Doesn’t time fly? French niche brand By Kilian is celebrating their 10th anniversary already! It only feels like yesterday when they launched L’Oeuvre Noire, their debut collection of fragrances that contained such beauties as Love (Don’t be Shy) and Beyond Love (Prohibited), and many more. By Kilian has been on a massive journey since then, launching a veritable feast of fragrances, candles and even jewellery, not to mention the fact that the brand was acquired by Estée Lauder in 2016. It’s been an incredibly fragrant odyssey and to celebrate, Kilian has just launched two golden perfumes for their tenth anniversary in a new collection entitled ‘From Dusk Till dawn’.
Those two perfumes are Gold Knight and Woman in Gold, and they take inspiration from Gustav Klimt, coming housed within a (rather substantial) golden clutch that reinterprets the artist’s famous work ‘The Kiss’. The focus of this review is Gold Knight, the masculine scent in the pair and easily the stand out of the two. Gold Knight is inspired “the dashing, golden-armored chevalier in Klimt’s 1902 Beethoven Frieze” and is described by Kilian as being a woody oriental. It’s a perfume that lives up to its golden name, presenting something dazzling, bold, muscular, and undeniably ‘by Kilian’ in every way, shape and form.
Patchouli, Bergamot, Vanilla, Anise, Cinnamon and Honey
Pascal Gaurin (IFF)
How Does it Smell?
Gold Knight opens zesty with a white brightness that could be mistaken for something almost menthol in tone. This note however, is more in tune with the menthol nature of heady white flowers than anything remotely minty. Bergamot spiced with cinnamon creates a golden hue, but also an aromatic tone that is somewhat retro in style, channeling the mahogany-style masculines of the 1970s and 1980s. In fact, it reminds me of the sparkling, woody aromatic fragrances that my father used to wear (and those moments where I used to watch him shave and splash on such a scent), except Gold Knight is much more gourmand and ultimately more excessive in style. No surprises there then, it is By Kilian, of course.
So how does that gourmand facet present itself? The answer to that question is honey and lots of it. Trust me, this stuff is literally dripping with a glistening sheen of soft, floral honey. There’s vanilla too – the spiced, almost chai-like kind, that brings a fullness to the honey, plumping it up into a generous trail of golden warmth (I’m starting to wonder if I should get a prize for the amount of time I’ve used ‘golden’ in this review) with little sweetness. Surprisingly, Gold Knight never feels particularly edible – yes, it has lots of gourmand traits, but the contrasting notes soften these making it feel ultimately more oriental than calorific.
The base sees that golden gourmand accord tempered with a beautiful patchouli note. When I think of patchouli, I think of abrasive, sour and earthy nuances (beautiful facets, each one of them), but in Gold Knight it feels as if the honey has enveloped the patchouli, retaining its scent but smoothing out all of its harsher tones. It turns the patchouli from a dark and dry material, to something with a copper-like hue that plays beautifully into the golden theme. It settles to soft embers of patchouli-soaked honey and cinnamon, all served with a velvet-like sheen.
Gold Knight is full on and it’s not for the feint-hearted, but By Kilian does not create for the timid, no, Kilian is for those that enjoy the excess, court the cheeky and fancy the fabulous. These are full-bodied, bold and daring perfumes, and Gold Knight is no exception. I really enjoy it and it’s a perfume that I think I will wear, but only when the time is right. For me, Gold Knight is a showy fragrance and it demands the right occasion. Wearing it to Nando’s simply wouldn’t do because Gold Knight is just too fabulous for that – he demands a touch of glitter and a pair of suede loafers at the very least. I shall happily oblige.
Gold Knight is available in refillable 50ml Eau de Parfum.
Sample, notes and quotes via By Kilian. Images are my own.