Friday, January 29, 2016

Calisson meets Loukhoum: Kayseri by Abdul Karim Al Faransi Maison de Parfum

Sometimes someone makes an awesome perfume discovery and shares it. Finding Abdul Karim Al Faransi's perfumes is very much courtesy of the Facebook group Facebook Fragrance Friends.

Kayseri may be the ultimate wallet friendly and interesting Loukhoum scent you have been waiting for. Although, lets take a moment to reminisce about the time when Loukhoum scents were a big fad in the fragrance community, yup it was the early 2000s and everyone was talking about Luten's Rahat Loukhoum, Keiko Mecheri's Loukhoum, and Montale's Mukhallat. For those of us obsessed with gourmands it was like a new frontier because this was a gourmand that featured roses and nuts prominently. Fast forward a few years and well the trend fell to the wayside. There are still those of us who enjoy the idea of a loukhoum inspired fragrance but the thing is most loukhoum scents have a clobber you over the head aspect frequently.

What if someone created a scent that featured the rosewater powder nutty goodness of loukhoum at its heart but instead of blasting you with powder decided to introduce a completely different element at the beginning, in this case the melon almond French sweet, calisson. If you are not put off by this idea then you need to try Kayseri. Kayseri starts with a sweet candied melon note, not overbearing, but most definitely there, it is very unique and somewhat reminds me of the beginning of Providence Perfume's Provanilla, this melon is most definitely of the cantaloupe* variety. It's a clean and sweet and not going to burden you and as time progresses it transforms to delicious rosewater loukhoum scent. Al Faransi's loukhoum note has accents of lemony rose and at moments I could swear it hints at a tiny smidgen of violet in there too. The beauty of Kayseri is instead of pummeling you with sweet powder as can frequently happen with a loukhoum scent Al Faransi has made a loukhoum that is slightly water-colored. The earthy quality of the melon note lightens it and adds a gentle spicy quality and it all sits on a bed of gently sweetened musky woods. Kayseri is easily one of the most wearable loukhoum scents I have encountered. Most interesting is there is a depth of layering to it that I have not really encountered in most loukhoum scents and much less in oil based scents.

Try Kayseri if you like Loukhoum scents, Sonoma Scent Studio's Lieu de Reves, or Rose Absolue by Yves Rocher

*Fun fact many melons in the cantaloupe family are called muskmelons. Considering Al Faransi specializes in musk scents how appropriate is it that use a muskmelon note in their scent?

Kayseri image from
Calisson image from Butterbadge
Loukhoum image from 


marzipan said...

Wallet friendly and a sister to my beloved and discontinued SSS LdeR? Wow! I am going to have to seek this one out!

Jennifer Koth said...

I'm not sure I would call it a full sister to LdeR but the watercolor effect really reminds me of LdeR. Al Faransi has a great sample program.

Mara Draffnon (Fin-de-si├Ęcle Greenhouse) said...

That sounds amazing... I've been wanting to order some Al Faransi's attars for a while, and Kayseri just made the list. Thank you for the review, you've just gained a new reader !

Jennifer Koth said...

Mara, Glad you liked the review and Al Faransi is very much worth the time to explore. And yay to new reader! :-).