Saturday, July 12, 2008

Cruel Intentions by Kilian

Cruel Intentions (2007) is one of the fragrances in By Kilian's L'Oeuvre Noir (the Black Masterpiece) collection (an interesting concept if it's taken from The Abyss (L'Oeuvre au noir), a French novel centered around the life of an alchemist). Could it be that the castoreum absolute that's listed in the notes is real castoreum? If so, the name of the perfume, Cruel Intentions, would be fitting. I'm going to assume that Kilian Hennessy is kind to animals and uses a synthetic substitute for the "absolute". As for the scent, this is a heavy one that gets more intense upon wear (so start with just a little bit on skin). At first, there's something about it that vaguely reminds me of my own creation, Persephone perfume: a deep, almost leathery note mixed with the sandalwood, a brooding blend. The notes also list agarwood aka oud (or aoud), a note often found in Middle Eastern perfumes (and in Montale perfumes such as Rose Petals), a heavy and resinous yet slightly astringent, dry incense-y note. I like the scent but I can see how many people would find it too "dirty" and "headshop" to wear. It might be an acquired taste. For me, it's a mood scent, as in I'm not always in the mood for it but I admire it and find it fascinating. I always like to smell it, not necessarily wear it if that makes sense. The warm, honeylike sweetness I initially find in Cruel Intentions pulls back and mellows as it dries down and leaves an impression that's very reminiscent of Robert Piguet Bandit, a bitter, rich and powdery, intricate and aldehydic-animalic perfume leaning towards green (in Cruel Intentions, violet sharpens it in that regard). Although I'd say this is a thoroughly animalic retro-type of composition, there's something uniquely modern about it as well. I like this Kilian fragrance very much - it's the extreme polar opposite of my other favorite, Love by Kilian, and to me, it has just as much character.

Notes on Luckyscent:
Bergamot calabria oil, orange blossom oil, violet accord, centifolia rose absolute, agarwood, Indian papyrus oil, gaiacwood oil, Haiti vetiver oil, sandalwood, styrax absolute, castoreum absolute, vanilla absolute, musk

Read more about By Kilian here: All in a stink about perfume - Dung, sweat and druggy sex are the next new scents by Derek McCormack, Canwest News Service - Published: Saturday, March 15, 2008.