Tag Archives: Pierre Negrin

By Kilian Addictive State of Mind triple review

Luxurious (or eco-luxe, as they like to call themselves) niche perfume line By Kilian, founded in 2007 (when did these 7 years pass?) by Killian Hennessy, the grandson of LVMH group founder has recently introduced a new fragrance collection consisting of 3 scents. After lines such as L’Oeuvre Noire, Arabian Nights, Asian Tales or  In the Garden of Good and Evil here comes the time to welcome some new ideas in this brand portfolio, presented as Addictive State of Mind.

What was the idea behind this trio of fragrance compositions you might ask? The answer is right up there in the collection name, the addictions inspired Kilian and the perfumers to create this new line. The aim here was to make perfumes that would take control over your mind, giving you the impression like you’ve just taken a stimulant substance. You can’t get addicted to cigarettes, caffeine or hemp just by wearing these perfumes. But you can get addicted to these scents!

“COME ON BABY LIGHT MY FIRE”

Light my Fire is a perfume dedicated to the smoking addiction and tobacco is the main note in this blend. The perfume starts with a beautiful and shiny smell of honey. The note is dense and rich in sweetness that immediately activates my salivary glands, it’s so delicious and mouthwatering. After around 10-15 minutes the tobacco accord will appear on your skin, coming out of no-where. This note comes in seamlessly, sticky sweetness gradually transforms into something even richer, velvety and smooth. It instantly delivers the enormous pleasure to your olfactive-self.

Tobacco in this perfume has a golden color thanks to the honey note and it also seems to have a little bit of rum to it. The mild warm spiciness present in the background introduces the effect of safety and cosiness. According to the official notes list, Light my Fire contains cumin. I tried very hard to smell it, but I couldn’t – which is actually a good thing in my case. At some point this fragrance becomes a little bit more green and herbal thanks to the use of hay accord. In bring a nice and dry facet with a bit of aromatic vibrancy of coumarine to it. Really nice!

For the next couple of hours the notes entwine and come closer to each other, slowly turning into one structure that is hard to identify. Later there is some earthiness coming from vetiver and patchouli, there is also some vanilla to sweeten this already sweet composition. The scent was created by Sidonie Lancesseur. By Kilian Light my Fire is a fantastic perfume but there is one thing that bothers me when I smell it. In a really short time it becomes faint and you can smell it only from up close. In terms of longevity and sillage, it would probably lose to other similar tobacco perfumes, like Diptyque Volutes or Phaedon Tabac Rouge.

“BLACK AS NIGHT, SWEET AS SIN”

Intoxicated is a perfume created with a coffee addiction (or caffeine addiction, to be precise) in mind, therefore the coffee accord plays the main role in this fragrance. Surprisingly it’s not the coffee note that opens this perfume but first notes you will encounter upon application are the spicy ones. First of all there is warm and crunchy cardamom, having a little bit of a roasted aroma to it. Very shortly after it I start to smell this lovely cinnamon accord.

Its spiciness is tingling inside of my nose, making the perfume more lively and energetic. A hint of nutmeg is another spicy note used to create Intoxicated. This one brings more dry facet to the composition, also adding something a bit powdery to it. Coffee note appears at 20-30 minutes mark. I honestly dislike perfumes with coffee (had some trauma with a few in the past) but the note in By Kilian perfume is made in a different way that doesn’t bother me at all. Many other coffee fragrances have this dark and intense coffee note that smells like espresso. Meh!

Intoxicated serves to the table a coffee made of freshly ground beans. It’s also very mild. If this perfume was a cup to drink, it would be cappuccino with a lot of milk and a thick layer of milky foam on top. It would be served with a small piece of bitter chocolate. It’s not mentioned anywhere but I seem to smell bitter chocolate coming from this perfume. There is also a lot of caramelized sugar in this composition. It highlights the depth and smooth character of the coffee note but at the same time the sugar makes it more delicate and more approachable. Perfumer is Calice Becker.

“LOVE IS A SMOKE MADE WITH A FUME OF SIGHS”

Smoke for the Soul is the third creation in Addictive State of Mind series and it represents the addiction of smoking herb. As you can easily deduce this was the least favorite one for me. The composition begins with a dry and woody accord of birch which is quite rough and rugged. The opening is shortly followed by the green and herbal smell of mate tea and cannabis. And this phase literally smells like weed. Not sure I want to smell that way…

Things get even more complicated after some time when Smoke for the Soul develops more notes and becomes more complex. First of all there is tobacco. But not a beautiful tobacco like in Light my Fire. Here we have a dark tobacco, the kind that is rather chewed than smoked. It’s a bit filthy and musty. The smoky character of this note is combined with dusty and ashy feeling. It’s quite unusual concoction, definitely not an easy to wear one. This perfume will polarize the audience, you will love it, or you will hate it.

At some point the smoky vibe in Smoke for the Soul becomes more challenging when camphorous and mentholated molecules of eucalyptus join the composition. The perfume hasn’t changed into something medicinal but it definitely has a specific aroma right now. It’s musty, dark, a little bit unplesant. In the drydown it becomes a tad more aromatic when you smell some warm cardamom note combined with a gentle woodiness of cashmere wood. This scent might make you feel high. The perfumer who mastered this composition is Pierre Negrin.

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Light my Fire, Intoxicated and Smoke for the Soul from by Kilian appear on the market in bottles that are a signature of the brand. Covered with a black lacquer from the inside, having a shiny metallic name plate at the front. These 50ml flacons come packaged in an elegant black-silver case with a metallic cover decorated with some striped pattern. The cap is also metallic instead of black. This collection is geared more towards masculine audience for a change. Are you tempted?

[note] samples were a courtesy of Quality Missala perfumery; pictures from goodwp.com, funmag.org, djyimg.com

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Dragons and amulets, Amouage Journey duet

Most of you probably remember that the launch of Fate duet in 2013 marked the end of the story that was being told by Amouage for a couple of years. Both the men and the women went through different stages of their life and finally they met with their desity, with their fate. That story is now over. What happens when one tale reaches its finale? Yes, you’re right – a new narration begins. This year, this very season the luxurious Oman-based house introduces a new tale – Journey.

Amouage Journey Men and Journey Woman offer us an olfactive journey, both in terms of geography and timeline. We’re heading to the far east and we need to move back in time. The inspiration for this new perfume duet lies somewhere on the streets of Shanghai from 1920s. Chinese origins of new Amouages are accentuated by an oriental character of both compositions and also by the colors used for the bottles, which are absolutely not accidental.

From the very first whiff of Amouage Journey Men I’m treated to a heady and strong dose of leather. It’s dark and intensive, slowly losing its pungency during the next couple of minutes. Shortly it is followed by the aroma of cypriol (nagarmotha) which adds the dense scent of something oily, mineral and abstract. From the moment of application this perfume also has the warm and a bit sharp aroma of spices: cardamom and pepper. Come to think of it, the opening reminds me intensively of Opus VII but Journey is much more polite and not as beasty as the 7th Library Collection tome.

When the opening stage dissipates a little bit the fragrance begins to change and it becomes less and less similar to Opus VII. I can smell the juniper berries that create the aromatic environment around the wearer. Along with this note goes a little bit cold and metallic sensation that is so-so to my liking. On the other hand I totally adore the incense accord prepared for Journey Men. It’s smoky and it’s a tad dark but it’s not very heavy, there’s definitely some airyness to it. To me it feels spiritual, contemplative. What I also like about this part is that it smells warm and cold at the same time. Colder when combined with juniper, warmer when paired with pepper.

Continuing the journey of discovering Amouage Journey Men I start to detect the tobacco accord after a few hours. And it’s gorgeous. It’s smoked, aromatic, kind of making me think of a pipe tobacco. There’s some specific hay-like nuance behind this note which is especially to my liking. The drydown comes in after around 6 hours and it’s very warm. The tenderness of tonka bean is coupled with more leather (this time a softer kind) and there’s also a bunch of ambrox crystals dissolved in the composition. They create the enveloping, slightly sweet and vanillic aura that hovers above the skin. In my case, the perfume melted with the skin at some point – I felt so good in it!

The presence of Amouage Journey Woman reveals on my skin with a basket full of ripe apricots. They effuse a fruity and juicy aroma which is also a little bit powdery in my opinion. You can smell the orange-colored pulp and the soft and fuzzy peel. This accord stands out for around 20-30 minutes and them the jasmine tea note becomes more and more prominent. It grows stronger, emanating the mild aroma of tea, green tea I suppose. You can also smell the tannins coming from the warm brew. The opening aspect of the perfume is additionally highlighted with osmanthus. I always associated it with apricots and tea smell . Here it just adds the oomph to these two notes.

After 2-3 hours the fragrance evolves. It goes from a moderate warmth and spiciness of nutmeg and cardamom to more glamorous and perfectly styled flowers. Jasmine sambac doesn’t smell of indol in Journey Woman. It’s not beasty but more reserved, shy – not exactly. White flowers bouquet gains a little bit of yellow color thanks to mimosa. It adds the aspect of a wild flowers pollen and it also serves a dose of powdery sensations to my nose. As the time flies the composition becomes more tender. There’s a woody aspect of cedarwood but it’s muted by a velvety, bit sweet molecules of honey. It covers the wood with a shiny, golden layer, preventing it to veer to the sweaty territory.

Many hours and a few rearrangements later the base notes of the composition are revealed. To me the pipe tobacco accord in Amouage Journey Woman doesn’t smell like tobacco. Yes, I smell something a little bit smoky but my skin gives it more resinous context. That I can’t explain. Saffron entwines with vanilla to create a vortex of warm, tender, brightly spicy and creamy sweet flavors. I didn’t smell much cypriol (good!) and musk I found to be also creamy, lactonic and with a hint of animalic qualities that never become dominating.

Fragrances in Amouage Journey duet were created by Pierre Negrin and Alberto Morillas with a creative advisory of Amouage’s Creative Director – Christopher Chong. So far it is not known if the perfumers worket together on both scents or if they worked separately, each on one fragrance. Both fragrances are eau de parfum concentrated, they will be available in June in sizes of 50ml and 100ml. Bottles are golden on the sides and crimson on the front with brand’s name and logo – these colors are traditional in Chinese cultulre. The box is golden with cromson rings and white rectangles.

Honesty time. I like both Journey Men and Journey Womanbut I’m not in love with them. Judging just by the notes I was expecting to like the female version more (again!) but after sampling them it turns out that the men interpretation is much more to my liking (can you imagine?) Journey Men started strong, then became quiet and after 8 hours it was completely gone. Journey Woman had a moderate sillage for most of the time, this one lasted 2 hours longer on me than the male equivalent. You go try it yourself, I’m thinking my skin wasn’t made for the Arabic-style perfumery…

[note] Preview samples of two new scents were provided by Amouage and Christopher Chong.

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