If you watched the riding events this last summer at the Olympics, you will have noticed a continuing trend in horses’ names, their length. In all of the events there were horses who had monikers that would have done justice to a Bourbon prince, things like Millthyme Corolla, or Oscarina du Chanois, or the truly polysyllabic Gazelle de la Brasserie or Lully des Aulnes, or even Apollo van Wendi Kurt Hoeve.
It seems that the Germans have small use for the grandiose title and still less for the highfalutin’ but ultimately undistinguished, and what they do prize, things like quality and solidity, don’t lend themselves to flim-flam.
This was my experience when I ended up at one of the few German family perfumer’s shops in NYC during the festivities of Sniffapalooza. Krigler’s believed in quality, solidity, and showed a lack of pretentiousness that was pretty welcome to me at least. The perfumes in their line are produced in simple bottles with simple names, all of them in either English or German. No ‘Cities of Forbidden Vice’, no ‘Bouts of Passionate Passion’ Part Deux, no Juste un Saut sur le Pont Mirabeau. No, they are called Lieber Gustave or Good Fir.
Before I get myself into trouble, let me point out that these are on the whole rather good perfumes. Krigler’s, it turns out, have managed to maintain a house style, which was more than I anticipated. I had expected the usual travesty of a family perfume business, that is 90 year old “recipes” obviously pulled off somebody’s database at Tagasako or wherever six months ago, and poured into a bottle. The Kriglers do have a distinctive signature of their own. They are clear, unambiguous, obviously made of good materials and they are what they say they are. If you read Peach, it’s peach, or jasmine ditto; they’re not pulling the Le Labo bait-and-switch so not dear to most perfume consumers’ hearts.
My own favorite of the Krigler line was Lovely Patchouli. It was lovely and it was patchouli and it was delightful to wear. The perfume also had a nice leather note and a decidedly savory gourmand bent to it, and that was that. You wanted patchouli, alright then, patchouli, done deal.
It’s not that they don’t have subtle perfumes they do, they have one understated floral called English Promenade which was the favorite of Audrey Hepburn, and they have a champagne like floral called Chateau Krigler which is indeed fizzy and effervescent, but what I really liked was the Lovely Patchouli combined as Mr. Krigler demonstrated, with their Relaxing Verbena, which is pretty perky and not very relaxing, but does indeed make a very good pair with the Lovely Patchouli.
The prices are about what you would expect for high end niche perfumery these days $US 165 for 50 mls and $US 255 for one hundred, but there are lots of things being sold now at similar price points that are far worse quality than the Kriglers, and so I think the cost is not unfair. The lasting time of these on me was about three hours on average, considerably better than say, L’Artisan Parfumeurs.
But perhaps the best testimonial I can give-quite honestly because I didn’t receive more from Krigler’s than a couple of perfume spritzes, and half a glass of white wine, is this-that in a whole day’s smelling in Bergdorfs’ and Barney’s and Bendels’ the Lovely Patchouli stood out as the perfume that was easiest and most fun to wear. Its only real competition was the $500 dollar Bolt of Lightning, or Golconda, both from JAR, or possibly a single bell perfume from Serge Lutens at Barneys De Profundis far too serious to be worn by me.
That is pretty good going for a perfume named Lovely Patchouli. Like Sam the horse, it could take you a long way against stiff competitors.
It might even take the gold.