Monday, April 30, 2012

By Kilian- Bamboo Harmony

Bamboo Harmony is one of two new perfume releases from By Kilian's latest series, Asian Tales. The name itself should tell you quite a bit about the fragrance, and the Asian inspiration points that this By Kilian collection is going in a very different direction that L’Oeuvre Noire and Arabian Nights. I also suspect that it's aimed at a different customer.

Bamboo Harmony is light. Very very light. And very clean. the promise of fig and oak moss barely materializes. I need to drench myself with the fragrance to make it even register on my skin as something beyond the initial blast of peppery citrus. If I use enough I can tell that there's some light green tea, green leaves, and even the ghost of a fig. The pale green thing is miles removed from perfumer Calice Becker's other work for By Kilian. As a matter of fact, if I were blind-testing I doubt I'd peg it as her creation. I might suspect a new Jardin- Summer Edition fragrance by Jean Claude Ellena, maybe something by Olivia Giacobetti for her Honoré des Prés line, but not a Becker for Kilian.

That's not a compliment, by the way.

Bamboo Harmony is a very pleasant perfume and I'm pretty sure the general public will find it a lot more appealing and wearable than Pure Oud or Back To Black. But since I'm not on the market for a cologne-type fragrance (and if I were, that's what Guerlain's colognes were made for), I'll have to pass on this light as air summer perfume and drench my sorrows in some good old fashioned tuberose. Calice Becker actually created one in By Kilian's Beyond Love.

Notes: Bergamot, brigarade, neroli, white tea, mimosa, spices, Maté Essence, fig, oak moss

By Kilian Bamboo Harmony ($225, 50 ml) is available from MiN NY (, Luckyscent and select department stores.

Photo of Veruschka from


  1. What a disappointment. I have sample waiting for tests, but now, after your review, I'm not willing to do so immediately...

  2. Mmmmmmmm.....the comforting & sexy smell of Back to Black is one of my favourites. One spray in the morning and it's with you all day! I love Liasons Dangereuses too....and although I'm not that taken with Bamboo Harmony, I do find Water Calligraphy very pleasant for the first few minutes I can actually smell it. By Killian used to be soooo hard to acquire and now it's all over the place. Perhaps that's the reason for the change in style. Perhaps the market is no longer Nische but a rather more broad spectrum?

  3. I love Straight to Heaven, Incense Oud and Pure Oud, but I don't think I'll rush out the door to try this one any time soon. It doesn't sound as though it has enough oomph for me. Although it could be a gateway scent for someone who hasn't tried any of Killian's earlier releases perhaps?

  4. lady jane greyMay 01, 2012 3:34 AM

    Finally, a Kilian I might like ...

  5. Many of the Kilians are too heavy and dramatic for me... and this one sounds too light and breezy for me. Kilian and I just don't seem to get along very well! Alas.

  6. I was looking forward to trying this, expecting something along the lines of Bulgari The Vert, but with added bamboo/white tea twist. What I got from my sample is sweet, vaguely fruity tea cologne, but done at Abercrombie and Fitch pitch level: I find this scent to be terrifying loud and tenacious, even after three days on paper strip. However, when I asked my BF what he thought of the strip, he said he could not smell anything. Is there perhaps a new type of musk or other scent molecule hiding in this composition, one that some people seem anosmic to, but others are deafened by..?

  7. I have to disagree. If you consider Calice Becker's work for Estee Lauder and all her compositions that Luca Turin salivates over, this is precisely what I would expect from her. And that's not a compliment either. The heavier By Kilians are the ones that are out of character in my view. Having said that, if I had to wear something of this nature, it's not a bad example. But I'd rather not.


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