Once a perfumer makes the decision to use a rare ingredient there must be a moment of uncertainty. I don’t think any established perfumer doubts their skill. The indecision creeps in when you have access to a one-of-a-kind ingredient. You have a concept on how to proceed but there can be a big difference as you execute that. I imagine it is even more difficult if you’re using two ingredients like this as Tanja Bochnig does in April Aromatics Lotus Rising.
Fr. Bochnig is one of those independent perfumers who has developed into one of the best in natural perfumery. Over the last few years she has become more nuanced in her perfumes. There is also a personal connection through her experience as a licensed yoga teacher. When her spiritual side is more deeply connected to her perfumer side that is when she is at her best. Which is what’s happening here.
Fr. Bochnig was inspired by her trips to the lotus ponds of India. She wanted to create perfume which exemplifies the ability of the beautiful lotus flower to grow even in the muddiest of water. Representing the ideal of beauty in uncertain times.
Which leads to the special ingredients she uses. She had small quantities of vintage pink and blue lotus. Based on experiencing Lotus Rising it is my guess that these have aged into more exuberantly floral versions much deeper than lotus I usually encounter. It also dials back the watery aquatic nature of normal lotus.
The lotus is what you first encounter. They have so much presence they radiate with unusual power. I was not ready for it when I first tried my sample. These are exquisitely faceted florals. I can’t pick out which lotus is doing what. What I do encounter is an intensely floral accord which is all-encompassing. It is as if you are standing next to the lotus ponds and the flowers are all you first perceive. Once you take them in then you are open to other experiences Lotus Rising evolves. When I complement Fr. Bochnig on becoming a better practitioner of nuance the remaining development of Lotus Rising proves my point. She weaves three primary florals into the symphony of lotuses. Champaca comes first which carries a kind of tea-like scent amongst its floral quality. There is a moment when I smell green tea among the keynotes which is probably the champaca. Jasmine comes next providing a floral in a different key. The final ingredient is iris in its powdery aspect. It covers the lotuses in a gentle haze, softening the floral effect into a memory. Ambrette provides a musky foundation, the figurative muddy water for the rest of the perfume to float upon.
Lotus Rising has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
Because of the small quantities of the vintage lotus absolutes used this is a very limited edition which will be unable to be duplicated. If you are a lover of full-bodied florals this is something you will want to try finding a chance to sniff. Fr. Bochnig reminds us in the final days of 2020 that beauty can still float on top of a muddy pond.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample supplied by April Aromatics.