Perfume Directory

Background (1993)
by Jil Sander


Background information

Year of Launch1993
Average Rating
(based on 42 votes)

People and companies

HouseJil Sander
Parent CompanyBenckiser > Coty Inc > Coty Prestige
Parent Company at launchBenckiser > Lancaster Group

About Background

Background is a masculine fragrance by Jil Sander. The scent was launched in 1993

Reviews of Background

Starts off like Jicky minus the animal, recedes into Canoe in the heart, with a bit too much powdery tonka, and finally dwindles to a musky, woody rose. Background is a happy fragrance, and aptly named due to its un-striking softness. It is a bit too powdery, even for me, but is in every other way quite lovely, in a pastel way.

If Ungaro II is a Lothario on the prowl, Background is a super-friendly accountant, or maybe a jolly neighbor who lets you borrow his things.
29th December, 2015
Background opens with a thick, quite peculiar soapy-medicinal blend comprising fruity notes, almond (tonka), a true load of cinnamon blended with powdery notes (heliotrope above all), balsamic notes, something creamy like white flowers, and something balsamic-resinous which reminded me of pine and fir balsam. Balmy, spicy, medicinal, woody, powdery, kind of gourmand-ish and balsamic... and leathery too for me, a smooth, soft but bold leather note underneath, slowly arising as minutes pass. A really solid leather accord, actually: waxy, rich, realistic, bracing and totally compelling. A sort of bizarre, colorful, kind of queery hybrid halfway Cuir Mauresque and Helmut Lang EDP, spicier than both and overall kind of more “weird” and playful - in a good meaning though. Kind of flashy too honestly, with (no offense for Germans) a sort of typical German “boldness” (i.e., tackiness) I smell in many older perfumes from Germany. Fun and creative, a bit linear and a bit heavy too, but a really peculiar and overall compelling take on the typical mid-90s Oriental “powdery-spicy” fougère theme (where the “peculiar” feature mostly lies in the sweet-medicinal-balsamic side).

12th April, 2015
I'm sorry, I just don't get what is so special about Background. First of all, I know a name isn't everything, but "Background" is such a non-pretentious name that I almost didn't bother to sample it because I thought it would be boring, and I was right. The rose isn't too dominant, but is still noticeable, and I don't care for the smell of roses. I respect that others like this, but it's nothing special to me. In fact, to MY nose, it smells cheap.
20th July, 2014
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Unique and brilliant

In the opening raspberry and lemon combine with anise and lavender to mix traditional with the unusual, and all is given some extra freshness with the help of a good dose of bergamot. The drydown commences in flowery hues, with jasmine and heliotrope merging with a nice rose; cinnamon gives additional warmth. After about six hours deeper and darker zone are reached, with styrax resin and cedar combining with musky and ambery aromas. A touch of tonka gives a little sweetnes that never really catches my attention. This is a complex and versatile fragrance whose longitudinal development is never boring. Is had very good projection and silage, and the longevity is a brilliant twelve hours or more. One of the great citrus-oriental scents of the nineties.

Pros: Longevity

06th August, 2013
If Canoe and Halston 1-12 had a baby, and that baby grew up to become a refined and sophisticated mature adult, it would no doubt bear a strong resemblance to Jil Sander's Background. The citrus/lavender/heliotrope signature of Canoe is quite recognizable, as is the warm amber/green accord of 1-12; yet Background has its own distinct identity as well.

Smooth, elegant and invigorating, Background is a ideal late-summer scent that conjures up sunlight filtering through the trees and reflecting on the water of a lake or slow-moving stream. The air is warm, with a fragrant breeze hinting at the approach of fall. Another great fragrance that has been sadly discontinued.
12th September, 2012
I remember this when it came out. I loved it then and I love it now. Why do all the good scents get cancelled? This is really amazing all over again for me. It must be the years in between. Crisp and yet musky, its very complex and intriguing. I was lucky enough to score 3 large tester bottles of this from a friend. Bad for him, good for me!
03rd June, 2009

Add your review of Background

You need to be logged in to add a review

Shop for Background products online

Search Amazon for Background

Member images of Background

There are no member images of Background yet. Why not be the first?

You need to log in or register to upload images

Private Notes

You need to be logged in (or register here) to use Private Notes.