by Guest Poster Marla
Robin’s perfume swaps at NST are popular with both novice and jaded perfumistas. I don’t buy perfume anymore; I have enough! But I do like to share and swap decants and partials, so Robin’s gig is exactly my thing. During the latest swap meet, I traded with Perfumista J, who added a tiny vial of something called Kiori to my package. I don’t often wear perfume oils, but, curious as always, I gave it a try. The first sniff led to this post.
Kiori is the creation of Lisa Wallos, a former classical ballet dancer, now a busy mom and teacher. It’s a lush, natural vanillic oriental with floral and patchouli accents. One drop lasts many hours, and that’s unusual for naturals. What I particularly enjoy about Kiori is its blooming presence that remains steadfast and comforting. It is much like ballet, where the delicate beauty of the dance is undergirded by the dancer’s tremendous strength and discipline.
I asked Lisa how the aesthetics of ballet informed her work as a perfumer. She answered,
“With ballet, aesthetics are everything. I’m not sure if there are any other art forms where so many dimensions of perfection are required at once. But what may separate one dancer from another, what makes people drawn to one dancer over another, is their unique abilities that extend beyond the standard expectations. Oftentimes it’s their spectacular gifts of turns for example. But to me it’s just as important to see what the dancer reveals to the audience- their humanness, their inner beauty and personal expression …. As a perfume lover and new perfumer, I think not only about how a scent makes me feel or what it conjures up, but what a given scent reveals about its creator. Who is the being behind the scent and what part of themselves do they show us through their creation? “
Kiori reminds me quite a bit of Sarah Jessica Parker’s Lovely, which also has the ballet connection (SJP is a massive fan), and also features vanilla, patch, and soft florals. They don’t smell at all alike, yet they share the same elegant, comforting aesthetic vibe. Lisa describes Kiori’s development: “It had to be appropriate when I’m out and about with my kids or at a gala event. The scent is quiet and contemplative, raw and passionate.” After wearing Kiori for a week, I agree with Lisa that Kiori’s contrasting facets, elegant yet raw, contemplative yet passionate, are what make it so wearable and compelling.
For those interested in trying Kiori, it’s available at Lisa’s website, mykiori.com.
And for those who wish to comment on ballet and perfume, there will be a random draw for a sample of Kiori.