Friday, August 5, 2011

By Kilian - Sweet Redemption, The End

Alpha and Omega

Sweet Redemption, The End is the 10th and last perfume in By Kilian's L'Oeuvre Noire series, that has explored themes of love and temptation. I previously reviewed Love and Tears, Surrender which is one of the best jasmines I've ever tried.

In this final perfume, Kilian has created a complex balance of opposites. Sweet and bitter, light and dark, innocence and death, or is it rebirth? 

Sweet Redemption, The End starts with creamy orange blossom, a flower often associated with innocence. The pale creaminess melts into a heart of darker, sticky resins. The sweet smell of vanilla and cinnamon comes from benzoin but the perfume stays away from gourmand territory by the addition of bitter, medicinal myrrh.

Myrrh is an incense often associated with death and funeral preparations. It has a fragrance that takes time to love. I find that myrrh adds an almost plastic note to Sweet Redemption, as if the perfume is actually a sweet but synthetic amber, melting on my skin. Like vanilla ice-cream and dark honey frozen into bakelite.

At one point the light layer of orange blossom hovering over the incense base notes, created an illusion of lilies, Like a stereogram image created from two separate photos. Lily isn't mentioned in the notes, and maybe it was all in my head, but it fits with the theme of endings and redemption, death and rebirth. Lilies are the flowers of both funerals and Easter.

So in one fragrance, By Kilian leads us on an olfactory journey from beginning to end. Innocent fresh orange blossoms mixed with evocative ancient resinsto offer redemption as the ultimate temptation.

Sometimes I find the By Kilian ad copy a little florid, their packaging a little pretentious and their prices steep, but I have to admit the juice is outstanding quality. By Kilian will be offering the L'Oeuvre Noire series as a complete set of travel-sized atomizers this fall and I am tempted.

House: By Kilian
Nose: Kilian Hennessy
Notes: Orange blossom, bitter orange leaf1 vanilla, myrrh, opopanax, benzoin2, incense

1 Bitter orange leaf is mentioned only on the By Kilian website.
2 Benzoin is mentioned only on the Luckyscent website.


  1. Well this one sounds so odd I have to try it. The balance of the resinous scent with the light airy orange blossom has me intrigued. Lovely review!

  2. I've read about the set as well and I'm also tempted - even though I do not care for more perfumes in the set than I do, but I like the idea. And I do not think I need more than 7.5 ml even of those that I like. So, most likely, I'll get it once it's available.

    I haven't tried this last one yet but I will soon (thanks again).
    ~ Undina ~

  3. I tried this yesterday and love it! I get more sweetness, more cozy-cuddly aspects than you do, I think, but that is fine with me. Beautiful review!


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