Dita Von Teese

I have started a love affair with By Killian, the line of perfumes that is, not the man himself (although he is rather dashing). Having been introduced to the line only a few weeks ago, I have found myself spending lots of time pouring over my samples, oohing and ahhing each time I spray one on my skin.

So far I’ve only had very limited exposure to the line (a total of five) and out of the ones I have tried, Back to Black is by far my favourite. Back to Black is everything a perfume should be; complex, high quality, long lasting and most of all – dramatic.

Carnations

I’ve had a vase of purple carnations sat in my hallway for about two weeks now, they are suitably cheerful and they smell spicy and gorgeous. The problem with carnations is that they tend to hang around. Yes, they’re very beautiful but I’m at the point where I want them to move along so that I can refresh the vase with something else.

This is also how I feel about Vitriol d’Oeillet.

Serge Lutens has described Vitriol d’Oeillet as an ‘angry carnation’ and on the Serge Lutens website the description simply says “What is it, Doctor Jekyll?” [1] These descriptions lead me to believe that my tiny spray vial was going to unleash a huge, evil carnation monster that was going to eat me and ransack my house. A little farfetched I know, but I do have an active imagination.

What did come flying out of my little spray vial was something completely unexpected; A pretty and realistic spicy bunch of carnations. Just like the ones currently lurking in my hallway.

AngelWhat can I say about Angel that hasn’t already been said? Angel isn’t just your typical perfume, she is a legend, a legend in exactly the same way that N°5 and Shalimar are legends. She’s also not just a legend, she is a fierce vixen and a complete diva.

Created in 1992 by Olivier Crisp and Yves de Chiris for avant-garde fashion designer Thierry Mugler, Angel is inspired by Mugler’s childhood memories, he wanted “to make a perfume that could have a common resonance for everyone, something close to tenderness, to childhood.” [1] The childhood memories that Mugler chose to recreate in Angel were those of the fairground.

The very first time I smelled Angel, right at the beginning of my perfumista journey, I was shocked, appalled and disgusted all at once. Who would want to wear this? I thought. But I kept finding myself coming back to Angel, there was something about her, she lured me in and wouldn’t let me go, I was helpless. I became obsessed and after many sniffs I finally bought a bottle, wore it with pride and didn’t look back.

CK One Shock

Ahh flankers, there is nothing within the glorious world of perfume more guaranteed to make my eyes roll. Don’t get me wrong, there are some pretty good flankers on the market, take Guerlain’s Shalimar Parfum Initial or Chanel’s No 5 Eau Premiere for example. But on the whole the majority of flankers stink (see Marc Jacobs Bang Bang), they are a cheap way of marketing a new fragrance without having to come up with a new name or bottle and tend to carry no ingenuity whatsoever.

CK One Shock for Him and for Her are the latest in a long line of flankers to Calvin Klein’s iconic Unisex fragrance CK One, originally launched in 1994. With CK One Shock they have released “Two sassy new fragrances that flaunts youth innate sense of provocation” [1] Calvin Klein has proved to be the king of flankers over the years, the majority of which have been pretty terrible so I did not approach these two with high hopes.

Sweet RI have to admit that I’m a bit of a newbie when it comes to By Kilian, I have pretty much dismissed the line up until now, predominately due to the high prices (a rookie perfumista error, I know) but my financial restraints prevent me from considering über expensive fragrances, so I don’t try them just in case I fall in love, which is pretty much always the case.

But thanks to some excellent reviews by my Evil Scent Twin, Birgit from Olfactoria’s Travels I have found myself officially intrigued. I wanted to see what all of the fuss is about so I managed to blag a few samples from the By Kilian counter in Harvey Nichols.

Seeing as I’m such a latecomer to the By Kilian party, it seems fitting that I should start at the end, with the last fragrance in the L’Oeuvre Noire (The Black Masterpiece) collection, Sweet Redemption (The End).

Ahh the 80’s, a time of excess where everything was big; the clothes, the music, the hair and of course the perfume.

The perfume in the 80’s was loud, proud and would announce it’s arrival a long time before you entered a room, and stay a long time after you left. There were big bouquets of aldehydic florals and massive oriental spice bombs. I shouldn’t forget the HUGE jammy roses and the loud syrupy tuberoses either.

These fragrances, affectionately known as ‘Perfumes with Shoulder Pads’ by the #fumechat Tweeters are representative of the era, and whilst they may not be entirely popular today I have a real soft spot for them.

Ambre Narguilè

There is one thing I love more than perfume and that is food, especially that of the baked/cake variety. It stands to reason then, that one of my favourite perfume types is the gourmand. Food smells in perfume can sometimes be abstract or representative but the best gourmands are those that present food in a completely literal way. Ambre Narguilé is one of these gourmands.

Ambre Narguilé is an unexpected gourmand.