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Kinski - You had me at Geza… - November 23, 2015

I am fascinated by Geza Schoen. The Berlin-based nose is hugely talented and has created fragrances for high-profile houses like Diesel and FCUK, and for smaller niche lines like Ormonde Jayne, Anat Fritz and biehl parfumkunstwerke.

I find his collaborative choices interesting too. Take his work for Escentric Molecules, or try the Ephemera fragrances he created as part of by Unsound’s scent/sound performance project, and then there’s Paper Passion – the collaboration of a publisher, a designer and a perfumer to create the olfactory experience of freshly printed books.

He sees perfume as the art of chemistry and has gained a reputation for being avant-garde, a rebel and a trailblazer so I was really intrigued when I discovered that he had signed on with Kinski Productions, which manages actor Klaus Kinski’s legacy, to create Kinski, the fragrance produced in 2011 to mark the 20th anniversary of Kinski’s death.

Not familiar with Klaus Kinski?  Read anything about him and you’ll quickly learn that he was one wild, complex and fascinating dude.
Kinski was born in 1926 to German nationals in what is now Sopot, Poland. At age 18, he was fighting in the German army, when he was captured by the British and transferred to a prisoner of war camp in Colchester, Essex, where he began to act in stage shows designed to keep up prisoner morale.

He found his calling and in time became an international actor, mostly through his work with Werner Herzog, (side note: I love him in Aguirre, Wrath of God). He also became a cult legend known for his volatile behavior, and wild, debauched lifestyle. Even in an era of open-mindedness and free love, Kinski’s drinking, heavy marijuana use, numerous affairs with women and men, charges of incest from his children, pushed the boundaries.

Of developing a fragrance based on Kinski, Schoen says,
“It’s an old cliche that there is a fine line between genius and madness. In Kinski’s case, it was a knife edge, and he danced along it his whole life. He was part international sophisticate, part idiot savant. And that kind of tension means that KINSKI is a perfect fit with our odd portfolio of fine conceptual fragrances.”
Kinski EdT smells like a perfect match of subject and perfumer to me.

It opens with a tingle of aldehydes and citrusy, sour bergamot that leads to a bracing, fresh note of juniper berries that smell like gin. Soon it gets heady from a marijuana accord that smells more dry and herbal than ‘pothead’. As it blooms, I get great aquatic whiffs of the ocean before notes of lush rose and magnolia appear and usher in jasmine/citrus laced hedione to kick-start the libido. Nutmeg adds a spicy warmth while castoreum makes it unabashedly animalic. The base is woody and rich from patchouli, vetiver, cedarwood and woody, herbaceous cistus along with the warm, musky, honey-like aspects of amber.

The drydown is a smooth, warm scent that stays close to the skin. It’s not as big or powerful as you might think it would be, and the surprise is how beautiful it smells and how unisex it is.

On some blogs people have called this fragrance weird, well, I don’t like weird fragrances. I’ve also read that people say it is a love it or hate it fragrance. Yeah, I get that. I love it, but you won’t know whether you do or not until you try it.

Kinski is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $4.00 for 1 ml.