I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight...
— A Midsummer Night's Dream
Eva Luna was released in late June of this year, which was perfect timing since this fragrance was inspired by Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Indie brand Providence Perfume Co describes Eva Luna as "a spring green floral...a walk in a moonlit garden"; its composition includes top notes of Russian carrot, fresh mint leaf, French mimosa, and bois de rose; heart notes of tuberose, plumeria, rose de Mai, jasmine, and violet leaf; and base notes of Oman frankincense, ambrette, and orris.
A Midsummer Night's Dream is one of Shakespeare's best-loved comedies, a fantastic roundabout of characters falling in and out of love over the course of one moonlit night, in a plot driven by magic potions, mistaken identities, and plays-within-plays. The comedy's setting, an enchanted forest inhabited by an assortment of fairies, is the perfect analogy for an all-natural perfume. As Angela recently wrote, natural fragrances do have an allure and romance all their own, and it's always a pleasure to encounter a natural perfume that delivers on its promise.
Eva Luna opens with a decidedly vegetal phase: the violet leaf is a grassy green note, and the carrot's stalks and leaves smell rootier and almost seed-y (seed-like, that is, not sleazy or dissolute!). All this earthy leafiness is dominant idea for the first half-hour or so. The later development of the composition surprises me a bit, partly because I notice the ambrette and orris before the tuberose and other white florals, rather than the other way around. The natural tuberose note is creamy and gentle, not dramatic in a Fracas-like way, and it emerges softly through the slight mossiness of the fragrance's heart.
I enjoy this transformation from foliage to florals in Eva Luna. It feels like walking from a garden (a vegetable garden!) into a forest of moss-hung trees, and then encountering a single white (magical?) flower growing in a dusky clearing. Sometimes the rose note also makes a supporting appearance; at other times, I don't detect it. Eva Luna has low sillage, but its staying power is above average for a botanical perfume: six hours after applying it, I can still find distinct traces of tuberose on my skin. It's a nicely crafted fragrance and, thanks to its literary references, an apt reminder that all perfumes are temporary enchantments.
Providence Perfume Co Eva Luna Eau de Parfum is available in a 30 ml atomizer ($115) and a 6 ml travel atomizer ($26), via the Providence Perfume Co website; samples ($9) are also offered.
Note: image is Arthur Rackham's A Fairy Song (from a 1908 edition of A Midsummer Night's Dream), via Wikimedia Commons.