digging (into) vintage: K de Krizia, 1980

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(image Krizia dress, 1980s)

Perfumer Maurice Roucel

Discovering a chypre from the early 1980s that you’ve never tried is dicey. While it’s new to me, it’s by no means a new perfume, and has lived, loved and likely been reformulated a number of times, probably fatally. Hand a new fumie a current bottle of Diorella, she’ll sniff and then look at you and say, “This is the shit you’ve all been talking about?” And she’d be right to ask. The current stuff isn’t anything to rave about, or really even discuss.

There’s a whole generation of fumies for whom the the tragedy of reformulation means that their Miss Dior Chérie (or whatever it’s called at this point) has been tampered with and their Badgely Mischka has been unceremoniously discontinued.

IFRA (International Fragrance Association) regulations diminish the perfumer’s palette. However you come down on the ethics, evidence and outcomes of their restrictions, the IFRA hinders perfumers and has taken perfumes away from those who relish them.

I can’t find information on how to date this particular perfume, but I believe I have a vintish K de Krizia. I don’t remember the perfume, but I do remember the fashion. Christ the ’80s was a dreadful era of fashion. There’s a bit of a dry fruit feeling upfront, and an appropriate amount of Amber in the far dry down, but all the way along this baby is a soaring floral chypre. What seem like aldehydes provide the lift off, but once at altitude it’s the cold flowers that give buoyancy. I don’t know the ratio of oakmoss to treemoss to [insert mossy analogue], and god only knows what has been done to modulate the other toxic aromachemicals like bergamot, labdanum, but my K de Krizia passes all the functional tests of a chypre. It’s dry like a good martini, the florals are buttery yet sharp in tone. It’s like taking a long drag on a cigarette. Now THAT to me is a chypre.

K reminds me a bit of the mid-2000s Miss Dior. God knows how many variations of Miss Dior are out there, but the floral tone to the two is similar. K has less of the patchouli overdose, but in both perfumes the petals aren’t so much dried as freeze dried. They bite back a bit when you sniff your wrists. Your gift at the end of the day of a wearing of K is a starched soapy climax that seems as thought it might be hissing at you.

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