Tuesday, February 10, 2009


You simply cannot apply this perfume without noticing the vessel that contains it. It’s unconventional and uncomfortable, odd to hold, round and sharp, smooth and cold and doesn’t balance unless you lay it on the side, in which case it looks asymmetrically odd.
It radiates a Goth passion, a combination of lust and cruelness: the metal rounded quarter of an egg shaped, lead-hued metal in contrast to the blood-red transparent glass within which beats the cold-heart of a contemporary vixen.

It think this perfume, whether if you like it or not, speaks for the technologically-controlled era, when emotions are deeply repressed and condensed into simplified, powerful visuals and sometimes find their way out in a quite grotesque fashion.

The juice itself seemed controversial at the time: Kingdom starts off equally animalic and fresh: the cumin theme is immediately recognizable in the top notes, and is accompanied by mild green notes of bergamot and galbanum. The cumin fades to the background quickly, to make room for the light floral heart of soft rose and the green, citrus floralcy of Neroli.

The pure neroli cleanliness hints us to track down the base notes:
Sandalwood notes from down below become apparent fairly quickly and are quite fresh, rather than incense like. It almost radiates a masculine freshness.

Gradually the whole concoction warms up and a vanilla-amber note emerges, though very subtle. Not quite the sugared gourmand type vanilla, but a perfumey type. The cumin note is now very delicate, and is in the background simply to add a sensuous, animal roundness to the composition.

After the huge expectations set out by the packaging and the advertising campaign, I must admit I expected this perfume to be a lot more intense and sultry. Yes, the cumin hints to that direction, but overall I found Kingdom to be a rather clean, almost a single-note sandalwood fragrance. I find it to be a lot more masculine than feminine. I think this juice will work really well with some masculine sweat working itself up in the background. This might explain the nymph-orgy in Kingdom’s ad campaign, or not.

At the time I was curious to find how the parfum smells like – hoping it would be somewhat darker and deeper, outstandingly erotic. I now know that it’s very unlikely the concentration could help reduce the synthetic impact of crystalline woods, which as we can see now has become quite trendy. While Kingdom did not quite become the modern classic some thought it will be – it certainly had helped to bring orientals back into the mainsrem, even if with molecular manipulation that pales in comparison to their former selves – with woodsy notes that are sheer, flat, clean-musky and a lot simpler than full-blown natural wood essences are.

Top notes: Cumin, Galbanum, Bergamot
Heart notes: Rose, Neroli, Jasmine

Base notes: Sandalwood, Vanilla

Images courtesy of Fragrantica

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At February 11, 2009 6:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your review. Makes me want to revisit it were it not for my disliking of cumin. (not in food, just perfume!) Remember the days when Kingdom was discussed for days and days on POL?

At February 12, 2009 10:21 PM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

Thank you Trish!
I remember those days, it seemed to be all the rave and divide perfumistas. I like the cumin in Femme and Mitsouko EDP but Kingdom is overall too cold for me personally.

At April 10, 2013 10:19 AM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

Oh, and there was also Dinner by Bobo; which is still on my "to-review" list. It was supposedly so controversial, but smelled rather agreeable to me... Unlike you, Trish, I actually love cumin in perfume - when done well. Examples of such are Mitsouko EDP (a formulation that I'm not sure is still made with the cumin), Femme de Rochas (the reformulation), and most of all - Eau d'Hermes, which I LOVE.


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