I find Anna Zworykina‘ fragrances very impressive indeed, and largely immune from the mushiness of most natural perfumery. Wisely, she seems to stick to classical forms and puts her skill into making them work optimally. Verdigris, for example, is a resplendent, stonking chypre. You can clearly smell the superb bergamot, cistus and oakmoss singing in harmony. Young Cossack (in Russia Cossacks have a more positive reputation than abroad) is a lovely animalic hay-tonka accord that would make a wonderful masculine, with or without sabre and horse. Her Cuir de Russie is the most eccentric of that name I remember smelling, very floral and less smoky than the usual fare, with a strange and beautiful sweet-green drydown. In the end, empirical evidence prevails: these are perfumes that even a fan of synthetics like me would love to wear.

Though the idea can fuel the imagination profusely - even in my wildest dreams never did I imagine an independent natural perfumer in Russia. Is her apothecary facing the vast tundra? Or hidden in an abandoned shed in the kolchoz? Maybe it's a posh Moscow boutique, with checkered marble floor, where ladies in Russian furs and Chinese silk tafetta marvel at her new creations over caviar and black tea drizzled with sour cherry preserves... Either way, I was intrigued. And lo and behold, not only does such a person exist - she is also talented and adds a fantastic dimension to the international indie perfumers scene. Her name is Anna Zworykina All the perfumes of hers that I've smelled were of a similar style and character: sophisticated, intriguing, purely natural, with depth and complexity that is usually achieved by incorporating house-made botanical tinctures.

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.

Video Review on Maximilian Must Know youtube channel

These samples are truly excellent. They are complex, sophisticated, and evocative--fine achievements in perfumery!

The scent has a smoky dark quality to it, in fact I have not smelled a gardenia scent like this before. It scent reminds me of the period of the book, when the love affair is further along into Anna’s and Vronsky’s romance, and as the many love affairs such as theirs things can sometimes go horribly wrong. Black Gardenia is Karenins holding of hands, whispers of forgiveness, the moments of hidden lust, and the mystery of what can be. A warm, dark, lush flower.

Winter Rose by Anna Zworykina The snow might be fluffy but this rose is not powdery at all. The rose’s scent is tempered by the snow. I can smell an almost citrusy sweetness. Although its called Winter Rose it’s not cold or metallic but warm and ambery. Starts cool and frosty but warms to a bouquet seen through Russian amber.

Anna Zworykina will be responsible for me retuning home from Russia and getting rid of almost all of my perfume collection. I have never before encountered such complexity in natural perfumes. And they are so much better than both mainstream and niche ones- almost always there's something chafing my nose there. But AZ's masterpieces are just perfect!

Amazing natural perfumes with a complexity and depth that is like nothing I have smelled. A profound mastery demonstrated in masterfully developed frangrances that glow all day, over 12 hours, with an interplay of accords, notes and emotions that never disappoints.

Anna Zworykina is not only a perfumer, she is an artist. Her perfumes are liquid art. She is especially good when she works with themes such as sadness, sorrow, things lost, decay and melancholia in her perfumes. The scents are so evocative, unique, creative and beautiful, and of such good quality. Sillage is fabulous, and so is the longevity of her creations. I'm definitely a fan, and will purchase several scents in full bottle size after trying the samples.

Introduction to Anna Zworykina Perfumes (Russia) with Igor + Worldwide Sample Set GIVEAWAY

«Сuir de Russie Anna Zworykina perfumes: Warm horse saddle worn smooth from use, a pitch black velvet cloak flying madly, a majestic beast in the wilderness»