"Inland" lakes (aren't they all? but no, trust me, there are the big lakes, the Great Lakes, which I have come to realize need emphasized are really, really big--those of you who think of the middle as "flyover" would do well to think about a body of water that takes much time to cross on a boat, and remember it takes even your jet some time to cross over) are smaller lakes of various sizes, which generally fall within state boundaries, and can be seen across and traversed easily by boat, sometimes even rowboat.
Point being, the swimming is different. Not only do you float differently, but there can be ginormous temperature differentials on the inland lakes: water temperature varies according to season, according to depth, and even sometimes according to weather conditions. On the big lakes, the water is, generally, cold. The question for any lake is: do you go carefully, trying to discover and/or acclimate yourself to the temperature, or do you just charge?
No matter what your approach, your experience in the same pocket of water may be different one day to the next, one visit to the next, one year to the next.
And so it is with Kingdom. What I am about to say is not "I was wrong." My experience has been, almost every time, panties. But today I was decanting a generous sample for a friend--a friend who has enjoyed this, and so I was happy to share--and a generous splot of McQueen's controversial juice ended up on my hand.
Surprise! Today the cumin was nearly woodsy, and clearly just a layer among the package. I was getting a quick impression of something that was interesting both as quoting some vintage references, and also quite of the times. Cumin, woody spice, something floral...it was all there, and it was interesting. Not "beautiful," as some receive it, but really, really interesting, in a pleasant way. Meanwhile, I had just decanted DK Gold (following a tasting principle of increasing intensities), and THAT was also different than any of my previous experiences. In this cool/cold weather, Gold edp was almost creamy, with jasmine clearly coming through as much as the lily, and much less sharp green. (That green is sharper, and more metallic, in the EDP.)
So, today, I liked Kingdom. No promises for tomorrow. And honestly, I'll probably be more likely to reach for the Gold on an overall percentage basis. But I had to come clean about the experience, considering how adamant I am about the nasty element I usually get.
BTW, you already not to trust when somebody says "come on in, the water's fine," right? One swimmer's tepid is another's chilled. In the lake, or out of the bottle, your mileage may vary.
UPDATE 11/23/08: Kingdom is back in the chatterstream. See the gents over at PeredePierre for their take on it, and hear Denyse at Grain de Musc place it according to her sensibilities within the comments section of her lovely review of Schiaparelli Shocking. Yup, that's me, asking her opinion--I love to learn from better noses than mine. But despite my bowing to Denyse's more experienced nose, I have to say that, for now, for me, Kingdom's "gousset" is still sewn into panties and not a blouse. Never a better example of Your Mileage May Vary than an individual's experience of cumin in Kingdom.