Stained with Darkness, Kilian Dark Lord

I don’t know how to explained it but I always had this sort of liking for bad characters in movies, books or games. Even though they basically always lose against main protagonists I wasn’t able to feel negative emotions towards these shady characters. Perhaps this is a reason why I decided to try a newest release from Kilian, whose name – Dark Lord, sounds like a title of a mischievous person dressed in black, wearing a cape and a mask. But does the fragrance match with this picture?


Dark Lord begins with a dash of vibrant piquancy coming from two kinds of pepper – Sichuan and Bourbon one. The perfume has a grainy texture, exuding an overall feeling of warm spiciness. There’s no pungency in there but I get an impression of a red hot metal underneath the top layer of spices. After a moment a few drops of bergamot oil are splashed on top of the peppercorns, introducing a nice zing to the scent. Its tanginess accentuates the spicy feeling even more. But… there’s a tad of zesty freshness because of it as well. It’s more masculine in style.

Heart of the composition hides a lot of davana which gives me the impression of something dry, peppery and at the same time it reminds me of immortelle accord. When rum appears in Kilian Dark Lord the perfume immediately becomes more liquory. It gains a boozy kind of sweetness that brings to mind a sugar cane syrup. Thanks to this alcoholic facet the perfume becomes more luminous and bright. Sambac jasmine is a contrasting ingredient here as floral vibe it diffuses is not very strong but it feels more nocturnal in perception. In this perfume jasmine is washed off it’s narcotic richness.

dark lord

In the core of this fragrance I discovered a leathery tone. It feels black and luxurious – at first like interior of a vintage care but after a few minutes it’s actually more like inside of an expensive bag. It’s infused with cypriol which adds more darkness and depth. Woody note of cedar along with vetiver of a more rooty variety together add a little bit more heft to Dark Lord but at any point the perfume doesn’t really feel heavy. Additional notes include patchouli, this one adds earthiness to the blend.

To be honest with you Dark Lord by Kilian doesn’t smell original to me. Actually it smells a lot like a niche cousin of Gucci Guilty Pour Homme Absolute which is not that much of a surprise once you know that both were composed by perfumer Alberto Morillas. But Gucci came one year before. Refering to its name, this Kilian offering is not overly dark and I could easily name a couple of fragrances that evoke noir feeling much better than this perfume here. Money saved I guess.

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6 thoughts on “Stained with Darkness, Kilian Dark Lord

  1. Jillie says:

    Oh absolutely! I always sided with villains when I was young, and at school wrote essays sympathising with Shakespeare’s “bad” characters like Shylock and Caliban (although these days that is a much more usual tendency). When I acted, the most enjoyable parts to play were the evil or nasty ones, the witches and the black fairies (best costumes too!).

    Isn’t Harry Potter’s nemesis, Voldemort, called “the Dark Lord”? I assumed that this offering from Killian would have a whiff of sulphur about it … or at least be mysterious and deep. Sadly, like all the perfumes that have “Noir” in their name, darkness doesn’t seem to be a feature. A deep vetiver is one ingredient that should work, along with the cypress, but in a larger proportion. Bergamot is never something I would consider dark!

    Now I am trying to think of fragrances that would be suitable for Voldemort to wear ……..

    • lucasai says:

      Glad I am not the only one sympathising with fictional dark characters.

      Yes, one of the ways to call Voldemort was a Dark Lord title.
      I think he would wear something like Amouage Opus VII. Or Hiram Green Hyde maybe.

  2. shiva-woman says:

    Sounds like a definite try; I like boozy dark scents!

  3. Undina says:

    I thought “Dark Lord” was a more traditional religious reference to Satan 🙂 Until this review I haven’t even thought there was a different meaning! And now I’m thinking that maybe Mr. Hennessy is a Star War fan? 😉

    I cursory smelled this one on paper in the store but haven’t tried it on skin and wasn’t interested enough to do the dance of getting a sample, which in this store I do only if I really-really want to try it.

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