When you step into the By Kilian boutique in Mayfair you enter a space that’s the very definition of luxury. It’s the ultimate in refinement and elegance and you feel nothing bad could ever happen while you’re there. Inside this haven you will find scented jewellery, fragrances for the home and, most famously, perfumes. There’s nothing you wouldn’t want to take home and cherish.
My visit was to find out about the new fragrance, Vodka On The Rocks. It was created by Sidonie Lancesseur who’s known for her short formulas which is perfume-speak for fragrances that have few ingredients. The advantage of this is that the notes are purer and the quality is easier to maintain.
Her brief was to create the smell of vodka cooled by ice and I think this has been achieved pretty well, especially in the way the fragrance opens. Though the interpretation is quite literal it’s still a very wearable and enticing scent. You don’t just smell like you’ve splashed on your drink – it’s much, much smarter than that. I’d also describe it very much as a sharing fragrance that would work equally well on both sexes.
The opening is cold spices, corriander and cardamon mixed with aldehyde, which gives it sparkle and a hint of citrus. The heart is rhubarb combined with rose and lily of the valley. This is to give it the feeling of white alcohol and I really pick up on this though I also get the merest touch of sweetness from the rose too. The dry down still retains the vodka element but with added leatheriness which comes from oakmoss, ambroxan and sandalwood.
By Kilian has become known for the gorgeous way it presents its fragrances. The Carafe (€540 for 250ml) and Spray In Its Coffret (€235 for 50ml) are ‘forever’ items that you get refilled (£115 for 50ml). Of course, these prices are far from cheap but there’s real craftsmanship at the heart of these products.
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