"The Tuberose, with her silvery light,
That Is in the gardens of Malay
Is called the mistress of the night,
So like a bride, scented and bright,
She comes out when the sun’s away.
Then, by a secret virtue, these grateful odours
will add an inexpressible charm to your enjoyment;
but if, regardless of the precepts of moderation,
you will approach too near, this divine
flower will then be but a dangerous enchantress,
which will pour into your bosom a deadly poison,
Thus the love which descends from heaven purities
and exalts the delights of a chaste passion ; but
that which springs from the earth proves the bane
and the destruction of imprudent youth."
The seduction of Polianthes tuberosa starts in the mind, even if the consummation lies on a warm bed. Destabilizing one's mind, giving impure thoughts, thoughts of opiate intoxication, of abandoning one's self to pleasures of a forbidden nature, in the words of one writer "a voluptuous intoxication from which one does not easily become liberated".
Literally "flower of the city" (from the Greek πόλις/polis for city and άνθος/anthos for flower), tuberose has been linked with a demi-mondaine existence in the big cities of Western Europe, where courtesans used it alongside other "crass" scents, such as musk and ambergris, to infiltrate themselves unto the lives of their lovers. The Victorian abstinence from using perfume on the body itself, unless it was in the form of a lightly scented product (hair pomade, mouth rinse, linen scent and the like), made the use of intimate forms of perfume even more daring by those deviating outwards of the accepted path of manners. Perfumer Anya McCoy of Anya's Garden chose wisely when she paired the dynamo of tuberose with animalic perfume notes (among them the human-meets-herbaceous scent of clary sage, beeswax and musk tincture), thus allying the two faces of Janus into a composite that is as narcotic as a forbidden substance, as dark as the night and as addictive as good chocolate. The lady is not quite covered, rather surreptitiously revealing, and quite old-fashioned in her naturalness; then again fashions are cyclical and animalic florals are off for a revival at the moment.
When I asked Anya about the process of creation she replied: "I used a combo of purchased absolute and extrait (pure absolute) made from pomade that I made. The pomade was washed with alcohol for two weeks, chilled, filtered. Very old school." Smelling the finished product I can vouch for the old school moniker myself; in the very best possible sense, that is!
Although the scent launched last summer, it took me a while to discover its many facets and to enjoy it on the warmer days of spring that we've been having. The natural warmth of the climate ramps up the carnal aspects to the max and it hangs into the humid air with the insistence of a lover always hungry for more. Maybe this is the deep, dangerous, complicit floral for summer to come.
Ingredients: Organic Sugar Cane Alcohol, Tuberose Absolute, Scented Alcohol extracted from Anya’s handmade Tuberose Enfleurage Pomade, Butter CO2, Opoponax Absolute, Clary Sage essential oil, Terpene Acetate Isolate ex. Cardamom, Beeswax Absolute and Anya’s handmade Beeswax Tincture, Patchouli essential oil, Mushroom Absolute, Siberian Musk Tincture.
Enticing is available in both pure perfume form as a 4ml mini, and as an Eau de Parfum 15ml spray from Anya’s Garden Perfumes store available here.
For our readers Anya McCoy has generously offered a FREE 4ml extrait de parfum of Enticing sent anywhere within the USA. All you have to do is leave a comment under the review and I will draw a winner after the weekend.
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