Anya McCoy Temple: Perfume Review
There are reasons that my son calls me an old hippy! For one thing, since he was a little boy his home has been filled with a vast collection of drums , feathers, crystals and strangers wandering in and out at all strange times of the day in search of soothing reiki and soul retrievals. His early years were spent traveling with his father and me to a lovely retreat center in the forests of Southern Ohio to a place called Lotus Lodge which is run by a lovely woman named LaWanna Rine. Lotus Lodge was the first place that I ever came to understand how fragrance and healing were inextricably linked. LaWanna is a wonderful old soul who is gifted with a profound knowledge of herbs, essential oils and all of their properties. She believes profoundly in the existence of many Ascended Masters and she dresses everyday in beautiful colors, she will never wear black. She has the most amazing collection of costume jewelry that I have ever seen and is never without at least 10 pieces of it. She is without a doubt the most gorgeous 85 year old woman that I’ve ever seen, she only looks to be about 70. She is filled with songs and the most amazing energy that carries her up her hills for long walks with her dogs everyday. She always smells wonderful, covered with the herbs and oils that are her allies. She’s sophisticated and utterly luminous at the same time. For the sake of many of the old hipsters who may be lurking here, meeting her for the first time is a bit like meeting your fairy godmother while you’re tripping. I’m sure that anyone my age will know exactly what I mean! Did I mention that she has crystals everywhere the size of boulders?
Walking into Lotus Lodge for the first time is a purely pleasurable assault on the senses. There is always a fire in the woodstove and a pot of fresh herbal tea simmering in the kitchen. LaWanna’s always baking something wonderful too, gluten free and vegan. After many hugs , she looks at you and assesses what you need. Most often, it’s an essential oil and hot stone massage in her wonderful treatment room with Enya playing and plenty of time to relax. Sometimes, she will draw you a warm bath with candlelight in her old clawfoot tub, to which she will have added epson salts, oils and the fresh tinctures that she makes from plants that she grows and uses for their healing properties. One beautful summers day she brought her massage table out onto her vast porch which overlooks the artesian spring and her beautiful woods. When I asked what I was supposed to do, she laughed , told me to take my clothes off and she proceeded to give me a massage with the most wonderfully fresh watermelon pulp . Then she rinsed it all off with warm herbal water and used her special blend of almond oil and essential oils to finish. To say that I was in heaven is nothing short of an understatement. Whatever she chooses for you that day is exactly what you need and you always leave refreshed , filled with optimism and plenty of treats!
It’s been a couple of years since I’ve made the drive to Lotus Lodge and everyday I think of LaWanna. One of the joys of my perfumed life online has been the ability to connect with that part of myself that is so moved by beautiful fragrance and meet others who feel the same way. I arrived home one day last month to find a gift from one such soul. Many of you know Anya McCoy, the wonderful natural perfumer who was gifted the Natural Perfumers Guild by its founder Mandy Aftel, whom I have worshiped from afar ever since I read her first book , “Essence and Alchemy”. Anya is a classically trained perfumer who is passionate about using only natural ingredients and she is generous about sharing her vast knowledge and passionate understanding of her craft. Her perfumery is called “Anya’s Garden” and there really is an Anyas Garden, it is the magical place that she calls her home in Miami, Florida and although I’ve never seen it I can only wish to be there right now. Anya is a trained botanist and her garden is filled Jasmine , fragrant trees and many other fragrant plants which she tinctures and uses to create her incredibly beautiful natural perfumes. The description of her home and the beauty of her creations make me think of LaWanna all of the time. Anya is indeed a healer in her own right and her medicine is the magic of fragrance alchemy.
I live in Cleveland for most of the year and we are known for our unbelievably cold and dismal winters. Returning home home from California in February after spending an evening flying over the frozen midwest I was greeted by 2 weeks worth of mail and the sigh of little package. My heart leapt when I saw the postmark Miami Florida and I ripped it open. Inside was a lovely box wrapped in a pretty Chinese ribbon and I noticed immediately that it was recycled and plantable, filled with the promise of this summers wildflowers! Then I opened it. Inside were 5 little vials , all beautifully marked and packaged with care. I opened them one by one and was immediately flooded with sensations of place and people. Each one of them took me somewhere different and I fell in love with them all. I loved their names, Fairchild, Kaffir, Pan, River Cali and Temple. They all have different personalities, Fairchild is flirty and makes me giggle with it’s sweetness, Kaffir is sophisticated and filled with lime and wood and makes me feel very chic. Pan is simply sexy, green and bawdy , a perfect fragrance to wear anytime that you want to send a very clear message about your sensual intentions. Pan is not subtle and because it’s natural it works on a very pure and direct level to stir your energies. River Cali brought tears to my eyes with it’s pink peppercorn accords and roses because it smells so clearly of my beloved La Jolla.
Then there was Temple. I have never smelled anything quite like Temple and I love it. The description of Temple is “Hope , Faith and Strength in orange, borneal crystals, aglaia, cassia, Ayurvedic herbs and sustainable Oud grounded with earth tincture. “ I have never smelled a fragrance before that instantly made me peaceful. The initial scent is of a wonderful smoke and it fades remarkably into a dripping sensual warmth. I literally felt bathed in earth and I love that feeling. But it wasn’t a dank dark earth....it was a sweet, crystalline earth that enveloped my senses and made me languorous , playful and very very amorous. Temple is a fragrance that you wear to bed with nothing else, it demands to be worn and be worshiped. It is a perfume to be savored and kissed. From the minute that I opened the bottle I was smitten and I don’t think that I will ever be able to live without it. Anya McCoy’s Temple is one of those rare perfumes that lingers long after it’s gone, and the thought of it warms me to the core much like the touch of a lover who knows......
Temple can be ordered directly from Anya at her beautiful website - anyasgarden.com.