Tag Archives: Frank Voelkl

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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For the fame, Nomenclature Holy_wood

1970s, California, awakening of New Age, the dawn of a new era in cinematography. Thus are the inspirations standing behind latest fragrance from Nomenclature that will launch in first half of December. It’s supposed to be edgy and luminous at the same time. I love how a perfumer friend once said that synthetics are like bridges that connect different elements of a fragrance, tie them together and turn into one whole thing. But how does it work if a perfume is fully made of lab-derived ingredients? I liked some of their previous scents like Shi_so, so I Wonder if I’ll like this one too…

Rose is the first thing I can smell once Holy_wood is on my skin. It smells very weird, very specific – I get the impression of something plush & soft but at the same time there is a dusty facet to it. Not even 10 minutes pass and petals of this ‘pseudo rose’ start to gain a layer of lustre. Once pink pepper joins the composition it feels as if a flower took a dive in liquid metal. Floral petals become metallic and spicy because of that. There’s a tingly sensation around it. This vibe keeps going for some time and it loses power little by little. Synthetic aroma material that is a core of this perfume is Clearwood. This molecule arrives after around 30 minutes & unfolds a wide spectrum of tones.


One time Clearwood reveals a rosy dust facet, the other time it’s closer to patchouli. In fact this Firmenich material is a modern patchouli fraction & that’s what I mostly get from Holy_wood in its heart. I smell earth, roots & moist blended with hints of rose from before. There is also that picture of mist or fog to the structure of this fragrance. My imagination sees it too. Interestingly there’s more transparency rather than dirtiness in Holy_wood. If you give it more time you’ll notice a sandalwood accord in a more dry, rugged version. There’s also some fuzziness of suede that goes really well with other notes. Bulgarian rose and jasmine sambac add little floral hints that blend with earthiness.

I like the ideas and the way of thinking that Nomenclature founders utilize in creating their fragrances. However in case of Holy_wood it’s hard for me to think about it as a perfume. In my opinion this one is more of a conceptual project – something to satisfy your curiosity, to discover how a modern molecule smells like but I wouldn’t necessarily wear it on a regular basis. Maybe you’ll think differently. Positive thing is that brand diversified their packaging, adding 10 ml travel spray as well as a 50 ml bottle to the portfolio. Frank Voelkl is a perfumer behind this fragrance.

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