Sweet as sin, Kilian Black Phantom

Most of you have been following my blog for a while now so I think that it wouldn’t be a shock for you if I tell that Kilian is definitely not “my” brand (for definition see here) however curious perfumista as I am, I don’t feel a repulsive force towards any fragrance until I try it. So when last week I received a sample set of new arrivals from Quality Missala I was also eager to try a novelty from Kilian. I’m always full of doubts about any new creation from a brand that generally didn’t impress me much in the past but the curiosity is always bigger than fear. So here I am, again…

Black Phantom begins with a pleasant scent of warm coffee. It’s quite pleasant to my nose, considering the fact that I truly dislike the smell of coffee as I find it too acrid. But in this fragrance the coffee notes has a sweet edge from the very beginning. It has undertones of delicious dark chocolate that gives it more depth and a bit of powdery vibe that reminds me of cocoa. Then things become even more sweet and warm thanks to a prominent rum accord. It combines the alcoholic vibe with the syrupy smell of sugar cane. The booziness also brings a gentle spicy feeling.


Later on the fragrance is not so dark anymore, actually it becomes kind of milky. There’s a very obvious smell of caramel in Kilian Black Phantom. It’s smooth, velvety, a little bit sticky but to my nose it smells like an intensively flavored whipped cream on top of this cup of coffee. Bright sandalwood enhances the aspect of creaminess and at the same time it adds more substantivity. Heliotrope has a vanillic vibe on my skin. It’s a little bit powdery and this feeling is supported by almond. It has tender powderness that veers towards a milky, condensed taste.

On my skin Black Phantom didn’t last longer than 3 hours and was rather transparent and discreet from the very beginning. I also don’t understand why it’s undertitle is Memento Mori as this perfume has nothing to do with remembering about death. It smells like going to a fancy cafΓ© with a friend to grab a double caramel latte. It also lacks a bit of originality, it would not stand out among other similar compositions. Also I really dislike the presentation with a skull on a lacquered case, but as I’ve seen comments here and there, I might be the only one who doesn’t like it. This eau de parfum was composed by perfumer Sidonie Lancesseur and is available in 50 ml bottle.

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25 thoughts on “Sweet as sin, Kilian Black Phantom

  1. Bina says:

    Hi, I received a sample of this when I finally saved up to invest in a bottle of Good girl Gone Bad. I’m not a fan of gourmand – Sweet notes are not for me. But the fragrance surprised me because the packaging with the skull indicated something smoky and mysterious. I always tell myself not to be swayed by packaging but in perfumes, the bottles are meant to arrest the buyer’s attention. But this one is defensively not for me, packaging or otherwise.

    • lucasai says:

      Hi Bina, I see you’re another person who likes Good Girl Gone Bad. Wonder if it’s one of their bestsellers. My mom likes that one as well.
      As for Black Phantom, yes it’s gourmand but at least it’s not sickly sweet. I was unimpressed by poor longevity. Especially at that price.

  2. This so sounds like something to avoid. The packaging, the gourmand coffee…no thank you.

    • lucasai says:

      The packaging is polarizing. I saw comments, so there are people who love the case with skull but there are also people like me and you, who find it disgusting.
      The perfume itself is so-so.
      Apparently Kilian picked skull to embody a pirate ship. Funny as the launch of the perfume happens almost at the same time as the release of new Pirates of the Carribean movie

      • It’s probably not a coincidence. I don’t want to smell like a pirate or Johnny Depp for that matter.

      • Bina says:

        Exactly what I thought too. It coincided with the release of the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film – that skull on the box ;( I didn’t like the Good Girl Gone Bad packaging either – the white lacquered box with a snake. But the perfume is simply beautiful and it lasts on my skin for a really long time. Goes to show that what is inside the fancy packaging is what really matters. I keep telling that to myself.

        • lucasai says:

          Yes, that’s what I just said. Possibly not a coincidence at all but a marketing move.
          I actually liked the golden snake but would prefer black lacquer instead. Glad the perfume is good on you

  3. Holly says:

    Unfortunately whenever anyone mentions a coffee note I remember working as a flight attendant and trust me, the last thing we wanted to smell like was coffee. πŸ˜‰
    I think I’ll give this one a pass, although somehow you managed to make it sound vaguely appealing.

  4. Ana says:

    Memento Mori is the moto of the pirates, that’s where the idea of a boozy fragrance came from. Also, Memento Mori is usually painted as a skull – and that “justifies” its case. I don’t like nothing about this insipid creation, not the case nor the fragrance.

    • lucasai says:

      Thanks for the insight Ana. Sounds totally like just another blockbuster fragrance from Kilian. Probably first collection was the most original

  5. hajusuuri says:

    You are SPOT ON with your description, Lucas, although it lasted way longer on me than your 3 hours. It was love at first sniff and so I bought it. I had a “budget” in mind for Sniffapalooza weekend and I stayed within the lines.

  6. Jillie says:

    Tee hee! This is about 6 drinks in 1! Not “my cup of tea”, nor indeed coffee …..

  7. Undina says:

    I’m with hajusuuri on this one: I liked it from the first sniff but I’ll take my time before I buy it (if ever). While I cannot argue with anything you said, it didn’t have that adverse effect on me – even though By Kilian isn’t “my” brand either. Probably it had something to do with where I encountered this perfume for the first time (I’m writing about it for the upcoming post).

    • lucasai says:

      Are you now back from your holidays sweetie?
      I’m a bit surprised that you liked it but well, our tastes don’t have to be 100% identical. I don’t like coffee in my life, probably it made the most impact on my opinion about new Kilian.

      • Undina says:

        I am back but still did not fully recovered from the long absence, practically off the grid Internet-wise. I’ll try to get a sample of this perfume to calmly test it at home. But I do love coffee (as a drink).

        • lucasai says:

          Welcome home. I still want to send you the promised samples. Is it very hot in California now? Here it’s not hot at all. You might want to consider getting them earlier than in September πŸ˜‰

  8. […] – Memento Mori caught me by surprise: I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. Lucas in his review of this perfume mentioned that he disliked β€œthe presentation with a skull on a lacquered case.” […]

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