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.
On a mountain top in Rajasthan grows a Tree of Life whose mighty body is made of smoky sandalwood. Gnarled roots of oak and rosewood dig into patchouli earthiness, while its limbs bear bright, yellow citruses. Higher up, hidden amidst a canopy of more patchouli leaves, lie rosy flowers that drip a dark plummy liqueur. Natives come from far and wide, bearing gifts of incense that they burn in tribute to the magnificent tree that they call “Richwood.”
Richwood is a stunning sandalwood fragrance that grabs your attention from the start with its smoky woods, spicy patchouli, and an aromatic booziness that veers between oak-soaked cognac and plummy liqueur. It is an eau de parfum from the Italian luxury house of Xerjoff (pronounced as “Zer-joff”), which was founded in 2004 by Sergio Momo. Officially called “XJ Richwood,” the fragrance was release in 2010 as part of the XJ 17/17 Stone Label Collection whose name refers to the stone labels on the handcrafted bottles. It is intended to be a more affordable option than the collection’s original packaging which consisted of extremely expensive, limited-edition Murano glass art or quartz. According to Now Smell This, XJ Richwood (hereinafter just “Richwood“) was created by Jacques Flori, the nose behind Amouage’s Opus IV and Jovoy’s Psychedelique, among other scents. And it is really quite something.