Tuesday, March 22, 2011

K de Krizia: fragrance review

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


  1. First Eden and now K de Krizia -- you are celebrating a lot of my old favorites lately! I love K de K, along with a lot of the other Krizias: Moods, Krazy Krizia, Fiori di Krizia, etc. They seem to be disappearing from the marketplace here, which is a shame.

    K is certainly a great aldehydic floral for those of us who love them. The comparison with First is very apt.

  2. I love it too and am sad to see the reformulation. Last time I looked there was still quite a bit of it on fleabay, more or less reasonably priced.

  3. M,

    I'm highly telepathic obviously! :P
    Seriously, these are underappreciated little gems and they deserve not to be completely obliterated in the tsunami of newer releases. So I'm putting my little stone towards that end, rekindling interest, keeping them in the market, rather than out. Now if someone egged them on to re-reformulate K into something as good as it was...

    Glad you agree with my comparison with First.

  4. P,

    knew I could count on you :-)
    It is fairly unsun and thus under the radar. Till now, at least, that is :-P

  5. I realise I might not be communicating what I meant to say above, by "putting my little stone". Is that the idiom? Or is it my little brick? Anyway, I'm doing my part into keeping these in production. That's all.

  6. I also meant to ask, M:

    how is the Fiori de Krizia? Moods and Crazy Krizia I know and remember fondly.

  7. Van Cleef's First, Chanel No5 and Ivoire...my favorite perfumes. I remember Ivoire from the 80's and I loved it, I have since learned that the formulation has changed--oh I wish I had bought several bottles to sniff now!

    Maybe I should try K de Kizia.

  8. TFC,

    please do! It's sanely priced for the moment and it's very worth it. I think you'll like it. Just make sure it has kept well: the colour should have a hay-ish/greenish tinge, not be ambery.

  9. I am a man who used to wear K de Krizia back in the day: before I even knew what a chypre was, I knew that its intensely green chypre was the sort of thing I loved.

    I was also a big fan of her leathery-chypre Krizia Uomo and Teatro Alla Scala, which (I guess in retrospect--I haven't smelled it for a long time) was an ambery chypre-floral-oriental. They just don't make them like that any more.

  10. TFC,

    you're very welcome :-)

  11. Hi there! :-)

    So it's tougher chypre to you, eh? I find it softer than the super-tough things I like in chypres (Bandit, Paloma Picasso, Aromatics Elixir, vintage Miss Dior) which is probably why it didn't rate all too well: It's more refined, very very elegant. I bet it smelled great on you, judging by your sensibility and general attitude. It needs someone brainy, you know?

    Krizia Uomo I vaguely recall, I need to hunt this down and respritz. Teatro alla Scala I do own and it's a spicy floriental to me. Not miles away from Coco or Opium. Drier and less "clean" than the latter. (do you want a sample for memory's sake? say the word)

  12. I'm so glad to see this scent get some love. This was my second or third signature scent - I wore it for several years in the 80's. I recently found a perfume store that's been around for 30 years who had older bottles and bought one. It's tucked away in it's box in a cool place and it gives me some pleasure to know that's it there to visit from time to time...

  13. Fiori di Krizia is much more low key than those others we love, E. A very soft floral with a nice hint of vanilla -- not at all foody, you understand, just a touch of vanilla sweetness. A very nice fragrance for those days when you don't feel up to much, or you need to be very subtle :-)

  14. Lang,

    great! I love to amass fans of oldies but goodies.
    You're lucky, enjoy!!

  15. M,

    thanks for the added info! It sounds nice enough, if not groundbreaking and sometimes we need nice ones.

    Funny, we always distinctly recall either the stinkers or the truly impressive. The merely pretty & nice gets bypassed in the mad race.

  16. Wait 'til I send this link to my sister. I think this is perfume she looked long and hard for in the '90.s. I bought about 12 bottles of EDT of various scents (4 of Calandre) in the mid 90's. It was going out of business, There was one K de Krizia for sister. I have seen her pick it up and hold it to her like a favorite stuffed toy. So she can get it online?

  17. Anonymous23:21

    K de Krizia was my signature scent in the late 80's and into the 90's. I have fond memories of dancing 'til the wee hours and having men go crazy for it.

    1. Anonymous18:34

      Moi aussi! After a late night out, falling into bed and being enveloped in the residual warmth of that fabulous fragrance was pure heaven. And you're right -- men went gaga for it. I wore it from the time the fragrance was first released in the US until it disappeared. It was the only fragrance I wore, and haven't been the same since! You can still find it through some online retailers, but it's usually old, oxidized and funky-smelling. I spent a small fortune buying tired/bogus bottles of the scent until I finally wised up. Now it's just a fond, sultry memory...
      I heard that a Chinese company purchased the Krizia name. Does anyone know if they'll be trying to revive the fragrance?

  18. Absolutely Esoteric!
    An all time essential and a forever favorite.


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