When you think about perfumery and the US, first what comes to mind is that a huge number of artisan perfumers come from America. But when it comes to niche perfumery it’s not at all that prominent. Some time ago I was contacted by Kierin NYC, a new brand from New York, who kindly offered to send me samples. Nitro Noir opens with a zesty tanginess of bergamot that shortly steps down revealing a mouth-watering berry scent. No particular berry is in the lead, it’s more like a blend of sweet strawberries, raspberries with more tart blackberries or even blackcurrant. To my nose the scent is intensively blended, making the perfume almost like a fruit smoothie. After some time a gentle tingling sensation appears somewhere in the background, the smell points unmistakably towards pink pepper. The latter one has been almost abused by perfumer for the last couple of years. At some point iris joins the composition, making Nitro Noir feel more velvety and plush. It’s creamy and buttery, quite gourmand in my opinion – like some tasty pastry cream. Addition of patchouli makes the perfume deeper, it adds dimension. Patchouli also introduces a wave of mystery by bringing earthiness and almost suede-like finish to the iris accord. To some extend it reminds me of Moonlight Patchouli by Van Cleef & Arpels.
I know many of you have mixed feelings towards this brand (mostly because of the bottle) but I do like Eau d’Italie. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the brand and to celebrate this milestone they created an easy to love perfume and named it… Easy to Love. This composition opens with a blend of sappy plant juice smell combined with the aroma that reminds me of cut grass. Few minutes later the fragrance becomes easier to define – it’s a light fig note. You can smell the verdancy of a fig leaf along the fruitiness of the fig itself. Somewhere nearby there’s a bittersweet back note that makes this new fragrance more yummy. There’s something tart about it. The brand says it’s white currant. I’m familiar with the fruit but haven’t seen it in perfume before. It’s like a milder, toned down version of blackcurrant. In its heart Easy to Love has a delicate and sheer floral note of peony – its flowery scent bears pastel colors and a lightweight, airy, dewy tones. Honey adds a tiny bit of tender sweetness without any animalic connotations. It’s more like a flower pollen actually. The base is creamy thanks to tonka bean, which at the same time adds some density. Ambrette adds a musky, vegetal scent that makes me think of a garden in the summer. I never loved fig in my perfume but this one is so light I could give it a try.
Another one from Kierin is a perfume called Sunday Brunch. This perfume begins with a truly bitter bergamot that feels so rich initially that on the first whiff it felt as if the scent way straight into my sinuses. A great way to have this sort of a wake up call perfume. Lemon makes this perfume even more lively thanks to being so zesty and chilled, as if taken straight from the fridge. After a while it becomes sort of powdery, reminiscent of the albedo, a white layer hiding right underneath an aromatic citrus peel. Black tea accord stirrs things up by adding a smell that is slightly more acrid and with tannins. It’s not smooth anymore but it feels right. Tea leaves combined with citrus bitterness give an impression of Earl Grey tea. Sunday Brunch is a type of perfume you’d probably wear on a lazy weekend when you’d rather stay in bed all day rather than go out to the world. Jasmine aroma is quite faint in this fragrance but it gives a nice twist, like a flavor to the tea. It doesn’t change much but it makes everything more enjoyable. This and Nitro Noir are both composed by perfumer Mathieu Nardin. Kierin NYC appears to me as a funky, easy-going brand.