Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Annayake pour Elle by Annayake : Perfume Review

Finally the time has come for the last installment of my Annayake feature. Even though we have moved away from the seasons, Annayake pour Elle is to me a quintessentially summery scent. In fact, I would be more than happy to replace Natsumi in the seasonal cycle with Annayake pour Elle. This is possibly the strangest fragrance in the line: never has my mind been filled with so many negative illustrative adjectives for something that I am so deeply attracted to. How can I describe this perfume while avoiding to use those words for fear I’ll do it injustice? I can but try.

My advice is to approach this fragrance with an open mind, to let your senses experience it with lack of judgment and expectations, for it so unconventional, so interesting and unique it does deserve attention -even though it is so far removed from what we expect a perfume to smell like. It is a scent that, to me, personifies solitude without a trace of loneliness. It makes every other presence remote, as though I am suddenly the only inhabitant of the world, left alone in a beautiful marshland with no knowledge of my state of solitude, for I feel no pain. The opening notes are astringently herbal, medicinal. They impart a bitterness I can almost taste in the back of my throat. It is not a fleeting bitterness either, it will stay with me long after, until the perfume fades. Am I strange for enjoying this? Perhaps, but it is not a theme previously left unexplored: those of you who adore the similarly strange and bitter Cerruti 1881 like I do, will find a great friend in Annayake pour Elle.

Bergamot and fig milk, mix with the fennel-like smell of elemi, transporting me with ease to a summer afternoon. Insects are buzzing all around me but dare not come close – I’ve become a poison. Trees surround me, their leaves whisper in the breeze that makes my hair sway gently against my bare shoulders. I am clad in attire I’ve never worn, a linen shift and espadrille shoes. My skin smells of strong, dark tea, spiked with lavender. Golden brown with light blue, warm and cool together - the color combination nature prefers best. And yet more blue, a sacred blue lily there in the broiling tea pond. I pick it and fasten it behind my ear. I’ll need no other jewels; I am wearing the medium of a Sun God in my hair. Its aroma fills the air with a distinctive banana scent that further enhances the tranquility I feel. Equilibrium, peace and liquefied inner strength flow inside my chest. Is it ichor inside my veins, poisonous to mortals? I have been misted with the essence of eternal youth. I’d drink it greedily, but the gods have been wise in preventing hubris and insolence by making it so bitter.

Image of lily pond by Lida Rose, sourced from
Image of Sacred Blue Lily, courtesy of
Image of Nefertiti with sacred blue lily sourced from Nook/7916/Nefertiti.html


Arhianrad said...

Between this and the Hanami, D, I think I'm doomed.

Thank you for all these reviews!

Divina said...

Good afternoon Ahrianrad =^.^= You've followed the Annayake feature with such enthusiasm, always putting a smile on my face with your comments :) If you cannot find the line somewhere close to you, please drop me an email and I will send you samples of both Hanami and Annayake pour Elle. You can find a 'contact me' link in my profile. I didn't know you liked bitter, herbal perfumes too!

Linda said...

Better and better! This sounds really beautiful, and so much more interesting than all the celebrity fragrances cramming the shelves of every store - sorry if I sound a snob! Thank you for all your lovely reviews: I visit every day to read your inspiring words. Fondest wishes to you.

dinazad said...

I'm a Tsukimi and Miyako girl myself, but your description is sooooo gorgeous I'll have to go sniff the others as well, especially Pour Elle! (By the way: the men's line isn't bad either!)

Divina said...

Dearest Linda, thank you so much for your words and wishes! And you do not sound like a snob, there is probably only one celebrity scent myself. I think perhaps the problem lies in what they perceive (and what probably IS) their target market. Sometimes I get this embarassing thought... Could it be that Paloma Picasso was once considered a celebrity perfume? She was such a socialite when she released her frag! It is one of my top 3 perfumes and the thought is sort of unnerving! :P

Divina said...

Hey Dinazad! You're so lucky to have found and experienced Miyako! I still have not sampled the men's fragrances but I am planning to. The notes seemed a little conventional to me, but I am keeping an open mind. Thanks for the recomendation :)

chayaruchama said...

Oh, my.
Ohhh, mymymy.
I'm lost.

WHAT a description.

Divina said...

Hello Chaya dearest!
I am so glad to see this review elicit such a response! To be honest, I was sort of afraid that the description of the herbal bitterness would be offputting. I am glad to see my fears were unfounded.

Mariuca said...

Hi Divina, very nice review and beautifully desccribed :)

helg said...

This sounds very interesting! I like slightly bitter scents in wamr weather and 1881 hits just the right spot in spirit, so this is promising (to be kept in mind).
Thanks for the review.