05 July 2010

The Mystery of Musk - Kewdra

Kewdra by Anya McCoy of Anya's Garden Perfumes

Kewdra was inspired by Kudra, "the highly-fragrant Hindu heroine of the Tom Robbins novel Jitterbug Perfume." Blended around Pandanus odoratissimus, or kewda (kewra), a native flower of India, Kewdra opens with the distinct sharp fresh floral of kewda next to a sweet syrupy boronia. Both of these essences are separate and blended at the same time (if that makes sense). Other essences used were green gardenia, angelica root, patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla, ambrette seed, beeswax and ambergris. Initially, as if each one was taking a turn dancing for the other, there was a contest between kewda and boronia, vying for the top spot (the separate part). Yet they tamed one another (the blended part). On their own I think of kewda as being cool and boronia as being warm. A situation where opposites attract. Oddly enough my first whiff brought pictures of fire to mind. Plumes of reds, oranges and yellows.

It wasn't long before the back & forth of kewda and boronia ended and Kewdra softened and became more rounded, maybe thanks to the beeswax. There was a faint sweet floral that peeked through that I didn't recognize. Having no experience with green gardenia I'm guessing that is what it was. I can also smell the patchouli early on. It seems it is the patchouli that gives boronia a bit of a lift.

The list of essences in Kewdra is fascinating in that there are several strong aromatics that can pretty much stand on their own yet, other than the competition between kewda and boronia in the beginning, no essence overpowers this blend. Patchouli & ambrette seed lend a mild musk and earthiness while sandalwood & vanilla lend a sweet creaminess. Sweet & tart, floral & herbal, woody & earthy.

The dry down is fabulous on me. Sweet, woody, musky. Kewdra was still very strong after 2 hours and detectable at least 5 hours later.

one word: mystical


JoAnne Bassett said...

I received a sample of kewda some years ago and was intrigued my its smell. Then in 2000 I went to India and actually saw the plant and understood the sharpness of the scent.

Anya you have captured the essence of Kudra..I loved Jitterbug Perfume, the novel. What an interesting and musky fragrance. Thank you Lisa for a descriptive review.

Lisa BTB said...

Luck you to have been able to see the plant. :) I've only seen pictures from White Lotus' site. It is interesting look for sure.