7 Best By Kilian Perfumes [For Men and Women] That Are Worth It

The best by Kilian perfumes include Black Phantom, Straight to Heaven, and Back to Black. They are known for a dark scent with notes such as Irish coffee, rum, and oriental accords. Other popular By Killian perfumes include Good Girl Gone Bad and Musk Oud.

What is By Kilian?

By Killian is a perfume house that makes By Killian perfumes and colognes. The correct name is ‘By Killian’ and not the shorter ‘Kilian’ version.

Kilian Hennessy was the founder of the Hennessey, company, the foundation stone of By Killian. The French-Irish founded the cognac company. Killian Hennessy (the grandson), founded By Killian, a unique fragrance house creating his path in life as a fragrance-maker. In 2016, he sold the brand to Este Lauder.

From here, Kilian perfumes evolved into what we know them today. Some say Kilian perfumes are unisex. Others say Kilian perfumes for men are the best from the brand. Others say Kilian perfumes for women need a bit more marketing. But most of them can be judged on an individual level as follows.

1.     By Kilian Black Phantom

Rum, coffee, caramel, and a bit of sugar twist this gourmand fragrance into a blend that will have you talking about it for days after a first sniff.

This is a Kilian cologne that is right in your face. It makes a statement, it’s bold, and you can’t hide its scent.

Dark chocolate, rum, sugar, caramel, coffee, almond, sandalwood, and heliotrope are its notes.

It smells delicious and this blend is suitable both for men and for women.


  • Dark rich perfume
  • Highly original scent
  • Black Phantom lasts around 7 hours


  • A bit more suitable in cold weather than in hot weather

2.     By Kilian Straight to Heaven

This Kilian perfume is also highly popular, even if it doesn’t have the mass appeal of the Black Phantom. It comes with a bit more woodsy notes and a softer performance blended with shorter longevity which might make you doubt it at first. But the scent is there and it’s true to its name as it can take you to heaven.

Woods, spices, fruits, and a bit of rum make it an excellent perfume for anyone looking to smell a bit more sophisticated.

Cedar, rum, patchouli, fruits, and nutmeg are its top and mid notes.

Musk, sweet vanilla, amber, and jasmine are its base accords.

It has an incredible boozy fragrance vibe and this is why it might not suit some wearers. If you don’t mind the shorter longevity and if you like boozy fragrances, however, this is quite hard to match.


  • Strong rum opening
  • Very slightly masculine
  • Excellent in the fall, winter, and spring


  • A bit too strong as a summer Kilian perfume

3.     Kilian Back to Black Aphrodisiac

Kilian perfume prices aren’t pocket friendly in general. This is also the situation of Back to Black. While you can get Kilian perfume samples to try it out, most agree it’s a safe blind buy. Onto the cologne itself.

Kilian Perfume Paris Back to Black is dark.

Honey, tobacco, bergamot, cherry, and raspberry are its sweet smoky opening notes.

Geranium, gingerbread, chamomile, saffron, cardamom, coriander, and French labdanum are its mid accords.

Vanilla, tonka bean, amber, benzoin, olibanum, oak, and cedar are its base ingredients.

Warm, comforting, sweet, and sensual, Back to Black is one of the best tobacco perfumes you can buy today. But you’ll have to save up to afford it.


  • One of the best dark perfumes on the market
  • 10-hours longevity
  • Spectacular in cold weather


  • The honey note is a bit too intense

4.     By Kilian Moonlight in Heaven

By Kilian perfume for women is the first on the list made for the summer months. It has a coconut-tropical vibe that gets plenty of compliments.

Grapefruit, pink pepper, and lemon are its opening notes.

Mango, coconut, and rice are its mid accords.

Vetiver and tonka bean are its base notes.

Soft and refreshing, it can be seen as a signature perfume for women or one of the best soft perfumes for women.


  • 10-hours longevity
  • Feminine and playful
  • Moderately sweet


  • Only truly suitable for women

5.     Kilian Playing With Devil

This sweet fruity Kilian perfume for women is transformative. It might feel sour in the opening but it turns appealing in the drydown.

Blackcurrant, litchi, peach, and blood orange are its opening notes.

Pepper, rose, pimento and jasmine are its mid accords.

Cedar, vanilla, sandalwood, benzoin, tonka bean, and patchouli are its base accords.

Not overly sweet, it can be one of your favorite Kilian summer perfumes.


  • Soapy clean summer fruits blend
  • Highly wearable in warm weather
  • A perfume that smells expensive


  • Moderate silage

6.     By Kilian Musk Oud

This opulent Kilian perfume is one of the top perfumes with rose and oud. If you can imagine these 2 notes perfectly interpreted and then mixed, this is what you get. The unisex perfume Musk oud starts with lemon, cardamom, and coriander.

It adds Bulgarian rose, geranium, cypress, and artemisia as mid accords.

Agarwood, musk, rum, incense, and patchouli are its base accords.

Luxurious in the drydown, this is a perfume for women that smells expensive and that is expensive. You will notice this affluent profile of the perfume right from the start.


  • 10+ hours longevity
  • Made for extroverts
  • Unisex perfume


  • The oud note is toned down


Which Kilian perfume is the best?

The dark By Kilian Black Phantom is the best for those who’re just starting in the fragrance world of Kilian.

What does Kilian perfume smell like?

Kilian perfumes generally smell dark, boozy, and a bit mysterious due to their heavy notes. Rum, tobacco, and oud are some of these notes. But there are tropical exceptions from the brand such as By Kilian Moonlight in Heaven with a warm cozy summer profile.

Who owns Kilian perfume?

Este Lauder owns Kilian perfume since 2016. The perfumes have remained true to the brand’s identity after the takeover.

Is Kilian unisex?

Kilian perfumes are mostly unisex. But as seen with some of the perfumes above, a couple of them are made specifically for men or for women depending on notes intensity and blend.

Why are By Kilian perfumes so expensive?

By Kilian perfumes are typically expensive. They can cost as much as $500. At the same time, there are no worthy cheap Kilian alternative perfumes to consider. If you want a special perfume, you can save up more and buy one Kilian instead of buying a few other perfumes. At the same time, some people see Kilian scents as the perfect 1-perfume collection fragrances.