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.