Three by Krigler

I always feel grateful when a perfume shatters my preconceptions.

Krigler is a perfume house that has been in existence, off and on, since 1880 or so. Most of its perfumes are remasterings of fragrances from its archives, and there are many mentions of glamorous historic clients (Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, F. Scott Fitzgerald) in stories about the brand. There is nothing wrong with any of this of course. But the way that some brands overuse these “marks of authenticity” has made me skeptical.

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Established Cognac 66 (if I understand their numbering system, this means it was originally created in 1966) is my reigning favorite cognac fragrance. In one word, it is chewy. It smells like fruit, warm liqueur, caramel, oak, and toasted almonds (or perhaps amaretto). The drydown is woody, but not especially dry. It’s very much in the vein of a “gentleman’s library” fragrance, but when something smells this good, I see no need for it to stay in such a small box. If it isn’t too masculine for me, I’d venture to say it isn’t too masculine for very many people. For a very different review of Established Cognac 66, see The Scented Hound.

Ultra Chateau Krigler 212 (2012?) is supposed to be an aldehydic floral, but I struggle to think of it as such because the prominent rose, lily of the valley, and aldehydic notes are almost transformed by a big gin-and-tonic accord. There is nothing like a bracing slug of quinine to make lily of the valley less insipid, right? The last time I wore Ultra Chateau, I ran across Blacknall Allen’s post on “bitter chypre martinis” and decided this perfume could be an honorary member of that club. For another review of Ultra Chateau Krigler 212, see EauMG.

Lieber Gustav 14 (1914?) was allegedly F. Scott Fitzgerald’s choice, but I remain unbiased, since I didn’t know that until I sat down to write this post. I’m proud to report my taste may be the same as that of my literary hero (if he actually wore this). It’s the standout of a strong bunch. Notes of lavender and black tea hover like a fluffy cloud atop woody notes that sometimes waft something much dirtier. (1) I don’t normally care for dirty notes, and lavender is hit or miss for me, but I adore Lieber Gustav. Any thoughts I had of Vero Profumo’s Mito are but distant memories.

Despite having more perfume than I’ll ever need, I plan to buy Lieber Gustav. A trip to the Plaza Hotel for perfume and a drink at the Champagne Bar? Yes, please.

(1) A baby’s stinky diaper smelled from across the room and partially smothered by the powder his mother uses to do whatever powder is supposed to do in children’s diapers.

Photo courtesy of Krigler. Samples courtesy Krigler, at my request. Reviews are never compensated, and posts are never sponsored. See my Media & Disclosure policy for details.

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17 responses

  1. So glad you liked some of the Kriglers! I thought they had a few really interesting and unusual scents in their line and am pleased that other people seem to be coming around to a similar opinion.
    Lieber Gustav is a good one and so is Established Cognac, among their florals I find Pleasure Gardenia kind of affecting-though heaven only knows why. It’s an incense gardenia.

    • I’m looking forward to exploring more, and definitely want to try Pleasure Gardenia. It was on my list of samples to get eventually, but I haven’t gotten it yet. I’m looking forward to it, and now especially knowing that you like it.

  2. Isn’t it always the way that one week you express a bias against historic brands and confusing numbering systems and then the next week you fall in love with a perfume from such a brand. That’s life. It’s nice to have that kind of turnaround though, it’s true.

    Enjoy your Lieber Gustav 14 when you get a bottle. Lila mentioned that in American Hustle the Jennifer Lawrence character says all the great perfumes have something dirty in the background.

    • Yes, I had to eat a lot of my words on this one – that is what made it extra fun. :) Interesting about American Hustle! Trying to imagine the context in which that would come up in that movie (I haven’t seen it yet). I’ll have to watch for the reference.

  3. I tried a few of their perfumes when I was in NY. Sadly I didn’t try any that you reviewed but the ones I did sniff were pretty good. I think it’s a line worth looking into.

    • To me, the Krigler one is richer but also less gourmand than the Frapins. It’s more complex, so it actually reminds me more of the nose of a cognac and less of a rum cake or another liqueur dessert.

  4. Hey Natalie,
    You are cool. I love the bitching, point well aimed and taken, then complete turnaround. I love that this is an occurrence we all deal with at some point in fragrance and that you handled it with such aplomb.
    I’ve yet to meet these babies, and I also loved your diaper reference, hilarious. Made me laugh in the hotel breakfast room and everyone looked. He He he.
    Portia xx

    • My grandma would say that life throws these curveballs at us to keep us humble. Consider me humbled. :) (And a Krigler fan.) You’ve got to sniff them – soon!

  5. Interested to read your take on Lieber Gustav 14 in particular, as lavender is usually a no-no for me too. Funny to think that my dad was born in 1914 – ooh er. ;) Like Poodle – and thanks to Blacknall – I have tried a couple of Kriglers, but not the ones you featured. I do like the ‘back story’ to the brand because it isn’t *too* historical all the same, and I have heard of the characters associated with the scents!

    • Spooky. Maybe in some strange way you are thus destined to enjoy Lieber Gustav? I think Krigler’s timeline on their website, and the fact that they openly admit to “reimagining” those archived fragrances for today, is pretty refreshingly straightforward. It’s only in the media stories about them that I find the story starting to overshadow the scents, and I suppose it’s not fair to blame Krigler for that.

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