Friday, October 7, 2011

Anya's Garden Royal Lotus: fragrance review of a Brave New Scent & Giveaway

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


  1. This sounds beautiful and exotic. I would love to try this! Please enter me in the draw. Thank you!

  2. Anonymous12:38

    I would like to win it, many thanks for this opportunity. Alica -

  3. Please add my entry to the drawing. Royal Lotus sounds luscious, both buoying and swoony all at once. In these times, I turn to the senses to enhearten me.

  4. Anonymous14:01

    i would love to try this amazing creation by Ms McCoy(her Kewdra is just incredible). yas

  5. Wow looking at the ingredients list makes my mouth water...

  6. Sounds very interesting, though I worry about the "wear it on hair" part. I have very oily hair... what mysterious chemical interactions might ensue?

    Please include me in the draw!

  7. This sounds lovely. Please include me in the drawing.

  8. Thank you for the draw! Count me in!

  9. Royal Lotus sounds beautiful. It always amazes me the umph paired with the grace that Anya can pack into those bottles! And did you know she's a great teacher as well?

    Please do enter me in the draw, I would love to try this new creation!

  10. This sounds amazing, please enter me in the draw. And I loved learning about the sedative properties in lotus. Makes the story of the lotus-eaters sound quite real.

  11. Anonymous16:32

    Lotus, lotus and lotus . Magic note.
    I would love to try her take on it.


  12. dleep16:55

    I would love to try this, it sounds lovely. Thank you.

  13. Anonymous18:10

    Dear E,

    Would love to try this. Please enter me in the draw.

    Thank you,


  14. This sounds so intriguing! Please enter me in the draw. :-)

  15. Please, enter me too! That sounds excellent!

  16. Anonymous21:54

    I deserve to win this draw more than anyone else here, hello, all I read is "ewww lovely!" "ewww beautiful", we're talking natural non-toxic petrochemical perfumery here or what the future of perfumery should be!
    I'm a vegan, my carbon print is the lowest possible for someone who lives in America (and I used mass transit). Unfortunately in the US the government doesn't reward people like me, you have to be an exploitive millionaire or billionaire otherwise you're a loser!

    Ticked-Off Vegan Girl For A Green Revolution!

  17. Anonymous21:59

    Do please enter me into the draw as this is one of the scents from the Brave New Scents project that interests me. Perhaps because the West Coast of Canada is often referred to as "Lotus Land" -- usually by fast-paced, big-city folk who assume that everyone here is zoned out (but that would be from a different kind of "oid" than the alcaloid of lotus).

    Thanks to Anya for offering the mini and to you for hosting the draw. And thanks to Anya for the wearing tip.

    -- Lindaloo

  18. Anyas perfume sounds heavenly! I would love to enter into this draw, thank you!

  19. I have never tried a perfume by Anya. This sounds really great. I'm very intrigued by how real lotus smells.

    Thank you!

  20. cociolph06:17

    I would be delighted to sample this elegant perfume. Thank you for your very evocative review.

  21. Morticia06:39

    Sounds very exotic, would very much like to try it. Please enter me in the drawing.

  22. This sounds amazing,please enter me in the draw!

  23. Jules10:51

    I've unfortunately only sampled one of Anya's glorious concoctions so far. And I luved that ! So I'd therefore be very interested in trying this one. Please enter me into the draw. ~ Thank you !

  24. brigitte11:22

    I am always looking for interesting natural perfumes and have heard/read great things about Anya's creations. Wpuld love to be entered in this draw!

  25. I'd love to try this, it sounds wonderful. I also hope to get a chance someday to smell a real lotus blossom too.

    Many thanks for the draw.


  26. Sofi12:54

    I would be more than happy to try it!Please enter me in the draw!

  27. london14:42

    This sounds just beautiful and I've never tried any Anya's Garden fragrances. Please enter me in the drawing.

  28. What an exciting range this is! Breathing new life into the rat race. I would to be entered into the draw, thank you!

  29. Royal Lotus will be amazing. I enjoyed the review immensely. Thanks for entering me in the draw.

  30. I'd love to try this, so far I've never tried a all natural perfume.
    Eva S Sweden

  31. Omigosh Lotus AND Jasmine? And citrus? This sounds fabulous, and I would love to try it. Please enter me into the draw, and thank you for offering the opportunity to try this. The review just makes my mouth water.
    PS: I have a waterlily tattoo. I'm really, really a fan of lotus and waterlily essences.

  32. Please enter me into the draw - this fragrance sounds gorgeous, divine, with the divine lotus flower at its heart. I think I need to have it.

  33. Sounds heavenly, please enter me in the draw.

  34. I don't know last time I smelled a waterlily taken from a lake, all I got was a rancid urine smell. Maybe it was just me or the lake water was reeked of urine. LOL! This sounds amazing tho. I would love,love,love to be entered in the draw. TQ

  35. That sounds utterly delightful. I would love to enter!

  36. I love the idea of wearing a fragrance on hair, too. I hope Anya has some tips for application.

    This new scent sounds wonderful.

    Thanks for the draw, I would love to try it!

  37. Anonymous03:02

    I've recently been getting into more white floral fragrances - I'd love to give this a try. Please enter me in the drawing!

  38. There are several night-blooming jasmine bushes on the lane near my house (I live in Bangalore), and on warm nights, their heady scent certainly provide a welcome olfactory diversion from the usual smells of the city. Having smelled all of the flowers mentioned in the heart notes (the lotuses, the night queen and the two jasmines), I would really like to find out how well the extracts and tinctures reproduce their perfumes. This draw sounds really exciting, so please consider this as my entry. Also, thank you for maintaining this blog -- I really enjoy reading reviews of the perfumes, and the background information on the ingredients.

  39. Eva H.21:32

    Wow, sounds beautiful!
    I would love a chance to try it..please enter me in the draw.

  40. oh, please do enter me in the draw! i have loved lotus scent and flowers since childhood...

  41. This sounds fascinating! Please count me in.

  42. Count me in. Anya's fragrances are otherwordly.

  43. Brian01:02

    I've smelled Anya's Royal Lotus and I love it. So winning some of this would be great!


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