As I mentioned yesterday in my review of her recreation of Randolph Parry Cologne 1859 I would like to selfishly see more frequent releases from natural perfumer Anya McCoy. As a tireless supporter of Natural Perfumery as head of the Natural Perfumers Guild there are probably just not enough hours in the day. Which is why when I do get a new perfume from her under her Anya’s Garden brand I open my sample with a lot of anticipation. In the same package she also included her new natural perfume Enticing.
For Enticing Ms. McCoy was interested in interpreting tuberose. She wanted to capture all of this particular bawdy floral. On her blog describing the background she read before composing Enticing she captures descriptions like; “dangerous pleasures”, “voluptuousness”, and my favorite “the bane and the destruction of imprudent youth”. I love tuberose for all of these qualities and usually perfumers work very hard to rein in this impudent bloom. Ms. McCoy lets slip the tuberose in all of its imprudent youth destructiveness. Her ability to work with a couple forms of the tuberose as an absolute and as her own handmade enfleurage pomade takes what would be a familiar tuberose experience and enhances it. In particular the enfleurage softens the overall effect. When I asked Ms. McCoy about that in an e-mail she replied, “The enfleurage contained some of the top notes of tuberose, and some subtle, round, middle notes, which are lost when the absolutes is made, and I wanted to incorporate them.” I agree the mix creates a more realistic effect than the absolute would have by itself. It elevates Enticing into a much darker tuberose than you might usually find.
Enticing pulls you inward with a wonderful swirl of herbal green and cool spice. Ms. McCoy combines clary sage and cardamom. The sage tilts the cardamom more towards its green facets but the citrus character still asserts itself. This entices you forward as the tuberose appears ready to provide a dangerous pleasure. Ms. McCoy’s accord of absolute and enfleurage captures all of the high pitched grace notes. What I remember of late night hours wandering among the tuberose in my youth with a romantic partner was the hint of mentholated scent which seemed to make me feel like my lungs were coated with energy. Enticing’s mix of tuberose materials re-creates that. This is like a prelude to romance as it feels sultry and seductive. Enticing further affirms this memory as Ms. McCoy goes earthy with patchouli and mushroom. The final special fillip is the use of real musk which gives the final moments of this a sensual jolt that only real musk can provide.
Enticing is in parfum strength and it lasts for 14-16 hours with very little sillage.
The current trend in mainstream perfumery is to use a cleaned-up pretty tuberose. I am bored to tears with it at this point. Enticing is testament to what tuberose is all about. It may be a destroyer of imprudent youth but it is also one of the most all-encompassing notes that exist in perfumery. In Ms. McCoy’s able hands she is able to allow her tuberose to be all that it can be.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Anya’s Garden.
Header image: Moon and tuberose photos by Anya McCoy. Reclining Lady by Raimundo Madrazo.