When I first read the note list for Unknown Pleasures by Kerosene (Earl Grey tea, lemon, bergamot, honeycomb, tonka bean, caramel, vanilla and waffle cone), I thought that this was going to be either a Shalimar or an Angel. I was wrong; this perfume from the American indie brand is far more foody than either. Actually, it smells more edible than most perfumes I know.
Kerosene is a one-man house created by perfumer John Pegg who started as a YouTube reviewer and moved on to create his own perfumes. He has a very distinct style: bold and raw, somewhat jagged around the edges. Unknown Pleasures is a kinder and cuddlier type, but still has enough character to make a statement. The fragrance opens as a sweet citrus with an amplified bergamot note. It soon becomes sweeter and very creamy. For a while I'm reminded of the dulce de leche feel of Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille, but Unknown Pleasures soon becomes even more caramelized and adds the unique smell of a just-baked waffle cone. This dry down-is the perfume's biggest strength and weakness. I like it, but it can get overwhelmingly sweet and sticky as it takes over.
Unknown Pleasures is better in small quantities, kind of like a rich dessert. It's delicious, playful, and cheerful. The fragrance has a massive sillage and a 24 hour longevity, so be prepared to spend a full day feeling like you're on the boardwalk eating one ice cream after another.
Kerosene- Unknown Pleasures ($140, 100ml EDP) is available from MiN NY (minnewyork.com).
Photo: Yellow ice cream swirl by meigemchan on Flickr.