These days, it’s not that cool being a king; we’re looking at you Joffrey, but when we heard that Dolce & Gabbana is releasing a new Eau de Parfum (EDP) version of their celebrated K BY DOLCE&GABBANA, we figured that it’s time we examined our biases. What makes this sensual concoction, topped with a burnished silver crown atop its glass flacon, so appealing to the modern man?
We got our answer. K BY DOLCE&GABBANA, a contemporary name where the ‘K’ stands for ‘king’, is the Italian house’s way of redefining the modern man. Moving away from the traditional portrayals of masculinity, this isn’t another tired story of a reigning monarch — instead, it celebrates the “king of everyday life”. An inspiring and, importantly, multi-faceted personality who cherishes his loved ones, and isn’t afraid to show how vulnerability can be a source of strength. You own the crown because you’re in charge, present, and true to yourself, whether at home, at work, or at any point in your life.
Similarly, the fragrance breaks free of the usual heavy muskiness we’ve come to expect of men’s scents, preferring to open with citrus, while also with a spicy and sensual heart that speaks of a man’s depth of passions, then balanced by comforting woods that lend authenticity to the scent.
While it may feel quite arrogant to call yourself a “king”, model and face of the campaign, Mariano Di Vaio, sums up Dolce & Gabbana’s modern sentiment quite nicely here. “To me, being a modern day king means taking care of my family and my friends. It means being strong and confident, but also understanding that there is a strength in kindness, and that you shouldn’t be afraid to show your innermost feelings.”
His understanding of that very welcome, non-toxic masculinity is also what makes the fragrance shine — K BY DOLCE&GABBANA is for a man who’s comfortable in his own skin and being the best version of himself, whether as a significant other, parent, or friend.
On the fragrance, Vaio continues: “You know, many fragrances just smell good, but this one is inspirational — it really does make me feel like a king. It has the power to evoke your deepest emotions and to bring out who you really are deep inside. When you wear it, you feel like you can be authentically ‘you’.”
Renowned perfumers Daphné Bugey and Nathalie Lorson are the talented names behind this scent, one that’s inspired by the earthy, rugged landscape of Tuscany, Italy. Here, they’ve reinterpreted the original EDT fragrance to incorporate more spicy top notes, a more sensual heart, along with a stronger woody base.
You’ll first notice a radiant opening accord of citrus, of blood orange and lemon though with a more unique cardamom spice, followed by the signature heart of pimento essence, crisp geranium and clary sage. What’s new here is a fig milk accord that gives a creamy touch to its heart, blending well into the deeper warm base notes of cedarwood, patchouli, vetiver and Nagarmotha wood.
- Top Notes: Blood orange, Lemon Torchio, Juniper, Cardamom.
- Heart Notes: Pimento, Geranium, Clary Sage, Lavandin, Fig Milk.
- Base Notes: Cedarwood, Patchouli, Vetiver, Nagarmotha.
The fragrance is very much in line with the original, with a strong and chiseled geometric form, though now a deeper regal blue that depicts the new sensuality and intensity of this scent. You’d also find that signature crown at the helm of the bottle, in a burnished silver patina and with the noble blue of a lapis dome and orbs encircling the topper. This marks the first time a men’s bottle is adorned with a daring piece of art cap, while you should also know that each cap is handcrafted in France, making each piece truly unique. On the bottle itself, a traditional crown sits atop a clean, simple sans serif type of the letter K.
With fragrances, especially with men’s scents, you never want to be the guy who puts on too much — we all know that feeling of holding our breaths in the elevator when this person walks in. Thankfully, K wasn’t like this. It’s an intense scent, sure, much more than the original EDT, but I’d say that this one’s pleasant yet still distinctly masculine, with notes that aren’t too heavy or off-putting.
I like the spicy and warm notes a lot, and when it dries down on the skin, the reassuring comfort of woody notes start to appear. That, for me, made this scent very welcoming — it could be the fig milk accord that melds together the warmth, woods, and spices, because there’s a subtle creaminess and depth that makes me want to stay in the same room. The longevity of the scent is really decent too, and stays on the skin for a long time, so you can go about your everyday life confident and suave.