I love Amy Winehouse's Back to Black and by that association alone I'm probably prone to wax lyrical about one of Calice Becker's more recent addition to the By Kilian line. But is this scent worthy of the lines devoted to it in many of the perfume blogs? The short answer is 'YES'.
The opening is bittersweet and fleetingly smoky, with hints of dark cherries and rum-soaked woods. References to 'cherry liqueur' are not too far off base for it does seem redolent of cask-aged liqueur.
As seconds pass into minutes, it gets warmer and syrupier with cardamom, ginger and spices lightly woven into the sweet benzoin-and-honey based tapestry. At this point the composition could have easily turned into a gourmand gingerbread-type of scent if not for the distinctively rendered and rather distinguishing note of cured unsmoked tobacco leaves. The juxtaposition of a dark and, I might add, masculine element with the warm golden glow of honey works brilliantly, producing an intoxicatingly rich scent that is warm and comforting yet oddly intriguing - it invites the nose to get very close to the skin and explore. Rather sensual indeed. Perhaps that's why Back to Black is also called 'Aphrodisiac'.
To my mind Back to Black is not so much of a fragrance than it is an experience. It serenades me in the language of the five senses, of dark rich colors and luxurious fabrics, of clinking cognac glasses and soulful jazz, of deeply lingering tastes and intoxicating scents. While I'm not fully convinced of its versatility as a wearable oriental, I can appreciate why it is regarded by some as a true By Kilian masterpiece.