Thursday, May 24, 2007

Tsukimi by Annayake : Perfume Review

Since I promised to start with Hanami and Tsukimi, I will unorthodoxly suspend a review of the second seasonal fragrance, Natsumi, to write about Tsukimi. The third fragrance in the seasonal quartet of the Annayake fragrance line, Tsukimi, means Moon Viewing. It embodies the spirit of autumn and is meant to represent a woman who is radiant, devoted to tradition and family. This characterization might sound a bit archaic to western, individualistic societies, but this is most certainly not how it would be viewed in the Japanese collectivist culture. Keeping with tradition, Japanese tradition specifically, is a great virtue, and such a woman will be revered, like a precious flower that is never to be sullied, corrupted by unworthy elements. She will be the most attractive ray of light, sought after like a rare, incandescent jewel. She is the woman with the magical ability to bring out the best in the most contemptible of men; she is the bringer of redemption. Her radiance is an eternal, ever-giving spring. Everything she comes into contact with will be blessed by her virtue and beauty, enabled to shine a bit brighter each time for it came to be in the presence of her unyieldingly pure kindness.

Annayake places this woman in the setting of the Harvest Moon. Moonviewing, just as Hanami, flowerviewing, is a tradition that originated in China and was embraced by the Japanese court initially, before spreading to the masses during the Edo era. It is the time of year when farmers harvest the last crops and offer thanks to the moon. It is the time of year to come together with family, friends and loved ones to admire the beauty of the moon, to put seasonal offerings next to the moonlit window and to celebrate togetherness under the silvery lunar rays. The Tsukimi woman will go meet her lover on a hill, to hold his awaiting hand, to bathe in the moon’s light with him under the starry sky. She will be the joy of her family, an emblem of the continuation of tradition. A tradition that might be sadly, slowly fading.

Tsukimi reminds me in many ways of Féminité du Bois by Shisheido, which is not very surprising since they share a lot of the same notes. But having smelled Tsukimi, Féminité du Bois now almost seems aggressive and harsh. The top citrusy notes fly off quickly and leave the skin enveloped in the intensely woody, ambery veil of the fragrance. There is also the scent of lovely, smoky incense there, making the experience all the more interesting. Cumin haters beware, for this is a note that plays a prominent role in this perfume. It blends marvelously with cinnamon, sunflower, violet and precious woods, in a manner that makes me think of fine, viscous oils of anointment. Despite the intense notes, the overall feel of Tsukimi is that of calm sweetness, warm, effusively graceful and heart-achingly nostalgic. It stays relatively close to the skin, making one gently emanate a softly perfumed, filmy aura, like the golden body of a saint, streaming myrrh.

Pictures courtesy of: wikimedia.org, yuanryan.ld.infoseek.co.jp and www.saryou-sakura.com


11 comments:

chayaruchama said...

My,GOD, girl...
I'm salivating.

helg said...

Hmmm, you do LOVE the Japanese traditions. LOL! It seems you have been smitten by the line too! Good for you :-)
However, surely Feminite de Bois is rather difficult to suprass? I guess I have to test those at some point and draw my own conclusions.

Divina said...

Hello girls! :)

Chaya! I am so glad I managed to do these perfumes right judging by your reactions! And by the way, I am thoroughly intrigued now that you said you used to live here in NL! I want to know more. You should most definitely start a blog of your own.

Helg, hi! I am indeed smitten by Japanese traditions and Japan in general. These perfumes are absolutely wonderful, I am very excited about them! Now, as for Feminite du Bois, I am not saying that it is surpassed. It is a wonderful fragrance itself, but compared to this mellow wonder it does seem like it has sharp edges to my nose, you know what I mean? I must be a little biased too, because even though in writing (and at first sniff too) Feminite sounds like the perfect fragrance for me, there is a little element in the drydown that keeps bothering me. I still love it and hold it in high regard, but... how should I put this? Tsukimi feels like something made for the skin, no strange extras. Like something that is meant to accompany you through the day, never making you think too much about it. "Live with me!" it sings. Gosh, I am really enamoured, aren't I?

Arhianrad said...

major...lemming...lust...

i...must...not...sniff...

from one Japan-obsessed girl to another, thanks for the reviews...your description of the lady sounds very much like an anime archetype, most exemplified by Aoi Sakuraba from the anime Ai Yori Aoshi...I don't know why I write that, it just popped into my head (there's a tsukimi episode in this anime, too...)

arg! I hate it when I ramble! Thank you for the review!

Divina said...

OH MY GOD!! I was thinking of Aoi when I was describing her! *laughs* this is so cool! Speaking of which, that series started so very promisingly, only to leave me disappointed by the turn it took after a number of episodes. What gives? They turned something great into fanboy material. *sigh*

Arhianrad said...

YES!!! an anime watcher!!! WOO!!!!

*HUGS!!!!*

lol. Anyhow, the second season ending left me with a WTF feeling too, although the end of the first season was ok...There's apparently a lot of filler in the manga too, though last I heard there was actual plot development. But Aoi's got my heart because she's the one character that's almost always in kimono by choice. :D

Linda said...

Dear Divina,
Two reviews in one day! Read the first one this morning, then I put on a blouse with a Japanese print for work, in honour! "Nostalgia" is a really intriguiging word to use for a fragance: I want my scents to be nostagic...And for autumn I'll definitely be looking for Tsukimi. Thnak you for the lovely treats on this beautiful day! Best wishes, Linda

Divina said...

*hugs Arhianrad right back!* :) So great getting to know you girl! :) Aoi is really special, I love her too! You'll have to tell me some of your favorites btw!

Divina said...

Hi Linda! Such a lovely comment you've left me! I agree about nostalgic scents..And I think there can be two kinds: One that brings back memories and creates personal associations, and one that is nostalgic in and out of itself, somehow assuming this strange quality and becoming an embodiment of it.. I think Tsukimi falls in the second category...And I like that :)
Thank you once again for your lovely comment! I hope I am making sense, it's late here and my eyes are falling closed... :)
Nighty night ladies, thanks for visiting me again today!

Jenavira13 said...

Autumn the season I was born in and my favorite season. Whenever I read about a scent that is based on the season of autumn I always want to smell, which you have definately encouraged with your interview Divina.

Divina said...

This one is most certainly worth it, Jenavira.. I don't think it will disappoint. Have you found any other autumn scents that have come close to your expectations? I'd love to hear about it :)