Natural Grace – Review: By Kilian Prelude To Love, Invitation

Prelude To Love is the most summery Kilian in my set, so I have worn it the most in the last few weeks. It is fitting that it should be the first reviewed, after my initiation to the line with Back to Black.

Created by Calice Becker in 2008, I think of Prelude To Love as the first By Kilian, although it is actually the seventh, launched after the inital wave of six, when the brand first launched in 2007. Prelude To Love includes notes of seville orange, bergamot, Amalfi lemon, ginger, pepper, orange blossom, Florence iris.

Prelude To Love is a beautiful fragrance that above all, strikes me as young. Young, not in the sense of immature, but young at heart, innocent and un-disturbed, not yet corrupted by love, by the world in general. Prelude To Love is easy to love.

The perfume opens with a furioso of citrus notes, it sparkles and shines and makes me happy instantly upon spraying (and is great in the summer heat! Might that be my perfect citrus?). Later it softens, gets rounder, more demure, floral notes enter the scene, most prominently a soft orange blossom and a light, velvet-y iris with just a little touch of earthy-rooty greyness, to give the composition a little more gravity and touches it to the ground, quite literally, so it doesn’t float off into the blue, cloudless skies it evokes in my mind’s eye. A very soft spiciness adds dimension to the heart and the drydown is more earthy, a bit leathery and woody, but very faint. This is not a fragrance with a strong base.

Longevity is below average, although the others in the line are a lot more longlasting than Prelude To Love. It is in keeping with its character though that it trails off gently after about four hours.

Prelude To Love is very feminine, soft, tender, pretty and elegant in an unstuffy way. It possesses a natural grace, it is like a dancer’s light footfall, a beat of a butterfly’s wing, a rustling of leaves in the wind.

I adore the exuberant beginning of this pefume, I love the tender and graceful middle stage, but somehow the drydown is just okay. It doesn’t quite hold up its excellence throughout the entire development. But as I said before, it lies both in the character and in the nature of that kind of perfume that it is more fleeting than others.

Beauty, and youth – which brings us back to my initial association with Prelude To Love –  are fleeting after all. That is a fact of life many have their problems with, these days. Let us enjoy them while they last and turn to other things when they fade.

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24 Responses to Natural Grace – Review: By Kilian Prelude To Love, Invitation

  1. Sandra says:

    What a lovely review. Your words capture the fragrance wonderfully and the photo you chose is fitting. I am now smiling and looking forward to trying this perfume.

  2. andrea says:

    I should stop reading your reviews as you have inspired me to seek out and sniff the By Kilian fragrances, I had deliberatly ignored them when I spotted them when I was away for a weekend (partly because of some reviews and partly because the BF can only take so much of me testing fragrances, his patience had worn thin by this point) I will of course have to travel further afield to find these but your reviews tell me they are worth it and its not often you are wrong (ever wrong, that should say ever wrong)

    • Olfactoria says:

      Please don’t stop reading! 🙂
      This is not a cheap line, but you smell the quality, and the more I smell, the more I learn, the more I value high quality ingredients, the difference is indeed enormous.
      And I am often wrong in the sense that perfume is highly personal and subject to change, but that is what keeps it interesting, isn’t it? 🙂

  3. Tara says:

    Sounds gorgeous, this will definitely be the next By Kilian I try. Citrus, iris and orange blossom sounds truly lovely and it appears to fit it’s name perfectly. I seem to be craving feminine and beautiful in perfume lately, ever since I tried Amouage’s Honour Woman, I think.

  4. Suzanne says:

    Such a gorgeous review, Birgit ~ not only your description of the fragrance itself, but your sentiments about youth and beauty and that period in our lives when love is a buoyant thing. 🙂

  5. jedennard says:

    A lovely review, Birgit. I am impressed with this line even though my experience is limited to one example. I am interested to test this one myself and see how Kilian does a citrus perfume. I would expect it to be top notch.

    • Olfactoria says:

      You would be right, it is top notch. The citrus is sparkling and luminous. Prelude to Love is also a perfume that my husband likes that is not a compromise on my side. 🙂

  6. Undina says:

    This is one of the samples which I haven’t got from this collection (I have seven) but I really liked it on a blotter (second favorite after Love & Tears). Since after Mr. Hennessy’s presentation last May I decided to re-test them all, I will eventually get a sample of this one – just to complete the series.
    Liked your review and agree with your characteristic of the perfume.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I think it is the most easily wearable of the collection as well (not that the others are so hard!), a beautiful perfume. (So jealous of your KH meeting. 😉 )

  7. Karen says:

    You should meet him! His appearance and taste in scents go together. He’s definitely sophisticated and charming (hot), but there’s something down-to-earth about his search for pleasure in the form of luxury…the root is simplicity.

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  12. GeM says:

    ‘Natural’ here is the key.
    Seville orange, bergamot, Amalfi lemon, ginger, pepper, orange blossom, Florence iris.
    So it seems the receipt based on this ingredients with a little piece of magic … gives me something rather similar to a refreshing, delicious …………. green tea!!!
    (Particularly reminds me quite a lot of Arden’s famous one! :))
    Has anybody noticed that…?? or is it just something wrong with my nose…???

    Like, you, I love much more the exuberant beginning of the scent.

    And the By Kilian’s Sweet Redemption one is definitely my favorite take on the orange blossom: I’m a nostalgic passionate and I tend to look to the warm twilight landscapes that SR conjures, instead of the cooler, happy-go-lucky Prelude to Love. However, those memories that they both brought back to me…. those memories have no price! ♥

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