Last April, niche line By Kilian launched Flower of Immortality as the third fragrance in its Asian Tales collection. Like the other two fragrances in the collection, Bamboo Harmony and Water Calligraphy, Flower of Immortality was developed by perfumer Calice Becker. It is an homage to the peach blossom, a symbol of immortality and hospitality in Asian folklore, and was inspired specifically by the Chinese story "A Tale of the Fountain of the Peach Blossom Spring."
Flower of Immortality is a fruity floral with notes of white peach, carrot, iris, blackcurrant bud, rose crystal, tonka bean and vanilla bean. It does what it promises, balancing those "smooth and juicy" fruit notes with its "sweet and powdery" florals. Don't let the carrot scare you off: it's not identifiable as a separate note. What you'll really experience is the peach, and plenty of it. Even though this fragrance supposedly honors the flower of the peach tree, the fruit plays the central role. The rose note is appealing, but subtle; there's a soft suede-like effect in the dry-down. Everything is nicely blended together, and the ingredients seem to be good quality; the overall result is a pleasant composition, if not a terribly striking one.
When Kevin reviewed Bamboo Harmony and Water Calligraphy, he admitted to hoping that Asian Tales would turn out to be "truly an ‘Asian-infused’ line and not a line geared toward Asian consumers (who, we are told by marketers, prefer modern, super-light, non-perfume perfumes)." Flower of Immortality isn't quite as fresh and clean as Bamboo Harmony and Water Calligraphy, but it still feels awfully mild for a niche fragrance at this price point. It almost made me nostalgic for the over-the-top, baroque fragrances of Kilian's inaugural L'Oeuvre Noire collection (of which Liaisons Dangereuses is my favorite). If I were to purchase a pretty, wearable peach-themed fragrance right now, I'd opt instead for Providence Perfume Co's Mousseline Pêche or the mass-market classic Lancôme Trésor.
It's not that I don't enjoy Flower of Immortality; I just keep thinking of ways that this perfume could have been given a stronger personality. I wouldn't mind more white florals, or more vanilla, or how about some spice? maybe some ginger or cardamom? Come to think of it, the fragrance in my imagination already exists: it's called Chinatown.
By Kilian Flower of Immortality is available as 50 ml ($235 with bottle and box, or $135 just for a plain refill bottle) and 30 ml ($145 for travel spray with refills) Eau de Parfum. For purchasing information, see the listing for By Kilian under Perfume Houses.