Not that much of an exaggeration.
Keora was a lovely surprise. Launched in 1983, it has elements of other floral oriental fragrances of the day-but Keora is not Opium. It is miles better. Keora isn't spicy to my nose (other people smell cardamom and cloves, I don't), but rather rich with amber and non-sweet florals. I smell carnation (though it isn't listed in the notes) and roses, and possibly some lavender. The comparison to Shalimar isn't that much of a stretch, though it lacks the citrus and the vanilla is much different. The musk notes in Keora are absolutely incredible, and that comes from someone that wouldn't go out of the way to buy a musky perfume. This stuff is sex in a bottle. No one (under eighty) would say that of Shalimar. If I ever start a line of perfume I'm calling it, "Sex Powder." What can I say? I like powdery notes.
I shouldn't have waited so long to give Keora a try, but I'm glad I got to it in the winter. I suspect this would be a difficult fragrance to pull off in the hot, humid, Nebraska summer though it might work in a hot dry climate. I have to wonder why it isn't more popular-a perfume like this should be flying off the shelves. Could it be the curse of Coriandre creating a bias for wary perfume shoppers? Intellectually I know it isn't right to judge a house by one fragrance but I can't help it. I'm glad I decided to prove myself wrong, because this is a beautiful perfume.
I'm not sure how well Keora has fared under reformulation, so of course I cannot comment on the current perfume. I'm not sure what the source of the musk note is (floral, synthetic, animal?) but it smells expensive. We've all smelled cheap musk (I'm looking at you Jovan White Musk) and Keora is most definitely not that. This isn't fabric softener. No one will run from the room when you enter-but they will smell you. Keora is not shy. Keora wants to get laid. The silage is huge, and the longevity is practically forever, at least on clothing. Keora is the Energizer Bunny of perfumery, "Still going...still going..." You'll get your money's worth out of a bottle of Keora. Whether it gets you laid, is up to you, because clearly Keora is doing its part.
The listed notes are rather vague: Floral notes, fruit notes, amber, musk, vanilla.
What I smell: Rose, rosewood, lavender, carnation, vanilla, maybe some overripe peach, possibly civet, ambergris, sandalwood, and perhaps some lily of the valley.
Overall, I basically went wild for Keora. This has led to hunting down vintage bottles online, which isn't all that difficult at the moment. Bargains are still to be found, so if this sounds like your sort of thing, this might be an opportune time to stock-up. What a beautiful fragrance from a period when perfumery was getting away from elegant and sensual, to hitting you over the head with everything in the lab. It hardly stood a chance at the time, I suppose but all these years later, I can see Keora appealing to people seeking out a perfume that isn't all fruit and fabric softener.