KL opens on a huge candied mandarin accord before filling out into a voluptuous, spicy-sweet oriental in an unapologetically bold, colorful style that has few proponents these days outside of Serge Lutens. Though soundly 1980s in flavor, KL is not oppressively loud. In fact, for a public used to wearing and smelling Angel, it’s actually quite polite in sillage and projection.
All the usual suspects are present: amber, vanilla, indolic orange blossom, a touch of animalic musk, cinnamon and cloves. The notes are extremely well blended, so that KL comes off as a seamless, monolithic structure. Given KL’s sheer heft and intense sweetness, the liability involved is a certain tedium. The volume might not be offensive, but the looming, featureless presence becomes unsettling after an hour, then outright irritating after two. KL lacks the kind of complexity, eccentric edginess, or provocative accents that sustain interest in equally bold, sweet orientals like Eau Lente, Shaal Nur, Ambre Sultan, or Fumerie Turque. It’s a nice enough scent, but not something I’d be compelled to revisit.
Oriental Spice cake
My mother wore this one in the early eighties, i remember this one was very sweet (like a syrup)
It always remindend me of a Spicemarket with occasional intoxicating sweet fruits.
Great fragrance of that era!
Pros: Ultra oriental very addictive scent
My Mom loved this one. She has great, almost intuitive tastes in fragrance. So I think it's a great loss that this one was discontinued. It was truly an excellent spicy floriental. Clearly inspired by Opium as were so many of the spicy perfumes of the 80's. I hate to admit it (because I adore Opium) but I think this one was just a little bit better than YSL's Opium. It was a touch smoother, a bit lighter, a little less somber and thus happier than Opium. But still just as complex and intriguing. It was warm and friendly yet still glam...like a saucy rich dame in a mink coat who wasn't above having a drink with the help.
And that packaging! You could point to that and say: "This was the 80's".
The original KL was my signature winter daytime scent in the early/mid 80's (Opium at night). It was intense, spicy & had slight orange smell to it. They made lots of goodies to go with it (dusting powder, shower jell, creme ect) that layered well together. Sadly they reformulated it to a watery version. The original came in a beautiful art deco style bottle. I miss it!
16th September, 2012 (last edited: 17th September, 2012)
I loved this when it came out in 1982 and it's the only mandarin top-note scent I've ever smelt. I do miss it. I also loved the packaging - I remember having the dusting powder in the grey fan shaped box which was gorgeous and got re-used for storage when I finished the powder. This also makes me think of other lovely bath and body ranges there used to be but are no more. What happened to them? Guerlain and Dior I'm looking at you!
The current bottle I purchased in 2009 seems to have undergone reformulation.
Top-notes are still there, the interesting mandarine burst giving way to the spicier parts of the fragrance - but a lot seems to be missing from the 80's original. Smelling this fragrance today and wearing it, too, feels uncomfortable and having finished the bottle some minutes ago, I see no need to replace it. Nevertheless, KL still smells much better than many of the recent trendy releases marketed as "sexy" or "seductive" (take the latest "Guilty" by Gucci as an example".)