The brands are different, yet the colour of the bottle is analogous, a scarlet red one and Baccarat red the other, and even the scents have a few points in common. Here and there, some puffs smell the same, but when compared side by side, Baccarat Rouge 540 Eau de Parfum
are two distinct scents, each with its own unique character. I see more contrasts than resemblances between the two. Kalan smells like a more manly, robust, woodier and darker version of Baccarat. Perhaps, Baccarat has a more feminine touch, whereas Kalan has a more masculine slant as if they altered the original formula for getting two complementary fragrances. Two fraternal twins of different sexes may smell very similar but not precisely identical. Kalan is a splendid example of a perfume that can be like many classic perfumes, but the use of some notes in this perfume both takes it away from them and makes it look different from them. Well, the comparison ends here. Let us now get to the heart of Kalan's description.
Kalan is a small fern, virile and highly sophisticated, and feels like a modern barbershop fragrance, both spicy and green, and vaguely floral. Although they classify it as oriental spicy, it has a fougére tendency, with a fluffy, unsweet, salty, cotton candy feel. Created by two Mane Company perfumers, Celine Ripert and Nathalie Templer, it opens with an extraordinarily fresh initial note of bitterly aromatic blood orange, black pepper and spices for a burst of energy. An observable syrupiness, thick and gooey, with a touch of medicinal, tastes of dried blood orange slices, expertly spiced with freshly ground black pepper. The blood orange does not have the sweet scent commonly found in fragrances. Instead, it feels like unripe or unsweet orange with a sour taste, filthy and full metal nuance. The spices mentioned must include dusty nutmeg and precious saffron, I'd bet, as I get a bitter leathery nuance in the initial blast. The spicy mix plays a role throughout the entire lifecycle of the fragrance. I get a synthetic plastic smell in here for just a moment, but it's just an illusion. I am blown away by that accord. Whilst it might not sound appealing, it is precisely the smell I figured out in my mind before buying or even sampling it.
It releases an accord of aromatic lavender herbs and orange blossom in the heart, evoking the majesty of ancient French gardens. It is gorgeous, although difficult to interpret and describe in words. I catch a resinous roasted sugar, and a few whispers of earthy oakmoss from the base are already detectable if I press my nose to my wrist. I doubt it could be a crowd-pleaser because of the very distinct bitter notes that drive it. The lavender comes to the front and gives it a very slight fougére vibe. I'm sure this unusual volume and dosage of lavender will surprise you. Even if I don't know what perfume the solar note should have, the heart is heated; it warms the surrounding atmosphere, and the essence makes me think of a cold sunny day rather than a rainy one, so it has achieved the result. So the middle stage has a warm aroma, spicy and slightly metallic.
At last, it evolves into something earthly. And when I say earth, I don't mean dirty patchouli or similar; instead, something more like moss and wet dirt or soil. Moss mixed with wood gives the illusion of aged and damp wood. White sandalwood, immersed in musk, woody notes, amber and tonka beans, melts on the skin and ignites the imagination. Now the scent toned down. It is calmer, more agreeable. Smooth, bright, utterly mesmerising.
And I get a massive amount of warm, creamy, kind of burnt and caramelised sugar from roasted tonka. That smoky sugariness slant, in the end, is tamed by an animalic, musky and earthy moss, which already came up at the opening. It's so smooth that it is perfect. There's no overbearing ambroxan or ambergris here, like in so many other contemporary men's perfumes. Just delectable amber, sweet but not sticky—a chocolate sweetness, I would say—that keeps things from ever getting too dark or deep.
Longevity is excellent, and the sillage looks good too. It hangs in the air, especially in the first few hours after application, but I get a puff of burnt sugar sweetness here and there when I move my arms or turn my head. The heat it gives off suggests that I wear it during the coldest days and evenings in winter, at least in the spring and autumn months closest to winter. What to say? I wanted this perfume from the first moment I saw his presentation, and I loved it at the first sniff. So freaky Glorious, and Gorgeous. But from the other reviews, Kalan is a polarising fragrance, no doubt. One faction thinks this is a magnificent and soothing scent and another that finds it disgusting and vexatious. So, don't just dwell on the appearances or impressions of others, including mine, but experience Kalan on your own skin... it may pleasantly surprise you!
I base the review on a bottle I have owned since December 2021.