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    jtd's avatar

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    Kingdom by Alexander McQueen

    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 Lumičre 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.

    30th November, 2012

Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000