once alluring and beguiling I can imagine it being the smell of all vegetative flora combined. I get wafts of many of the named ingredients and there are some here that I am not familiar with at all: patchouli and boronia, beeswax sandalwood and vanilla are all there but in wafts, they play hide and seek through the others. I know what a gardenia smells like but get none of it, perhaps I’m anosmic to the particular way it’s been treated in here.
Photo Stolen ByronJorjorian
After the first half hour Kewdra softens very daintily into a fragrance less intrusive and domineering than its initial shout. Suddenly it is plush and tranquil, still with moderate sillage and projection but it becomes like the gorgeous smell of a very upmarket beauty salon, a relaxing scent that is meditative yet showing signs of a rich sexuality kept hidden or withheld: tantric. I feel like I am wearing a perfume oil from the Asian continent, something from the Ayurvedic medicines, Chinese teas or the Korean baths. All of these are represented through Kewdra, and none of them, hints, nods and waves.
Later there is a dry rustle through the scent, still warm and green but a sliver of dry-ness peeks through and yet again tweaks my interest. This coupled with the hefty inclusion of musks, sweetness of vanilla and something else I cannot name make a beautiful sheer dry down. So special!! So sensual……
A wonderful scent that would be excellent work wear, as long as you give Kewdra 15-30 minutes to lose its big opening. Should you wish to announce your presence then spritz and enter, though you’ll not skunk the room everyone will certainly take notice. I get good longevity for a Natural Perfume, Kewdra can last up to 4 hours before I lose its scent entirely.
Further reading: The Non Blonde and Perfume Shrine
Anya’s Garden site has Kewdra $40/3.5ml Extrait or $10/.5ml Sample
I think the 11 x .5ml Sample Set for $70 is an excellent idea
Photo Stolen Webry
Have you tried the Anya’s Garden line? What were your impressions?
If you liked this then trot on over to AustralianPerfumeJunkies because we are doing a special Anya’s Garden GIVEAWAY over there this week. It would be great if you could be a part of it too.
Loads of love,
4th of July Photo Stolen CenterLineHomes
It took me a while to “get” this one. It’s gorgeous on me, if I do say (well, type) so myself.
You smell good in EVERYTHING Tom, it’s the way scent just hangs off your cheekbones, MAGIC!!
Oh, Tom, it makes me so happy to hear this! I remember when you won the 15mls of Kewdra in a giveaway, and you weren’t overjoyed, even though your scent twin Gaia was sure you’d love it. I still have a great photo I took of that bottle before it was shipped off to you, and I’ve never made such a big bottle of it since. SO glad it’s gorgeous on you, it’s exotic and mysterious and lots of men adore it. Great!!!
Hi, babydoll! Dropping in here from a lonnnnng day of smoking meats and knocking Japanese Beetles into a cup, to give the chickens – they love them and I’m trying to get them used to snatching them off a plate (long story, for a post at another time).
Speaking of bugs….I would rather eat. a. bug. than try to blend a perfume – like you, I figure why bother? A) there are so many gorgeous scents out there and I can barely figure out how to get the cream in my coffee! LOL! I’ll leave the perfuming to the pros!
I love your stories Musette, can’t wait to read this one, chickens should be served off plates not eat off them.
I can get cream in my coffee though.
Howdy, dear Portia! Thanks for the July 4th wishes! Alas, it’s been pouring rain off and on where I live, and so the big parade and fireworks show were canceled. So I worked all day 🙂 This sounds like such a lovely line — I’ve been tempted to try from them before, so now I really will have to pull the trigger. Thanks!
Hi there lovely Ann,
It’s your national right to pull the trigger as often as you want, part of the constitution right?
I do hope if you try them that you love them,
I haven’t tried anything from Anya’s Garden yet, and I need to remedy that. I started following Anya on Twitter, wishing Smell-o-Tweet were a thing when she posts about flower harvests or what she’s putting in enfleurage trays and whatnot.
I try to make my own perfume as a hobby, with varying degrees of success. I have one work in progress that I’m pretty happy with where it’s going. I would love to work more with natural materials, but that can get really expensive, especially if you want to do anything floral. I suppose it helps if you grow your own jasmine and such and can make your own absolutes.
WOW Jennifer Counts,
I love that you are experimenting. I’m so lazy, just wanting to buy stuff already finished. The closest I get to mixing perfume is the amount of oils I add to my burner, sometimes I like to get creative there.
Please see my reply to Martha re: saving money and making experimenting with natural aromatics easier! 😉
Thanks so much for the tip! I’ll have to try that.
I haven’t tried anything from this line yet, and I’ve been meaning to, so this is timely temptation, Portia! I have another perfume with kewdra in it (discontinued), so I’m looking for another option for that delicious floral.
Also, by the way, I appreciate the info you have up on Grandiflora at Australian Perfume Junkies. Manoumalia is one of my favs, so a new perfume by Sandrine Videault is cause for celebration!
I need to order up some samples from Anya’s Garden.
Which fragrance was the Kewdra container?
Sandrine died this week, so sad. Grandiflora will be her last fragrance.
Get to Anya’s Garden pronto, please come back and tell me how it went.
That is such sad news about Sandrine, isn’t it? She leaves behind a husband and 5 yr old child. My heart breaks for them, as well as all her other family and friends.
That is sad news..
I haven’t tried anything by Anya’s Garden. Thus far, I’ve been so hyper-focused with Joy, Mitsouko, no. 22 and layering, I’ve neglected a lot of other perfumes. I haven’t had a whole lot of money to try a lot of other things too. It’s not all bad for me because it makes me use up a lot of other smaller decants that are running around my house. Blending perfumes never ends well for me. They either smell weird or it just smells bad.
Yes, use up your stockpile. Excellent advice. If I live to 1000 I will not use all the perfume in this house, probably not even the perfume on my desk.
Blending? Sometimes I do it but why bother when a perfumer has done all the hard work for you? It’s like adding a curry to a terryaki.
Thanks for the 4th of July greeting, Portia. Your post was particularly intriguing today. Especially the line, “this is the perfumes that triffids wear.” I loved the descriptions of greenery. I’ve not tried anything by Anya’s Garden. Lately I’ve been into the DSH line and some of Sonoma Scent Studio, too. Looks like I ought to visit the Anya’s Garden online store. There are lots of worthy indie perfumers out there. The trick is figuring out who and where they are. In the recent past, I tried my hand at blending and, among other things, I learned that high quality botanicals are not cheap. The investment in materials is considerable. The indie perfumer deserves plenty of credit for her product and skill. Sorry for the lecture, I’ll stop. Hey, does Australia celebrate a similar day of independence?
I’m glad to read you are experimenting, also that you have tried SSS & DSH, there are some wonderful uber niche companies in the USA. Olympic Orchids, Roxana Illuminated Perfumes, A Wing & A Prayer, SOIVOHLE and Anya’s Garden are some of the ones I have in my wardrobe. I’m sure you could find a slew more nearby.
We are not yet independent here but we celebrate Australia Day on January 26. Australia is still part of the Commonwealth under British sovereignty.
The first thing I teach my students is to dilute the expensive natural aromatics to 10% (some require other percentages, but this is the norm) so that their experiments 1: are less expensive 2: are easier to perform, since some aromatics are quite thick or gunky, and dilution helps make them usable with droppers/pipettes, and 3: the alcohol “opens up” the aromatic, so you get a more realistic sniff, rather than the sometimes ‘muddled’ smell of the undiluted oil.