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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Anya McCoy Temple: Perfume Review

By Beth

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 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 -

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Blogger Flora said...

OK, I am officially speechless! You have done it again, Beth, by drawing us into a world apart and keeping us enthralled with your magic words. Your friend LaWanna must be real treasure. I want a watermelon massage, and I want some Temple too!

12:30 AM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Oh.....I am blushing,coming from a wordsmith such as you that is such high praise! You do want that massage and the Temple...well it is magnificent, truly a perfumers work of art. I love is magic.

12:38 AM EDT  
Anonymous Lavanya said...

What a beautiful review, Beth!! i want to go to Lotus Lodge now!!..I mean now!..:)
And the way you describe Temple- I feel like drowning in it..

1:49 AM EDT  
Blogger cobian said...

thanks for information,nice blog

5:03 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Lotus Lodge and LaWanna sound simply divine! *Must* get there. And can't wait to try Temple. Oh, and Anya's website really is beautiful.

2:05 PM EDT  
Anonymous Rappleyea said...

I've been reading this wonderful blog for about a year now, and as an "old" hippy, massage therapist, and energy healer, I had to de-lurk to say how much I enjoyed this post. I'd love to meet both you and your friend LaWanna. And of course you've made me want to try Anya's scents. Thank you!

5:48 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beth -

I'm always floored at how beautiful and "natural" your prose is....your friend LaWanna would be so proud of you. Temple sounds amazing, as do the other scents you mentioned....I've been jonesing for Pan for quite some time. Tell me, how is the lasting power on these? Because of my dry skin and the even dryer heat of the Inland Empire, some natural fragrances disappear on me in an hour (not that reapplying is a bad thing....).

Oh, and by the way, did you ever convince you significant other to try a little Fracas????

Thanks again for the beautiful post,


6:38 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

THank you so much! I am so glad that you enjoyed the review! Lotus Lodge IS beautiful and I'm sure that you'd love Temple! Its really a beautiful fragrance!
Let me know if you try it!

9:44 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

You're welcome! I'm glad that you enjoyed the review!
Thanks so much for reading PST!

9:46 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...


Lotus Lodge IS divine....and if you're ever in Ohio it is a must go to! Temple is wonderful, I can barely describe the effect that it had on me I loved it so much! Anya's website is wonderful and I do hope that you'll try some of her fragrances!

9:49 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

THanks so much for your kind words and thank you so much for "delurking"! Its a pleasure to meet you! LaWanna is WONDERFUL and I'm sure that the two of you would really enjoy each other. Please do try some of Anya's fragrances..I am sure that you will enjoy them as much as I did!

9:52 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Hi Marko,
Thank you so makes me so happy that you enjoy reading my reviews! I get it totally about Pan, I think that it is one of the sexiest scents that I can imagine on a man....It's incredibly bawdy, skanky in the best way and playful...I loved it. Temple is wonderful and I seem to crave it right now, it warms me up inside. All of Anya's fragrances do seem to last on me and my skin seems to take in perfume. I'm pretty sure that it would last on you...they don't disappear, they just seem to evolve:)

And no...not yet...but I'm going back to California tomorrow where I left my bottle of Fracas and I'm going to try. Lord only knows what bargain I'll have to make though:)

10:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are a spinner of perfumed magic and lore, Beth! I want to soak in a clawfoot tub! And since I can't do that, I'm getting some Temple. Mercy, does that sound like magic!

2:56 AM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Thank you so much! You will love Temple, I am sure!

8:28 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear B.,

Your descriptions of people, place and things are so tangible I believe you have discovered (created) another dimension!
You're such a cat-you wear & share the scents well. Hugs from all of us girls who are always looking for "treats".


9:50 AM EDT  

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