Monday, June 09, 2008

Uplift- Kiki by Vero Kern (and a giveaway)

During the wonderful dinner at the restaurant that is fast becoming my favorite eatery in Manhattan, Broadway East, the conversation turned to things we do to cope with stress and improve our outlook. A couple of my friends are outdoorsy and look to nature for inspiration. Another is into zen and likes reading about Eastern philosophy. I don't do spiritual. At least not in the traditional sense of the word. Corrupted by earthy, sensual pleasures, I go for the bottle. The perfume bottle, that is. I'm not really comparing, but it's simply one of my greatest joys, and the right scent not only makes my day, but also changes the way I feel about things.

Kiki by Swiss perfumer Vero Kern (creator of the irreplaceable Onda) is among the happiest things you can find in a bottle. In theory, the mix of notes should never have worked: lavender, caramel and exotic fruit sound like a nightmare brought by those who unleashed Angel upon us and cast the cruel spell that made women all over the globe believe they smell "yummy", while most of us gasp for air as they leave their unmistakable sillage around us.

But Kiki is a winner.

Maybe because it's Paris in a bottle. Lavender is a very French thing. Little embroidered sachets hidden in drawers housing exquisite lingerie. Expensive laundry detergents. Cool and crisp linens. White sheets on a fluffy hotel bed in a room with a very Parisian view, the smell from a nearby pastry shop wafting in through the window.

The exotic fruit note is not what you think. It's more of a subtle candied element, just as the caramel is more praline than fudge. It makes me think of lavender-infused milk chocolate, there's no chocolate note, and the perfume is only marginally sweet. It's just heavenly like that.

Not everyone enjoys lavender, and if this herb normally makes you think of your great aunt Tilly and her moldy purse, then you may skip it. Gourmand notes haters are not as easily excused. This might be the one to change your mind about them. Or at least make you crave this.

Thanks to Vero's generosity, I have a sample to give away. If you're interested, please say so in a comment. I'll announce the winner next Monday.

Vero Kern's perfumes are only available from her web site. All of them come as extrait de parfum, the highest concentration, and have an impressive staying power. You can purchase a sample set of all three scents (a review of Rubj is coming soon), which is how I first fell in love with them.

Image: Lavender's Sway by Fawn McNeill Barr from EBSQ Gallery.


  1. would love to try this! pls enter me in the drawing. thanks!

  2. I would very much like to try this, as I haven't tried any of her perfumes (but find the description of her scents fascinating!), love lavender oil in my bath water, but usually have problems with liking foody scents - maybe this will be an exception? :)

  3. Kiki sounds lovely, and I'd like to try it. Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you!

  4. The scent sounds lovely, thanks for the post and the contest - please enter me!

  5. Isn't it wonderful? I knew you'd love it as I do: I am cherishing my little bottle!
    It's a naughty lavender, not something we're accustomed to ;-)

    I know you'll love Rubj for its wonderful flowers as well as I.

    BTW, I'm on a bell jar mood myself: wonder what to get next (drop me a mail if you want to split something!)

  6. Kiki sounds terrific! Please enter me in the drawing. :-)

  7. It sounds exactly like what I need at the moment, an incentive to get me to France this coming year..please enter me in the drawing

  8. I would like to be in the draw. So far I have an almost pathological fear of lavender in perfume. I have no idea why but maybe Kiki will be a cure.

  9. Well, you know that for me outdoors is something that one goes through from the car to the restaurant. Well, maybe a walk down Charleville with Barneys in sight and a box of Macarons handy.

    And yes, I am whore enough to want to be in the drawing.

  10. Lavender and gourmet, huh? This sounds very interesting. Please enter me in the drawing, too.

  11. Don't include me in the draw, as I am already an owner of a small flacon of Kiki, inspired by Man Ray's muse and partner: a delicious, playful, sensuous Montparnasse character -- who was also a painter -- to whom this fragrance is a perfect tribute.

  12. Kiki sounds very interesting, would love to try it, I'm on a verge about lavender - sometimes I love it and others can't stand it. Thanks for the drawing!

  13. Wow, I would love to have this. Thank you for the opportunity. :)

    [email protected]

  14. I've been using the same bottle of Chanel since early high school (and I'm 22). Now after discovering beauty blogs and reading them on a daily basis, I've realized how much I've been missing out on the other stuff that's out there. But of course, I just graduated college and am horribly unemployed. I would also love to win!!!!!

  15. All who asked are in the drawing. I'll announce the winner on Monday.

    Tom- I share your view of the great outdoors (we're ridiculously similar, aren't we?).

    Helg- I really need to email you. I suck (more than usual, even) with emails lately, but it'll be rectified this weekend. I hope.

  16. Have always loved lavender...happy to see the flowers getting ready in my garden...of course, I am fond of it in scent as well. Please enter me in the drawing...and happy summer!


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