I’ve been debating over reviewing this perfume since I got my sample back in August. “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” is definitely the safest route for an aspiring perfumer. But at the end of the day I feel okay about this review, because I’m not saying that Playing With The Devil is a bad perfume. In fact, I think it’s a very good fruity fragrance. But Playing With The Devil is boring, inexcusably boring for the price ($245 for 50 ml). Most perfume lines have a well-crafted-but-unremarkable fragrance or two, but By Kilian now has seven. (Bamboo Harmony, Water Calligraphy, Forbidden Games, Good Girl Gone Bad, In The City of Sin, and Flower of Immortality, all released over the past year.)
Playing With The Devil opens with a warm, sensual peach note (as opposed to the brighter, sharper peach note in PWTD’s immediate predecessor, Flower of Immortality). The peach is gradually joined by a very sweet lychee note. In Kilian’s defense, this fruit salad never feels thin, although it is too sweet for my personal tastes. The drydown is a creamy, pale sandalwood of the “We can’t use Mysore sandalwood anymore, what the hell do you want from us”* variety. The lasting power is very good.
I don’t know about y’all, but I’m seriously so curious about By Kilian’s apparent new direction. The weirdest part is that Calice Becker, the perfumer behind the most recent Kilian fragrances, is also responsible for By Kilian’s first, highly acclaimed L’Ouevre Noire series! So what could have possibly changed?
*The use of Mysore sandalwood, as many perfumistas already know, has been severely restricted due to past over harvesting.