November 26, 2015
Natural Perfumer Anna Zworykina
Ms. Zworykina has been creating natural perfumes in Russia for 15 years. She is a self-taught natural perfumer, exploring and learning the art, science, and craft on her own. To the craft, Anna brings her enthusiasm about the olfactory side of life, a scientific mind honed through her Ph.D. in Biology and work as a Biochemist, her creative thinking, passion for unusual things and non-conventional solutions, and her love for life. These have aided her success on the path from a beginning perfume to a master whose works are appreciated by perfumery lovers as well as by the professional perfumery community.
Textile Artist Irina Batkova and photographer Evgeniya Chudakova Switch perfumes & more
Anna Zworykina has had a line of perfumes available at Anna Zworykina Perfumes for some time, comprised of collections of beautiful natural scents worth exploring. Now Anna has partnered with textile artist Irina Batkova and photographer Evgeniya Chudakova to launch the brand Switch Perfumes & More. Switch’s concept is a response to the numbing of emotions and indifference that modern life seems to have created in the world.
Switch & More Sleep Mask
Switch offers a bright and beautiful shock to the senses, awakening us from the apathy in the world and turning on that internal switch for emotions and imagination. Irina Batkova creates stunning ornaments of silk scarves and sleep masks to stimulate the senses of touch and sight. Evgeniya Chudakova contributes amazing photos that captive the eyes and illustrate the concept of the collection. And of course, Anna Zworykina constructs perfumes that envelope the wearer in olfactory bliss.
Switch & More Perfumes and Accessories Collection
The line consists of 5 sets, each inspired by ornaments and their corresponding characters or artifacts of Slavic folklore. Customers are invited to mix, match, and enjoy items from all the sets to create their own stories. As such, there are no names for the sets to influence customers, only assigned numbers.
“№ 1” was developed around the ornament of mermaids and as an embodiment of outright seduction without tricks of coquetry. It conjured to mind the lore of Irish selkies, German nixies, and Slavic mermaids; beauties so dark and yet enchanting that they are impossible to resist and entirely unforgettable.The scent opens with fresh green herbs that interweave to resemble a deep forest fougere. Though a magical transformation, the smell of musk and skin emerges though no musky notes are listed for the perfume. The musk is surrounded by floating spring florals to draw one into the spell. Then the perfume switches once again, the next chapter filled with rich warm woods and balsamic tones, a comfort after having observed such a powerful charm. Notes: Elemi, mango leaf, hyssop, rosemary, mimosa, lavender seville, frankincense, linden blossom, tuberose, frangipani, ylang-ylang, rose de mai, osmanthus, clover sweet, Fiji sandalwood, beeswax. oakmoss, labdanum, Vanuatu sandalwood, maysoya.
“№ 2” draws inspiration from Vasalisa, a heroine of Russian fairytales. Vasalisa is a character of duality, both beautiful and wizened, a sorceress and a resourceful homemaker, a paradox for sure. Anna also drew on the tales of an evil forest fairy Lesovichka from Slavic legend who entices children to follow him into the woods to the kingdom of Leshy, a forest ghost, where they are then transformed into forest ghosts themselves. The perfume embodies the four seasons as four stages of unveiling in one fragrance. The perfume opens with green leaves and moist dew created through violet leaves and petitgrain. The floral heart combines the hints or neroli from the petitgrain with a classic, beguiling blend of rose and jasmine. A touch of sour wafts in from black currant bud to offset the sweet flowers, keeping it intriguing and exciting, luring you farther into the woods. The deep dry heartwood note become shadowy and a bit mournful as oakmoss and labdanum darken the base, adding a haunting quality. Notes: Azalea, blackcurrant buds, violet leaves, petitgrain, Jasmin Sambac, Damascus Rose, lavender, rosewood, oakmoss, labdanum.
“№ 3” is something of a trickster, representing the hallucinogenic mushroom of lore Fly Agaric and the metamorphosis of the butterfly. The key note in “№ 3” is Ledum, a devious flower said to have a narcotic scent that intoxicates animals and was used by witches for love spells and flying ointments. “№ 3” begins as a smoky, mossy citrus. It is pleasant and safe at first sniff. As you begin to grow comforted in this skin, even a little bit dreamy, the layers underneath reveal themselves and shifting your being. Transformation begins. A musky smell comes forth, damp and dark, mixing with scents of the forest floor. Watery florals sweeten the air, creating a dizzying contrast of scents, decomposition and life. It is positively heady. It finally settles you down in the heart of a dark forest, trees towering above filtering out all light, the perfect place to emerge from your chrysalis and spread your new wings. Notes: Ledum, petitgrain, azalea, lapsang souchong, juniper berry, turkish rose otto, jasmine sambac, styrax, Himalayan cedarwood, vetiver, oakmoss, saffron.
“№ 4” embraces the archetype of Baba Yaga, one of the most intricate heroines of Russian fairy tales. “She is the guard between the world of the living and the dead. She is the keeper of old knowledge able to predict the future. She is a ruthless warrior and a wise patroness. She can be both dangerous and cruel, but she can show mercy to a worthy person.” The intent of № 4 is to teach you to embrace your darkness as part of you and to love it. As a perfume, “№ 4” opens with a tangled thicket of herbs and thorns. Growing from the harshest conditions, the herbs are strong with their scent but run on the side of bitter and musky due to angelica root paired with resins. The dank smell of earth and dry trees long dead invite you to look far into the recesses of yourself and not turn away at what you see. Smoke from an otherworldly incense is carried to you on the breeze. This scent will guide you to the home of Lesovichkas and Leshy and welcome you as one of their kind. Notes: Frankincense, choya ral, black tea, guaiacwood, patchouli, labdanum, angelica root, vetiver, opoponax.
“№ 0” is the perfume at the center of the collection, an embodiment of harmony. It is represented by the ornament for the Water of Life. While common to many cultures, in Russian fairy tales the water of life is usually sought by the hero and the heroine helps him find it. Anna turned to legendary women Eve and Aphrodite when formulating this feminine composition of balance. “№ 0” is beguiling and seductive. Imagine Aphrodite rising from a sea of flowers, petals clinging to her skin and protecting her chasteness. Beauty and virtue married in floral ecstasy. Fresh roses and jasmine wind across clean powdery skin, delicate in touch as they offer their strength to the wearer. This scent brings us out of the forest and into the garden of eden. Supporting the flowers is an intricate base of musky amber and iris. Notes: Yuzu, elemi, mimosa, galbanum, white cognac, rose de mai, osmanthus, neroli, turkish rose otto, rose gallica otto, jasmine grandiflorum, jasmine sambac, benzoin, tonka bean, siam wood, orris root, ambrette seed, vanilla.
So flip that switch. Seek out your story through these natural artisan perfumes and luxe accessories made possible by these artists’ collaboration.
Michael Singels, Sr. Contributor and Natural Perfumery Editor
From Cloves to Sandal. Olfactory Alphabet and Guide across the World of Natural Fragrances
Writer’s Note: Anna Zworykina has also played an active role in growing interest and development in the natural perfumery field in Russia. She shares her knowledge in her publications in the mass media, at workshops and classes, in her blog Natural Perfumery and her book “From Cloves to Sandal. Olfactory Alphabet and Guide across the World of Natural Fragrances“ – the first book in Russian about natural perfumery. Anna recently organized the 1st Festival of Indie Perfumery held in Moscow, Russia in November, the first event of its kind. You can follow the Facebook page for the event, most is in Russian but translation is available on Facebook.
Thanks to the generosity of Anna Zworykina of Switch Perfumes & More and Anna Zworykina Perfumes, we have a draw for a perfume mini-bar of the Switch perfumes open to a registered reader (don’t forget to do this) worldwide. To be eligible, please leave a comment sharing with us which of the scents you would most like to try and why, where you live and if this is your first time learning of Anna Zworykina. Draw closes November 29, 2015.
We announce the winners on our site and on our Facebook page, so Like Cafleurebon and use our RSS option…or your dream prize will be just spilled perfume.