Perfume Directory

Back to Black (2009)
by By Kilian


Back to Black information

Year of Launch2009
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 373 votes)

People and companies

HouseBy Kilian
PerfumerCalice Asancheyev-Becker

About Back to Black

Back to Black is a shared / unisex perfume by By Kilian. The scent was launched in 2009 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Calice Asancheyev-Becker

Back to Black fragrance notes

Reviews of Back to Black

Being number 6 in a series of 16 reviews on critically acclaimed and noteworthy scents.

I've come to understand that I'm not a big fan of blonde tobacco scents. I had the same reaction to Phaedon's Tabac Rouge, and, er, others than I can't recall but pull off the same trick of highly realistic shredded blonde tobacco, bolstered by a sweet honey note. The overall effect is common to these scents: highly linear, very sweet, and, to my nose, rather overbearing. The reaction of the FWF family on application was telling: "Are you wearing ... honey!?" (Mrs FWF, who also asked me to look out for swarms of bees); "I don't like that aftershave" (Master FWF, who gets the idea that some things will be better than others but whose taste is not yet sufficiently rarified to appreciate this kind of thing).

I have to admit, I see where they're coming from. B2BA? (so abbreviated because the "Aphrodisiac" part of the name seems to come and go as it pleases) is far from subtle. It's not by accident that I leave the testing of what I expect to be left-field, minority-taste items to the weekend. I would not want to wear this in a work situation if I had just applied it.

Of the two accords, tobacco I get. I love the rendition of it in D&G's "The One". I am naturally sympathetic to pipe tobacco style renditions, despite not being a smoker. The trouble, perhaps, with these blonder versions is that they are too redolent of those smokers who will ostentatiously roll their own cigarettes and expect to be noticed for it ("Lo, I am a smoker, but not of anything commercial"), but don't have the courage of their convictions enough to inhale anything that will actually damage their lungs. Honey, not so much.

Overall, I can't say it's bad. B2BA? is very smooth, lasts well, and has that perverse niche ability to smell great just before it disappears. The two main accords are harmonious. I just don't see myself wearing it. Oh, and that name. It has nothing to do with black, and it's not an aphrodisiac. Recommended only for those with a true affinity for the stated notes, but could be rewarding in those cases.
11th September, 2016
I found this to be a whole lot of sweet, sweet tobacco, personally I find the fragrance a bit nauseating.

I wondered for hours what it was that was stopping me from enjoying the fragrance and I wasn't aware at the time, of the notes in this fragrance. It then clicked that it was tobacco, sure enough I looked it up and tobacco is prominent.

I can appreciate the quality craftsmanship behind Back to Black, aphrodisiac but I do not personally have an affection for it, therefore I've went neutral on this one.

As a side note, the performance of the fragrance was fantastic. Great projection and longevity. If tobacco and honey is your thing, I don't think you can go too wrong with this despite the hefty price tag.
14th June, 2016
chad888 Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Before i looked at the structure in this and the notes:

Burnt sugar/honey.
Candied oranges.

In that order. Top, middle, base.

This is nice though, i liked it and brought it, got home and checked the notes.

The burnt honey sugar notes are definitely the combination of honey, almond, amber with the bitterness of raspberries and cherry.

The honey lifts off which leaves a bitter sweet fruit candy smell with ginger(bread?) which i mistook for orange.

Then the vanilla, tobacco, tonka, benzoin to give a really sweet tobacco accord.

It is Ambre Narguile with burnt tobacco notes coming through to give a more bitter note.
18th May, 2016
Normally I cannot stand "honey" notes. Normally "cherry-fruit" smells annoy me. Screechy musks make me run. Something really gets me with B2B, however, and I now consider it a "guilty pleasure" that I really enjoy wearing.

Most reviews of B2B are spot on and I won't repeat what's been said. What makes this fragrance come together for me are the (get ready for another seemingly guilty pleasure!) musks that sit underneath it all. I get clean white musks and brown musks, a touch screechy, not irritating, and not animalic. It's the musks plus the touch of citrus that keep the whole thing from becoming a cloying dessert bomb.

I just works really well with my skin and I will be finding completely inappropriate times and places to wear it!
26th February, 2016
in love finally !!!

i have tried this one on for size 3 times i guess its true what they say the third times a charm

the first time i tried it on i couldn't smell myself projecting which to me is a big must when pulling the trigger on a new frag

the second time it just gave me a headache

but the third time mmmm lol it projected beautifully with only 3 sprays

the sweet honey and tobacco blended to perfection made it a very pleasant wearing

this is defiantly a must have for a true fragrance connoisseur

on to the next
22nd January, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
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.
07th January, 2016

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