(image source A Mouthful of Pennies)
Perfumer Josh Lobb
(The below is 18 hours after wearing and sleeping in Kiste. I usually wait a bit to write about a perfume, but not today.)
There is an entire wing of niche perfumery whose strategy is to reverse-engineer Slumberhouse perfumes and then try to replicate their results. This is a losing strategy for any number of reasons, principally for the cheapness of disregarding process and wanting an end product without the requisite start and middle.
Slumberhouse perfumes can be difficult, conceptually and practically. Ore isn’t an easy ‘daily wear’ and Jeke would make a demanding signature fragrance. Slumberhouse perfumes take backbone to wear and I inwardly gird my loins when I put on Sova or Sadanne. They aren’t simple or easy.
If perfumer Josh Lobb’s goal is to play with our expectations as much as our desires, he’s succeded. Kiste isn’t simple, but it is effortless. I can surmise the work that must have gone into making this perfume but I don’t feel it.
I’m listening to Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong as I write. The groundedness, the keenness of their talent, the complexities of their success in their era. It’s all there in the music, but listening to it is a breeze. I don’t listen to this music because I don’t want a challenge. I listen to it to remind myself that life is good.
Peach, sweet-tea, bourbon, tobacco, hay. The Southern connection might be in the notes, but it’s also in the pace of the experience. Kiste is a sippin’ whiskey of a perfume. Potent but smooth, satisfying from start to finish.
Ease is not a lack of ambition. Kiste is the reflection of a mid-career artist stretching his legs. It covers a lot of ground in a golden, lustrous range of late afternoon tones. The allusions to fruit, honey, old-fashioned ‘miracle elixirs’, tobacco and liquor swirl around you. There is a lot of movement in the first few hours of Kiste, but it fine-tunes into a goldilocks ‘just right’ drydown that is less sweet and more medicinal than the top and heartnotes lead me to expect. Complexity reads as intricacy rather than complication.