By Kilian; Back to Black

Notes: Bergamot, raspberry, blue chamomile, cardamom, coriander, saffron, cedarwood, vanilla, almond, vetiver, cistus labdanum, patchouli, oakmoss.

I’ve said in the past that I try to avoid perfumes with fruit notes but, as always, the best fragrances manage to challenge your preconceived preferences. Back to Black taught me that sometimes I really do enjoy fruity fragrances. The fruit in this case is a sumptuous fermented raspberry. It’s not sticky-sweet, just lovely and edible.

Back to Black is a subtle tobacco fragrance. This isn’t the heady blast of something like of Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille. The tobacco here is herbal and delicate. It interlaces with the raspberry note like hazy curls of smoke.

The drydown has a boozy feel that gives the impression of having an after-dinner drink at a swanky cigar bar. Almond and vanilla appear, taking things into full-on gourmand territory. Back to Black isn’t the style of sweet/fruity perfume you’d find on the shelf at any Sephora. This is a sweet scent, but the underlying herbal smokiness keeps it in balance. It feels luxurious and rich, but there are still nuances to be found here.

This is already my second write-up of a By Kilian fragrance, can you tell I’ve fallen hard for this brand? I’m saving up for a full bottle of Back to Black. It’s just about as smooth and sophisticated as you can get. It lives up to its aphrodisiac subtitle, and that’s absolutely full bottle-worthy for me!

By Kilian; Back to Black: $225 for 50ml. Samples available from Luckyscent and The Perfumed Court.

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3 thoughts on “By Kilian; Back to Black

  1. I’m testing Back to Black for the first time today. As with most Kilian’t perfumes I like it but I’m still not sure if I want to wear it beyond testing. I’m not sure that I noticed raspberry. I need to re-apply.

    1. For whatever reason, the raspberry was quite dominant on me, but of course everyone’s skin is different! I know what you mean, By Kilians are lovely, but they can sometimes be difficult to translate into everyday wear. But I’ve worn Back to Black out at night a few times and thought it went over well.

  2. I tried several of the original Kilians when they first came out…I think there were a few likes but no loves…which is just as well for the price of a full bottle is out of reach for me.

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