$232 for a 50 ml bottle of By Kilian perfume. No, this is not the same perfume snipe hunt that Lee took you on last week. That price is for one bottle of By Kilian perfume. But! Once you buy a bottle, you can get it refilled for $95, which is a veritable bargain these days. Yes, $200 is the new $100. Before we get started, let’s just make sure we all take a look at Kilian Hennessey. That’s him over there on the right. Who doesn’t want to buy from that face? Oh, y’all actually want to know what they smell like? Oh, piffle. Fine.
Cruel Intentions has notes of (I’m cutting out all the over the top ad copy) Oud, Bergamot, Centifolia Rose, woody heart notes, Papyrus, Vetiver, Guaiacum Wood, Styrax and Castoreum. Created by perfume Sidonie Lancesseur, this is probably my favorite of the six, and I just have a sample, and I fear this one needs to be spritzed. It starts off bright and sunny with the bergamot. Then the oud peeps out, giving it some depth. The vetiver grounds it with an earthiness, and the incense and wood notes keep it warm. Now, it doesn’t exactly live up to its name. I was expecting some cruel bite to it, but perhaps it only had intentions and dropped the cruelty to a teensy love nip because it just couldn’t find it in it to be cruel, but the notes have all the intentions and potentiality to be that. It’s easily one of or my favorite of the six.
Speaking of cruelty gone astray, did I tell y’all what Harry did for Halloween? Oh, of course not, I wasn’t here. Every year, Halloween is a big production at our house — hanging things from the trees, bodies dropping off and heads dripping blood, sliding scary things. I think I’ve told y’all that before. Mostly it’s done because Harry wants it that way and he does all the work and only requires that I pitch in some money here and there. He has a $500 fog machine from a couple of Halloweens ago. Yes, I pitched in half, but he paid for the other half. He was the only 15-year-old I knew that had his own high-powered, “can fog the entire block in 30 seconds” fog machine. Anyway, this year he wanted a big production, wanted to scare the little kids so bad they wouldn’t even make it to the first step. Those that braved it would be the cool, fearless kids.
As time got closer to Halloween this year, he just couldn’t do it. At 17, his empathy factor has kicked in that overrides what he thinks is cruel fun, and he just couldn’t scare the little kids – he said they’re so small and helpless, it just wasn’t right. So what he did that night was got the fog machine out and had it running at full blast on the front porch, covering the front of our house, lawn, block in fog, and he sat behind it with his guitar and his
amp and special effects doodads cranked at full blast and serenaded the trick-or-treaters, the block and all of the neighborhood with some spooky music that he made up, some bluegrass, some blues, some rock, some jazz, for the whole night. They loved it.
Beyond Love was created by perfumer Calice Becker and is all about the tuberose. There’s something else in there, gardenia definitely and orange blossom maybe? I wax hot and cold on tuberose, loving Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle and Estee Lauder’s Tuberose gardenia and Malle’s Carnal Flower, but hating Fracas (Yeah, I know!). This one is firmly in the love camp. If you love tuberose, it’s definitely worth sniffing. To me, it’s a little bit of a cross between Shalini and Estee Lauder’s Tuberose scent. Is it worth $232 for 50 ml to you? Well, let’s see.
Can we talk about the box for a second? If you are a box whore at all (and I know who you people are), the By Kilian perfume box is the perfume box to end all perfume boxes. Done in black lacquer, it has a scrolly design on the sides. Turn the silver key with a gorgeous black tassel on the end and open it up to black velvet where the perfume lives, breathes and looks stunning. If you’re one of those people that don’t care about the boxes and presentation of a perfume, you can probably skip the whole By Kilian perfume line. You may or may not find something in here worth $232 for 50 ml. If you love boxes, trust me, you will find at least ONE scent of the six that you love enough to buy for that box. Find it, then beg, plead, stomp your feet until someone who loves you gets you it so you can have this box. I’m sending the sample set to my sister to pick one so I can buy her a bottle for her birthday. Because if I don’t, she will sigh and moan and salivate until I give in and give her my box. Well, that, and because I love her and want her to have the box of her dreams. She’s the worst box whore I know, and this box will provide hours/days/years of orgasmic fondling pleasure. I’m shuddering thinking about what kind of hits we are going to get from that paragrph. Listen, I’m here to help y’all find your Kilian, if you want, so you can have your own Absolutely Fabulous Kilian Box. Enabler? Me? You’ll thank me later.
Where were we? Oh, yes, Liaisons Dangereuses has notes of plum, Egyptian Geranium, Cinnamon, Sandalwood and musk notes. Created by Calice Becker, it goes on pretty sweet with the fruity notes, but is warmed with the cinnamon and geranium, the two other notes that are apparent early on, and rose. Not sure why rose isn’t listed as a note, it’s definitely rose. While I’m not in deep love with this, it is well made and lovely to wear. It reminds me a little of MDCI Rose de Siwa, the rose one that I love and maybe slightly of Rose d’Ete from Rosine. If you like your roses a little fruity and spicy, this could be the one that gets you into your own Kilian beautiful black lacquered box.
Love takes its “inspiration” from the Marshmallow, and it was also created by Calice Becker. Notes of Neroli, Sambac Jasmine, Rose, Iris, vanilla and musk. If you like vanilla and sweeter perfumes, you should find love here. It starts out with oodles of vanilla. Not sure if there’s actually a marshmallow note or not, there could be, but I’m getting lots of vanilla, held up and filled out with the floral notes and musk, so it does not stay a flat, linear vanilla scent. I find this one addictive like that Tihota thing from Indult is addictive. I don’t like vanilla perfumes, so what is wrong with me!?!?!? This one does not stay as loud as long as Tihota or Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille. So if you like vanilla in limited, more understated doses, this one could definitely work for you.
Straight to Heaven was created by Sidonie Lancesseur and has notes of rum, Patchouli, Nutmeg, Cedar and Brazilian Rosewood. Okay, I got nothing here, it’s got a note in there (maybe the rum) that makes me smell pure alcohol, which means that note is killing the others, so I can’t do a proper review at all. What I do get is patchouli and, well, more patchouli, but Marina gets more booze, so go read her review on this one instead.
Last, but not least is A Taste of Heaven. Notes of Absinthe, Orange Blossom, lavender, bourbon vanilla, Turkish Rose, Patchouli, Oak Moss, and Amber. Created also by Calice Becker, this one is pretty much working for me on the open, but I’m not sure why. It seems a little foody at first with lavendar roaming around in the composition. Lavender is not one of my favorite notes in a perfume, so making that work is tough for me personally, but it’s not hate, just don’t think it’s love either. If you are fond of lavender, this one may work for you… it’s interesting in how the notes are combined, and I suspect this is one that depends very much on chemistry. I read Marina’s description of what it did on her skin, and it didn’t devolve that way on me, I’m just not a fan of some of the notes in this one, which keeps it off my fave list, but it stays an interesting contrast between the lavender and the foody aspect, almost gingerbread note, which I probably wouldn’t wear, but have had fun sniffing.
The names? You really have to just skip the names and how they apply to the perfumes on these. They’re great names, but I don’t think they reflect the juice inside. So getting past your expectations is the first step to appreciating these fragrances, which are all well made. Now, are they overpriced? When you factor in that gorgeous box for the intial bottle, I think no. I’ve got a beautiful white porcelain box and bottle for some Nuit de Noel that I would have paid twice the price I did to get it. Sometimes the trappings around a perfume are worth it, and when you factor in that presentation, it’s not as bad. When you further factor in that you only have to pay $95 for a 50 ml refill after you buy the first one, the price point actually makes sense for the perfume. My work is done here.