Tag Archives: 2020 launch

Party All Night Long, Kilian Liquors

This year’s carnival was especially short and it’s already Ash Wednesday today. Not that it really mattered since the whole world continues to live in sanitary regime so no big parties are allowed these days anyway. But still it would’ve been nice to enjoy it in one way or another – even if at home. Parties usually involve alcohol so I thought why not tell you about two fragrances from Kilian that premiered in 2020. At least one of them could be a good substitute of having some booze while dancing your legs out. So without further ado let’s pour a glass and find out what it smells like.

Angels’ Share is a very warm, sensual and enveloping perfume. It begins with a boozy cognac accord that feels incredibly smooth on the skin. It’s like a combination of full-bodied liquor flavor, some sweet ambery tones in hues of golden, orange and yellow and a decadent woody aroma of aged oak barrel. This in fact is very apt impression because the name of this fragrance refers to a natural process of losing a part of liquid through evaporation when the liquor is aging. That lost part is called angels’ share. After a while the fragrance unveils more of that delicious & rich booziness. It also gains a spicy edge when cinnamon joins the composition.

I like the cinnamon note in Angels’ Share because it shows more than one of its facets. On one hand it smells quite woody, as if you were experiencing a just removed cinnamon tree bark. It’s even slightly earthy. Then after some time it presents its more typical side which is warm, spicy and has a sweet, tingly aftertaste. Oak absolute accents additionally the woody aspect of the scent. A dry wood note permeated with the liquory scent. Tonka bean brings some smooth richness – gently spicy, creamy and almost aromatic to the nose. Like a bruleed sugar a bit. A tad of chocolate with delicious nougat appear as the praline note arrives in the base. Oriental and rich vanilla add more full-bodied flavor and a nice texture. Relatively dry and rough sandalwood crowns this interesting perfume.

If we think of Angels’ Share as fire then a second perfume in the Liquors collection is definitely its counterpart and should be considered as ice – especially that its a part of its name. Roses on Ice opens with a blast of cucumber that packs a serious punch in the opening. As much as I generally dislike the note in any perfume I have to admit that in this Kilian it is very realistic. You get the vibrant green note of just removed cucumber peel that reveals a light green pulp that gives off a vegetal, watery smell. After a moment it starts to resemble melon – the scent gets slightly more fruity and similar to calone but much lighter. Some people probably won’t last to go beyond this point.

Underneath the opening cucumber tone there’s a splash of zesty lime that adds a citric element to Roses on Ice. There’s also a juniper berry facet that adds a cold, metallic facet that at the same time gives the association that instantly links to gin tonic and ice cubes. Rose was supposed to be a key ingredient of this new perfume but on my skin I can hardly see it happening. The composition is still heavily dominated by cucumber and while I can detect some green floral back note that slightly veers towards crispy geranium leaf, saying it’s very important would be so wrong. After couple hours the base becomes kind of fluffy. Musk and sandalwood slightly change my perception but they don’t do much good in changing my overall feeling towards it.

I like the concept of the Liquors collection from Kilian and I think it was a brilliant idea to present the fragrances in bottles that resemble a styled crystal glass for your booze. Despite not being a real follower of the brand I would be curious to find out if they explore other liquors in the future or if cognac will be the only one due to Hennessy expertise and heritage. Whichever it might be, I liked Angels’ Share a lot and wouldn’t mind wearing it from time to time. On the other hand it’s olfactively related to Amber Oud of which I still have a bit in my decant from Undina. These eau de parfums come in 50 ml size and were created by Benoist Lapouza and Frank Voelkl respectively.

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Two from Masque to Indulge in This Winter

In 2020 due to growing pandemic situation across the world the activity of perfume brands was drastically reduced. I don’t know any numbers or statistics but I have a feeling that the drop could even reach 80%. The biggest loss and saddest thing to accept was the cancelation of Pitti and Esxence, two biggest niche perfume shows. The latter one was rescheduled to April 2021 only to be rescheduled again to June. If you were smart and tech-savvy, you’d move to online promotion. That’s what Masque Milano did and their 2 new perfumes were launched via Google Meet platform.

Ray-Flection begins with a moderately sweet yet delightfully juicy & mouth-watering scent of mandarin orange. Very shortly some aldehydic tones join and lift up the composition making it feel more airy and effervescent. You do feel a little bit of fattiness from these molecules, even a hint of something waxy & slippery but their aerial aspect is prevailing here. Cardamom introduces a bit of a crunchy, roasty spiciness to the backbone of the perfume. Heart of Ray-Flection reveals a floral bouquet in which a pollen sweetness of mimosa flowers whispers tenderly in your ear and gently caresses your face. It’s a pretty smell, a very happy & optimistic one. It is paired with violet leaf – its green color contrasts with the yellowness of the pom-poms. The smell it has is dewy, slightly ozonic and aromatic. Both are wrapped together, almost like a ribbon that ties a bouquet, with a solar accord. On my skin it feels a bit crystalline, lactonic and with a delicate impression of jasmine. While I don’t consider this new creation from Masque to be a challenging scent, the base is the hardest for me to bear. Beeswax becomes quite prominent on my skin and I am not very fond of it. It adds an impression of something too synthetic and artificial, at least to my nose. Then there’s some cedarwood and musk to help the perfume last longer on skin. I believe mimosa lovers should try Ray-Flection, even if only just out of curiosity. To me it stands few steps behind my favorite.

Last year Masque branched out of their main line by introducing Le Donne di Masque, a series of more feminine fragrances composed by female perfumers. I believe first two, Dolceacqua and Petra were already on preview in 2019. This line celebrate 10th anniversary of the brand and the aforementioned two are reinterpretations of Masque first releases. Late in 2020 a third persona was added. Maceleine is a gourmand perfume that goes straight to the point. The wearer is welcomed by a powerful accord of chestnut. The complex identity of the note hides in the fact that it captures the multiple facets of this Parisian delicacy. It’s nutty and at the same time caramelized. A little bit burnt on the outside but soft & perfectly cooked inside. Combined with a generous spoonfull of heavy cream that has been whipped to add some lightness to the concoction. Cumin… there’s not much of it but I get a bit of a specific stench in the background and I associate it with the smell of some of the streets in Paris. Then there’s a lactonic, creamy tuberose that doesn’t overwhelm but rather melts into nut-n-cream feeling. Cypress and geranium add a tad of crunchiness but their verdancy doesn’t stand out in this foody fragrance. Tonka bean amplifies the creamy vibe that Madeleine creates but at least now it’s got that aromatic, rich (yet mild) spiciness that feels like some sprinkles on top of this dessert. The sweetness of vanilla and fluffy clouds of musk complete the perfume. I know it’s got zero calories but how much sugar can your nose take? I think this perfume can be either love or hate, it smells polarizing if you ask me.

I like the idea of an online launch in times of covid. Where the brand founders along with respective perfumer explain the perfume to a selected group of attendees who were sent the samples prior to the event (mine didn’t make it on time so I didn’t attend) but in case of Ray-Flection and Madeleine as much as I have no doubts about quality of both fragrances, because in this field Masque always delivers, neither of them feels a special to me as L’Attesa or Kintsugi. However I am convinced that many fans of the brand will enjoy using one or both of these new scents. Fingers crossed!

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