As usual I’ve a bit of a hard time with fragrances known for being “skanky”, “dirty”, “animalic” and in broader terms, “challenging”. Because they never really seem so to me. And this is the case of Kingdom, too. It’s a fantastic fragrance, that’s for sure, but I get really nothing dirty or skanky here. Either I’m too used to live in the dirt myself, or have dated particularly clean people, because I get really no smell of sweat or “ladies’ parts” (let alone “man’s crotches”) here, or whatever other kinky stuff. Kingdom seems to me basically a complex, yet actually surprisingly mannered blend revolving around notes of rose, sandalwood, musk and cumin with a dark ambery-mossy base accord, and a silky frame of whiter floral notes. Surely not a light scent, and I see how a hefty dose of rose combined with an equally generous dose of cumin on a thick load of musk and woods can result into something “carnal”, alluring, almost intoxicating, but it doesn’t really seem anything particularly “skanky” or challenging to wear to me. It’s just more very vibrant, warm, refined and sensual, surely much “human” and somehow “carnal”, but not exactly dirty to me. Also as I said, it seems actually quite more mannered and smooth than I thought – not a “bomb”, really. It’s surely rich and deep, but not loud or more powerful than many others. It’s very velvety actually. Most vintage chypres are way more dirty, loud and challenging than this.
Anyway, aside from the fact it smells truly good, absolutely quality and surprisingly versatile (not sure why but in some way, this reminds me of a rose-spicy version of Yohji Homme, with a touch of something androgynous), the reason why I really like Kingdom and consider it a totally worthy gem is because of its charming complexity. That kind of intricated complexity that presents you a very harmonic, balanced, perfectly consistent blend that at first seems almost comprising only a small bunch of notes... until you get captured into it, and thrown among the myriad of nuances it has. And it’s like in a well-written poem – everything is in the perfect place, with a perfect timing. You don’t even have to pay that attention actually; you can wear it and forget about it, it will all come to you. Eventually you’ll get whiffs and echoes of carnation, amber, mossy notes, gentle powdery-floral notes, hard spices, even something resembling to silky orange blossoms (I guess the top citrus-neroli notes combined with the “whiter/softer” side of musk), just as if you’re wearing a half dozen of different scents, with an astounding clarity even in the tiniest, most ephemeral details. And yet, you’re always wearing just this one. It’s a peculiar effect some scents have – to release “minor” notes and nuances erratically during their evolution, and yet to keep their, say, “main structure”. I mean, it’s not that it changes or evolves dramatically – ironically it doesn’t that much. A pretty linear scent, in fact. But it has this cinematic effect of releasing coming-and-going nuances throughout its evolution, behind the main consistent structure of rose-cumin-sandalwood-musk, which makes wearing Kingdom a captivating, vibrant, extremely fulfilling experience. And anyway it smells just great, deep and classy, it lasts long without being obtrusive or challenging. Total quality. Prices today are really crazy for this, but you wouldn’t probably regret the purchase – even just to keep it as a reference collector’s item (or a beautiful piece of design... I mean, look at that bottle!).
One look at the seductive red of the fragrance bottle is enough to understand the depths in which ALEXANDER MCQUEEN appropriate for audacious women. strong blend of oriental component with a light understated musk that is guaranteed drive your man wild.A spicy and sensual perfume with an edge and mystery.Strong,Fascinating,Magnetic,Insolent, Intriguing,Carnal and Seductive.
Fresh top notes blend neroli,mint and bergamot with a rich spicy&floral heart of rhubarb,celery seeds, ginger and rose and warm base by musk and oakmoss speaks clearly of a magic elixir for a bewitching woman who likes a perfume attracts the opposite sex.The scent definitely hits your nose with a bang in the first but totally it is not too heavy,just wonderful.
KINGDOM is a mysterious realm of temptation and intrigue.The bottle is a work of art.It is definitely a sensual and sexy perfume that should probably be worn for Evening and Special events because of it is boldness.Anyway if you are looking for a Sexy and irresistible for Saturday Night who passion is dominant,i would recommend this one.
Longevity?Very Good on my skin.
It has a spicy, woody and mysterious scent.
It is an oriental-spicy type of perfume.
I bought it merely out of curiosity.
Top notes are strong, but the drydown is a little better.
My husband liked it as a masculine scent.
It is a sophisticated perfume, but not in a good way.
Genre: Woody Oriental
Ah, the fearsome, cumin-drenched, armpit-reeking Kingdom!
So? Where is it?
Years of wearing scents like Muscs Koublaï Khan, Eau d’Hermès, Ungaro II, and Kouros must have left my nostrils very jaded, because Kingdom smells like a pleasantly spicy, sweet oriental scent on a vanilla-sandalwood foundation with a moderate animalic accent. I’m neither shocked nor scandalized, nor would I really expect anyone who’s enjoyed wearing Jicky, Chanel’s Cuir de Russie, Bal à Versailles, or Bandit to be either. It’s just not that far out of the box. What killed Kingdom, I suspect, was that McQueen (bravely) introduced it at a time when the mainstream feminine fragrance axiom was the candy-sweet fruity floral and the commercial men’s fragrance archetype was the ultra-sanitary, “fresh” aquatic scent or fruity fougère. (And make no mistake about it, Kingdom could just as well have been a “masculine” scent as a “feminine,” and is equally wearable for non-squeamish members of either gender.) This would have been popular on the niche market as a slightly heavier and more subdued alternative to Muscs Koublaï Khan. Too bad the general public didn’t have the stomach for it.
I pulled out my sample of the discontinued (?) Kingdom edp with the thought that I’d single it out in my general complaint of the misuse of cumin to attempt to recreate animalic notes. When cumin is used to imply animalic notes, it typically doesn’t work, smells fake and makes the perfume seem cheap. I can’t say that Kingdom entirely escapes this trap. My complaint isn’t that the cumin is strong, but that it doesn’t actually recreate the animalic, and therefore, seen simply as a heavy spice note, is imbalanced and out of place. As I revisit Kingdom, I still find that a spurious note sinks the fragrance, but its not the huge cumin topnote. The real culprit is the mushy-musky drydown that seems like a thwarted attempt to emulate sandalwood.
Francis Kurkjian’s Lumière Noire pour Homme made me rethink the use of cumin. It pairs a roasted cumin scent with rose and recreates the feel if not the exact scent of the rose chypres of the 1970s-1980s. Kingdom reads more as an oriental than a nouvelle chypre, but both show that cumin is more effective as a patchouli adjunct than as a castoreum/civet/musk parallel.
Colder days are here so I took out Kingdom and wore it today. Years later it still amazes me with its wild mixture of smells, I always find Kingdom a bit unruly and uncivilized (if a perfume can be described this way) and I enjoy it. A strange beauty .
A complete, well-done job from opening to drydown.