Last Saturday was American Independence Day. It struck me as fitting that several new fragrances by American independent perfumers were released recently and sent to me for review, all in time for Independence Day! So much of what’s interesting and innovative in perfume these days is coming out of the American indie perfume scene, and as the Fourth of July has just passed, I thought I’d devote this week to reviewing three new releases by American indie perfumers. Today’s review is of Anya’s Garden’s new fragrance Enticing. Last Saturday I reviewed Aftelier Perfumes’ new solid fragrance, Bergamoss, and later this week I hope to review the brand new Frida from En Voyage Perfumes.
I’ve not had the pleasure of smelling any of natural perfumer Anya McCoy’s fragrances before, so receiving her parcel was a real treat. Not only did she include a sample of Enticing, her latest fragrance, for review, but also several other samples that I hope to explore and discuss in the future.
Anya’s Garden’s Enticing is exploration of the power of the narcotic, seductive tuberose flower. In a fascinating blog post that provides insight into Anya’s research and her creative concepts behind the fragrance, she writes:
My goal was to recognize the sexiness of the flower and to enhance the buttery, lactonic, deep, dark aspects of it. I wanted to make a skin caressing, long-lasting perfume that holds tuberose close to you, and one that has a silky effect when breathed in. Clary sage is another plant recognized for its power to affect your senses merely by breathing in the essence, both in the garden, and from the distiller’s essential oil. It’s perceived in the opening top note, along with a trace of cardamom, to tease the nose into not quite recognizing the lush floral headiness of tuberose, and then they recede, and the full blown power of tuberose, bold and soft, smooth and velvety, takes over – like it has always done.
Enticing is categorised as a floral musk, and while it certainly contains large quantities of tuberose and natural musk, I find it hard to place it in this category. To me, floral musks are usually much softer and lighter, while Enticing is a weighty and intense creature. Enticing is a very dark, rich fragrance. It is equally sweet and medicinal in character, with some really interesting fatty, rounded notes, and a great big dose of dirty patchouli.
The tuberose used in Enticing is heady and sweet, but I don’t detect the usual indole that often announces tuberose’s presence in a fragrance. The treatment of tuberose here reminds me a little of its use in Histoires de Parfums’ fragrance Tubereuse 3, where it is blended with immortelle and rich tobacco and is similarly non-indolic, yet is sweet and heady, and sits dead-centre in the composition, as if a spotlight is being shone on it.
A musk tincture from Siberia is used in Enticing and it smells vintage, ultra-animalic, sexy and skanky. Butter CO2 (not an ingredient I’ve come across before) rounds the fragrance out and warms it up, and is quite apparent for the first hour or two of wear. As Anya wrote in her blog (see above), she wanted to enhance the “buttery, lactonic, deep, dark” elements of the tuberose, and the creamy butter works wonderfully in this regard. The butter note also compliments the waxy aspects of the beeswax used in Enticing, the sweetness of which compliments the syrupy tuberose.
Other earthier, darker ingredients add depth to these starring notes, including a yeasty mushroom, opoponax and patchouli. I can just detect the subtle “zing” of cardamom too.
Enticing is a sexy, strong and dark fragrance. It combines some outspoken and interesting notes in a unique way. I recommend it for anyone who enjoys unusual fragrances on the richer, darker side of the spectrum. Enticing sits reasonably close to the skin, radiating about 2 feet, though as I only have a sample and wanted to get multiple wears out of it, I was quite sparing in my application. I can imagine if I wore this on 4-5 pulse points at once, it would pack more punch. Enticing lasts about 4-5 hours on my skin.
You can read more about Enticing at Anya’s Garden’s blog and on the website. Enticing can be purchased in the Anya’s Garden online store. A 4ml bottle of pure perfume is $100 USD and 15ml of Eau de Parfum is $150 USD. A 0.3ml pure perfume sample is $11 USD.
Many thanks to the lovely Anya McCoy for sending me the sample of Enticing to review; it’s been a fascinating olfactory experience and I look forward to bringing you more posts about Anya’s Garden perfumes in the future.