Four years ago (!) I reviewed a line of scented soaps made by a small company called Anjolie Ayurveda. I'm still impressed by the quality and fragrances of those soaps, and I've tried to keep up with the brand's more recent releases. I blame the dreadful, seemingly never-ending winter for the fact that I somehow missed Anjolie's launch of a quartet of natural perfumes. In any case, I've finally learned about them and sampled all four, and I'm happy to report back with some brief but favorable reviews.
Full Bloom is "a beautiful bright floral that captures the bouquet of spring" with notes of magnolia flower, jasmine absolute, bois de rose, rose absolute and ylang ylang. The magnolia note is creamy and lemon-tinged, and the rose-jasmine accord and rosewood note are subtle and mellow. This is a perfect scent for a walk in a park when the flower trees are in bloom, or even as a substitute for such a walk. It's feminine but not frilly.
Grove Promenade is composed to evoke "an afternoon stroll through a citrus grove," with notes of grapefruit, lemon, lime, mandarin, neroli, petitgrain, vetiver and sandalwood. This fragrance also feels outdoors-y, with its suggestion of rough-edged citrus leaves and stems as well as its almost-bitter fruits. It has good heft for a citrus fragrance, and it should please fans of traditional Eau de Cologne-inspired blends.
Nectar Oriental, on the other hand, is "spicy, seductive and sophisticated," with notes of sandalwood, guaiac wood, rose absolute, jasmine, oakmoss, bergamot, orange, clove and pepper. I expected this one to be a citrusy wood fragrance, but its fire-y clove and piquant pepper notes are very apparent, and the dry-down reminds me of a traditional pomander. This is an instantly warming scent; I wish I'd owned some last winter.
Orchid Vanille, which rounds out the collection, is described as "enchanting, comforting and smooth," with vanilla complemented by sandalwood, labdanum, rose absolute, magnolia flower and frankincense. This fragrance is my personal second-favorite in the line, after Bloom. Its woods and resins make it an earthy vanilla with a hint of smokiness; it stays close to the skin, lasts well, and is definitely not a basic vanilla gourmand.
Anjolie Ayurveda packages its perfumes in slim roll-on bottles; I haven't seen them in person yet (I'm sampling from small vials), but they look very pretty in photos. Despite the delicate ornamentation on their containers, three of these four fragrances (with the exception of Bloom) could easily be worn by men as well as women.
If you're looking for something more truly "natural" than the fragrances offered by Lavanila, Pacifica or Kiehl's (fine brands in their own right, but all prone to a certain degree of "green-washing"), you should try to sample Anjolie Ayurveda's perfumes. They're also reasonably priced, they're produced by a small family company, and they're a pleasure to wear.