Kiki by Vero Profumo

Year: 2007

Notes: bergamot, lemon, blackcurrant, lavender, geranium, patchouli, opopanax, caramel, ambergris, musk

Comment: Parfum extrait review

There are a couple of intriguing aspects about Kiki – the unorthodox combination of lavender and caramel, and the clarity of the lavender itself. With a nod towards the Guerlain classic, Jicky, this gourmand lavender offering is compelling in its own right.

With a vibrant fruity opening, the caramel never overpowers the acerbic lavender, creating a gourmand backdrop that complements (yet is in contrast with) the dry and austere properties of the lavender. The balance between the herbaceous aspect (partly highlighted by the geranium, with quite possibly the addition of rosemary) and its general sweetness is perfectly proportioned, while the other components are just as smoothly blended.

But there's no barbershop association or cloying sweetness in the vicinity, as the composition follows a largely linear path. Sweetening further as it evolves, any verdancy soon subsides, a hint of opopanax provides a subtle resinous dimension and the lavender continues to intensify its presence. By the time the musk cocktail makes itself known, both the lavender and caramel are still faintly there.

Like Serge Lutens' Gris Clair, one has to be able to fully appreciate the creative possibilities in which lavender can be employed in perfumery. And although one doesn't feel compelled to even consider purchasing Kiki, it's still the most appealing out of Vero Kern's three olfactory statements.