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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Perfume Review: Tann Rokka Kisu

Tann Rokka (Romany for "house talk") is a fashionable and eclectic “lifestyle store” in London that sells antique and contemporary furnishings, luxurious home accessories as well as candles and fragrances, Aki and Kisu. Kisu, Japanese for “kiss”, created by Azzi Pickthall, is said to have been inspired by Japanese ancient bathing rituals, and features notes of ylang ylang, rosewood, cedarwood, musk and “marine” accord.

Kisu is a scent that never sits still on my skin; its transformations are fascinating and rapid. And yet the changes are not abrupt, each stage flows into the other quickly but smoothly. The scent starts with a bright citrus accord that makes me think of the peppery freshness of grapefruits and the understated fruitiness of bitter oranges. The subtle sweetness of the initial notes evolves into the richer, floral sweetness of ylang ylang and the brightness is replaced with a languid twilight of what I perceive to be patchouli. The patchouli is joined by woods; cedar is especially prominent, to my nose. Soon musk becomes subtly apparent too; combined with whatever it is that comprises the “marine” notes; it adds an interesting salty and sensual undertone to Kisu. This undertone reminds me of Eau des Merveilles, the two scents seems to share this saline, woody, slightly animalic and a little powdery quality. In the very late drydown the citruses re-appear, albeit more subtly, in a way bringing the scent full circle and rounding and elegantly finishing the composition.

This tasteful, interesting, and, to me, definitely unisex, fragrance can be found at Luckyscent, $75.00-$125.00.
The image is from
Tomorrow, Ambre Sultan, a review by Tom.


Blogger elle said...

Why? What have I done to annoy the perfume gods? Do I not offer financial sacrifices at a regular enough basis? My cc certainly suggests that I do. So why do I not get a relative of Eau de Merveilles from Kisu? I can't help but have visions of a Calvin Klein scent from the 90s w/ this scent from start to finish. Off to kneel down at perfume god altar w/ Kisu sample in hand and plead for different skin chemistry.

7:33 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don´t really know what to think about Kisu:
On the one hand, I feel really tempted by it, but on the other I´m not sure if I can wear it on a regular base. Sometimes I find it too harsh, but there´s definitely something about it that makes me want to smell it from time to time.
I always thought there are roses in it...I don´t know, why. For me, it´s kind of a rose scent...
I´d also say that it´s a unisex scent & oh...the more I think about it, the more I want to own it!
You really caused a lemming - I´ve to search for my sample! *running away* ;)

7:43 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Clearly annoyed the same gods as Elle! This is a scent that I thought was really interesting on someone else--and really meh on me! And no Merveilles:( Oh, well, perhaps the credit card gods are looking out for me (Lord knows I sacrifice to them, too:)

7:54 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

What Elle and Lily said. I tried Kisu twice and it just sits there. Like a bump on a log. Not an interesting bump, either. Just sort of incensey-room-spray-ish. And I really wanted it to work, because I'd already fantasized about where that lovely bottle would fit into my decor ... sigh. Hey, on the other hand, at least I get leather in your HG mods from Clement ;-)

8:50 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

*agog and lighting up candles to thank perfume gods*
A Calvin Klein scent from the 90s? That is scary :-) (well, at least it is not Klein's scent from the 80's!!)

9:16 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I wouldn't be surprised if there were roses in it. Why not? The official notes never tell the full and/or true story, so if your nose tells you there are rose, trust your nose! :-)

9:18 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Interesting. I wonder if any commenter today would say they like it. Malena seems to be ambivalent about it...

Have you tried Aki?

9:20 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It just sat there? How intersting. It was like a caleidoscope on me, constantly changing. *blesses own skin chemistry*

And, ouch about leather in HG! Ouch!

9:21 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kisu-Shmisu... I don't remember what this smells like but I do remember it not being all that. OK, I shouldn't be so harsh and just revisit it. Great review! :)

9:25 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Nope, no Aki. Didn't even know it existed. . . :) What's it like?

9:28 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am all alone in my like of Kisu! Aieee!

9:50 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It is "thicker" and woodier. Quite nice, I thought :-)

9:50 AM EDT  
Blogger Caitlin Shortell said...

I am glad you reviewed this one so nicely. I couldn't wrap my nose brain around it from the sample. Its opening is really acidic to me. Thanks for the review.

10:05 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, no, you´re not alone - I like Kisu quite a bit :) I just don´t know how much...
Oh, & I also tried Aki, but I cannot say anything about it - well, nothing nice actually.
My first impression was. "Oh, no, I need air, fresh air, please!" ;) But others told me they liked it on me (& I read good things about the stuff, too).
So I always thought I should give Aki a second chance, before I say that it´s horrible or something like that.
The only problem is: It´s really hot over here & I think I´ve to wait until it gets a bit colder!
You know, I really want to like Aki ;)! I don´t know why, but I want to ;)

10:15 AM EDT  
Blogger boisdejasmin said...

Azzi Pickthall is not a perfumer. More like creative director. Agent Provocateur was created by Christian Provenzano.

11:21 AM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

I want that bottle, LOL! But it doesn't sound like my sort of thing, does it?

12:44 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

That makes the two of us! :-)
It's hot here too and awfully humid but I actually find Kisu very wearable in that sort of weather.

1:27 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

We should then alert luckyscent and sites like beatynyc to that mistake too, since they all credit Azzi Pickthall with creating Kisu. Which, I suppose, she has a right to, as a creative director, but I guess that should be specified.

1:31 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You know, I would not be terribly surprised if you actually liked this one. Really!

1:32 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

So nice to "see" you! Now, acidic opening does not sound like a good thing!

1:33 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Now the question is, was Kisu then not created by her either? She is billed with its creation practically everywhere where Kisu is mentioned. Hmm.

1:40 PM EDT  
Blogger boisdejasmin said...

I am fairly certain that she worked on Kisu, as she worked on Agent Provocateur. However, her role seems to be more like the artistic director and creative fragrance manager than the perfumer. The perfumer for Agent Provocateur is Christian Provenzano. I do not know who is the perfumer for Kisu. The issue with labeling who is responsible for any given fragrance is very complex, since composition may be started by one person, finished by another, and then reorchestrated by yet someone else. The role of creative fragrance managers is likewise important. In magazines and such, creative fragrance directors such as Karyn Khoury of Lauder, Sylvaine Delacourte of Guerlain are often cited are noses, which is of course not so. At any rate, the information on perfumers is very difficult to get, which is why there is so much incorrect information floating in the cyber space. It is best to double check everything, but of course that is not possible in every case.

Lovely review, by the way. I tried Kisu at BG and found it very pretty.

2:09 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am so glad you too think Kisu is pretty. I thought it was just Malena and me who liked it :-)

6:09 PM EDT  
Blogger Fulltiltredhead said...

I tried Kisu in New York at Sniffapalooza, and I loved it. The only reason I didn't buy it was that it had zero lasting power on my skin, and I could only buy one thing on that trip, so I wanted to wait for something a bit more potent. I haven't forgotten it, though. It's on my Wish List.

10:37 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You know, it has very good lasting power on my skin. It is actually quite tenacious. It is on my wish list too. I would have bought it just for the bottle alone :-)

10:39 PM EDT  
Blogger rockinruby said...

Hey - I know I'm late to the party on this one, but I LOVE me some Kisu. I smelled it at Sniffapalooza (waving to FTR!!) and for the first 15 minutes thought "eh". Then, around the 20 minute mark, I sniffed again and was smitten. Walked right back over to the nice SA who had presented it that morning at Bergdorf's and told her I wanted a bottle. "Um, we don't have it yet". Great. But she told me that Takishimaya had it! So I made sure to get there that afternoon, and made a beeline for the first SA I saw to get some, only to be told they didn't have it. Grrrrr. This was getting annoying. I told them the Bergdorf's SA swore they had it, so they called their perfume buyer, who came out to chat, and agreed to sell me her tester which had been sent in advance of the order and which was unused. Phew! The things I have to do to get me some perfume some days!!! Anyway, I really like it. It is warm and spicy and comforting. It always makes me feel as if I am wrapped in a cashmere blanket in front of a roaring fire sipping some sort of spiced something-or-other. It's a cold-weather comfort scent for me. Nothing Calvin Kleinish or 80s-ish about it on my skin!!!

11:48 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Great to know you like Kisu too. That makes 4 of us :-)
They should have given you that tester for free, that's what they should have done!

9:05 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as I know Kisu was difinitely created by Azzi and she also created the entire concept.

Azzi is also invoved in all Agent Provocateur fragrances and Chrtistian Provenzano is not declared as the creator of any of the Agent Provocateur fragrances.

4:13 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

KISU concept was created by TANN-ROKKA store owners Lisa Lee and Lisa Eastwood, the fragrance its self created by Christian Provenzano. Azzi Pickthall,was not the creator or concept desighner

9:48 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am crazy about Kisu having discovered purely by chance in Coco de Mer in Convent Garden. I always have a bottle at home. I never fail to be complemented on the delicious scent whenever I wear. It lasts forever on my skin.

1:15 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Azzi Glasser worked with Lisa Lee and Lisa Eastwood on creating the entire concept and fragrance of Kisu.

6:42 PM EST  

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