|Source: Hayley Armagost on Pinterest|
As for my reaction to the By Kilian line, every blogger who has ever posted about their perfumes has probably had a comment from yours truly bemoaning the headache-inducing 'house fug acccord' that killed this range for me. Liaisons Dangereuses - which I would liken to Poison for the Noughties - was the worst offender, but I remember having 'fug issues' during my brief encounters with Love, Beyond Love and one or two others. Interestingly, I have experienced no such problem with later releases, such as Love and Tears or Sweet Redemption, to name but two, so I can only assume it is a stylistic hallmark of the early years. By a similar token, the early Mona di Orios were all kinds of wrong on me - I still shudder at the memory of my Nuit Noire 'necklacing' incident - but I went on to love several of the Nombres d'Or collection.
The other slightly annoying thing about this brand - apart from the price and the preposterous promo shots of a snake-draped Kilian Hennessey - is the opaque packaging. Very unhelpful for anyone attempting to sell a partial bottle at a later date. Though props to the brand for its tassles. Yet overall I have largely tuned out to By Kilian, and though I was recently in Augsburg, where the niche perfumery Naegele has a whole wall devoted to the line, I didn't make any effort to go there this time - and didn't even point it out to Val, though we passed close by. 'Friends before perfume'...? Well, before By Kilian perfume, for sure.
|NO, IT ISN'T!!!!|
But two things happened recently to prompt me to revisit this brand. Firstly, not so long ago, Tara was sending me some bits and bobs, and enclosed a packet of my own By Kilian samples which I vaguely remembered having given to someone. Not to Tara, as it transpired, but to Holly Cranmer at the time of her visit in August, and now she was giving them back, having presumably also had a poor hit rate with the line. So for a while the little bag of vials, with their distinctive calligraphic script, sat on my desk, awaiting transferral to long term storage / purgatory. But before I got round to doing that, a chance reference to the tuberose note in Carnal Flower during the German tour - which was greeted by a chorus of 'Oh, tuberose, that's a nice scent' - made me think to tentatively retry the (to me, still) very scary tuberose perfume in the By Kilian stable, Beyond Love, Prohibited.
And guess what? It wasn't scary. There was no discernable fug. No headache ensued. But rather, I fell hard for this heady, coconut-tinged, almost gourmand tuberose soliflore, which Luca Turin dubbed 'tuberose tuberose' in Perfumes The Guide, citing it as the greatest example of the note.
"Calice Becker has composed a straight-up tuberose using the best absolute from India, with touches of other notes (magnolia iris) used only to narrow the gap between the extract and the fresh flower. The result is the best tuberose soliflore on earth."
Notes: coconut accord, Egyptian jasmine absolute, tuberose concrete, tuberose absolute, green tuberose, tuberose petals accord, ambergris, tonkin musk.
Yes, it was creamy, in an oozing patisserie kind of a way. I pictured a cream slice, but with white custard. To my mind's eye, this is a very white, yet warm and enveloping scent. Evocative of a tropical beach holiday, so arguably not the best fit for a rainswept night in Bristol, which is where I decided to give my sample its first ever public outing.
Then I remembered that Caryne had asked me to wear Love and Tears, its jasmine-foward counterpart, at a gig some time, so she could gauge whether that was the intensity of jasmine she was looking for on her own, vegan jasmine perfume quest. (Ongoing, and a bit of a tall order it seems.) So anyway, Janus-like, I decided to wear Love and Tears on the back of my neck, and Beyond Love everywhere else. I sense that there may be a piquant psychological metaphor in the near juxtaposition of these two scents, but I can't quite put my finger on it. It certainly made for some comedy moments in the pre-gig milling as I proffered both the front and nape of my neck for interested parties to sniff. Both perfumes got the thumbs up, with Beyond Love deemed more suitable for evening wear.
|Mazzie and Simon|
I resniffed the same fans who had attended one of the Berlin gigs wearing Chanel pour Monsieur and Aromatics Elixir respectively. This time Simon was in Clinique Chemistry - which I thought was a wind up, but it turns out to be its real name! - while Mazzie was in a peppery poppy perfume from the Body Shop, which smelt delightful on her. Caryne herself was wearing a sample of a patchouli scent from L'Erbolario, purchased at the same time as my bottle of Méharées.
The next day, on a whim, I morphed into a reverse Janus, wearing Beyond Love on the back of my neck and Love and Tears everywhere else. ;) Oh, after further reading on the Interwebs I have just realised that these two are part a collection of love themed perfumes, which comprises: Prelude to Love, Invitation, Love, Don't be shy, Beyond Love, Prohibited, and Love and Tears, Surrender. Me being me, I appear to have skipped the preamble and jumped into this series just as it gets interesting...;)
So yes, beyond hate lay a surprise love for this tuberose beauty. I don't anticipate that there will be a 'beyond Beyond Love' phase, but I will soon have finished my sample at this rate, so - given the prices and general hoo-hah surrounding this brand - there will imminently be a 'Beyond Wearing' phase. And possibly a few tears about that...
|Bonus tassle pic specially for Tara!|