That was a fun headline wasn’t it? Kidding aside, Kaltio is a wonderfully natural feeling “fresh” take on nature, and I’m gonna explain why below.
But first, let’s take a quick look at this house. I first discovered Scent of Finland in January of this year, and was immediately hooked on two of their fragrances, Korpi and Kaltio. The house itself was launched in 2020 with four fragrances in its lineup. Scent of Finland set out to make quality fragrances that were both inspired by some of Finland’s most iconic places, and represented the Nordic spirit and aesthetic.
They hired French perfumer, Maud Chabanis to come and visit Finland to take notes for the eventual creation of this line of fragrances. Though keep in mind, while the nose behind this house is French, the line itself is proudly made in Finland.
So what exactly is Kaltio supposed to be reminiscent of? Their lakes. Finland has some 187,888 lakes and has the nickname Land of a Thousand Lakes (bonus fact: Finland has some of the world’s cleanest water). Most Finnish cultural sites will discuss the relationship Finns have with their lakes and water in general (though that last aspect could also be attributed to their diehard affinity towards sauna), so it’s not a surprise this was one of the four elements Scent of Finland wanted to represent.
So before I delve into what I thought of it and why I think it’s Fresh 2.0, let’s look at the notes.
Top: Bergamot, lemon, limette, mandarin
Heart: Aquatic notes, coriander, white flowers
Base: Cedarwood, moss, musk, amber, patchouli
Whaaaaaaaaaaat? Kori likes something with white flower notes? How can that be? Well, I’ll tell you.
Simply put, the heavier base notes and the soapier white floral notes are blended perfectly to balance each other out. What we’re left with is a scent that smells very naturally, organically clean. Like, when you look at those Nordic minimalist design photos on Google or even in an Ikea catalog and you have that sense of clean, orderly, and welcoming… Kaltio is what you’d scent them with.
There’s enough of a tang and ozonic “presence” from the top level of citrus to keep them from falling into a more traditional “clean” scent that you’d associate with, say, Quercus or Douro from Penhaligon’s. There’s no starchy clean laundry feeling here, so much as a tidy, lived-in space next to a forest with the windows open to let the sun-warm wind breeze around.
Does it smell exactly like a lakeland? Not really, and it’s not trying to match it identically. Kaltio is going for the memory aesthetic associated with the place, not the actual lakewater itself. So some might be mildly disappointed if you go into this expecting a super aquatic nature scent.
However, if you’re a fan of the Nordic aesthetic, particularly a cozy, minimalist lakehouse in the summer, this is about as perfect a match as you can find. I found the scent to be very calming but still refined. It’s not overwhelming provided you aren’t an oversprayer (seriously, why would you be an oversprayer, stop wasting your juice!) and you can expect 5-6 hours on skin. The sillage is lovely, though the projection is fairly average, which is really all that Kaltio needs. This isn’t the type of scent to ram itself into someone’s face upon entering a room, but it is the type of scent you could wear pretty much anywhere.
If you’d like to get your nose on Kaltio, you can order a sample from IndieScents for $6, or a 50 mL bottle for $110.
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The Fandomentals “Fragdomentals” team base our reviews off of fragrances that we have personally, independently sourced. Any reviews based off of house-provided materials will be explicitly stated.