Genre: Fruity Floral
J’Adore meets Parfum Sacré, but nothing particularly sinful transpires.
In the City of Sin launches on a whiff of pepper and a very sweet bergamot top note, then transitions quickly to an accord of rose, syrupy fruit, incense, and patchouli. The rose, pepper, and incense combination found some of its finest early expression in Caron’s Parfum Sacré, but In the City of Sin relegates its incense and pepper to supporting roles, giving pride of place instead to fruit and patchouli. The fruity rose/patchouli accord has its own precedents in scents like Bond No. 9’s West Side and the much more complex and elegant Amouage Lyric Woman, but In the City of Sin is a far, far sweeter and sunnier composition than either.
Reading through this last paragraph, I see that “very sweet” crops up more than once, suggesting that the sin in this city is that of gluttony. Yet for all their sweetness, the fruit notes here smell more chemical than edible - the same sort of artificial quality I perceive in Calice Becker’s earlier J’Adore. The artificial fruit completely overwhelms the incense, steering what might have been a woody rose oriental à la Parfum Sacré or a fruity “modern chypre” in the Badgley Mischka manner into well-trodden fruity floral territory.
Only after three or four hours does the fake fruit begin to subside, yielding the limelight back to patchouli, rose and incense. As these notes too recede, the drydown lands on a mild and not terribly exciting blend of soft cedar and clean white musk. Inasmuch as this scent covers territory Calice Becker long ago explored in J’Adore, and given the cloying artificial nature of its dominant fruity notes, I can’t recommend In the City of Sin. If the idea of rose and incense sounds appealing, try Parfum Sacré, Lyric Woman, or Cabaret by Grès. If you want a cheerful, fruity, liqueur-like rose, skip In the City of Sin and try Serge Lutens’s La Fille de Berlin instead.
A pleasant surprise for me! I don't know what exactly I was expecting, but with a trashy name like In the City of Sin, let's say I was prepared to be underwhelmed. But this is quite good. Smelling it blind, I first got an rush of alcohol and cedar to the nose. The cedar was quite strong, and reminded me immediately of Tam Dao EDT. Just as I was beginning to think "Is that it?"', the cedar faded away and was replaced by a pungent, mealy spice - I guessed cumin, because of that slightly dirty, dusty aspect it has, but I see that I am wrong, and that it is cardamon. The cardamon here does not feel lemony-woody to me as it usually does, though. Whatever the spice is, it adds this lovely skanky, dissolute air to the whole thing that I appreciate. Oh! I just got the reference to the sin in the name, I suppose. I like a light touch of cumin in scents, especially in fruity floral scents like this, because it adds a raunchy undertone that contrasts nicely with all the pretty flowers and fruits.
The heart and dry down is a musky mixture of rose and fruits (plum or apricots), and it comes perilously close to the ambrette-rose-fruits accord in Chanel No. 18. In fact, at times, they seem identical. There is no ambrette used here though, so the cumin or cardamon stands in to provide the skanky, musky effect that ambrette achieves for the Chanel. Very nice, overall. But since it's 195 euros for 50mls, I think I'll stick to the Chanel, of which I have 30mls in various decants.
Floral-Incense and cedar is what I detect..The fruity aspects of apricot and plum are non detectable to my nose.. The Turkish Rose element gives off a unisex appeal combined with the basenotes.. Like most By Kilian's the projection is weak while the sillage is 6-8 hours..Very well balanced scent but leaves a lot to be desired..
Its very well blended, complex, opens up with peppery green cardamon note,,light at the same time, and transforms from green into floral, mild, gentle feminine note, all is a bit too light or transparent.....
Walks a very fine line between "twinge" and "cringe." There are dark notes and there are bright notes, and the significance of both aren't inconsequential by any means, because this is a formula where everything matters and everything is necessary and essential -- that is to say, it's cleverly composed. It's not subtle, not by any means, but it's very well blended. I like this fragrance very much, oddly, as it is completely not "me," but it is definitely distinct, and it's definitely succinct.
20th March, 2013 (last edited: 09th May, 2013)