Friday, March 27, 2009

Anya's Garden Kaffir

Most of the time I’m skeptical about natural/organic perfumes. Not because I have a problem with things being all natural and non-synthetic (of course not!) but because I’m a stickler for perfumes with nice sillage and excellent longevity. I’ve been disappointed by a few natural perfumes, one being Red Flower, which lasts about 5 minutes on my skin.

So with a bit of cynicism and trepidation I approached some samples of Anya’s Garden perfume. Lo and Behold Anya has done it! She has created some gorgeous fragrances that actually l-a-s-t. One in particular really caught my nose, it is Kaffir, and it’s so perfect for these early spring days, or anytime of the year.

A few years ago my husband bought me a potted Kaffir Lime tree for my greenhouse. I wanted a Meyer Lemon but those were all sold out so I got the Kaffir Lime. Kaffir Lime trees are indigenous to most warm climates but are especially prized in Southeast Asia and Thailand. In Thailand the leaves of Kaffir Lime trees are used frequently in cooking. If you’ve had Thai curry dishes and noticed a green leaf in the sauce it was probably a Kaffir Lime leaf. Recently Jo Malone launched a fragrance called Sweet Lime & Cedar and this fragrance is also based on Kaffir Lime leaves (though, for the record, Anya’s Garden did it first).

Since I’m familiar with Kaffir Lime trees I can say that Anya’s Garden Kaffir (henceforth AGK) captures the fragrance of tearing open a handful of Kaffir Lime leaves perfectly. Upon first spritz, AGK is a juicy, green burst of joy. Because AGK is from the leaves of a lime tree, please don’t mistakenly assume it smells simply of limes or citrus. AGK smells more like the leaves of this tree, and the leaves are incredibly fragrant; they are citrusy, yes, but also very green. Once the fragrance dries down, a beautiful woody, floral, leather scent emerges. Placing this gorgeous citrusy green on a bed of woods and leather is pure genius. The woods & leather seem to anchor the fragrance, giving it complexity and interest.

To find the list of notes I visited Anya’s Garden website. While there I noticed that the packaging for her products is made from recycled paper and the sustainable Daphne plant. Plus, and get this because I think it’s a fantastic idea, the boxes contain wildflower seeds, so you need only plant the whole box to have yourself a little patch of wildflowers. What a great idea!

Anya’s Garden Kaffir is absolute joy in a bottle. It is refreshing and playful. I was pleasantly surprised by just how good this fragrance is, how complex, and how long it lasts. Bravo to Anya.

Kaffir Lime notes: Top: Thai lime leaf, galbanum, French and Tropical tarragon accord, Heart: tinctures of eight jasmines, heritage oak extract, Grasse jasmine
Base: sustainable golden agarwood, musk seed, leather accord

Click here to visit Anya's Garden website


Aimée L'Ondée said...

Oh goodness, Abigail. Lime tree on a bed of leather and oud? Must. have. it.

Abigail said...

It it really great. If you're familiar with Kaffir lime leaves and love the scent you really must have it! :-)
I believe you can order samples from Anya's website.

Joe said...

Oh boy, this one has really been haunting me for a year or so now, since I first read about it. I love Kaffir lime leaves -- I planted a small tree in my yard last year and I love buying packages of leaves at the Asian market and just smelling them (as well as cooking with them).

Your post is getting me at the right time -- it makes me want to order a bottle unsniffed! I'm not sure about the leather base though, but this sounds fantastic. I haven't tried any of Anya's creations, but I've enjoyed looking at her site and I have the highest regard for her work. Oh boy, I'm having a dilemma! Maybe just some samples are in order right now... Thanks for the review.

Abigail said...

Anya's Kaffir is truly an ode to Kaffir lime leaves. If you love that smell you owe it to yourself to get a sample at least.
The dry down takes awhile to arrive and the leather and woods accords are subtle - certainly there if you know and are looking for them - but subtle.