Kinski ~ fragrance review

Kinski fragrance

If you’re going to anoint me with a male-celebrity fragrance, chances are I’d prefer a perfume inspired by Klaus Kinski rather than David Beckham, Tim McGraw or the Pope. Mr. Kinski was interesting for one thing, a wild character — the inventor of his own weird myth (featuring a man-god who did what he wanted — propriety and the feelings of others be damned). Put another way: for perfume inspiration, give me a talented nutcase with over-the-top (legal!) appetites instead of a bland money-grubber.

Does Kinski smell like Kinski? If someone had given me an unmarked bottle of Kinski Eau de Toilette and asked me to wear it and report back on what type of person it evoked, I’d have said a sexy person, a man of a “certain age” who lives in a secluded, art-filled home, which he refers to as a “cabin.” He might also keep an exotic pet…a lemur? He smells of rich amber-y perfume, smokes a joint every now and again, and always has orchids or roses in big silver vases on his desk (with a single blossom tucked in his jacket’s lapel). I’d imagine this man to be a traveler (jetlagged perhaps, but not world weary) who occasionally lights  Japanese incense on his at-home altar table dedicated (ostensibly) to Buddha but containing quite a few glossy photographs of himself. This is the perfume of a voluptuary; and that word could describe Klaus Kinski. (As I tested this fragrance I yearned to take a trip, felt I needed a haircut, and was tempted to flip up the collar on my trench coat — I ended up doing only one of those.)

Kinski was developed by perfumer Geza Shoen; it features notes of cassis, juniper berry, schinus molle (Peruvian or “pink” pepper), castoreum, marijuana acccord, nutmeg, plum, orchid, magnolia, orange flower, rose, benzoin, vetiver, cedar, patchouli, cistus, costus (spiral ginger), musk, moss and ambergris.

Kinski gives a “performance” (with the accent on the final act); it presents ‘states’ of excitement (strong pepper/juniper and cassis), bliss (a spicy floral accord with some ginger- rose and a nice burst of a magnolia-like note), meditation (benzoin) and lazy comfort (smoky marijuana and vetiver — with hints of cedar, patchouli, “damp,” vegetal musk and moss). Unlike the real Kinski, there are no sinister moments in this fragrance, no jarring/scary asides. As the fragrance dries, ‘burning’ cannabis-tobacco and vetiver come to the fore. Mr. Kinski could be proud of Kinski perfume: it’s a “smart,” well-made fragrance.

If you don’t know who Klaus Kinski is, do watch one or two of his films (Nosferatu the Vampyre and Aguirre, the Wrath of God  are good starting points). If you become “smitten” and want more Kinski, read his outrageous, but never-boring, autobiography Kinski Uncut.

Kinski has great longevity and sillage (in the middle of a super-scented salon, my hair stylist — haircut: check! — raved about Kinski on me…seven hours after I put it on). Kinski Eau de Toilette is $140 for 100 ml.

Note: top center image [altered] via Wikimedia Commons.

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  1. ladymurasaki says:

    Kevin, you paint an intriguing portrait of a man. However, it sort of sounds like you are describing my dear friend J too; almost eerily so. The scent sounds very inviting as well. Would you say Kinski is unisex?

    • Kevin says:

      LadyM: you’ll have to tell me some of the masculine scents you wear and then I can tell you if it’s “unisex!”

      • ladymurasaki says:

        I occasionally wear Bvlgari Black, which has bergamot, oakmoss, cedar, etc. I also wear Hermes Voyage; both EDT and parfum, which have juniperberry, sandalwood, white musk.

        • Kevin says:

          Lady M: this is MUCH rougher/tougher than those.

          • ladymurasaki says:

            It sounds interesting nevertheless.

  2. sinnerman says:

    Sounds amazing! The fragrance and the man it inspires! I will take one of each!! Gift wrapped. The Mary Jane note sounds interesting, and do we just love somebody raving about how great we smell! Thanks Kevin, I’m on high alert for this one!

    • sinnerman says:

      Don’t *

    • Kevin says:

      Sinnerman: Hope you can try it out soon.

  3. datura5750 says:

    Great review, I have a sample, and it’s on my full bottle list…
    Have you seen the documentary “My best Fiend”?

    • Kevin says:

      Datura: yes, saw that the moment it came out.

  4. Rick says:

    Sounds great. I did a quick search and found out that it’s available at Luckyscent.

  5. Rappleyea says:

    This review was classic, vintage Kevin! Great job and I very much enjoyed reading. Probably not my kind of scent though.

    • Kevin says:

      Thanks, Rappleyea!

    • donnie says:

      Yeah! The review was a thrill, left me in a bit of a sweat. A lemur? You are too much. I’m gonna try it but I wonder if I can wear it. Then again, Yatagan sounds unwearable, if you listen to Turin, and I get along fine with it…Speaking of Yatagan, is your cat still with you?

      • Kevin says:

        Donnie: yes, Uncle Vanya Mandelstam is still with me and still hates his musks! If you like Yatagan this Kinski will be FINE for you.

  6. Quinn says:

    Great character profile Kevin! Kinski is great. The drydown reminds me of a chiminea and pinion wood. Has a lot of great nuances to it. Definitely a camping scent.

    • Kevin says:

      Quinn: lots going on in the fragrance which I like…I’ve smelled so many “one-notes” recently

  7. poodle says:

    Great review Kevin. It doesn’t sound like anything my husband would wear but it sounds great to me. I like those masculine scents for myself every now and then. It’s nice to smell them on a man but honestly sometimes it’s just nice to smell them.

    • Kevin says:

      Poodle: so true…I can’t tempt any friends or co-workers to wear Joy or Chanel No. 5 so I’m forced to spray them around the house…or put them on during “at-home” days. HA

  8. Angela says:

    I love the word “voluptuary.” Thanks for using it! It’s right up there with “sybarite” among my favorites.

    • Kevin says:

      Angie: and let’s not forget “soigné” !

  9. Arielle says:

    Most wonderful review I’ve read in a long time. NST does have the most amazing talent. Wouldn’t wear Kinsky, though have to admit I was tempted for a split second. Kevin you did inspire the following thought – how wonderful it would be if David Bowie would get behind a scent/perfume/what ever you want to call it? I’m not thinking so much of his glam rock/Ziggy Stardust period but as a mature man who is still excited by art.

    • Kevin says:

      Arielle: first, thanks! Second: where IS David Bowie? I don’t think I’ve seen an image of him in ages…though Iman is everywhere.

      • Arielle says:

        Saw an interview several via the internet years ago – goodness knows where: He looked his age but fabulous and still sounded excited about making new music instead of recycling the same old, same old (Mick Jagger take note – yes that was catty, but I’ll own it) . His dedication to creativity and the fact he has reinvented him self more times than Madonna inspires me.

      • nozknoz says:

        A superficial google search reveals nothing recent. Perhaps the mothership came back for him…

  10. Tama says:

    I’m dying to try this one, for sure. I loved your review. I am making a voyage to Scentbar next month and my list of what to try while I’m there is getting overwhelming,,,,

    • Kevin says:

      Tama: and it’s such a TINY shop! (and usually HOT to boot!) Good luck!

      • Kevin says:

        Tama; Sorry…you said Scentbar and I thought Le Labo down the street. At any rate, go with virgin arms, neck and, perhaps, legs?…it is shorts-wearing time in L.A.!

        • Tama says:

          Well, Scentbar is reportedly small too but they are moving to bigger digs right before I go. I am hoping they don;t encounter any glitches!!

          • Kevin says:

            Tama: they are small, but they pack a lot into that space. Wonder if they are staying in the same neighborhood….

  11. krokodilgena says:

    When I was in Berlin I saw a Klaus Kinski photobook but it was huge so I didn’t consider lugging it home. When I saw it I told my friend that Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes is my favorite German movie and he was like “I don’t like German movies at all”. He did like marijuana and he did have a Buddha altar (part of his family really are Buddhists so it isn’t pseudo-spirituality/enlightenment/etc btw) though so maybe I should give this a try and wear it next time I meet him.

    • Kevin says:

      Krok: definitely give it a try…would like to see the big Kinski book!

  12. nozknoz says:

    I’m sure you’re right that this is plausible for Kinski at home, but since I only know him from films, I was expecting something truly over the top – basically, a remix of Djedi, Manoumalia and Yatagan. 8-)

    • Kevin says:

      Noz: I wonder if we’ll ever get a ultra-crazy scent like you describe ever again? I hope so.

  13. lilydale aka Natalie says:

    This wasn’t quite as kooky as I expected, but it is nice — in fact, it struck me as a somewhat defanged Bandit.

    • Kevin says:

      Lily: you know, I don’t think Bandit has fangs anymore! (Wore it yesterday and it was so smoooooooth)

  14. capitalist pancake says:

    I really liked this. I know there is some cynicism re: Geza Schoen and some of the Escentric series but I do think he turns out some very intelligent scents.

  15. fleurdelys says:

    OK, I am seriously lemming this stuff right now. Kinski was a character of the first magnitude, no doubt about it. I’m glad the perfumer created something that evokes a personality, and didn’t just slap the Kinski name on a wussy fragrance. Thanks for another great review Kevin!

    • Kevin says:

      Fleur: you’re welcome…and it IS nice to smell a respectable, GOOD celebrity scent

  16. RobWales says:

    If anyone in the U.K. is interested in trying this fragrance, it’s in stock at Harvey Nichols.

  17. Merlin says:

    Just thought I’d add a footnote: it turns out that Kinski was more monster than man and that not all his over-the-top appetites were legal. In January of this year his eldest daughter, Pola, revealed that he had raped her regularly and frequently throughout her childhood: › World news › Germany

    Apparently she has waited this long to ‘tell’ because she could no longer bear the on-going adulation that is heaped on him. I think they should withdraw the fragrance…

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