By Kilian Asian Tales – Imperial Tea and Sacred Wood

tea perfume

Kilian has released the last two fragrances in their Asian Tales series. The first two were nice, not particularly memorable for me. I loved Flower of Immortality with that glorious peach and red currant axis.  Now Calice Becker has the last two. The releases on them seem to say that these are things she had created that Kilian snagged from her to finish the series, which, they say, goes against how he creates fragrances.  So I’m thinking when I read that – huh? Just trying to finish this out and grabbed a couple of formulas that were Calice’s favorites?  Ack, will these be half done?

I am happy to report that they are not.  Even if they have been snagged from Calice Becker’s personal favorite formula shelves, they stand on their own as fitting this series and pretty darn nice.

Kilian Imperial Tea was a formula Calice worked on because she wasn’t quite happy with other tea scents out there.  Notes of Jasmine sambac, bergamot, guaiac, maté, violet note make up Imperial Tea. This is a gorgeous tea that is enough different from others to make it unique.  A little creamier and milkier, more floral, there’s a wee bit of smoke coming from it. It hits the perfect spot between that dark smoky tea like the old Comme des Garcons Tea and some of the lighter tea scents out there that make you think  “Lipton instant.”  It’s really a must for any tea perfume lover to try. It may or may not make your favorites list, but it is a distinct take on tea that you should try.  With the loss of some great tea perfumes in the last couple of years, there’s some room for a good one or a great one, and Imperial tea is somewhere in the middle of those two things, depending on your tea smell preferences.

Kilian Sacred Wood is Calice Becker’s blend re-creating sandalwood since the days of using real sandalwood are so over.  Given my long history of difficulty with even doing a post on sandalwood, I’m not a great resource for reviewing this, except I think it is a darn great blend if sandalwood is what you are looking for. Notes of Steaming milk accord, sandalwood, carrot, cumin, elemi, cedar wood make up Sacred Wood.  It’s definitely a creamy sandalwood that intensifies in that first hour after applying and is its most sandalwoody.  After that, it smooths out to a really nice woods scent.  That’s okay with me because I find sandalwood’s smell overly rich much of the time, almost to the point of nausea. Yeah, I know, you sandalwood lovers are screaming with horror now. This also explains my inability to do a sandalwood post, the thought of smelling all those sandalwoods in a row makes me more than a little queasy.

Okay, do I have open giveaways?   I do!  The Chanel Jersey, Beige and 1932 extrait samples. Winners are – SallyM, Jane Elisabeth and trickyhollyolly.  Just click on the Drop Us  a Note at the top of the blog or e-mail patty at perfumeposse dawtcawm, remind me what you’ve won and give me your mailing address. I’ll send you a quick confirm that I got your e-mail so you know it didn’t land in my spam filter, and I’ll get your samples sent out.

This week, of course we will do a drawing for three winners of samples of these two Kilian fragrances.  Just drop a comment to be entered. You can tell me your favorite Kilian, if you’ve even tried Kilian or how you feel about tea or sandalwood fragrances or whatever is capturing your attention now.

  • Julz says:

    Ah, now that would be indeed great (for me at least !) 🙂 if they’ve indeed managed a decent true ‘Mysore of old’ signature reproduction. I luv me an unadorned sandalwood ‘fume & my ‘drobe still has a distinct ‘soli-sandal’ shaped hole in it. None have yet quite satisfied me as much as they used to back in the 70’/80’s. So I’m really looking forward to this one ! (As for the tea one I can pretty much take it or leave it, hell even totally ignore it. I much rather my tea in a cup.) 🙂

  • SMY says:

    I love Black to Back and Bamboo Harmony! I’d love tea scents so I’m anxious to try these new Kilians!

  • epic woman says:

    I’m a sucker for Sweet Redemption. I’ve been exploring milky scents lately so these sound interesting.

  • peppermoon says:

    So far I’ve only tried Kilian Love and Kilian Sweet Redemption, They were both pretty sweet on me, and I’d like to try some of the less sweet Kilian scents. 🙂

  • Elena says:

    I have only tried in the Garden of Good and Evil, and the first one I sprayed seemed like a slightly more expensive version of RL Romance (which, full disclosure, I did wear, but I was 18/19!) The others I gave a quick sniff, but was pretty turned off by the first one. I love tea scents, though.

  • Sherry B. says:

    I adore both tea and sandalwood in fragrance. I’ve only tried the Garden of Good and Evil series, and liked it a lot, but then I am only a budding perfumista. So many new experiences await!

  • helicalgnome says:

    I really like by Kilian fragrances in particular Prelude to Love and Beyond Love. I am dying to try Arabian Nights, all of them of course! I don’t know much about Tea perfumes. The only one I know which I really like is Bulgary eau de blanc. Its a white tea perfume I tried a while ago but still remember it!
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  • cynthia says:

    The tea one sounds marvelous. I like several BK perfumes; special mention tl Love and Beyond Love.

  • Kandice says:

    I would love to smell both of these new scents so thank you so much for the draw. My favorite By Kilian fragrance is Sweet Redemption. That was my first exposure to his fragrance line and nothing I’ve smelled since has come close. (His Garden of Good and Evil series has been a huge disappointment to me so far – sorry to those who liked it.) I keep hoping to find another of his I like as much – perhaps one of these will be the one I’m searching for. Thanks again.

  • Audrey says:

    I love to drink tea but have never sampled it as perfume. I would like to!

  • Cybele says:

    Very excited about this draw, I love both tea and sandelwood! My favorite By Kilians are Love and Back to Black.

  • Claire says:

    I haven’t tested anything from the By Kilian line so far, but these sound quite lovely, particularly Imperial Tea. While I’ve loved the edge tea provides in Osmanthe Yunnan and Five o Clock au Gingembre, I have yet to try a fragrance with tea as the main accord, so this one would be great to try.

  • xtopher says:

    Yes! I love tea perfumes and I love by Kilian. My favorites, if I am forced to pick because I want to own them all really, are: Back to Black and Musk Oud. But I am being unfair, I need to add to that Sweet Redemption, Water Calligraphy….

  • wefadetogray says:

    Sandalwood is everything to me. My first perfume love is sandalwood. I adore it even more than I do saffron and amber so any attempt to re-create its beauty makes me hopeful. And tea? I love tea in any way shape or form.
    I am not too aware of by Kilian’s line really with the exception of amber Oud which on me, neither smelled of our nor amber so it was a bit of a let down in all honesty.
    Thanks for this giveaway 🙂

  • snowcrocus says:

    Just tried Rose Oud based on the “Best of Rose” page. Delightful, although it did not de-throne Liaisons Dangereuses for me. Guess I like my rose with some sucrose.

  • Diana says:

    I enjoyed a couple of the Black Masterpieces but mix up the names so much that I can’t recall which are the ones that I like. :-/ Regarding Sandalwood: When Samsara was first released (and supposedly contained the real mysore sandalwood), I bought everything in the set– perfume, body lotion, EDP, etc…. and then ended up throwing away partially used bottles only a year or two later because I was “bored” with it and wanted a new signature perfume. If I only knew then what i know now. Anyhow, currently I tend to prefer creamier sandalwood scents which include the note but don’t make it the star of the show. Santal Majuscule is probably my favorite right now.

  • einsof says:

    funny you should be talking about sandalwood; as i think about creating a summer fragrance, i was considering sandalwood, but now the idea of a tea aroma is fascinating.

    sandalwood isn’t over- it’s just not classic mysore usually! you’re scaring me. a world without sandalwood… 🙁

    i don’t know enough about Kilian to judge; the one sample from a perfume fairygodmother smelled like buttered, salted popcorn. which was fascinating aromatically- but not something for me.

    let’s try another! 😉

  • Ingeborg says:

    I would love to try these, since I am still looking for the perfect sandalwood perfume, Have not tried anything form this line. SL Santal Majuscule and a few others have had either no creaminess on my skin or a disturbing foody note. i am also looking for a tea scent which is not discontinued! I wonder if I would like this one? I have trouble with the smell of very floral tea scents, I guess I am looking for a straight green tea scent mostly.

  • Cristine says:

    I’d love to try these because I already own & love a few Kilians– namely: Love, Good Girl Gone Bad, Back To Black, and Beyond Love (which is one of my favorite perfumes of all time.) I also like the absinthe one, but I don’t own it. Thanks!

  • karin says:

    Thank you for the draw! Would love to try these. Favorite Kilian is Liaisons Dangereuses.

  • Ashley Anstaett says:

    I am really fond of Water Calligraphy in the BK line. These two sound wonderful! Thanks for the draw!

  • I actually haven’t sampled any Killian fragrances yet, though I’ve wanted to as I do love the other aromatic and tasty creation of the Hennessy dynasty (cognac). I was never sure which one would be to my liking, and I didn’t want to fall in love with a bank breaker!!! But these new scents have me salivating creamy, floral, tea, sandalwood, stop I’m drooling!!

  • Mary K says:

    Love tea notes in perfume. That’s probably because I like to drink tea. When I open a canister of tea, I like to sniff it first thing to enjoy the aroma.

  • Dina C. says:

    I enjoy tea and sandalwood scents, so these sound like good ones to sample. My favorite ones in those categories right now are Bulgari’s rooibos tea scent, and Chanel Bois des Iles. Thanks for entering me in the drawing.

  • Lynne Marie says:

    I often have extreme feelings about By Kilian perfumes – either I adore them or they make me run screaming from the room. My favorites are A Taste of Heaven, Back to Black, Amber Oud and Pure Oud. Screamers include Good Girl Gone Bad and Sweet Redemption ( which is weird because I’m usually all about the sweet gourmand.) Your peach/current comment about Flower of Immortality intrigues me and Sacred Wood sounds like something I would like. Thanks for the draw, Patty!

  • Ellen says:

    I love tea and would love to try these samples. Thanks for the opportunity.

  • Nitasha says:

    Wow – don’t think I’ve really ever tried a tea scent (or any By Killian) – Bulgari au The Vert and Osmanthe Yunnan sound intriguing to me, as does Beyond Love.
    PS I just have to say one of the best recommendations from your site that made an immediate impact for me and my friends was ….The Miss Fisher Mysteries so THANKS 🙂

  • Sapphire says:

    My favorite Kilian so far is Back to Black. Amber Oud is pretty good, too. Haven’t found a tea scent yet that I just had to have, but I like the idea, so very excited about the drawing.

  • CheninBlanc says:

    These both sound interesting – thanks for the draw! The only Kilian I’ve tried is Liaisons Dangereuses. It’s not my favorite but I found it interesting. Now I want to go home and dig out my sample to sniff it again…

  • FeralJasmine says:

    I have seldom encountered a sandalwood that I didn’t enjoy, and I’m not always a fan of tea scents but a “creamier and milkier” tea sounds right up my alley. Would love to try these!

  • jirish says:

    I love Rose Oud, which is something I sought out after your post on roses. Saving up my pennies for the travel set for it.

  • Bridget B says:

    I started to develop a taste for tea perfumes last summer. There is Something about the tea in the heat for me I really like the oolang infini but find it just doesn’t last on me. Would be thrilled to try both of these. Thanks for the draw!

  • Hello, these two fragrances sound great. Tea is one of my soft spots (Bulgari The Vert and Artisan’s Tea for Two are among my favorite perfumes). And I have a strange relationship with sandalwood… But woods in perfume are another big love for me.
    I didn’t bother to smell the first two from the Asian series, nor the City of Sin ones… I was somehow tired of all the marketing around Kilian. Not at all of his nice face posted all around, it is always mood-lifting to see handsome men… but, well… let’s talk about fragrances 🙂
    I liked the Arabian Nights series, but, after smelling arabian Oud blends I am no more that enthusiastic about this line.
    The Oeuvre Noir line has a few fragrances that i would like to own.
    Most of all I like Dangerous Liaisons (big big plum), Back to Black, Sweet Redemption (good orange flower) and Straight to Heaven (good rum blend – although, in between the market was flooded by boosy, short-drink and long-drink -like perfumes 🙂 )

  • Jackie b says:

    Tea scents, yes please, the jasmine in this sounds like the tea you get at yum cha restaurants. I have Tea for Two but it is deep dark smoke. I wear Oolong Infini in summer. Osmanthe Yunnan I love but do not have.
    I can’t imagine how you duplicate the scent of sandalwood but am itching to try Sacred Wood.

  • salmack1 says:

    As a tea merchant I’m such a terrible snob when it comes to tea perfumes – I confess I haven’t yet smelled one that I really feel captures the true aroma of tea. Jasmine Silver Needle is my favorite tea and so I’ve been on a quest to find a fume that does justice to this amazing brew.
    I’m a sandalwood fiend – I have so many perfumes with this as the main attraction I don’t know where to start in naming a favorite. Tam Dao, Samsara, Bois des Iles, Santal de Mysore/Blanc/Majascule, Barbara Bui…

  • zazie says:

    Thanks for the draw, I love the sound of these! Lemming alert!
    * my favorites BK are: amber oud, beyond love, sweet redemption and love and tears.
    * I also really admired and liked rose oud which is a huge statement, given how my skin rebels against such classic combination -roses go sour on me and the oud sears my brain…
    * My favorite sandalwood?Tom Ford’s santal blush, Bois des iles, Samsara, and Mona di Orio’s Vanille (to my nose the latter is as much about the wood as it is about the pod). I also get tons of sandalwood from une fleur de cassie, which I love.
    * My favorite tea fragrance? I’m still looking. Let’s say Giacobetti and Ellena are not my kind of perfumers….

  • Being a tea drinker, I get drawn to tea scents. There’s this tea shop, that is, a shop selling loose the not serving, I visit regularly. Oh, boy! If someone can capture the scent of the shop and make a perfume, I’ll happy to buy & wear it!! Fruity, floral, smoky with a hint of spice and wood… It’s heavenly! I haven’t tried Imperial Tea but maybe I should…

  • Irina says:

    I really loved back to black, didn’t care for many of the later releases-would like to try these 2 though. thanks for the chance

  • greennote2 says:

    I had never smelt any By Kilian until yesterday when I got to smell Love and Tears. It’s a very clean jasmine on paper. I adore tea notes and bought some Osmanthe Yunnan yesterday. Bois des Iles is also amongst my favourites, and is on the list for a full bottle after years of samples. So of course, I would love to try some new beautiful perfumes that sound like they hit my sweet spots!

  • Michael S says:

    I adore Amber Oud from By Kilian. And I would be really interested in the new sandalwood scent as good quality sandalwood is getting harder and harder to find.

  • Scott says:

    I agree with you completely, these two are very well done, a truly beautiful rendering of sandalwood, reminiscent of Tam Dao but much “thicker” and longer lasting (hours and hours). Really deserves to be on the short list of the great sandalwood perfumes. The Imperial Tea is a lovely jasmine tea, rich and floral, not astringent. I had not been won over by the Asian Tales series up until this point, he saved the best two for last.

  • Katrin says:

    I haven’t tried any of the Asian tales series, but most in the original black line, and found one that I love, it’s Beyond Love.

  • Solanace says:

    I really like Back to Black. Thank’s for the draw, Patty!

  • Rina says:

    I got these samples over the weekend from Kilian and really loved the jasmine tea and was meh on the sandalwood (which was sad, since I LOVE sandalwood!). I fell Dow the BK rabbit hole HARD – Love and Tears, Straight to Heaven, Water Calligraphy, Good Girl Gone Bad. Needless to say, please don’t add me to the draw.

  • foxbins says:

    The only By Kilian I have tried is Back to Black. I haven’t yet found a tea I love but I am a sucker for woodsy fragrances. Bois des Iles is my favorite.

  • eldarwen22 says:

    I tried a couple dabbers (Back to Black was one of them) from this line and wasn’t enthused about them in all honesty. I expected a little better from them especially for the price that rivals Amouage.

  • Peppy OBrien says:

    I would love to try these samples as I love t scents with sandalwood in them

  • silvrolive says:

    I love my Osmanthe Yunnan in the summer, but I haven’t found a tea for winter. Would love to try something from Julian.

  • Civet says:

    My favorite Kilian is probably Amber Oud or that orange blossom one that I’m blanking on the name of. Love and Tears? The one after Love and Tears? Love tea notes. My favorite is probably L’Artisan Tea for Two or CBIHP Russian Caravan.

  • Nancysg says:

    The idea of jasmine tea in perfume is what I want to smell. And a little smoke for effect. Sounds great.

  • Becky says:

    Back to Black is till my favorite by Kilian fragrance (though I’ve only tried a few). I can’t think of a single tea fragrance I’ve tried, but your review makes me want to get sniffing.

  • Erika says:

    I just ordered several Killian samples so I am excited to experience them myself! Thank you so much for the drawing.

  • Katherine says:

    I think Calice Becker is amazing at Tea scents. I still love Tommy Girl. My favorite Kilian is Back to Black. I love it.