Kingdom was launched by the designer, Alexander McQueen, as a spicy Oriental perfume for women on his birthday, March 17, 2003 in a bottle created to look like a heart - ruby-colored glass encased in a stainless steel half-shell designed by Patrick Veillet - and packaged in a white box with red wax seal and a line of poetry – “Pierce again my heart”. It was like a little love letter, and stood out as unique on store counters.
Straight out of the bottle, there’s bright sunny citrus- bergamot, mandarin and neroli - radiating the delicacy of orange blossoms and fresh mandarin juice. As the citrus cloud dissipates, rose and jasmine form their classic accord, and here in the heart of Kingdom, it is a dark, opulent floral accord, dark red lush rose, heady and sweet white jasmine, very feminine, and romantic. And then the perfume enters another world, the kingdom of cumin.
Cumin in a big release designer frag?...here’s McQueen’s challenge, the off-the-wall unexpected part of his perfume creation. Cumin has the reputation of a dirty, sweaty note, and is used often as an ingredient in perfumes, usually in small doses to give depth and complexity. Some perceive it as a nasty repulsive body odour smell, some as an animalic pheromonal sexy scent, and some as a deliciously appetizing spice, but when used as a dominant note, it’s bound to be controversial. Ya either loves it, or ya hates it, and that’s what happened to Kingdom – too many hated it, so it was discontinued.
No matter that as the long dry-down in Kingdom continues, the cumin is softened by the most superb milky sandalwood and vanilla accord, no matter that soft incense and smoky myrrh notes waft underneath the dewy green rose, no matter that Kingdom settles into a warm, langourous luminous sensual skin scent , and becomes truly beautiful.
Kingdom is a piece of olfactory art that truly reflects Alexander McQueen’s aesthetic. Kingdom is still controversial, challenging, and beautiful because of, and not in spite of, its difference.
Notes: bergamot, mandarin, neroli, jasmine, rose, cumin, ginger, copahu balsam, myrrh, sandalwood, vanilla
Parfumeur: Jacques Cavallier