Monday 15 June 2020


One of the interesting things about the fragrance industry is its continual return to certain key ingredients. The constant demand for “newness” and “pushing the boundaries” is all very well for transient shoppers but, by also focusing on those perfume building blocks, attracting steadfast fans is the difference between success and failure. Sandalwood has long been revered as one of the most sensual woods that can be used in the creation of a scent, and so it’s not surprising that many companies have attempted their own version. One of the newest to try and capture its magic is Kierin NYC with their Santal Sky.

The route to forming a perfume brand is not one that can easily be duplicated, and many of the most successful actually have their origins deep within the founder’s own life experiences. This was the way that Kierin NYC came about. Mona Maine de Biran was a successful model and lifestyle writer but she started to feel as though the fragrances that were being launched didn’t really resonate with her. The scents themselves might be edgy and trendy but the design and packaging was lacking those qualities. So, in a brave move, she decided to have a go at creating her own vision.

Mona’s husband had already been working in the perfume industry, for brands such as Thierry Mugler and Bvlgari, and so it was natural for Didier to also come on board. Together they decided that the company would present a series of fragrances that captured the excitement of New York, but which also encouraged the owner to create their own memories whilst wearing them. Mona described this as “actualising the now,” and it was a theme that was carried through the debut quartet of perfumes. With an edgy pop-art design by Chris Rosasco, Kierin NYC had found its audience.

To create Nitro Noir, Sunday Brunch, 10 a.m. Flirt, and Santal Sky, it was decided to approach perfumer Mathieu Nardin. He had trained at the world famous ISIPCA in Versailles and, at that point, was one of the stable of perfumers at Robertet. His credits are long and varied, including Le RĂªve Nirmala for Molinard and Iris des Champs for Houbigant, but it was left to him to realise the impressive debut collection. Inspired by New York’s Central Park, Santal Sky is described as “a calm heart in the fast beat of city streets.” It covers an astonishing 843 acres but has its promised serenity been achieved?

The fragrance opens with a sweetened green note, reminiscent of leaves, before the saffron glides into view. This beautifully spicy aroma is given a decadent floral touch, thanks to traces of rose, but the surprise appearance of cardamom helps to add a dryness to this wooded walk. Before the earthy vetiver and sandalwood arrive, which both also provide a nod to the ancient structures of the park, there’s a citrus return that is wonderfully disarming. A note of musk and cedarwood in the base help to add the effect of space to this unisex fragrance and, along with a resinous afterglow, perfectly complete a wooded walk that “refreshes the soul.”

Santal Sky is available from the Kierin NYC website at or in the UK from The Perfume Shop at priced at £22 for 10ml and £65 for 50ml. [Sample provided by Phoenix Beauty]

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