The opening blast combines a somewhat dark bergamot with a herbal note, with impressions of cherries and forest berries, especially raspberries, added also. Very nice.
The drydown means business: the cherry turns sweeter, and soon a note of a somewhat stale fruit-flavoured pipe tobacco note develops, with a sweetish note of honeyed prunes blending in very nicely. The second half develops a well-executed vanilla note, rich, dark and saturated. It becomes increasingly spicy. This spiciness is not a myrrhe-incense spiciness, but more the air above an Oriental street market; it is never ceremonious à la Messe a Minuit or even Amouage's Interlude. With time it pairs up with a slightly sharp crisp undertone that reminds me of some oakmoss impression, but the vanilla sweetness prevails as a persistent counterbalance. This touch of sharpness makes is a touch more interesting and bit less dense and heavy as, for instance, Tobacco Vanille.
The perfomance is truly sensational, with strong sillage, excellent projection, and a longevity of fifteen hours on my skin. This is a well-made winter scent, a hint too synthetic at times but overall convincingly in concept and realisation. One of the best By Kilian's. 3.5/5.
The opening is so damn good,just love the raspberry too bad that after a few minutes the tobacco/honey kicks in and ruines the scent for me.Herod is doing a much better job and is excellent from start to finish,great cherry/tobacco mix and is done so right and is without honey so the combo tobacco/honey is not for me.
Understandably a very popular sweet tobacco option in the niche/luxury genre, By Kilian's Back to Black is the first and only perfume of their line that I've sampled due to my interest in sweet tobacco but the also absence of the brand's availability in stores near me (or in general).
Back to Black does not disappoint, being among top sweet tobacco options. The tobacco element is perhaps as rich and deep as in any tobacco fragrance I've ever smelled (it has the natural aspect of a Demeter or Jo Malone). The honey sweetness is also distinct from the more alcoholic sweetness of Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille and the more pure sugary sweetness of Parfums de Marly Herod.
Projection and longevity are both very strong--it's a promising example for the line, so it inherently makes me think that other By Kilian options will perhaps be worthwhile from a strength standpoint.
The composition on a whole, though, is still inferior to the giants Tobacco Vanille and Herod, and being more expensive than either ($260 for 50ml) is the main reason I wouldn't opt for a full bottle of Back to Black but rather a small decant for the collection. Many argue that Back to Black is the best, though, and I can certainly see why. It's inviting, and has both rich tobacco and sweet sides to it, fully ready to take on a variety of cold weather situations, especially dressed-up and special occasions.
Highly recommended as a sweet tobacco option. This could easily be a signature scent and certainly seems to be for many men.
8 out of 10
I'm getting tobacco, vanilla, honey, smoke and something leatherish (I'm looking at you, 1 Million!) out of this. The composition is definitely balanced towards the sweeter side. This may be a cool clubbing-scent for goth-/rock-kids. Ridiculous price.
A bit sweet in the beginning but an excellent opening nonetheless. One of my favorite dry downs as the tobacco becomes almost salty-sweet (in a very good way) on my skin. It is a fairly linear scent as others have mentioned. Longevity and sillage are excellent. A definite 4.5 out of 5 in my book.