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  1. #1

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    Default 5 By Kilian samples, my initial thoughts (blind testing)

    So I finally ordered a few samples from the By Kilian line. A bit of background about me is that I’ve been in the frag game for a few years but really have not dabbled too far into the niche side. My fave frags in my collection (bottle or decant) are as follows:

    Tobacco Vanille
    Dior Homme Intense
    Reflection Man
    Lumiere Noire
    Pure Malt
    Aventus
    Bleecker Street
    Silver Mountain Water
    Ambre Narguile

    I wanted to try By Kilian to see what they are about and also I haven’t really smelt much oud, and wanted to see their take on the note. I still do not have an experienced nose so apologies for my basic reviews!
    By the way I tried to test these blind however I couldn’t resist cheating a little on a couple as the curiosity was killing me

    Straight to Heaven - As soon as I sprayed this, I thought “this must be Straight to Heaven”. Lol. From reading reviews, I could immediately detect the rum/booziness and reference to being on a tropical island. I also get a coconut-y vibe but that must just be how the notes interact with one another. It actually reminds me of Chergui (which I tried to like but just didn’t come around to). Personally, I am NOT A FAN of this smell. I can tell a lot of people would love how it smells, but it’s not for me. After some time the dried fruits come through, in particular I was smelling sugary fig. The rum is still there but not as prominent. It dries to a cedar and vanilla base, which is quite nice and my favourite part. Overall it’s pleasant an actually seemed to develop a fair bit on my skin, but not my style.

    Pure Oud – I cannot really comment on this due to my lack of experience with oud. Basically all I get is burnt rubber initially. The faintest touch of sweetness comes through as it dries down, but still very harsh to my nose. It starts to become quite smoky after a few hours – quite an ashy smoke mixed in with the rubbery note. Not for me.

    Incense Oud – Ok so now we’re talking. This scent had me confused from the get-go. Sampling blind, I didn’t know which frag this was (STH and Pure Oud were obvious to me). I get an initial blast of lush rose which gave me somewhat of a “wow” moment. Quite beautiful. Not knowing there was rose in this was the reason for my confusion. I was expecting something very dark, dry and challenging. But rather it was bright, semi-sweet and overall pleasant. Kind of reminds me of Noir de Noir with the opening rose/oud combo. After the initial blast the cardamom kicks in. And I mean A LOT of cardamom. I think I must be sensitive to this note and thus the smell develops to become very spicy. It smells amazing and complex, but I can’t get away from the cardamom! This is not a deal breaker, but does restrain my initial enthusiasm. Honestly, I know this may sound strange but I don’t get too much incense until it starts drying down (this is when I realise it must be Incense Oud). Over time it settles to a very relatively polite, spicy incense. I am still undecided if I like incense as a note, but this one is very good, especially for someone like myself who does not like a overbearing, churchy incense (hated Avignon. I know right!). This one lasts forever on my skin and very interested in further testing. Oh yes and I have skipped over the whole “Oud” bit as most people cannot detect it in here, so I haven’t looked too hard to find it. But my inexperienced nose does not detect any aside from a few fleeting moments during the top/mid notes.

    Cruel Intentions – Prior to sampling, this (along with Incense Oud) was the one I was most interested in. I have to say while I enjoyed the scent, I’m struggling to work it out. It’s definitely the most easy wear out of the lot IMO. I would describe this as fairly sweet, slightly woody (not overly as some others may suggest), a bit fruity too. I get a berry/cherry vibe from it (ok sorry my mind is getting a little tired so I’m not being very articulate now). All I know is that I like this. I’m not sure if it is FBW but it has me intrigued. I can see this as a bit of a ‘smooth criminal’ kind of scent. Not too challenging for non frag-heads to appreciate, but still different enough to separate itself from the mainstream designer scents.

    Back to Black – I got a sample to see what the fuss was about, but felt I would not find a place for it in my wardrobe (I already own Tobacco Vanille which I love). This is a nice scent but doesn’t blow me away. VERY sweet, possibly too sweet for me, with the honey and tobacco. The notorious “baby powder” smell is also definitely there, which I don’t love. The drydown kind of reminds of The Dreamer – a kind of strange (fizzy?) sweetness mixed with tobacco. Not a heavy sweetness but more airy. Look, it’s definitely a nice frag so I hope I don’t cop too much flack from the avid fans! Perhaps my close-mindedness (closed wallet-ness perhaps lol) did not allow me to fall in love with this. At the moment I prefer Tobacco Vanille or Ambre Narguile for this type of scent, though it may change with further testing.

    So that’s it. Overall, my favourites are Incense Oud and Cruel Intentions. Might pick up a decant or large sample pack of these but will see how they go with further testing.

    Please share your thoughts!
    What is your favourite of these?
    Which is a better addition to my wardrobe out of my two favourites?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 5 By Kilian samples, my initial thoughts (blind testing)

    My favorite of the lot is Incense Oud which I own and love, but I confess to me it smells like radient incense from start to finish with no association to Noir de Noir that I did not like at all. I really don't get a lot of the same impressions you got, but am glad you enjoyed it nonetheless.
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  3. #3
    PaveLL's Avatar
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    Default Re: 5 By Kilian samples, my initial thoughts (blind testing)

    I also like Incense Oud and I think is one of the best offerings from this house. You should also try Love. It is actually sweeter than Back to Black, but you never know what floats your boat.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 5 By Kilian samples, my initial thoughts (blind testing)

    Thank you for sharing your impressions. From your 5 my favorites are:

    Incense Oud & Straight to Heaven for their versatility, overall appeal & ease of wear.

    As much as I enjoy Back to Black, I find its honeyed sensuality a little too voluptuous to fit the occasion.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 5 By Kilian samples, my initial thoughts (blind testing)

    Out of the entire By Kilian line, my favourites so far have been; Sweet Redemption, Love and Rose Oud.

  6. #6

    Default Re: 5 By Kilian samples, my initial thoughts (blind testing)

    Straight to heaven > everything else.

  7. #7
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: 5 By Kilian samples, my initial thoughts (blind testing)

    Although I own none, I have tried all and like all.

  8. #8

    Default Re: 5 By Kilian samples, my initial thoughts (blind testing)

    I've tried
    Back to black: not my style. dirty honey something. toooo sweet honey
    Straight to heaven: great one, compliment getter, very pleasant dry down
    Prelude to Love: smells like bubble gum on my skin, nothing outstanding
    Bamboo Harmony: not for me, smells cheap and weird on my skin
    “Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?”

  9. #9
    Super Member Gamma's Avatar
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    Default Re: 5 By Kilian samples, my initial thoughts (blind testing)

    Straight to Heaven is one of my overall favourite scents. It's a perfect balance of rum, spices, and some supporting notes that are seamlessly integrated. It also has a kind of damp, musty appeal to it that I personally love.

    Pure Oud is nice and woody, it reminds me of Dior Leather Oud without the honey and animalic aspects. Though, it is a bit plain and not worth the pricetag in my opinion.

    Incense Oud smells great, the sweetness of the incense reminds me a little of Jubilation XXV (another personal favourite). But for some reason longetivity of this one on my skin is horrible, it disappears within 2 hours or so.

    Back to Black, the first time I tried it I got too much baby powder to enjoy it, but with each subsequent wearing I have been finding it less powdery and more enjoyable. I now think it's one of the best honey scents around, along with the very different Absolue pour le Soir.

    Cruel Intentions I sampled for the first time today. It does have a slightly unusual opening. I picked up some notes that reminded me of strawberry soy milk, but just faintly layered on top of some wood. That disappeared within 30 minutes and it left a very nice sweet woody scent that lasted a good 10 hours on my skin. The woodiness reminds me of the drydown of Le Labo Oud 27 and Santal 33, though slightly sweeter. I quite enjoyed it, I'll have to do some more testing.

    A Taste of Heaven is probably my least favourite that I've tried (not including the new white ones, which are too feminine for me). It's not a bad composition at all, just not what I enjoy. Lavender layered on top of an ambery vanillic base.


    As for what would be a good choice for you.. I think they are both good fragrances, and would be a good addition to anyone's wardrobe (if Incense Oud actually lasts on your skin that is).

  10. #10
    Super Member Osi1s's Avatar
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    Default Re: 5 By Kilian samples, my initial thoughts (blind testing)

    Nice post Daz, I think the only points I would disagree on, just based on my nose of course would be the comparison of straight to heaven to Chergui...two very different scents and im just not seeing similarities between them myself. Quite like both with a leaning towards the dryness almost cigar like vibe of Chergui.

    Love back to black, can't say I've experienced the baby powder effect some of you mention, I find it to be a great scent for certain occasions, the initial blast isnt anything to write home about but the dry down is something special. I own TV as well and again two very different scents for me, I suspect they are for you too but you mentioned that in the intro to your review on it.

    I think the choice for an addition to your wardrobe comes down to what you need, cruel intentions I havent sampled but sounds like more of an every day / regular scent for you whereas Incence Oud sounds like it could be more of an occasional scent?
    "Geez, when are the 'We love Aventus' T-shirts coming out?"
    (Possum-Pie, 2012)

  11. #11

    Default Re: 5 By Kilian samples, my initial thoughts (blind testing)

    Nice reviews man. Personally I LOVE straght to heaven. It's in my top 3. I'm also a fan of their taste of heaven and bamboo harmony. I've heard extremely good reviews of Rose Oud, so maybe check that one out.

  12. #12

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    Default Re: 5 By Kilian samples, my initial thoughts (blind testing)

    Thanks everyone for your comments! Very nice reviews there too Gamma.

    Dalbir- hopefully that Bond 9 Silver Factory split comes through so I can compare to Incense Oud. Has anyone smelt both?

    Osi1s- sampling a second time I think I may have been way off comparing Straight to Heaven to Chergui! Funny how that happens. It actually has grown on me quite a bit already. That's why sampling is so enjoyable

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