WHAT I SMELL: Tigre du Bengale opens with a sweetened juniper which very quickly moves into a lightly incensed and peaceful labdanum. I was expecting a leap from a tiger at first application. Instead, the perfume moves in like a cat ready to lie down for a nap; all comfy and cozy. The perfume is relatively close to the skin and a bit powdery, but as it starts to develop it becomes a bit more exotic with a slightly urinous note that sharpens the original softness, but not too much. There’s a light leather note that wraps itself around the perfume, just as this strange dirty feet smell comes into play. Thankfully, it’s not overpowering, but it does add a bit of funk to the mix. Soon enough that bit of funk exits the mix and the perfume becomes more woody, with just a lightly sweetened edge of patchouli. And it once again moves from a bit of sharp to the more serene and smoky. And as soon as I say that, a salty note enters along with a light cream. Wait….now we’re back to a serene and smoky dry leather. It seems that there a lot of twists and turns with Tigre du Bengale, and there are, but these twists and turns morph and change like the walk of a jungle cat, slow and steady with in an incredible prowl.
The Bengal tiger uses its claws to barkstrip trees and urinates on the pile of woodchips as a monument of territory. The scent of this tribute transmits highly complex messages to other tigers about its sex, size and social status. This spicy leather fragrance opens with a dry-aromatic “coke” accord, gradually turning into a liquorice accord, with the heart of myrrha and labdanum absolute leading to a soft erogenous balsamic dry down.
Toscanol, Safranal, Nimberol, Ambrofix and Suederal
Head: Juniper, cardamom,
Heart: Myrrha, labdanum
Fond: Castoreum, burley tobacco, patchouli
Gloria Swanson 1920s
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: Tigre du Bengale is less tiger, but more vamp.
THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE TIGRE DU BENGALE: sultry, mysterious, come-hither
BOTTOM LINE: Tigre du Bengale is one of those perfumes that each time I bring my wrist to my nose it smells different. Sometimes, it smells more like incense, other times it’s more leather. At other times it’s a bit sweetened. In any case, the drydown is a winner and I can see this being a perfect fall and winter fragrance. And maybe come the cool months, the tiger stripes will once again change and morph into something else that I have yet to experience.
INTOXICATED – WHAT I SMELL: Intoxicatedopens with a boozy burnt coffee note that is sweet, yet flattened. It feels like it’s been sprinkled with dry nutmeg and it has a rather marshmallow thickness consistency about it. It makes me want to fire up my espresso machine, because this would make for a nice after dinner drink to go with a hot cup of coffee. As Intoxicated starts to develop, it becomes a bit nuttier, richer and it begins to rise and jump off the skin, growing with projection each minute. There’s a nice herbal quality that rests like a haze on top the layered fragrance and a bit of sweet and light caramel emerges giving it more dimension. As time progresses, the light booziness retreats, but the roasted coffee and nuttiness remains. After around a half and hour, a light vetiver appears, bringing just a bit of sharpness into the mix. As it keeps developing, it turns from the gourmand to a more woody creation. But the great thing about the by Kilian fragrances is that they are so supremely finished and silky smooth so that the different variations in the fragrance make the notes hard to define and pin down.
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: The most luxurious S’more with a lightly sweet refined cocoa’d chocolate with the finest of graham crackers. And when you’ve finished eating the lovely concoction, the warm, sweet and fired remains of the treat linger in the air.
THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE INTOXICATED: smooth, delicious, suave
LIGHT MY FIRE – WHAT I SMELL: Light My Fire opens with this dry hay like tobacco and honey. Quickly, a cumin notes comes in along with the patchouli. It’s dry and a bit sour. The honey isn’t thick, but more like a dried and crackled glaze over the hay. It’s rather comforting to me, as it’s a bit dusty too…as if the perfume has been stored in an old barn. Along with the honey, there seems to creep out a bit of a brown sugar note. There’s a tender sweetness about the fragrance that’s very muted which I find quite nice and heart-warming. After around 10 minutes, a putty note appears giving Light My Fire a bit of thickness. At this point, the initial hay that brought in the dryness begins to be filled instead with a more woody note which isn’t quite as devoid of moisture, but it’s still rather dry. Light My Fire doesn’t transform all that much, but it’s such a nice and relaxing fragrance, the kind that’s good for soothing one’s soul. Don’t get me wrong though, as relaxing as this is, there is still some power and projection behind it.
Light My Fire Notes: cumin, hay, patchouli, vetiver, honey, vanilla and tobacco
Late Day, Late Summer – Jan Schmuckal
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: A late summer day, where the ground is rather dry as you lay under a big tree while the sun streams all around you.
THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE LIGHT MY FIRE: peaceful, contented, contemplative
SMOKE FOR THE SOUL – WHAT I SMELL: Smoke for the Soul opens big with this warmed eucalyptus topped by a nutty tobacco. It’s quite thick and a bit chewy and somewhat burnt around the edges. After a bit, it begins to dry and it becomes more burnt, like the sticks of wood are actually firing up on your skin. A birch note begins to appear almost as if the already flaky bark is falling off of the perfume exposing a more sharpened cannabis note that’s quite pungent and sour. The fragrance then dries out and becomes pure wood. However, the wood continues its slow burn with a slight smoky and sharp finish sitting above a vetiver base.
Smoke for the Soul Notes: eucalyptus, grapefruit, tobacco, mate, birch, cashmirwood, cannabis and cardamom
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: burnt twigs
THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE SMOKE FOR THE SOUL: crackling, aromatic, burnt
BOTTOM LINE: With the by Kilian name, you’re getting luxury not only in a scent, but also in the packaging. This new collection is no exception as each perfume comes in a case designed to look like a luxurious cigar holder. Intoxicated and Light my Fire are really smooth, refined and perfectly finished and live up to the by Kilian brand. Smoke for the Soul plays “which one of these is not like the others” with the other two. It’s nice, but it just doesn’t feel like it fits into the mix. In any case, overall, a very nice collection.
Expense: $270 for 50ml Eau de Parfum (each sold separately)