Monday, May 19, 2008

By Killian

At the Sniffapalooza Fall Ball last October, we were introduced to a new line of fragrances produced by an heir to the Hennessey cognac family.  By Killian had six scents to start, the L’Oeuvre Noirecollection: A Taste of Heaven, Beyond Love, Cruel Intentions, Liaisons Dangereuses, Love, andStraight to Heaven.  I gave each of them a sniff and dismissed the lot and their charismatic creator pretty quickly.

I gave them another cursory sniff at Spring Sniffa this year and still wasn't impressed.  The only one I like at all is Cruel Intentions, but 10 Corso Como does the oud/sandalwood thing better, and for considerably less money.

I have samples of the above as well as Liaisons Dangereueses and the humorously misnamed Straight to Heaven. Liaisons, despite containing over a dozen other notes (coconut flesh, prune absolute, plum, blackcurrant buds absolute, crystallized peach, cinnamon bark oil, ambrette seed absolute, rose Damascus, geranium bourbon, sandalwood Australian oil, oakmoss extract, vetiver java oil, clear woods, vanilla extract, white musks) smells merely of rose, one that's been picked a day before and has partially dried. It's pleasant enough but nothing special.

Straight to Heaven is nearly as noisome as Ralph Lauren's Polo, surely scented with the emetic ipecac.  It's both harsh and shrill with a thin patchouli note that cuts through anything that might give the scent some interest (notes: Martinican rum absolute, dried fruits accord, Javanese nutmeg oil, hedione, cedarwood, Indonesian patchouli oil, ambergris, vanilla absolute, white musk).  If rum smelled like this, nobody but the most strident alcoholic would drink it.

I think my biggest problem with the line is the overly-fancy packaging which drives the price point to an astronomical level. $225 for 50ml? When there's nothing that unique about the scents? Ridiculous.  Of course people who fall in love with the cute little box and tassel might feel like they're getting something for their money, and that's fine.  It's just that I could use that money to buy several bottles of fragrance...or a big ole 200ml bottle of one of the Chanel Les Exclusives. But that's just me.

Who owns something By Killian?  Why do you love it?  Do you think it was a worthwhile purchase?  Inquiring minds need to know!


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