The PK in PK Perfumes is Paul Kiler, an artisanal perfumer based in California. He places himself at the forefront of a new movement called Real Perfumery which purports to use the best materials available to create fragrances which comply to a “Standard of Excellence”.
Although Kiler uses both naturals and synthetics, his fragrance contain 20 to 50% essential oils, absolutes and resins. The line currently contains 14 scents, the earliest of which were launched in 2012.
The first works I tried by Paul Kiler were the two perfumes he composed for Zoologist. It was fortuitous therefore that shortly afterwards, my pal Portia of Australian Perfume Junkies, kindly put the following two samples in her last package.
Notes: Bergamot, black spruce, laurel, cherrywood smoke, rose, nagarmotha, teak wood, tobacco, cedar, mahogany, earth, amber, costus, leather, vetiver bourbon, Labdanum
I love a messed-up, dark rose and Dirty Rose is firmly in that stable. It’s rooted in dark, moist earth and musky in the best way. It’s not the high-pitched musk that stabs you in the head but that deep throated unguent which intoxicates. The rose also smells like it was briefly set on fire; the flames having been beaten out but leaving a lingering charred scent.
The deep red flower that is at the heart of all this darkness is mostly hidden in the shadows. It has a definite kinship with my much-loved Rose de Nuit but the rose is much less prominent in Dirty Rose. Here, the rose is coated in leather and musk and battened down by earthy patchouli and a canopy of spice. It has the feel of an oud fragrance without containing any agarwood.
I like my roses to be more rosy, but Dirty Rose may suit those fans of arid orientals who don’t like their rose front and centre. It is as far from the prim, feminine tea roses of yesteryear as you can get.
Notes: Violets, apricots, cocoa, nutmeg, hazelnut, magnolia, jasmine, rose, honey, gardenia, amber and benzoin.
Ha! Violet Chocolatier – perhaps unsurprisingly – smells just like a violet cream; those chocolates with a violet fondant centre. It’s fun to experience and the chocolate is bittersweet so I don’t find it saccharine. As much as I have an aversion to sugary perfumes, I actually prefer these powdery, gourmand violets to those that highlight the flower’s green, metallic facets.
Somehow Violet Chocolatier segues effortlessly into a floral heart – most notably creamy white flowers – proving it’s not just a one-trick pony. This seamless transition exhibits Paul’s Kiler’s considerable perfumery skills. The pale petals have a honeyed coating which feels dreamy and fits the decadent mood of the fragrance. In the base it takes a final turn into cosy amber territory.
Violet Chocolatier is a clever composition and not you usual gourmand.
Can you recommend any more fragrances from PK Perfumes? I’d be particularly intrigued to hear from you if you’ve tried Zafran, Ere or Starry Starry Night.
17 responses to “Dirty Rose and Violet Chocolatier by PK Perfumes”
Oh, I like the sound of this one! I’m not repelled by chocolate notes (although saccharine are a big no-no) and floral heart sounds perfect. Especially the white floral part. 😉
Ah yes, Ines, the violet chocolate turning into creamy white floral would seem to suit you very nicely. Sorry it’s not easily accessible.
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I’ve not tried any of these, and found your descriptions intriguing – especially Dirty Rose. You answered a question of mine – how do you access these fab fragrances? Through Portia! Yay.
Thanks for the reviews. Great stuff. Sorry I can’t help further with other scents in this line.
Tina G xx
If you like a leathery oud you’d probably like Dirty Rose. Lucky you have access via the Portia Portal 🙂
Wow I really feel drawn to the Dirty Rose, the description itself is intoxicating!
That’s good to hear, Rachael. It’s not quite rose-forward enough for me but I think I’d find it pretty intoxicating on a fella 🙂
I haven’t tried any of his’ but would love to. The Violet chocolatier sounds awesome and fun. I’m more reluctant than ever to buy samples from the US, so just hope that some of his creations will make it over the pond.
Violet Chocolatier is a lot of fun but cleverly put together too. I hope he gets a UK outlet.
I LOVE Rose de Nuit!!!! Now I’ll have to get Dirty Rose.
If you fancy a drier, more leathery version then hopefully it will work well for you – fingers crossed!
Well, If you like Leathery Oud, you might like the scent not on the website, which is Dirty Rose Oud Extreme. (wink-wink) It was made for a client, and is the dirtiest, darkest, muskiest, animalic-ROARing, dirty rose you can imagine.
My scents to this point would never be EU regs compliant, so a UK outlet is not in the picture. My scents use so many naturals, and even chemically handmade and hand harvested natural materials, that are not listed on some database. These materials would never pass the unbelievably bad Brussels legislation.
But, So far, I have not had any issues sending products into UK or EU, when someone buys from my website, if that interests anyone. I am happy to send free samples, but the minimum postage ends up being $10 USD.
You can write me for more information… 🙂
PK at pkperfumes dot com – Take out spaces and convert words to symbols…
Thanks very much for the information, Paul. I can completely understand about the extremely restrictive EU regs. Good to know we can get samples direct from you.
I can imagine Dirty Rose Oud Extreme making a lot of perfume people very happy 🙂
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I love the painting by Daria Jabenko! For a moment there I thought it was by Asali, as it is very similar to her style. 😉 Dirty Rose sounds very much like the kind of scent my friend Jessica would pass on for being ‘insufficiently rosy’. I am intrigued by rose scents of all kinds, though am not sure about a charred facet. And maybe I would also want the rose at its heart to be less trussed and bound by other notes. But never say never!
I like the sound of where Violet Chocolatier goes, even if I am not drawn to violet creams particularly. It is a clever composition indeed if it has all those very different phases.
It’s a very nice painting, isn’t it? I could imagine it hanging in your house somewhere. It does have something of Asali’s free form style now you mention it.
Yes, I think you and I would be of a mind with Jessica. Have you thought of doing an update post on her rose search? Apologies if you did and I’ve forgotten!
Violet Chocolatier isn’t really my style but I really enjoyed it because it is so clever.
YAY! So happy these two brought you joy Tara. Funny but I must have got my wires crossed because I thought you liked Violet Leaf fragrances. I don’t know where that thought came from if it’s not true.
PHEW! That the Violet Chocolatier didn’t hit those notes then.
Every time I see Rose on a fragrance my mind goes straight to your gorgeous self.
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Oh that’s funny about violet leaf. No I’m not good with that note at all.
They were both really fun to test out and I love trying anything from artisan perfumers these days, so many thanks.
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I haven’t tried any of the brand’s perfumes yet but now I will. It’s interesting: I don’t think I’ll like any of the two you’ve described, but somehow your review made me feel good about that brand. And they have a very reasonably priced sampling program.