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Mystery of Musk

Kewdra- Dame of Scents

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Perfumer: Anya McCoy of Anya’s Garden perfumes

Notes : Pandanus flower ( Kewda /kewra ) ,green gardenia, golden boronia, angelica root, patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla, ambrette seed, beeswax and ambergris.

Anya’s tasteful, printed card describes this perfume as “ a modern indian-style musk perfume” …… honoring Kudra the Hindu heroine of Jitterbug Perfume ,the Tom Robbins’ novel.

Kewra flowers of the pandanus plant are aromatic , flavorful for perfume and the plant’s leaves are used in South East Asian culinary dishes.

The Kewra/Kewda Flower is no Miss Goody Two Shoes. She has a past. Involved in a ‘cosmic quarrel’ between the Lords Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, Ketaki (her Hindu name) was shunned, cursed and forbidden from ‘puja’ or holy worship forever. She is ‘scandalous’. Paired with Kudra from the epic novel ‘Jitterbug Perfume’, the scene is set for a sexy musky scent hinting at amorous ‘goings on’.

This fragrance seduced me from the start. The inspiration for this scent is as enchanting as its presentation. The small vial holds a thick and luscious looking perfume, deep golden brown in color. Exotic! It smells as divine as its name and description. My husband laughed as I practically salivated when sniffing the scent!

The top notes of this are delightful, like a happy embrace. Flowery, golden spice-y, slightly vegetal and heady – the combo of Kewra, gardenia, some patchouli and ambrette to begin, are beautiful. Definitely exotic in character and reminds me a little of the fragrant air of Indian marketplaces.

The fragrance quickly dips into becoming a warm, purring skin scent. All the headiness is in the beginning.
Its character shifts, subtlely warming up with ambergris, vanilla, honey .The heart and body are rounded, creamy, opaque, delectable without being gourmand – just a touch of sweetness. I love the ambergris in this! There is a little powder and a touch of spice is retained. Perhaps a reminder of ‘chai tea‘too. What comes to my mind is ‘milk, honey and spices’ – not heavy but just ‘honey-ed skin’.

“ east wind scented by opening buds of ketaki , and falling rain:
I know not how a man can bear nights such as these,
When separated from his love. ” Vidyakara , 11th century love poem

To wax all lyrical, if the top notes are an embrace, the heart is the lingering scent of that embrace. Wow- this is some elixir of love! I am particularly smitten by this. It’s quite masterful at being a seductive fragrance with that exotic Indian sub continent air. Anya mentions “masala formula” and “Kama Sutra “on her sample card– and that’s precisely what I am reminded of. Kewdra speaks of eastern love, eastern promise, playfulness, sensuality, pleasurable, dusky skin.

This is the way the scent remains for some time. It’s quite a complex perfume to me with notes disappearing (like the kewra ) and then peeking out again later. A little incense note appeared an hour or so later but nothing new age in feel.

Overnight, much of the fragrance has gone but there is still that reminder of sweet spice and incense on my skin. I do not know at what concentration Kewdra is made at but it has some decent tenacity and sillage albeit soft and subtle.

The name, theme and scent are intriguing, interesting and cleverly cohesive. Kewdra, Kudra, Kama Sutra! I’m thrilled with this soft, exotic perfume.

Updated 24th June 2010 at 10:46 PM by Mimi Gardenia

Tags: musk


  1. Natural_Juice's Avatar
    Trying to boot this Kewdra review up so folks can see it, since it was originally posted on June 24th, way before the July 1 opening date for the #momusk project. If you leave a comment, you'll be in the running to win a full bottle of Artemisia Perfume's entry Drifting Sparks.
  2. Mimi Gardenia's Avatar
    Anya- thank you for a most wonderful scent. I was enthralled by it.
    Updated 5th July 2010 at 04:51 PM by Mimi Gardenia
  3. Natural_Juice's Avatar
    I have never created a perfume under such time constraints and such personal and business pressures. The result knocked me out. Kudra "spoke" through Kewdra, as in I think I channeled her! ;-)
  4. Redneck Perfumisto's Avatar
    I am SO looking forward to my first sniff of this one. I am conducting the required research (what an amazing story) right now - and without reading Mimi's review until I'm done (thank goodness for scrollbars). Very excited about this. The character is telling me this is going to be a wonderful scent!
  5. actiasluna's Avatar
    Anya - Your Kewdra sounds like such a sensual exotic scent... exactly what I love! And as usual, Miz Mimi Gardenia describes it beautifully. It sounds like a scent I would wear at night, and dream sweet, heady, sensual dreams.
  6. Anatole's Avatar
    This one looks amazing, I like the inspiration. I'd never had a chance to smell one of Anya's garden's scent, but I think I will have to remedy that soon. This all project is quite fun and entertaining. And it makes me discover and want to learn and smell more about natural perfumery. Thanks! Oh and great review, appetizing.
  7. Mimi Gardenia's Avatar
    Anya- I do think you channeled Kudra ! This is a perfume of inspiration . Thanks guys - it's hard to go wrong with a review when the fragrance is that good.


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