Sunday, December 12, 2010

Anya's Garden Light and Amberess

I was fortunate enough to have won Perfume Shrine's recent giveaway of Anya's Garden perfume. I had a choice of Light or Amberess, a 3.5 ml mini bottle in parfum extrait form. I quickly decided that my choice should be Light, simply for the fact that I've got nothing like it in my collection and I wanted to push my boundaries (although I really wanted to try Amberess also). Both scents are part of The Outlaw Perfume Project, which you can read more about on founder Anya McCoy's blog. Anya was very kind to also include a sample of Amberess, so my joy was practically doubled when I opened the package. But, I will start with Light. One foot in front of the other.

This is the first perfume I've tried from the Outlaw Perfume Project, and my expectations were pretty high. What I did not expect was that the perfume would render me so speechless, it's taken me a full 24 hours to even begin writing about Light.

It opens with a burst of baked citrus, but I smell rind drying in the sun, not the fruit. It's not overly tart, but smooth with a striking warmth to it. It moves on to clean territory (which I really love), there is a slightly soapy astringence to it. The frankincense notes are barely present, and I've realized that they are probably not meant to stand out here, or to be recognized as rock stars. I am feeling the Big Picture with this scent. This is not traditional perfume, this is a treat to be savored.

The scent fades fairly quickly, but that is to be expected. This fragrance is akin to watching a beautiful sunset. You're there for the moment, the experience of it, and it is glorious. You know it will be over soon, but that doesn't take away from the enjoyment of it.

A little bit on Amberess. This is a potent blend, it will get you noticed (in the best possible way). To be truthful, I am not a huge fan of amber OR rose, but this blend smells surprisingly right for me, and I adore it. There is a lot going on, and it's hard for me to detect the layers, because the overall scent impression is so powerful. It is resinous, floral and fresh, while feeling full of deep mystery. In a word, fierce. The drydown is not the powdery sort of amber I've come to know (yes!), instead, it is rich and slightly sweet, and it lasts for hours.

I have experimented with layering Light and Amberess together, and got a stunning result. I originally was not going to try and layer them, but I'm glad I did. It smells like pure botanical luxury, and the combination is precious.

Light is available in parfum extrait (3.5 ml for $60), EDP (15ml for $100), and Cologne strength (15ml for $50). Amberess is available in parfum extrait (3.5 ml for $75) and EDP (15ml for $125).

Top notes: Sicilian cedrat, Israeli yellow grapefruit, french juniper berry
Middle notes: Chinese aglaia flower, French genet flower, North Carolina ambergris
Base notes: Hojari frankincense oil, edible frankincense sacra resinoid

Top notes: none
Middle notes: Zambian princesse de nassau, rosa moschata, African musk, rose otto and musk rose absolute, Madagascan ylang ylang, South African rose geranium sur fleurs
Base notes: Indonesian patchouli, Himalayan amber oil, Turkish styrax, Greek labdanum, Peruvian tonka bean, Salvadorean balsam tolu, balsam of Peru, Chinese benzoin, Madagascan vanilla

*Photos are property of, and were taken by myself*


  1. Both sound so luxurious! Great idea, the layering!

    I love that she offers parfum extrait.

  2. You've made both sound like they're definitely worth a try. Great review.

  3. Thanks, you two! I'm highly tempted to buy her sample set, and just go at it, layering. Experimentation is the true fun of perfume, I'm finding.

  4. Great reviews.
    Yeah, you haven't given up on amber! There are so many ambers out there! Not all are powdery, some are sweet and grounding like tonka. However, I have a little vial of Montale Blue Amber next to me, have a feeling it would make your stomach turn.
    Oh, I tried L'Artisan Al Oudh this weekend. Oh my, I can't pull that one off!

  5. Carrie I loved your review!

  6. Thanks Victoria and taffynfontana!

    Victoria, what was it about Al Oudh that makes you say you can't pull it off? I'm curious, because I'm about to buy a sample. It seems people are pretty polarized on that one.

    Amberess was really a turning point for me with ambers, I think I just need to experiment with some new ones. I've got impressions pretty firmly grounded in me from past scents, maybe it's time to let those go.