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King Baby – warm and woody and pitch-perfect sweet – June 20, 2018

Photo: Permission of King Baby

I discovered King Baby jewelry, many years ago. I’m drawn to silver jewelry, especially well-designed pieces that have a presence to them and many of the pieces from this California-based biker inspired line, suit me perfectly. I’m not a biker chick, so while the skull, dagger and handcuff motifs don’t appeal to me, the heart and rose designs from the Queen Baby collection, do.

Mitchell Binder is the man who started King Baby in 2000. When Mitchell was a teenager in the 70’s, he moved to Los Angeles from Jackson, Mississippi, where apprenticed as a jeweler and soon began designing and making his own silver jewelry. His bold, unique hand-made pieces quickly made him the ‘go to jeweler’ for Hollywood. Simply put: the man is an artist.

Here’s another thing about Mitchell Binder: He loves Musc Ravageur from Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle. He really, really does. So much so, that he created a unisex fragrance inspired by it called – wait for it – King Baby, which he launched in 2016. This EdP quickly became a go-to fragrance for me.

King Baby opens with a bitter, tart note of bergamot, softened by sweet, juicy mandarin. A note of fragrant clove warms the citrus fruits, creating an opening that’s fresh and warm and a gateway to a heart of cinnamon, patchouli, vanilla and rose. The cinnamon amplifies the warmth of the clove with its spiciness. I love patchouli as a heart note, and here the cinnamon is like a hot breath blowing over the dark earthy, patchouli giving it a sensuous, Siren call. A note of plush, rose adds romance and sophistication. But it’s the vanilla that stands out on me. It’s sweet, yes, but combined with the patchouli, it’s more complex and has a gentle, earthy and woodiness. The vanilla lingers and lingers -  and that’s a good thing because the more I smell it the more I want to smell it – until it settles on a base of  rich, woody sandalwood, warm powdery benzoin and amber, and cozy, warm, sweetish musk.

The drydown is rich, without being deep, dark or cloying, and refined with an alluring sweetness that is pitch-perfect, so that it can be worn any time of year.

I don’t get a whole lot of Musc Ravageur in King Baby. That’s OK by me. Musc Ravageur is one of my desert Island picks, so I’m not interested in a copycat version of it. And besides, Mitchell Binder is a creator not a duplicator. There's always room on my top shelf for a well-made, easy to wear, stunner like King Baby EdP.

On the King Baby website, Binder says: “What I love about jewelry, it becomes a very personal piece to whomever wears it. That’s one of the things that just does it for me. It gives it meaning, it’s very fulfilling and it gives people some sort of identity as well. That’s the gift. That’s the specialness. That’s what I want to hang onto.”

Substitute the word ‘jewelry’ for ‘perfume’ in the quote above and the same ethos applies King Baby to the EdP. And really, isn’t this the philosophy behind all niche fragrances?

Oh, Mitchell Binder, you do make me happy.

King Baby is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $6.00 for 1 ml.