Karen Walker Runaway Review


Karen Walker Runaway* (from £60 for 50ml) is the newest fragrance launch from the New Zealand-based fashion brand, and exclusive to Harvey Nichols. Runaway has been created by Veronique Nyberg, who is the brains nose behind the immensely popular Jimmy Choo line of fragrances, as well as Mugler Alien Eau Extraordinaire, Lancome Tresor In Love and Paco Rabanne Invictus, to name a few. Developed with Charabot, the oldest perfume house in the world in Grasse, Runaway is a bold departure from the brand's signature fragrances (A, B and C) and draws its inspiration from the dangerous and unpredictable nature of the forest at night time. The result is a sophisticated woodsy oriental fragrance with a touch of sensual leather, a note that I have really grown to adore over the last year. The bottle mirrors the forest theme, being a heavyweight emerald green glass, adorned with a luxurious golden lid. Very simple, but no less glamorous on your dressing table.


Karen Walker Runaway Review


Runaway opens with Italian lemon, black pepper, cinnamon leaf and cardamom, giving a gentle aromatic introduction into the exotic fragrance. The heart contains notes of rose which continues with the almost gourmand theme, making it reminiscent of gorgeous Indian sweets. From here, the scent gets a lot more dark and sensual, starting with heady jasmine sambac, a nod to the mystery and magic of the forest at night. The woodsy notes that make up the leather accord start off dry, with smoky Bourbon Vetiver, warming up with the golden caramel tones. of guaic wood and vanilla. As time goes on, the scent becomes a lot more feminine and soft, and the cardamom makes another appearance mixed with gentle florals and a more subtle woody note.


Runaway ends up being a beautiful warm scent, cosy and feminine whilst still having those leather nuances running through. It makes it feel a little unisex and stops the caramel-esque base from being too heady and sweet. That being said, it certainly is an intense fragrance, and a little really goes a long way. I think it is more suited towards the cooler months - there is definitely a smokey incense element, and reminds me a little of Yankee Candle Mountain Lodge, which instantly makes me think of autumnal months. Personally, I don't quite pick up on the woodland theme when wearing this fragrance, as when it is worn in the warmer weather it gives off a very exotic, Indian Summer/Moroccan vibe and is perfect to wear on steamy summer nights. However, I'm really intrigued to see whether the pine notes are more dominant in the cooler weather.


Karen Walker Runaway Review


Karen Walker Runaway is a really interesting scent with unexpected twists and turns. I really appreciate the subtlety of the aromatic top notes - the lemon, the cardamom, the rose and I love it when I can appreciate the transition of the notes on the skin. The unpredictable nature of Runaway means that the top notes re-appear when you least expect it! Runaway to me is a more feminine version of Penhaligon's Endymion Concentré (review), although it certainly could be a unisex fragrance. I love Endymion Concentré for its leather tones, but I find the top notes to be a tad too masculine, so Runaway definitely fills a gap within my collection. On that note, it is definitely consider as a complementary scent to either of the Endymion fragrances - take note if your partner is a fan! That aside, if you love bold, glamorous scents and want something a little different, something that smells niche without going over the £100 mark, Runaway is definitely a gorgeous option, and it will take you right through to the winter. I really see this being worn with an emerald green dress to a Christmas party!

What's your current favourite fragrance?



- Post contains PR samples (*) kindly provided by Harvey Nichols -