To continue the all-natural theme of recent weeks, let me introduce you to Anna Zworykina, a Russian artisan perfumer with a Phd in Biochemistry. She has been making fragrances for 15 years and kindly sent me a selection of EdP samples to try, all of which I found to be distinctive and well-structured.
As you may be aware, Luca Turin isn’t exactly a fan of natural perfumery but even he was converted by Anna’s work.
Notes: Ginger, lemon, bergamot, yuzu, jasmine, champaka, benzoin, labdanum, vanilla, tonka bean, ambergris
Ambers are usually for cosying up with in the winter but Shiny Amber is about the gifts of summer; bright sunshine and ripe fruit. It’s a lemony, citrus amber with lots of lift and radiance – not qualities you normally associate with amber fragrances. It makes for a nice twist on this classic genre and those fond of amber perfumes should welcome one that’s wearable in warmer weather.
Notes: Galbanum, blackcurrant bud, jasmine, neroli, champaka, roses, lavender, oregano, cognac, cardamom, angelica, oakmoss, vetiver, labdanum, vanilla.
An olfactory evocation of autumn, Apple Orchard is a fruity/smoky fragrance rather than a straight-up apple perfume (as you can see from the notes). It speaks softly of dimming light, misty mornings and bonfires of fruitwood. It cleverly evokes that wistful feeling I often have in those months, with their long, leaning shadows. I find Apple Orchard quietly enchanting.
Notes: Black pepper, clove, galbanum, elemi, juniper berry, nutmeg, jasmine, cumin, orange blossom, cardamom, cedarwood, vanilla, tonka bean, sandalwood, orris, agarwood.
It seems Anna prefers her vanilla to be tempered and low calorie which is no bad thing in my book. My Vanilla opens with green grass and settles into spice over vanilla. Cumin is most prominent on my skin, but that is a note I’m sensitive to – probably because I have issues with it.
Notes: Oranges, roses, jasmine, cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla, iris, balsam Peru, benzoin, rosewood, cedar, labdanum.
Winter Blush is a thoroughly joyful perfume. It has the aroma of the festive season but has been done in a fresher, brighter style than a lot of Christmassy fragrances. It’s a lightweight gourmand with lots of juicy tangerine which has enough tartness to cut through the gentler accords of chocolate and spice. Winter Blush becomes pleasingly vanillic/balsamic in the base.
Cuir de Russie
Notes: Tar leather, tobacco, wormwood.
If you’re a leather fragrance fan you’re very likely to love this. Cuir de Russie is very much in the classic birch tar leather mold. It starts out with a blast of pine needles, thick tar and black smoke. While calming a little, it manages to retain those salty, meaty facets and chewy texture throughout. It’s easy to imagine the Russian forest where birch tree bark was melted into tar. This Cuir de Russie has plenty to get your teeth into, with a nice amount of throw and great lasting power.
There are about 30 fragrances in all on the Anna Zworykina Perfumes website so if you your interest has been piqued by the above, do check out the sample sets. Anna divides her collections into Leather, Gothic, Floral, Warm & Enveloping and Landscape.
Are you drawn to any of the fragrances mentioned? Are you open to trying all-natural perfumes?
12 responses to “Anna Zworykina Perfumes – Mini Reviews”
I was converted last year when I first tried Zworykina’s perfumes. The natural ones I had tried previously lacked depth and staying power (and didn’t make me fall in love). Now that I know what a true creative genius can do with the highest quality ingredients, very few mainstream perfumes do it for me. She has such a way of making them three dimensional that I’ve never before encountered.
I recently finished sampling all of her offerings and my favorites are Cuir de Russie, Young Cossack, Green Madness, No 3, Silver Lavender, but they change with the season. Some favorites only work certain seasons. Apple Orchard didn’t work for me in the summer, but is beautiful in the fall, and also in the early, cold spring. Sea Foam- tuberose and coconut shines in summer and winter.
This is the first time I enjoy all different types of fragrances equally- green, spicy, leathery, white florals etc.
Absolutely recommend trying them!
(And don’t get me started on her Switch. Perfumes and More collection- fairytale masterpieces!)
Young Cossack sounds great from what I’ve read. I’m wearing Apple Orchard today and it’s working really well in the chilly, rainy, British summer weather.
Love the sound of a fairy-tale masterpiece!
These sound quite lovely. I still belong to the “no naturals thank you” group, but have been wonderfully surprised by the likes of Hiram Green and Maria McElroy so I will give these a shot if I come across them. The Cuir seems most up my street, but that´s not a surprise really. Bussis. xxxx
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With so much out there it’s tempting to narrow the field by dismissing a whole sub set but as we now know with all natural fragrances, it depends on the perfumer. I think you’d like the Cuir too.
By coincidence I was just looking at some of this perfumer’s works on the site (it’s related to the post I’m working on). Apple Orchard sounds the most interesting and, similar to Val, because of a couple of all-natural perfumes that I like a lot I’m more open to the idea that some of all-natural perfumes might be good 🙂
Ah that is interesting. I look forward to the post.
Apple Orchard is my favourite of the ones I tested. Good to hear you are more open to all-natural perfumes after a couple of good experience!
I always enjoy being introduced to new perfumers and Anna’s creations sound so good. Winter Blush seems very special. Thanks. R
Happy to have shared something new with you, R.
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It says a lot that Luca Turin made an exception for this range! I must say I have an open mind about all-naturals – but I agree that I try to avoid the murkier end of that spectrum which he evokes in his post. Of the ones you feature, all but the leather one appeal, and the first two in particular. Always interested in new takes on amber, for example.
All-natural perfumes can be prone to murkiness, it’s true. They can also tend to share that ‘essential oil blend’ scent. These definitely don’t/
Shiny Amber is really nice because it’s a different take on such a well trodden path. I think you’d gel with its bright, upbeat character.
It’s wonderful that natural perfume is getting better and longer lasting, and also gets a better rep. I’m thinking that in the oversaturated niche perfume market, quality has lost out a bit, and wouldn’t it be lovely if natural perfumery could help getting it back.
I hadn’t heard of these, but would definitely try them if I encountered them.
Thanks for the beautiful mini reviews and making me aware of this brand.
It would be great if artisan perfumers in general could get more attention and customers. With niche, the way it is at the moment, I’m certainly turning to them more and more for high quality, original compositions. I don’t make a point to seek out all-natural creations but they are an interesting part of the indie perfume world. As you know, I love some of Mandy Aftel’s fragrances and that’s just because they’re great!