When Anna Zworykina first contacted me about reviewing her perfume line I was certainly intrigued by her. She’s a Russian biochemist (a PhD no less) who has been creating natural fragrances for more than fifteen years and I was not previously familiar with her work. Of course I said yes, and if you’re like me and you peruse Anna’s website, or her etsy store, you will see that she has a great many fragrances to choose from and admittedly I was overwhelmed by the generous samples she sent my way. Thankfully, it has been my absolute pleasure to have spent many months with the perfumes of Anna Zworykina, and I wish I could review all of them as each one is worthy of a dedicated review.
Alas, favorites must be chosen, and Black Gardenia rose to the top rather quickly with its heady mix of white flowers and leather. A lot of leather, and a lot of smoke as well. Anna writes about Billie Holiday and jazz as her inspiration for this perfume, and it would fit right in at a dark smoky club with the scent of a balmy gardenia tucked behind thick sultry hair. Black Gardenia is not a fresh-from-the-garden flower, and it’s not purely gardenia either. It’s an indolic jasmine merged with powdery iris, in addition to notes of bitter crushed leaves amidst the aforementioned leathery backdrop. This is one of those shape shifting perfumes that smells intensely smoky one moment, then utterly inky or floral the next. Complex and sexy, I adore it.Jasmine and Agarwood is another tropical floral from Anna that I was drawn to, but it’s quite different from Black Gardenia. Jasmine and Agarwood is more radiant, but nevertheless intriguing. Gentle mimosa and violet leaf guide this particular perfume experience into luminous green and bright honey. The jasmine feels very dewy and even though this metaphor gets overused when describing perfumes, it really does smell like a tropical garden after a summer’s afternoon rain shower. We are in the middle of a snow storm right now, but somehow Jasmine and Agarwood is sitting well on my skin and doesn’t feel out of place, most likely because there is that hint of agarwood to keep the sweet and misty jasmine from getting too saccharine or fluffy. Ambrette and sandalwood augment this grounding effect even further, but only a touch, as the green aspect of jasmine truly shines in this beautiful fragrance.
Moving away from the white floral realm, the last perfume that really struck me was Winter Blush. I instantly gravitated towards its gorgeous blend of resins and spices. Cinnamon, cardamom, rosewood, cedarwood, and Peru balsam are all seamlessly blended in this romantic and cuddly winter fragrance. At first, Winter Blush is like an olfactive mulled wine as orange plays a prominent role in its opening, and then it settles into a rich floral heart of rose and jasmine. Ultimately all of the resins dry down with labdanum and benzoin into a vanillic bed of ambery softness. While I would gladly wear Jasmine and Agarwood in the winter to help shake the doldrums of short days and long nights, Winter Blush is the perfume you spritz on your skin when you embrace the dark, and get cozy within.
Anna Zworykina Perfumes are available at her etsy site. $52 for a 8 ml EdP or $58 for 4.5ml Parfum. Sample sets are also also available at AZPerfumes.ru.
Image of Gardenia is mine. All others are courtesy of Anna Zworykina.
Disclosure: Anna Zworykina sent me samples for consideration. Like always, the opinions expressed in this review are mine and I am not financially compensated for my reviews.
3 thoughts on “Anna Zworykina Perfumes”
Great review! Can’t wait to sample Anna’s perfumes. I’ve looked at her etsy store many times but can never make my mind up :D.
Sorry for the delay in getting this comment approved Holly! Sometimes there’s a lag with wordpress in these notifications. 😦
But yes, there are so many incredible perfumes in Anna’s collections! Black Gardenia was the true standout for me, as it feels so unique and complex. But Winter Blush and Jasmine + Agarwood are also really incredible. I didn’t want to make my review too long, but honorable mentions go to Musk Rose and Fallen Leaves! ❤
Nice to read something in English about this genius perfumer. She should be getting much more coverage!
Since falling in love with her perfumes last summer, I have been getting rid of most of my previous collection. I get such strong visuals from most of her work, that never happened before. Favorites include Dark Side of the Goddess- smokey with gorgeous jasmine, Cuir de Russie- tarry, animalic amber, Young Cossack- sweet herby fields through deep forests finally giving way to smokey fireplace.
And don’t get me started on her Switch. Perfumes and More line- No 4- inspired by the powerful witch Baba Yaga is dark forest magic, No 0 the loveliest delicate flowers and No 2, possibly my very favorite- currant buds that smell like mimosa but stronger and resinous.
(It’s funny how different tastes/skin we have. The ones you reviewed here did not jump out at me at all…)