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Back to Black


Back to Black, the perfume, is the eighth scent in the original L’Oeuvre Noire range which introduced the Kilian name to the niche world in 2007. See our posts on Beyond Love and A Taste of Heaven. After musing on the significance of the name and wondering if it was inspired by the Amy Winehouse 2007 song – it was launched in 2009 – I decide to give my bottle some serious sniffs. I can’t really remember how it smells. Does it smell like the song, dark and sad?
It starts with a dramatic gourmand accord, fruity with tart raspberry jam mixed lemons and limes, and then boozy with vanilla and black cherry, all swirled together with golden honeycomb. The bitter note of the beeswax makes a dense luscious mix that is extraordinary – sweet but not cloying, intriguing but not weird, slightly powdery and dreamy.
Back to Black seems like it may tip into vampy ultra-sweetness as it dries down into the heart, but it follows a different path as smoky notes develop. Aromatic Havana-cigar-cured tobacco leaves, mixed with cardamom and coriander spices, wrap around the honey-soaked amaretto-cherry and vanilla, taming the sweet fruits, but amping up the sweaty bitter facet of the honey and beeswax. Now this accord is totally intoxicating, and the transformation into olfactory aphrodisiac begins.
In the drydown, resinous cedarwood, patchouli, green vetiver, and oak moss create a distinctly animalic effect that shifts Back to Black into sensual territory. The honey note continues, blending with smooth ambery labdanum, and their accord lingers lovingly on my skin for a long time, throwing off hints of vanilla and tobacco.
Back to Black has a delectable gourmand quality, unusual and fascinating, but which never becomes too much. This gourmand opening draws me in with its promise of mouth-watering pleasure, but it’s the honey-beeswax-tobacco accord in the heart and dry-down, the deliciously animalic elixir, that does the bewitching.
It's not dark, or sad, at all  - it's a kaleidoscope of pure pleasure.
Notes: Bergamot, cardamom, coriander seed, raspberry, blue chamomile, honey, olibanum, Atlas cedar, vetiver, patchouli, moss, tobacco, ambry, cistus labdanum, almond, vanilla.
Type: Edp
Parfumeur: Calice Becker

Price: $5.00