Wednesday, November 18, 2009

StarFlower, Anya's Garden

Creamy melted chocolate, grainy marzipan, a fleshy petal flecked with dew--those are just a few of the images that come to mind when sniffing StarFlower. You’ll notice all of them are rich with texture, as well as taste and smell. There’s a wonderful tangible quality to StarFlower that sets it apart from the typical sticky-sweet gourmand. Don’t get me wrong—it is sweet, and as luscious as the chocolate cherry cordials I used to gorge on when I was a child, but there’s a roughness present in the scent. Every whiff of StarFlower tickles the back of my throat with the irresistibly abrasive softness of crushed velvet.

The notes on Anya’s site tell the straight story: bitter almond, cherry, lemon, tuberose, chocolate, vanilla, and "animalic playfulness." What you read is what you get. (That final element is a cuddly critter, entirely skank-free.) On my skin, at least, StarFlower harbors no surprises. The almond at the top is gloriously potent, but the slow-arriving tuberose is quite tame. The chocolate note is actually present from the opening, but it gradually ascends to dominance as the flowers fade away. Happily, it lingers for hours without ever becoming stale. The thing I dislike about many gourmands is that the candy-coated base notes eventually begin to remind me of the smell that rises off the floor of a movie theater. No sign of that with StarFlower, which retains its freshness, probably thanks to the ghost of the tuberose.

In case it's not obvious, I am generally not the most ardent fan of sweetie-pie perfumes. Sharp green chypres and aldehydic florals are more my speed. My favorite scents from Anya's Garden are Fairchild and Pan, and their status is never going to be threatened by anything that reminds me of marzipan. But StarFlower is certainly one of the most interesting and beautiful olfactory confections I've ever encountered. Gourmand lovers should definitely check it out. I'm going to keep my sample handy, just for an occasional hit of its sweet charm.

Kinder beim Kirschenessen, Franz von Defregger, 1869


Perfumeshrine said...

I very much liked this surprising myself (me who doesn't usually go for "candies" or over gourmands either). There's something about that patchouli along with the chocolate: they entice each other and mate passionately.

BitterGrace said...

Yes, it seems to be a gourmand doubter's gourmand! Oddly enough, I don't get a lot of obvious patchouli in this. I get a bitterness in the dry down that seems more like fenugreek than patch. Whatever it is, I like it ;-)

Alyssa said...

I'm afraid I foundered on the sweet almond notes...dang. I keep trying, though.

BitterGrace said...

A love of sweet almonds is necessary for this one. Everybody talks about the chocolate, but I think the almond is really dominant.