K de Krizia by Italian designer Krizia is a fragrance like they don't build them anymore: a very classy aldehydic floral fragrance with chypre-green tonalities, composed by revered perfumer Maurice Roucel. Launched in 1980, it has suffered the memory loss that plagues all less-known fragrances: It's largely unsung and few hard-core fans search high and low for it now that it's difficult to come across.
Despite its timeless, graceful and rather sensual arc, I cannot stress enough that in order to savour the complexities and powerful elegance that K de Krizia can offer you, you must like aldehydes in general and, on top of that, old-school compositions featuring them in particular. An unashamed cool customer, it wouldn't feel out of place with a well-cut suit and leather cinched waist. The Louise Brooks bob is optional.
K de Krizia opens with the brisk and razor sharp intensity of those white-light molecules called aldehydes. Mention aldehydes and everyone in a Pavlovian-like motif thinks of Chanel No.5. Certainly the feeling of aldehydic florals has been inextricably tied to memories and whiffs of No.5 for most people. But whereas the style is similar, the treatment is different enough: The peachiness and rosiness of K de Krizia, alongside the greener elements, differs considerably from the jasmine-richness and intense muskiness of Chanel No.5, the former being rather closer to Van Cleef & Arpels First or Balmain's Ivoire or even the chypre greeness aspect of Paloma Picasso than the iconic monstre.
If the opening of K de Krizia is primarily aldehydic, the florals emerge a little later to complicate things with honeyed pollen: rose, carnation, lily of the valley, and not so sweet jasmine (hedione) in an abstract harmony where no note predominates, gaining in deep mossiness as the fragrance dries down. The final stages are almost spicy from the leather, styrax and vetiver notes, and delectably powdery-soapy like only a woman who has used face powder with a fluffy retro pom-pom knows.
Between the different concentrations, the Eau de Parfum is more mellow and floral, while the Eau de Toilette exhibits drier facets and would be perfect on a man as well.
Sadly, K de Krizia has been reformulated for the worse: its rich oakmoss inclusion along with the flowers being rampant necessitated a close shave that cost it its richness, inherent femininity and natural feel of its floral essences.
Notes for K de Krizia:
Top: aldehydes, bergamot, peach, hyacinth, neroli
Middle: carnation, orange blossom, orchid, orris root, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, rose and narcissus
Base: leather, sandalwood, amber, musk, civet, oakmoss, vanilla, vetiver and styrax.
Krizia pic via facebook