Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pricey Smokes (Scent Review: Back To Black, By Killian)

Oh, By Killian. It's a line that truly exasperates me. I love it, then I hate it, then I love it. I love By Killian fragrances because they truly are great perfumes, with top-notch materials blended supremely (by Candace Becker) and packaged magnificently by its creative maestro, Kilian Hennessy. But it comes with a price, a pretty steep one: $225 for a 1.7 ounce. That is why I am petrified to sample them, because I am scared that if I fall in love with one, I will obsess over it. "Back to Black" is a wonderful scent, and it was love at first sniff. It opens with a fruity berry something - the notes say raspberry, but in my mind, I see black cherries. That settles before the main note comes in - a glorious honeyed tobacco note. It's a sweet tobacco note, rich and sumptuous. And then it just gets richer and more opulent, staying pretty linear but deeper. It's a star, and it never overpowers you with a moderate silage and great longevity. But at the end of the day, I cannot justify its price (which I think mostly goes to its wonderful bottle)  For much less, I can think of very similar alternatives: Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanille, or L'Artisan's Havana Vanillle, or Diptyque's Volutes. Or even for much less, there's Viktor & Rolf's wonderful Spicebomb. These five fragrances are scent quintuplets: I bet you any inexperienced nose would not be able to tell subtle differences between them. So as much as I am in love with "Back To Black," it's for now an impossible dream. I can catch my dream cheaper. But, if I were a rich man....

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