When you call your scent “aphrodisiac”, you’d better be fairly sure you’re not overreaching yourself. This latest release from By Kilian, is the sixth composed for the house by Calice Becker, is as head-turning a love potion as you’re ever likely to spritz on. That is, if you enjoy the velvet-smooth, burning liquid umber of a great cognac and the hay-like scent of tobacco steeped in fruit and honey, or sipping a fine amaretto on a bed of moss. Who doesn’t?
Back to Black is an olfactory trip to Arabia – or perhaps to the exotica-mad 1920s, when Caron gave Tabac Blond to sultry, cigarette-smoking garçonnes. The tobacco accord is slyly evoked through the herbal, faintly animalic scent of chamomile laced with honey; the honey in its turn conjures faintly floral aromas. Throughout its development, Back to Black runs through a palette of subtly gourmand flavors, from ripe, almost fermented raspberry to the dry cocoa powder of patchouli, along with almond and vanilla, without ever veering into tooth-aching sweetness thanks to the bitter, cooling effect of cardamom, coriander, vetiver and moss. It stretches out languorously on the skin for hours, displaying its dark facets, leaving you hungry for more Arabian nights in its amber glow.