Citrus perfumes are for hot weather is as much an axiom as not wearing white after Labor Day. To any informal rule there are reasons as well as exceptions. The reason for the citrus rule is most perfumes which feature it have a chilly overall feeling. Ideal to wear on a hot day. The exceptions are when a perfumer decides to find the deeper quality to these inherently sunny ingredients. That is what occurs with Maison Crivelli Citrus BatiKanga.
Maison Crivelli was founded by Thibaud Crivelli at the end of 2018 with the release of a debut collection of five. Citrus BatiKanga is the first addition since then. I was interested in this brand initially because M. Crivelli spoke about how he wanted to make fragrance with texture. The first five all lived up to that. For Citrus Batikanga, working with perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour, it continues that aesthetic.
M. Duchaufour uses an interesting counterbalance to the citrus; red chili. Hot oily red chili. I wasn’t sure what this would be. Turns out a little heat for my citrus is good.
Citrus BatiKanga opens with bergamot, pomelo, and orange forming the citrus accord. M. Duchaufour supports this with a bit of rhubarb and cardamom. It creates a less effulgent citrus. It still seems sunny but more similar to sunset than high noon. This is where the chili oil comes in. There is this quality of repressed heat in the chili oil used here which forms that textural contrast M. Crivelli desires. Red sunlight and red chili oil work together nicely. Vetiver uses its citrus-like grassy high harmonics to bring the fiery citrus down into the its woody embrace. It finishes with the soothing sweet resins of myrrh acting as if to quench the fire.
Citrus Batikanga has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
Citrus BatiKanga is a great cooler weather citrus scent. I wore this on warmer than normal winter days and it didn’t seem like it was struggling to be sniffed. I think on those cool spring mornings coming up this is going to be just the ticket.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I purchased.