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I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I heart Kiehl’s. I also happen to heart perfume oils. So Kiehl’s new portable essence oil? I’m all over it. And unlike many attempts to update classics that go horribly wrong (New Coke, I’m looking at you), Kiehl’s got it just right by not touching the formula-only the packaging.
They have released 4 of their essence oils in handy roller ball packaging. The scents are Musk 1921, Coriander 1946, Vanilla 1968 and Grapefruit 1976. Each date corresponds to the year the essence’s formulation was created by Kiehl’s pharmacists (love that!) 6 more will be released in the coming months, though back in the day, 122 unique fragrant oils were blended by hand in the original Kiehl’s Pharmacy.
Kiehl’s lore has it that Musk – the first essence oil created and still most beloved by customers – was formulated in the early 1920s by a relative of Kiehl’s founding family, an actual Russian prince! The legend of Kiehl’s Original Musk Oil says that the formulation was deemed “too sensual” for the times and was stashed away in a vat labeled “Love Potion” in the basement – in the deep, dark recesses of the Kiehl’s Pharmacy at 109 Third Avenue in New York City. The vat was not opened again until 1958, at which time a store renovation took place, and was finally introduced to Kiehl’s customers for the first time in 1963.
I have to agree, Rachael at Kiehl’s sent me the Musk 1921 to try and it is one amazing scent. The thought of it being hidden in a basement for 40 years makes me sad for all the sexiness that NYC was deprived of! Rich, deep and spicy-it is everything I look for in a fragrance. Best of all, it’s one of the best layering scents around. Perfect over florals (especially gardenia), great layered with other orientals (sandalwood, amber) and delicious with edibles (vanilla, strawberry). I couldn’t stop sniffing myself all day with this on and don’t imagine I’ll ever not own this again.
Here’s a bit more on the history of each essence…
This is Kiehl’s first essence oil and still today, a customer favorite and often referred to as the Original Love Oil. The use of musk dates back more than 1,300 years when it was used by rulers of early Chinese dynasties for its herbal medicinal properties.
Coriander was first used at the original Kiehl’s Pharmacy as medicinal oil for its soothing and healing properties. This aromatic stimulant and spice has been cultivated for over 3,000 years and used by the Egyptians as an aphrodisiac. Known as cilantro or Chinese parsley, Coriander is considered both an herb and a spice, since both its leaves and seeds are used as a seasoning condiment.
Originally cultivated by Pre-Colombian Mesoamerican peoples, Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes is credited with introducing both the vanilla spice and chocolate to Europe in the 1520s. The Spanish and Portuguese sailors and explorers brought vanilla into Africa and Asia in the 16th century.
A customer favorite for decades, Grapefruit delights Kiehl’s customers with its fresh and citrusy scent. Grapefruit was first described on Barbados in 1750 and was also called the forbidden fruit because it was seized upon by those searching for the identity of the original tree of good and evil in the Garden of Eden.
Available for $25 at kiehl’s.com.