I was stunned to wake up this morning to news that LVMH, the parent company of Guerlain, has shut down the Monsieur Guerlain website, as well as his Facebook page, Twitter account, and YouTube account. The news was reported by the perfume blog, PerseFume, in a post on its Facebook page. It states that the action was taken without any notice or prior warning by LVMH to Monsieur Guerlain. The news of the shut-down has been confirmed elsewhere.
Royal Leather, the latest fragrance from By Kilian, was a surprise. I thought it was actually interesting, and that’s not a word I think I’ve ever used for a Kilian fragrance. It’s a brand that, in all honesty, does little for me as a general rule because its signature seems to be mere smoothness and refinement rather than originality or bold character. But Royal Leather doesn’t follow the usual Kilian pattern of taking a typical, conventional bouquet and simply making it smoother than things from other brands. It’s bolder than many of its siblings and a little more interesting in its composition as well because it forgoes the usual Russian style of endlessly smoky, tarry birch leather and adds a few quirky twists, like juxtaposing hawthorn with heliotrope. Admittedly, the end result still resembles a smoother form of one or two fragrances from other perfume houses, but those scents are outliers from the typical leathers I encounter. And, I have to say, Royal Leather has a killer drydown.
Al-Kimiya is the latest brand from Sergio Momo, the founder of Xerjoff, Casamorati, and Sospiro. In America, Luckyscent calls it Kemi, but that seems to be the exception to the rule. “Al-Kimiya” means “alchemy” in Arabic, and the house launched in 2014 with eight fragrances, each bearing a name derived from alchemical or Arabic traditions. (As a side note, “Al-Kimiya” is also the name of an unrelated collection from Parfums d’Orsay.) Out of Al-Kimiya or Kemi’s eight fragrances, four are eau de parfums, two are parfums, and two are attars or concentrated perfume oils (CPOs). Tempest is one of the attars, while Layla is one of the eau de parfums. I’ll take a look at each in turn.
Glenlivet and the distilled spirit of the Scottish Highlands are the inspiration behind Spirit of the Glen, an evocative fragrance from the American indie brand, D.S. & Durga. It’s part of a trio that comprise the HYLNDS Collection, and I thought that the concepts behind both the fragrance and the Collection itself to be fascinating. Really, I loved them, so I hope you’ll forgive a brief digression into the details.
According to the copy quoted on First in Fragrance, the HYLNDS Collection “seeks to recall the myth infused lands of Northern Europe. Tracing legends from antiquity, the Iron and Viking Age, HYLNDS fragrances are made with an in depth research into historical documents, aromatic analysis of real places, and the artistic creation of the Celtic, Norse, Manx, and Anglo peoples.” The story behind Spirit of the Glen may be even cooler, at least for a scotch drinker. Luckyscent says it arose out of an actual collaboration between perfumer David Moltz and Glenlivet “to craft a fragrance worthy of their flagship 18-year aged whisky.” As he explains on DS & Durga, to bottle the scent of their famous Speyside single malt, The Glenlivet 18, he went so far as to use accords “from all aspects of whisky production” right down to “charred bourbon barrel” and touches of “sherry cask.”