From the very start, the name Karleidoscope is so corny I was convinced this was a long lost 80s throwback. Mais non, it was created in 2011. This is proof, if proof were needed, that Herr Lagerfeld has a sense of humour. Not only has he given this rather pleasant scent an ironic”Selfie” name (at least I hope it’s ironic), but inside the box was a little piece of black padding shaped just like Karl Lagerfeld’s head. I hope that’s ironic too. Did I mention the lid of the box is faceted plastic like a Kaleidoscope? (or the eye of a fly if you want to prick the bubble).
Karleidoscope is a beautifully packaged, feminine scent with the emphasis on the feminine. It is a rather simple tale of Angelica and Violets that settles to a very light (almost too light) herbal floral. In a previous review I was honest about my ignorance of the note Angelica. However now I have smelled two perfumes with Angelica in, I can isolate the note and report that it is a sort of twig-like herbal flower note. Not as pretty or airy as Violet, Rose and Peony, it is more herbs than petals. It is a pale shadow of Woodiness, hence my twig comparison. In fact, it is usually the Angelica root that is used in fragrance rather than any flower heads.
In the middle comes a little Heliotrope. Often a melancholy note, here it is holding hands with Violet and set against an almost honeyed background. The basenotes keep the Angelica and Heliotrope going, although the Violet has bloomed and drooped by now. Patchouli, although a very Patchouli Lite version, comes in at the end and tidies up after the party. I didn’t get the Benzoin, but a whisper of Musk smooths everything out nicely before it finally disappears.
Karleisdoscope could do with a bit more longevity, but it’s a very hot day and it may last longer on cold skin. It’s unusual to find Angelica in a leading role, usually she just plays walk on parts, but if Karl says it’s in, then I guess it’s in. Wear your herby, rooty, violetty, musky Karleisdoscope with pride and still have change from twenty quid.