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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Orange You Glad: By Kilian Sweet Redemption

By Donna

My opinion of the By Kilian fragrances in the L’Oeuvre Noire collection is pretty evenly divided along style lines of those I have tried so far - I love the more “feminine” and sweeter ones like Love and Beyond Love, but Liaisons Dangereuses and Cruel Intentions left me cold. The latest launch, Sweet Redemption, said to be the last in this particular series, is aligned with the former group and for me it was instant affinity. It’s very well done and it pulls together several of my favorite perfume ingredients; the listed notes on Luckyscent are orange blossom, vanilla, myrrh, opopanax, benzoin and incense, so it may as well be a Christmas shopping list for my nose. It is immediately likable and downright friendly.

It’s not often that orange and myrrh make an appearance together, but it most certainly does work. The dominant note throughout is orange blossom in all its high-pitched sweetness with just a touch of leafy bitterness for balance, and it carries the melody even as the opening deepens into the heart and the opopanax and myrrh come into their own. Vanilla ties it all up in a gourmand bow, but this perfume has a solid base of resinous materials that keeps it from being a mere trifle, and the base is very tenacious. (It’s a good thing I am a fan of opopanax!) In fact, it reminded me a lot of two vintage classics that have not been around for a very long time, Robert Piguet’s Baghari and the marvelous L’Origan by Coty from 1905.

Some time ago I acquired a precious micro-mini bottle of vintage 1950 Baghari extrait de parfum, which was that rarest of beasts, an orange chypre, and magnificent it is. Rich and a bit powdery with a true chypre base, this is a gem from the past that has now been reformulated and brought back by the new owners of Piguet. The re-orchestrated Baghari introduced in 2006, although very good, lacks the narcotic depth of the original, while Sweet Redemption has an echo of that mesmerizing character in both the orange and the resins, although it is not a chypre. I also have a little sample of L’Origan extrait that was given to me by a perfume friend, and its powdery depth and heavenly orange blossom made me realize yet again what a great perfumer François Coty was and what a shame it is that his great old formulas have either fallen away completely or else reformulated ever more cheaply over the years until they can no longer be recognized. Sweet Redemption has some of that unforgettable beauty of the L’Origan of old, and for that alone I would like to own a bottle

Alas, buying a bottle of this could be problematic, as the By Kilian line is expensive; 50 ml of the Eau de Parfum goes for $225 USD on Luckyscent. Plain refill bottles are available for $125, but then you don’t get the special satin-lined box and the heavy, artsy bottle. Travel size sprays are available at the By Kilian Web site.

Image credit: “Chiyogami Orange Blossom” pattern Japanese paper from amazingpaper.com.au

Disclosure: My sample was obtained free from Luckyscent as part of a promotional giveaway when Sweet Redemption was released.

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10 Comments:

OpenID olfactoriastravels.com said...

Now I know for sure I need a bottle of this, thank you, Donna! A perfect review of a perfect perfume.

2:25 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have some very old L'Origan from the 50s, and it's so incredibly...supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Sadly, the well-crafted Kilian went too sweet on me (the whole line did, pretty much), but hey, I've got my L'Origan!
-Marla

5:58 AM EDT  
Anonymous Olfacta said...

I love it too. I used up my whole sample the other day, and it lasted all day, which is very unusual! Now I'll be agonizing about buying some.

I have the Sixties L'Origan PDT and it's all that, but have never tried any of the really old perfume. It sounds wonderful!

8:05 AM EDT  
OpenID museinwoodenshoes said...

L'Origan is so pretty! And I'm not even much of an orange blossom fan... not sure I'll go jumping for Sweet Redemption, but I am very glad to hear that a new release is good.

9:29 AM EDT  
Anonymous Lavanya said...

I'm wearing my sample of sweet redemption today. It is very lovely. It reminded me a little of Andy Tauer's Le Maroc Pour Elle..(I think it is the honeyed orange blossom). Do you get the resemblance at all? Even though there is something about the fragrance that is not in my comfort zone (sort of a honey, flowers turmeric paste kind of smell- gorgeous though), but I still can't stop myself from wearing it.

4:32 PM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

Olfactoria, thank you! It's pretty good stuff!

11:17 PM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

Marla, I also tend to sweeten things but the base of Sweet Redemption has enough oomph to keep it in check.

That L'Origan must be wonderful. I should look into getting some when my sample is gone.....

11:19 PM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

Oflacta, I am trying to pace myself but I think I am going to use it all pretty quickly.

I don't know how old my L'Origan sample is exactly, but it's extrait, and I think it's been a very long time since they made that.

11:20 PM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

Muse, it really stands out in my mind. I don't get to try a lot of the new niche releases, but it's really quite different from most of what I do run across. It's definitely not one of those clean, soapy orange blossoms!

11:23 PM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

Lavanya, I don't really get that - to my nose Le Maroc is about the rose, geranium and animalic notes. They are both very rich though, and if there is anything like turmeric in it that is one of my favorite spices!

11:25 PM EDT  

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