Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Spicy And Sacred (Perfume Review: Sacred Wood, By Killian)

I was reading a lot of great notices about By Killian's Sacred Wood when it first came out that I was excited to sniff it. I remember being at Lucky Scent in Los Angeles and as soon as I entered the store, it was the first thing I wanted to sniff. That may or may not have contributed to my initial disappointment to it. Maybe I was expecting too much - sandalwood is a favorite note and I had heard this smelled like a different kind of sandalwood, although it's nose, Calice Becker, likens it to the Mysore sandalwood, which is of course, not used anymore in perfumery. I breathed a sigh of relief at that time: the By Killian price points always frighten me, and I thought, the more I don't like, the better. But the folks at Lucky Scent still gave me a sample vial of it, and I have taken my time to sample it again, and I also wanted a purer wearing: no distractions, just me and Sacred Wood: a proper wearing, if you will. So for better or worse, here goes: I like it a lot more now than then. The first thing I noticed when I first put it on is its spicy opening. There is an underlying woodsy sandalwood there, but it felt like it was on bonfire - there's cumin that rounds it up and adds a little mustard-y edge to the wood. In the beginning, it is not a pretty wood - its scarred, choppy, even a little angry. Wearing it on a summer night gave it more edge (i wonder if I would feel the same way on a winter night)  But then after that initial interesting stage it calms down to something cedar-y. I don't get the "milky" element that a lot of people get - perhaps I was looking for that tonka bean milk accord that I dislike. The scent becomes more ethereal, but that fire-y spicy ambiance never leaves me (maybe its the desert location?) and that is what is making it more appealing for me. A lot of people also compare this to Diptyque's Tam Dao, but I felt that is more "traditional" sandalwood than this one. This feels edgier. Am I contemplating getting it? For sure, of course, but with the dreaded By Killian price point, I am not rushing. But get me a discounted offer, and I will be quicker than Speedy Gonzales.

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