Grace Notes in the Air: Anu Essentials Natural Perfumes
As most regular readers of this blog know, I am very interested in natural perfumery, and I am always delighted to find naturals that can stand up to fragrances that incorporate synthetics in both longevity and originality. The perfumes of Anu Essentials by Anu Prestonia are a breath of fresh air and a welcome addition to the growing ranks of high quality naturals. (Bonus: the company also makes scented soaps, body butters and hair care products, all 100% natural.)
The aptly named Meadow Lark is the perfect scent to wake up to in the morning. It’s as clear and bright as a birdsong and oh so pretty. I have a special fondness for wholesome “alpine” florals of this style and I really like this a lot. The combination of zingy clary sage, tarragon, Clementine orange and luminous Bulgarian rose is nicely balanced to give the effect of fresh morning air in the country, and it is a pleasure to inhale this fragrance as deeply as possible. Meadow Lark would work very well as a cologne alternative for men too, since the herbal aspect keeps the rose from getting too heady. If only conventional perfumery would take a hint from this is as to what “fresh” really smells like, we might not have to hold our noses at the mall anymore.
Sea Scape is one of those very rare fragrances that actually smell of the ocean, and I found it to be both exhilarating and highly wearable. Smelling this and then trying a synthetic “marine” fragrance makes one realize that the latter do not even come close, and they have always bothered my nose with their sharp metallic character. No such problem with Sea Scape and its notes of seaweed, violet leaf, neroli, rose, ambergris and jasmine. It is salty, musky and richly floral all at the same time, delicious without being sweet, and the more I wear it the more it grows on me. The longevity is very impressive, and not just “for a natural” either. This is my favorite of the line and I would wear the heck out of it in any season, not just summer. It’s not a beachy fragrance in the usual sense; this one is like walking alone on a deserted shore, watching the fog lift and listening to the seagulls cry as the tide goes out.
The third fragrance is Sita, which needed a bit of time on my skin to develop fully, and I could not really relate to its description as a seductive and aphrodisiac perfume – that is, until I got a spontaneous compliment on it. It is not heavy or sultry to me, but maybe that’s not the point here, since flowers are as enticing by their very nature as any love potion and this stuff is crammed with them. It is intensely rosy, heightened by jasmine, underscored with patchouli and lightly spiced. I did not find the patchouli to be very noticeable, but it does contribute to the scent’s good staying power. It is probably the least original in the group, reminiscent of what a Floris of London, Yardley or similar English rose floral would be like if it were all natural, but no less pleasing for it, and I like a good classic floral as much as anything. It is very well done, and I look forward to future launches from this talented perfumer.
Image credit: “West Point, Prout’s Neck” (1900) by American artist Winslow Homer via Wikimedia Commons, in the public domain.
Disclaimer: I received the samples for testing from Anu Essentials.