In August, Kilian Hennessy will be adding a seventh fragrance to his collection, Prelude to Love/ Invitation, composed by Calice Becker, her fifth for the brand.
On paper, Prelude to Love gives off a powerful, juicy, surprisingly long-lasting citrus burst (bergamot, lemon, mandarine, bigarade) , which slowly unveils rose, a whiff of leather and a somewhat cardboardy note that could come from the cassie flower (I didn't read the notes first)…
On skin, the hesperidic top notes disappear much more quickly, and the cardboard smell morphs into iris, twice quoted in the notes (as iris of Florence and iris notes). On a Russian leather base, stronger than on the scent strip, a damp-earth, musty smell (cypriol) emphasizes the rooty facet of the iris. Orange blossom and neroli come out distinctly after a few hours, outlasting the other notes. Lavender (actually the French “lavandin”, which grows at a lower altitude than real lavender), freesia, cardamom, pink pepper and muscs are also listed.
It would be unfair to judge the fragrance from a single, mid-afternoon skin test (I prefer to do mine with a “clean” nose in the morning), but the first impression of Prelude to Love is of a quite lovely, non-austere iris, more discreet and delicate than the other fragrances of the line. Which kind of makes sense, for a prelude.
Image : L'après-midi d'un faune by Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer (1865-1953).