Now that we have passed the winter solstice the days are getting longer which means spring will be here before too long. I am already getting the first trickle of upcoming rose perfumes for this spring. If the past is any indication I will soon be buried beneath an avalanche of fresh sparkly roses. I’m not ready for it. I need a rose which is unafraid to strut her stuff with nary a bit of fresh to be found. The new Lubin Kismet is providing that bulwark against the fresh.
Ever since Gilles Thevenin brought Lubin back to life in 2005 he has been charting a consistent course. Reaching back to the heritage of the brand and re-formulating for the current day as well as making new perfumes with a vintage-y vibe to them. Kismet is one of the heritage reconstructions.
According to the press materials Kismet was originally composed in 1921 named after the Indian princess it was made for. Kismet the person was an enigma as she entertained in Paris during the Roaring Twenties. The story goes she wanted a fragrance which would be the only trace left of her after she left a place. Kismet the perfume was what the perfumers at Lubin came up with. For this modern version I was unable to determine who the perfumer was but Thomas Fontaine has been behind almost all of the previous ones and Kismet has a similar feel to it. So until I find out differently I suspect M. Fontaine is once again performing fragrance archaeology on Kismet.
What was great about the early rose perfumes of modern perfumery is they weren’t after fresh they were more interested in grabbing your attention and never letting go. This version of Kismet uses a rose and patchouli heart to do that.
Before the roses come out to play in Kismet a fantastically finger popping top accord of bergamot, lemon, and petitgrain sharpen the focus. This was such a staple vintage opening which has seen less use currently. When I smell it again, as here, I am reminded how effervescently bracing it can be. Soon enough two versions of rose, centifolia and otto, form a full-blooded rose note. An equally powerful patchouli is needed to stand up to it. Here is where Kismet gains a bit of power that is not seen in today’s new releases. The patchouli provides a dirty contrast to the lush rose all done at volume. When this combination is done well it is lovely; which it is here. An opoponax and vanilla base accord provides a sweetly resinous coda.
Kismet has 10-12 hour longevity and above average sillage.
Kismet is a perfume for someone who does want their perfume to linger after they have left. For me it is going to be the antidote to the upcoming deluge of fresh as I cling to my winter rose.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Lubin.