I have to admit that I’m a bit of a newbie when it comes to By Kilian, I have pretty much dismissed the line up until now, predominately due to the high prices (a rookie perfumista error, I know) but my financial restraints prevent me from considering über expensive fragrances, so I don’t try them just in case I fall in love, which is pretty much always the case.
But thanks to some excellent reviews by my Evil Scent Twin, Birgit from Olfactoria’s Travels I have found myself officially intrigued. I wanted to see what all of the fuss is about so I managed to blag a few samples from the By Kilian counter in Harvey Nichols.
Seeing as I’m such a latecomer to the By Kilian party, it seems fitting that I should start at the end, with the last fragrance in the L’Oeuvre Noire (The Black Masterpiece) collection, Sweet Redemption (The End).
By Kilian is the brainchild of Kilian Hennesy, grandson of the founder of the LVMH group (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennesy) and the house has two lines; L’Oeuvre Noire and Arabian Nights.
About L’Oeuvre Noire:
“The Black Masterpiece ‘By Kilian’ evokes a Faustian atmosphere that casts an iniquitous alluring spell, pervading the spirit and senses, while transporting the soul to nirvana. Inspired by a search for perfection, the poetry of Rimbaud and Baudelaire, as well as the lyrics of modern day poets like Pharrell Williams and Snoop Dog. The Black Masterpiece ‘By Kilian’ is revolving around ingenues, artificial paradises and Parisian orgies.” 
Top: Bergamot and Bitter-Orange Leaf
Heart: Orange Blossom, Myrrh and Frankincense
Base: Oppoponax, Benzoin and Vanilla 
“Inspired on one hand by Baudelaire’s hommage to sweet and deep fragrances, yet on the other hand by the dark and mysterious poetry of Jim Morrison as he seemingly forebode his own demise. ’Sweet redemption, the end’ is a final bow to these cursed poets, a final commentary on the irresistible charm of the forbidden fruit that tempts us throughout the ‘L’Oeuvre Noire’. ’ 
How Does it Smell?
Sweet Redemption is an interesting take on the note of orange blossom, it’s not like any other orange blossom fragrance I have smelled before. The opening is a beautiful mixture of orange blossom, petit grain and green jasmine. The orange blossom feels sunny and golden and sniffing my sample I’m sat here thinking ‘Very nice, but what is all of the fuss about?’
Then everything changes.
Sweet Redemption starts to become really interesting when a cool note of camphor appears in the heart. The camphor is of course slightly reminiscent of Tubéreuse Criminelle by Serge Lutens, which is famed for it’s dramatic use of the note. Now, I love Tubéreuse Criminelle but the camphor in Sweet Redemption is used in a completely different way, it’s very much a supporting part as opposed to the main feature.
The heart continues with warm, creamy florals and I can’t tell you just how much that is right up my street. Tuberose isn’t listed as a note but I am absolutely positive that there is a healthy dose of the carnal, white flower within the heart of this fragrance.
The interest continues right through to the base where Sweet Redemption becomes warmer and sweeter. Vanilla is used to make the base creamy and smooth, and there is nothing more pleasant to my nose than the smell of sweet white flowers and vanilla. There are some glorious amber tones due to the Myrrh and an almost fuzzy edible quality thanks to the benzoin, it’s all rather lovely to be honest.
Sweet Redemption feels like a finely tuned orange blossom, it’s almost as if the perfumer (Calice Becker) has looked at other orange blossom fragrances and worked to iron out the kinks and create the smoothest, warmest fragrance in the genre. Compare Sweet Redemption to another good orange blossom, Elie Saab Le Parfum and Le Parfum feels rough, and positively gauche.
If you’re not a fan of white florals because you find them too harsh or screechy then I implore you to give Sweet Redemption a try, this creamy white floral may just change your mind, it’s not without it’s interesting facets but it’s not over the top either.
So far Mr Kilian has impressed me, and now I need to work my way through my other samples from the L’Oeuvre Noire line, so look out for more reviews!
The packaging for all perfumes within both of the By Kilian lines is impressive. All perfumes are encased within a thick glass bottle with metal armour on the side.
The bottles are then kept in a plush wooden box complete with a lock and key.
As beautiful as the packaging is, I can’t help but feel that it’s a massive part of what you are paying for, this is only confirmed by the fact that the refill bottles are quite cheap.
Sweet Redemption is available in 30ml and 50ml Eau de Parfum. Prices range from £82 to £145 and in the UK the By Kilian line can be found in Harvey Nichols.
This review is based on a sample of Sweet Redemption that I personally blagged from the By Kilian counter in Harvey Nichols.
 Sweet Redemption Press Release
Image 1 bykilian.com
Image 2 smartologie.blogspot.com