By Kilian, L’Oeuvre Noire collection

By Kilian seems to understand and embrace the brave new world of perfume lovers—those of us who do most, or all, of our research and shopping online. Case in point: offering a complete sample set of the L’Oeuvre Noire collection to anyone who “liked” their Facebook fan page.

I’ve spent a lot of time with this collection of samples, and from the get-go, I was impressed. This is a collection that Tim Gunn would smile approval at—it’s extremely well-edited. Each offering is a stellar contribution to it’s genre. Today, I bring you a mini-overview of the collection.

  1. Prelude to Love: smooth, soft, iris. Even the citrus notes are soft; a very tender fragrance.
  2. Love: taught me that I actually do like (maybe even Love) orange blossom. Love is sweet and tender, delicate, yet bold.
  3. Beyond Love: real tuberose. Turns out I don’t really hate tuberose, so long as it stays away from the tropical clique. It’s fleshy and odd, and quite nice. I’m still not converted, but getting closer.
  4. Love and Tears: lightly indolic jasmine.
  5. A Taste of Heaven: really and truly is a taste of heaven, if you love lavender as I do. It reminds me somewhat of Tauer’s Reverie au Jardin, and I’d be hard pressed to choose one over the other if someone was offering to gift me my choice of the two. It’s green, round, creamy, and wonderful.
  6. Straight to Heaven: rum, pepper, musk. Lot’s of pepper—it’s dry, hot, and dusty, and reminds me of Carbone de Balmain.
  7. Back to Black: is the only one in this series I’ve opened my wallet for, and remains my favorite. B2B is a stellar honeyed-tobacco, which gets better and better as the hours wear on. It’s one that when I catch a whiff of on a scarf in the closet, I have one of those idyllic moments when I think I could be a signature scent kind of gal (this delusion is always brief).
  8. Liaisons Dangereuses: sweet roses! A youthful rose in the same vein as Juliette Has a Gun’s Miss Charming. LD is charming and pretty.
  9. Cruel Intentions: woody & leathery. Yeah leather! Smooth leather. Did I say leather?
  10. Sweet Redemption: the final installment in L’Oeuvre Noire, Sweet Redemption is what I can best describe as a Tropical Incense. It’s weird on my skin for the first half-hour or so, veering between scratchy cedar and a mish-mash of tropical notes (gardenia, tiare, osmanthus), but then settles into a beautiful woody incense.

The L’Oeuvre Noire collection is done in excellent taste: there isn’t a single one I’d say “no” to!

23 thoughts on “By Kilian, L’Oeuvre Noire collection

  1. a collection that is easy to like — and love the little case of all of them together, the variety and style are enough to get you into the festive mood of this time of year across a lot of moods.

    1. They’re all beautiful: I did have an internal complaint about Straight to Heaven as well– namely, that it was so similar to Carbone de Balmain (to my nose) which can be had for $50/100mL.

  2. It was such a cool and clever move to give the sample set away like that. I wish more perfume companies would follow suit. I’m sure it’s paid off for them.

    Really enjoyed your “mini overview” and you’ve inspired me to give Striaght to Heaven a go. Like B, I’d didn’t fancy the sound of it but you make it sound so good! B2B has to be the star of the show, though.

    1. It was genius! Even if it didn’t spur a rash of purchases throughout perfume-land, it certainly spurred many reviews, and loads of discussion. And if I know perfumistas at all, many bottle sales DID result! 🙂

      Do you mean A Taste of Heaven? That one I loved, right behind B2B, while Straight to Heaven didn’t inspire any purchasing plans. AToH, on the other hand… One of these days I’ll have at least a travel set!

  3. I just got my set too.. I really liked Taste of Heaven also and it did remind me a lot of Reverie..back to black smells different to me when smelled up close and from a distance..from a distance it reminds me of alahine, especially the dry down.. I must try cruel intentions.
    The mini reviews are a great idea..I should also do that so I can keep track of my thoughts on them…

    1. Keeping track is right– I wrote in the little book each day as I wore them, and now it’s filled with my scribbles!

      Reverie au Jardin is one of my favorite perfumes that I have not yet bought a bottle of, right behind Amouage Opus IV, I think! So AToH really thrilled me, with it’s smooth lavender and rounded vanilla. In a way, it’s as if an ultra-fine sand-paper was applied to RaJ… Though I think I still may prefer the Tauer. I’ll know when a bottle enters my cabinet, I guess!

      I hope that you will do mini-reviews! I’ll look forward to reading them 🙂

      1. I love Reverie too- It is my favorite Tauer and I don’t own a bottle either..:)..i think (from what I remember) RaJ’s drydown is warmer and fluffier and cuddlier- AToH seems a little more formal and ‘stiff upper-lipped’, if you know what I mean.I have been forcing DH to wear

        1. ‘stiff-upper-lipped,’ ‘eh? Lol, I’m not sure that I remember thinking that, but I will keep the phrase in mind the next time I wear it! I wore RaJ the other day, for the first time in a while, since my sample is almost gone, and was delighted with how beautiful I still find it. Those Tauer bottles are so lovely… Maybe I’ll ask for it for my birthday this year!

  4. I am SO MAD that I missed that sample giveaway… Back to Black is my favorite so far too. But I haven’t tried Prelude to Love, and you made it sound great. I’m so excited to see you up and posting again! 🙂

    1. I’m MAD too! You should send an email to By Kilian, and ask them for the set— I’ll betcha a dollar they’ll send it to you anyway! I’d love to hear your take on them: I’m certain there is a good Star Trek reference just dying to be made! 😉

      Thank you! It’s time to get back into the regular swing of things. We’re pretty much settled here in Austin, so no more excuses!

  5. I got my samples in the mail last week, so I’ve just started working through them… Honestly, while I the ones I’ve tried so far are well done, I’d like a bit more sillage from them. I really, really, really liked Liasons Dangereuses… I am all about florals and roses generally. I wish I could make the roses last longer, but I do like the musky drydown. Sweet Redemption I thought was very well done, but not very me.

    In other news, I saw you at Bookpeople today, Dee… you looked busy and we were in a hurry, so I didn’t accost you… Merry Christmas!

    1. Susan! I wish you had accosted me! Do you know, I’ve been trying to keep a lookout for you? I thought you might be in sometime to do some Christmas shopping; I would have been delighted to exchange hellos, even for just a second 🙂

      I’m glad you got your sample set! That’s too bad about the longevity— I seem to get incredible wear time from almost all of them, the only real exception being “Love,” which only lasts a couple hours. But Back to Black? I get something like ten hours on that one!!

      1. We do go by Bookpeople every few months or so… ugh, I really would have tried to flag you down but it was just insanity in there.

        Still haven’t tried any more of the Kilians (oof). Just spent two days with the new Cartier. I think I might want to re-wear Liasons Dangereuses again next – the rose really is remarkable, maybe I’ll get better wear on the second go-round.

        Are you working MLK day? UT is closed that day and I seem to recall you have Mondays off generally…?

        1. It’s true, the place was a total mad-house! But if I don’t see you sooner, you must promise to flag me down next time you’re in!

          Did you see that Alyssa from NST got s book deal? She’s going to be doing an event at the store, and I’m already really looking forward to it! It’s a few months away still, but I’ll be posting updates about the date/time and s book review when I get the advance reader 🙂

          1. You know, I saw she got a book deal, and then I saw she lived in Austin, but I hadn’t connected that those two posts were from the same person. I’ll watch for the announcement. 🙂

          2. It’s going to be the best event of the year! Unless of course you’re into the Sookie Stackhouse series, in which case mark your calendar for the Charlaine Harris event 😉

  6. I have a sample set too and plan to go once again through it but from everything I tried so far on skin (5 or 6, I bought/got them long before that great FB giveaway) there isn’t a single one that I love. Nevertheless, I admire how they treat their fans and especially appreciate a small bottles collection so that I’m considering the purchase of that collection.

    1. Undina, when I tried Back to Black the first time, I liked it, but didn’t fall immediately in love with it. It was after wearing it a couple times, and catching whiffs of it off of my clothing (or a scarf)–that’s when I really fell head-over-heels.

      Laurie posted something recently on her blog (here) about sharing– or not– sensibilities with a perfumer: we just need to find the perfumer who’s scent-receptors match your own! 🙂

    1. And the set itself is so lovely, with that black velvet pouch…

      I’ve been enjoying reading all the feedback from different people, especially on Facebook! It’s neat that they sent out the free samples, but it was also neat to be sniffing the same stuff alongside a few hundred other people, and “hearing” everyone talk about them! A cool social experiment… 🙂

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