The lotus...floating upon river waters where ancient civilizations flourished and died. Jasmine...the pervader of the night, its piercingly sweet floral aroma the intoxicating scent of carnality.
Alcaloids contained inside the lotus produce a sedative effect, inspiring hypotheses as to its relation to the mythical fruit consumed by the Lotophagi. And the indolic aspects of natural jasmine essence are but an invitation to ponder on our life's primal instincts and how they're sublimated into the poetry of flowers. But in Royal Lotus by Anya's Garden we never quite forget we're dealing with a floral fragrance that though based on modern, cutting-edge sourced materials is always mindful of its pretty, primal nature of aromatics: to smell good!
Indeed, even if it's built on all natural essences, with lots of real jasmine, the less polite aspects of this formidable little night bloom have been smoothed into a silky, gentle canopy that floats in the evening breeze softly promising sweet nothings; thus allowing those curious about jasmine's many fascinating facets to explore into a fragrance that won't scare the horses or prompt anyone to inspect the soles of your shoes!
Royal Lotus is zesty on top with a bursting hesperidic top note that is succulent and fresh, progressing into a soft, floral heart where the sweeter, mating aspects are highlighted rather than the fetid and decaying inherent in white flowers. Lotus essences (uniting absolute and the waxier concrete) bring a light, airated, sivery thread into the mix. The fragrance is very lightly anchored by an equally soft, well-mingled base where no note protrudes above the rest.
Royal Lotus, part of the Brave New Scents porject, therefore takes modern ingredients into creating what feels like a solid floral: classically topped by an expansive citrus bouquet that reinforces the freshness of the white and acqueous flowers, while a subtle base of woods and coumarin smooth the nectarous essences.
Anya McCoy created Royal Lotus using 21st century materials, referencing only one wildcard from the 20th century, namely clementine essence. Anya after all is no stranger to beautiful citruses and I consider them ~as well as her beautiful floral tinctures~ as the hallmark of her brand: Anyone who likes hesperidia and white flowers would surely find something to appreciate in her all naturals line.
For her inspiration the perfumer states: "My muse was ancient India, brought into the present, once again (remember Kewdra from the Mystery of Musk project)? I chose pink and blue lotus and the extrememly rare night queen absolute (aka Night-blooming jasmine, Cestrum nocturnun) for my heart. Night queen absolute is so rare, this perfume may be, due to lack of any more NQ absolute coming to market, a very limited edition."
The perfumer worked on these notes:
for the top:
wild orange from the Dominican Republic
yuzu from Korea
orange juice essential oil from Brazil
clementine from the USA
for the heart:
blue lotus absolute from Thailand
blue lotus concrete from India
pink lotus concrete from India
Queen of the Night absolute (cestrum nocturnum) from India
Queen of the Night tincture from Anya's garden in Florida
jasmine grandiflorum tincture from Anya's garden in Florida
jasmine sambac Grand Duke of Tuscany tincture from Anya's garden in Florida
orange flower tincture from Anya's garden in Florida
for the base:
sandalwood from Australia
ambergris absolute from Utah
tonka bean absolute from France
The perfumer suggests wearing this fragrance on one's hair, as this would reward the wearer with 24 hours of floral and woody pleasure. Indeed I found that skin application left the more delicate floral elements missing sooner than desired, while a generous blotter application suggests that there is no serious colour staining hazzard for non-silk clothes.
For our readers, a giveaway of a mini 3.5ml of Royal Lotus, courtesy of Anya's Garden. (Perfumer sends prize to the winner). Please state your interest in the comments. Draw is open till Sunday midnight.
pic via flowerpicturegallery.com