Some seem to be easy to rationaise for the majority of people (like Lutens, Malle etc) while others (Bond, Xerjoff, CC (hadn't noticed Kilian myself actually)) are not. I guess the only thing to think about is why this is the case.
Personally I have no issue with value judgements as long as they're specific and explain why the poster has their point of view.
It's only the general one's like "all Kilian/Creed/Bond ore overprices etc etc" that annoys me.
Well, 2 years on and it looks to me like the options for HOW you can purchase from By Kilian have panned out very nicely.
The customer has the option of a very nice laquer box-set or metal travel spray presentation (beautiful for gifts) OR the basic refill bottle or travel refills, just the jus with no trimmings - thoughtful, user friendly, cool.
I might be in the minority here, but By Kilian's presentation is so over the top to put a fragrance in it's laughable. It's a direct rip off from the watch market. I have a Chase Durer watch box that looks almost just like it except it's brown. My favorite packaging is a well designed outer box that protects the fragrance, a nice looking clean designed bottle that has some weight to it and has a great sprayer. What the hell is he trying to sell in a wooden box, with a key, and a satin cloth inlay? I bet if you took out the bottle and asked 100 people what product would go in that box less than 2% would guess a bottle of cologne.
Lol. My 2 year old thread! We have a necromancer among us?
But yeah, 2 years on and things have indeed changed. The likes of CC and Xerjoff with their Murano glass bottles have made By Killian look like a bargain! My wife even came close to buying the ornate yet gorgeous gold purse atomizer from BK's Arabian Nights series. I love beautiful packaging. I even have a display unit custom designed to look like designer boutiques' window displays. All i need now are some fancy fragrance bottles.
Last edited by Diamondflame; 3rd April 2012 at 06:46 AM.
Oops, I didn't notice the age of the thread!
oops, neither did I.
The reason old threads get resurrected so easily is because the suggestion box at the bottom of similar threads often has very elderly ones in it, so one thinks they are current without looking properly. Just look below, 2009, 2008, 2006 and 1970!!!!!
These are some of the most poorly blended juices I've smelled, especially those scent by the nose Sidonie Lanceusser. Pure Oud is the best of what I've tried but it's merely alright - nothing more.
I think the reason this line gets slammed for being overpriced is the same reason Xerjoff does - their compositions just aren't that good, and they're hiding behind the ol' "quality of materials" bit, which I find to be most often a lie with both By Kilian and Xerjoff. With only a few exceptions, most By Kilian and Xerjoff that I've tried have rather poor quality ingredients and a very weak structure that is supported heavily by synthetic musks.
Your opinion is just that, your own opinion and not objective fact, which seems to be what you're claiming. I mean, do you have any evidence Kilian is lying about the ingredients they use, which are listed on their website? Because if they're NOT lying, you are wrong about the use of cheap materials. And somehow... I really doubt the lists of ingredients they are posting are a complete fabrication and bear no resemblance to what's in the bottles. I may be a fan of Kilian's frags, but I'm not making any outrageous claims. You are, and IMO you should provide some reasoning or proof behind why you think this house in lying about it's ingredients. If you can do this, people can have a reasonable discussion about it, if not.. people are just going to assume you're full of it.
I've elaborated on it before. For one thing, their juices are far too clear to be using the amount of naturals they suggest.
I'd further elaborate but it's difficult if not impossible to articulate all of this. I've got about 200 bottles of natural oils/absolutes/concretes/C02 + SC02 extracts here that I work with, and there are certain qualities present in naturals and thus, in highly natural compositions, that I haven't found in the By Kilians I've tested - (exception: Pure Oud, which has a lot of natural guiac, for sure). I've not tried Back to Black, and that's a Calice Becker creation - which I assume from my testing of Pure Oud that her creations are more natural/nuanced than those by S. Lanceusser, so I can't comment on that, but Straight to Heaven and Cruel Intentions are both marred by a very clumsy, imo, usage of white musks.
I'm not going to argue that Amouage is 'higher quality', I generally find that they are 'higher quality' than the few By Kilians I've tried, but they are far from natural! Some Amouage use nice dosages of naturals, and some are plagued by overt synthetics (most of the womens Amouages are inferior synthetic-heavy creations, imo).
Very few niche houses are using good amounts of quality materials - and I'd say it often comes down to a scent by scent basis rather than house by house. Noir Epices, for example, has a lot of real geranium and real florals present, while many other Malles are overdosed on synthetics (iso e super reigns supreme in Bois d'Orage, Dans Tes Bras is Roucel working his synthetic magic/horror depending on your perspective, etc).
Pluran and numerous other veterans who also have a lot of experience with aromachemicals/natural oils have said the same thing about many of the Kilians. It's not just limited to Kilians though - it's most niche. Kilian just seems to get slammed harder because of their extra high pricing and misleading perfume formulas posted (btw, look at the amount of white musks listed in those formulas. Often quite high. And many of the ingredients listed are "X accord" which implies it is mostly or even wholly synthetic, since they seem to like listing their naturals seperately).
Judging the whole line on Sidonie's 2 frags plus Pure Oud isn't a fair representation of the line. Many are fairly simple florals that feature many natural ingredients (Beyond Love, Love and Tears, Prelude to Love, Liasons Dangereuses)... these are the most natural of the line. Back to Black and A Taste of Heaven are examples of "well blended", and also have very restrained use of synthetics.
Anyway, you should definitely try BtB, AToH, Beyond Love and Prelude to Love, and see if you still have the same opinions. They are very, very different in character from CI and STH and are the best of the line IMO... although I really like CI despite it's overt syntheticness.
If you pm me your address I'll send you samples of the 4 I mentioned above.
Last edited by Dorje123; 3rd April 2012 at 07:08 AM.
Thanks Dorje. I really shouldn't have written off the line after only having sampled 3 of them - I know many could do the same w/ Amouage or well, any house, I'm sure. I am really interested in AtoH as I love absinthe/wormwood notes, especially when combined with lavender. In fact, my very first scent I tried making on my own was a combination of wormwood/lavender + evergreen notes and some other woods and spices, along with vanilla.
I don't wish to go into the fallacious natural = good, synthetic = bad argument. The key to good compositions is balance. Sometimes a perfumer may use more of certain ingredients to highlight certain aspects of the fragrance so I can't really comment if the overloading part is not in fact intentional. Sometimes we might have specific hyperosmia to certain notes/chemicals and might sense certain attributes as 'overwhelming'. I don't know. I guess if you don't like it, don't wear it. But I do know the sense of smell evolves with training and experience. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, SoS.
When I commented on the use of good quality ingredients, I will clarify I was only looking up the naturals. I was looking up the types of ingredients he used and where they came from as part of my perfumer learning curve. In the case of each natural where specified, I found the ones I was researching were considered well of each type. It was only an assumption the chemical part would follow this trend.
With that said, I appreciate that Kilian offers four 7.5oz travel refills for a sum of $75 (I believe). I wear Back to Black often, but Lutens, Tauer, HdP and Parfumerie Generale all smell at least 2-3 times more quality than any Kilian or Amouage I've come across. In perfume, luxury is illusion and nothing more. The prices have nothing to do with the quality of juice and everything to do with branding/image.
The price that comes with the packaging has already back-fired on me. But then, By Killian does not need me as a customer, to remain in business. He has plenty of customers who love the idea of elaborate packaging with a high class scent.
Regular chums like myself will refer to The Perfumed Court. Here is the link, as an example:
Good enough - and my bank account looks elaborate; and not the bottle on display as a vanity item.
There are no answers, only choices. (Stanislav Lem)
When I purchase a piece of art the last thing I do is factor in the cost of paint or clay to estimate it's worth. Perfumes are slightly different in this regard since cost associated with ingredients can be indicative of overall quality. But what I'm really paying for is the artist's creativity manipulating those materials, their years of work and study developing a unique artistic vision and how their work speaks to me. Being a mere financial mortal my tastes and desires have limits but when it comes to purchasing perfume the principle remains the same. At that point, I hope I can discern those things which are overpriced and without merit so I don't end up owning an expensive status symbol. Hmm, the pairing of Bond #9 and Andy Warhol may be a very apt example of this...
Last edited by Symphonies; 4th April 2012 at 04:29 AM.
I find it simply astonishing that:
- The L'oeuvre Noire 50ml bottle is €175, and only €75 for the 50ml refill.
- The Arabian Nights 50ml bottle is €295, and only €125 for the 50ml refill.
Don't get me wrong, I think that the presentation is stunning, but to pay more for the bottle than the fragrance is a ludicrous notion.
It used to be said that Cadillacs cost GM only a $100 more to make than Chevys. A contemporary classic example is the Apple computer vs. the generic PC. The generic PC makers are essentially battling for the lowest price point slot and their mark-up is minimal to keep them competitive in the stores. Apple, however, aims at a cool, sophisticated up-market base. Its products seem much better made and packaged than their competitors but their mark-ups are gigantic, the highest of the industry. If Apple priced their computers at the same mark-up as PCs, they would be about 30% cheaper and probably would actually have a harder time competing in the market place because they would seem less special. This is one reason why Apple is the world's most valuable company.
I've run focus groups where we tested price points. Basically, you sit around and ask "What do you think about this price for this product? Would you buy it? Would you think it was too expensive? At what level does it look luxurious and and what point would you think it was too cheap?"
Fragrance makers have to trade trade on the vague associations of name and luxury so I doubt very much that the prices really closely track cost structure or packaging, especially for the brands that have high status. The prices are chosen to target specific markets and to work with specific marketing strategies. Some years after a launch, for example, you will often see a fragrance drop in price. This is because the brand owner is no longer promoting the fragrance as a luxury brand and is producing it to supply a built-in market of devotees. Something similar is probably behind those cheaper "refill" and "travel" bottles.
Last edited by BurgundyMarsh; 25th May 2012 at 04:45 PM.
I understand the popularity of the fragrances! But you can effectively buy two refills for the price of a bottle!
Surely nobody would ever buy more one of the same bottle?!
That isn't a situation isolated to perfumes. Mass-market shower gels and face creams... you name it; the packaging usually costs more than the contents.
Now in the case of a luxury/niche house, it's very likely that the price points have been designed to appeal to status-shoppers. So the more expensive, the better. Go to Roja Dove's perfumery on the fifth floor of Harrods and you'll see some of the pinnacles of this concept - The Party in Manhattan available with a real diamond on the cap, etc, etc. It's the rich people's way of showing "I can throw this much money away" and has nothing to do with sensible pricing.