Tuesday, October 20, 2009

MoonDance, Anya's Garden

There are two things you should know about me before you read this review:

1) I am a longtime fan of Anya’s Garden perfumes; and

2) I’ve always loved white florals. Instead of outgrowing them, I'm finding them even more addictive as I age.

There—now that I’ve declared my biases, let’s get on to the business of reviewing Anya's lovely paean to the tuberose, MoonDance.

MoonDance opens with a rush of sweet, cool violets. They don’t last long, but why should they? Violets in the wild are always a brief pleasure. The next note mystified me for a moment. It was so familiar, so comforting. I loved it, but couldn’t place it until I cheated and looked at the notes: chamomile! I love that mellow, herbal fragrance. I keep EO of chamomile in my medicine cabinet, so I can put a few drops in my bath. The chamomile in MoonDance is soft, fruity and slightly sweet, without the piney quality chamomile sometimes has.

The tuberose makes its entrance with remarkable modesty and delicacy. This has got to be the quietest tuberose I’ve ever encountered. I don’t know what “French process” means, but whatever it is, I’m in favor of it. Although I love a brazen tuberose, it can start to wear on the nerves after a while. The tuberose in MoonDance is like the perfect roommate—calm and clean, but still lively company. I can just catch the edge of the jasmine Anya lists, but otherwise the heart of MoonDance seems to be all tuberose to me.

The base is subtle and dry, mostly an orris experience. It’s essentially that “eau de baby’s scalp” smell, which I love in tiny doses. It’s horribly overdone in a lot of commercial scents—did someone say Philosophy?—but in Moondance it’s just a pleasing aura of warm, cuddly animal. And speaking of animals, the notes list includes “South African Hyrax.” Would that be this substance, from this critter? I hope Anya will chime in and tell us.

If I have one complaint about MoonDance, it’s that I wish it were just a tad less ethereal, a tiny bit more tenacious. Mind you, that complaint is coming from someone who routinely douses herself in some notoriously loud perfumes, so I suspect my quibble won’t be a common one. And anyway, those violets in the top are so lovely, it’s a pleasure to be able to refresh the scent after a couple of hours.

Anya’s other new (and very different) tuberose creation, StarFlower, will be reviewed in an upcoming post. Many thanks to Anya for the review samples, and to the Tate Collection for the charming painting by William Blake: Oberon, Titania and Puck, with Fairies Dancing, c.1786.


Unknown said...

Hi M
Thanks for the lovely review. Yes, it's a combo of the hyrax absolute and tincture in MoonDance. Dont' forget I also double-dosed it with ambergris ;-)

Try placing a drop on your hair or collar - you'll find it lasts all day.

PS It was meant to be 'ethereal' but in another sense, meaning it was a bit otherworldly, subtle. Yes, subtle. From me.

BitterGrace said...

I will try the hair tip--I love to wear scent in my hair, but never remember to do it.

I think there's tremendous subtlety in all your perfumes, but I see what you mean--MoonDance is the only one I'd call otherworldly. It could be a scent of the faerie folk ;-)

Alyssa said...

It lasted a loooong time on me!

Also -- did you smell no chocolate? I got lots of velvety chocolate, more on the white side than the bitter dark, but it was there...

Will have to sample it again with your review in mind.

BitterGrace said...

Chocolate, really? Are you sure you weren't sampling StarFlower? Lots of chocolate in that one, and it's tenacious, too.

Every nose is different, though, so report back after you retest. I've got MoonDance on right now, and it's still all flowers and warm skin for me...

Alyssa said...

Oh my gosh, you are completely right! Ha! Well, never mind... ;-)

But now I must order this one as well...

And while we're on the subject. What did you think of starflower?

BitterGrace said...

I think you'll like MoonDance, Alyssa. It's the perfect gentle tuberose, but there's nothing dull about it.

I think StarFlower is an awesome creation, in typical Anya style. I'll be doing a full review of it, but the short version is that I think it's beautiful, but it doesn't really feel like me. Of course, I thought the same thing about Temple, but now I really love it.