By Kilian A Taste of Heaven : Absinthe Verte Perfume Review

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Absinthe

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Rub a sprig of lavender with your fingertips and inhale. Initially, the impression is green, resinous, something between salty pine needles and spicy herbes de Provence. Yet, almost immediately, one can notice a warm, sweet note reminiscent of candied almonds and vanilla. The contrasted nature of lavender lends itself to many interesting combinations and effects. In by Kilian A Taste of Heaven, the lavender stars in a main role as seductive aromatic note that bridges the effervescence of the top notes with the velvety darkness of oakmoss and tonka bean.

Created in 2007 by perfumer Calice Becker, who is responsible for most of the fragrances in the by Kilian collection, A Taste of Heaven is a beautiful combination of classical oriental and fougère elements. It follows in the tradition of Guerlain Jicky and Caron Pour Un Homme in its gilded treatment of the lavender note. If one’s common lavender reference is the ubiquitous masculine sports fragrance, A Taste of Heaven should be smelled, if only to experience a beautiful lavender absolute note. It is rich, nuanced, with a delicious interplay of salty darkness and hay sweetness. Together, the effect borders on gourmand, with all of its teasing and beguiling sensations.

The first impression of A Taste of Heaven is of a modern day Jicky with its aromatic sparkle of peppery bergamot and green, camphorous herbs. The lavender accord, which is built on several different lavender notes, is a bold and vibrant presence. Sometimes, lavender attains a musky, salty effect, which I find seductive on men and slightly too pungent on my own skin. A Taste of Heaven goes through this phase, yet it lasts for a brief moment, before the voluptuous sweetness of the vanilla and tonka bean fills the luminous spaces of the composition. The earthy darkness of oakmoss and patchouli further deepen the timbre of A Taste of Heaven, offsetting its initial high pitched melody. Although described as being inspired by bitter absinthe, I find A Taste of Heaven to hint of Pernod drunk on an open veranda, with scents of thyme, wild fennel and the sea hanging in the warm evening air. If that is not a vision of heaven, I do not know what is.

By Kilian A Taste of Heaven: Absinthe Verte (L’Oeuvre Noire Collection) includes notes of bergamot, orange blossom, absinthe, geranium, lavender, rose, costus, patchouli, oakmoss, amber, tonka bean, and vanilla. By Kilian fragrances are sold from Aedes, MiN, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks5thAvenue. $135, 4 x .25oz spray refills and portable flacon; $225, 50ml spray bottle.

Sample: my own acquisition

Image credit: MPernod & Fils by Charles Maire.

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15 Comments

  • hongkongmom: Guess where I will be this summer!!! Yep, at Bergdorfs sniffing. This sounds right u my alley. Thanks again for a great review and…adding to m lemming list! May 16, 2011 at 4:08am Reply

  • Donald: i wish i could try this perfume May 16, 2011 at 6:35am Reply

  • allison: This sounds amazing, and like something I would love, but I just hate the packaging of this line so much I doubt it will be something I purchase. I hate to be so superfical, but that part of the experience is important to me and I find these bottle so very tacky. May 16, 2011 at 8:57am Reply

  • nstephens@beachcroft.com: Your vision of heaven as conjured by this scent is one I second whole heartedly. I love Jicky and Pour Un Homme and Vero Kern’s Kiki (extrait) so am a sucker for a good lavender note. I must retry this one as when I initially sampled the by Kilian’s my head was turned by Liasons Dangereuses.
    Nicola May 16, 2011 at 9:03am Reply

  • Victoria: Also try their Oud series, which are the best ouds I have smelled from a Western company.
    I also love Prelude to Love, an orange blossom-iris cologne. May 16, 2011 at 10:28am Reply

  • Victoria: I hope that you will have a chance, they are worth sampling. May 16, 2011 at 10:28am Reply

  • Victoria: I admit that I love the black, heavy glass packaging, but I do not like the price. I wish they were packaged in simpler bottles and sold for something a bit more reasonable. On the other hand, the refill is a great deal. I bought a set of refills of Beyond Love as a gift for someone, and she loved. May 16, 2011 at 10:30am Reply

  • Victoria: Then, I think that you will enjoy it, Nicola. It is definitely in the same ballpark as Jicky and Pour Un Homme, and the lavender absolute note is so amazing, I feel that I could wear it on its own.
    Just a beautiful fragrance overall! I got a sample for my husband, but mostly I ended up wearing it myself (he liked it too though.) May 16, 2011 at 10:31am Reply

  • Grusheczka: Nice pick to start off the week! I feel like this particular fragrance has been getting mixed word of mouth, being compared to men’s aftershave and similar products, which I feel it doesn’t deserve. I love its musky herbaceous notes anchored by the warm vanilla-amber base. My skin amplifies musky notes which means that initially, this is very strong, but I can get past that to enjoy the fabulous drydown. It’s my favorite fragrance from this brand next to Love and Tears and Beyond Love. Thank you for the review 🙂 May 16, 2011 at 10:52am Reply

  • Victoria: You and I have similar tastes. Those two (and A Taste of Heaven) are my favorites too. I also agree that it does not deserve at all any comparisons to masculine aftershaves. On men (or rather, one man in particular who tends to be around me most often!) I find A Taste of Heaven to be very alluring, with the cool aromatic notes twisted around the delicious tonka bean. On me, the moss-amber-tonka predominate in the drydown. All in all, I love it! May 16, 2011 at 11:08am Reply

  • iodine: I’ve just quickly smelled a few of by Kilian’s perfumes and, as a general impression I think they are too tame and safe to have such long names and such price! Beyond Love strucks me as a great simple and bright tuberose, but I was unimpressed by the orange blossoms one, very clean, and I’ve been put off by a sharp “shampoo” note in Love and Tears… This one seems very interesting,though, I love lavander. May 17, 2011 at 4:52am Reply

  • Victoria: I agree that they are not as avant-garde as some other niche scents, but for my part, I am glad to have a collection of elegant, high quality fragrances. Of course, YMMV, as is always the case with fragrance!
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile May 17, 2011 at 10:39am Reply

  • Donelle: I bought this after a sample a couple of years back, it is truly delicious and one of the best warm weather perfumes I own. Lasts about 11 hours on me. When they work, By Kilian fragrances are supreme, fortunately for my bank balance a lot of them don’t but those that do and for which I must save for are Love and Back to Black. Definitely if you like Jicky, this could be your summer equivalent, you northern hemisphere girls! May 19, 2011 at 5:43pm Reply

  • Victoria: Back to Black is another favorite. I love its modern Tabu aura.
    I wish by Kilian would cut back on the luxury packaging though and offer these at a more reasonable price. I love the bottles, of course, but I would be just as happy with something simpler. May 19, 2011 at 5:55pm Reply

  • Lisa: Calice will be in Saks NYC tomorrow – have a personalized consultation with her for the Oscar de la Renta Essential Luxuries line. Lferguson@ odlr.com to book appt. 12-2 May 9, 2013 at 5:37pm Reply

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