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?