Ready to embrace French luxury and find your signature scent? Kilian Hennessy offers a line of more than 30 intoxicating fragrances that fall within five categories: fresh, narcotic, cellar, smoke, and liquor.
From the scent itself to the bottle that carries it, every one of the company’s creations are works of art in their own right. In early 2021, Insider published an article about celebrities’ obsession with Rihanna’s heavenly scent. The fragrance she was sporting? Kilian’s Love, don’t be shy.
In addition to the brand’s celebrity fans, it has 330k followers across Instagram and Facebook. The praise continues with awards, including a 2013 Fragrance Foundation‘s Indie Award. Its Straight to Heaven, extreme was a runner-up for the Perfume Master’s Men’s Luxury Fragrance of the Year.
By now, you’re probably wondering if the brand is worth the hype. Well, this Kilian perfume review will help you figure that out. In the following sections, we’ll dive deep into the company, its collection, customer testimonials, and more, so that you can decide if it’ll provide your new signature scent.
Overview of Kilian
Many of Kilian Hennessy’s fragrances tell the story of his favorite childhood memories, usually set in the family cellars in Cognac, a tiny commune in France. He developed each scent to be reminiscent of the deep woodsiness of the barrels and the intoxicatingly sweet sugar in the alcohol.
After graduating from CELSA, a French journalism and communication school, and training with some of the greatest names in the industry, Kilian founded his own eponymous brand in 2007. The company was acquired by Estee Lauder Companies Inc. in 2016.
Kilian’s philosophies are that luxury should last a lifetime and that the bottles themselves should be works of art. Each bottle, which features silvers, golds, lace, and lacquer, should be refilled and kept forever.
All of Kilian’s elegant fragrances are manufactured in France, and the brand itself is headquartered in Paris. Aside from the online store, you can find its colognes and perfumes in one of its three boutiques in New York, London, and France.
Let’s get started with the preliminary pros and cons. Then, this Kilian perfume review will dive into some of the scents.
- Dozens of expertly-crafted scents with a wide variety of key notes
- Sorted into categories to make shopping easier
- Loved by celebrities and internet personalities
- Customers describe the line as the most unique fragrance collection
- Sustainable refill program
- Free ground shipping
- No international shipping
- No promos or discounts at the moment
Kilian Perfume Review
If you, like Rihanna, want your scent to be admired by everyone that passes you by, take a look at the brand’s top-selling fragrances. In this section of our Kilian perfume review, we’ll walk you through the sweet, woodsy, and complex notes the company is famous for.
Prefer alternative payment methods? Kilian offers Afterpay, through which you can pay in four interest-free installments.
Kilian Love, don’t be shy Review
Kilian Love, don’t be Shy is Rihanna’s signature scent, and there’s a reason for that. With key notes of neroli, orange blossom, and marshmallow, this fragrance is complex, long-lasting, and incredibly intoxicating—so much so that everyone will be asking what you’re wearing.
Crafted by perfumer Calice Becker, Love, don’t be Shy is bottled in a gorgeous lightly-colored lacquer bottle that is detailed with gold plating and filigree-like embellishment on the sides. It is available in a 50ml reusable perfume spray bottle for $240 or a 7.5ml perfume spray bottle for $48. Refills and travel sizes are both $195.
Kilian Princess Review
Prince Charming isn’t necessary when you already smell like a queen. In fact, the Kilian Princess perfume bottle makes the claim that “I don’t need a prince by my side to be a princess,” and the perfume inside gives off the same energy.
Described as both spicy and warm, this seductive perfume features notes of green tea, mocha, and ginger. It’s an unexpected and understated combination, just like you.
The delightfully flirty scent is bottled in a uniformly black circular bottle, which complements its sass and audaciousness perfectly. Become your own Princess for $135 (3.4 oz), $75 (1 oz), or $30 (0.25 oz).
Kilian Good girl gone Bad Review
A good girl might go bad, but a good perfume definitely won’t. Caressing wearers with key notes of orange blossom, osmanthus, and tuberose, this intoxicating scent masterfully blends your good side with your dark side, helping you express your complex personality.
Perfumer Alberto Morillas crafted the scent which coaxes you in, tantalizes you, and tempts you with its interplay of good and evil. Kilian Good girl gone Bad is part of the brand’s Narcotics collection.
Grab a bottle of Good girl gone Bad for $245 (50 ml). Or, opt to include the elegant clutch, which is pure white with a gilded gold snake slithering across its front, for $330.
Kilian Moonlight in Heaven Review
Reminding us of romantic daydreams, late-night strolls, and candlelit dinners, Kilian Moonlight in Heaven embodies the dreamy luminescence that only the moon can provide. The deep blue hue of the liquid glistens in the bottle, creating your own little moon bath.
Offering a citrus-heavy base of grapefruit, mango, and roasted tonka beans when first applied, this fragrance transforms into a complex concoction that offers coconut milk, creamy mango, and jasmine sambac as it lingers. It’s mysterious, radiant, and seductive, just like the moon.
Moonlight in Heaven makes a perfect gift for the astrology enthusiast, tarot card master, or big dreamer in your life. Grab this delicate but deep fragrance with an intricate moon-inspired coffret for $330 (50 ml), just the perfume for $295, or refill your bottle for $195.
Kilian Black Phantom Review
Ominous, eerie, and mysterious—we can tell that this curious fragrance in its black and gold bottle has a story to tell. Kilian Black Phantom is decorated with the Latin phrase “memento mori” to offer us a reminder that we all must die one day.
Meant to embody “an inescapably transient pirate ship” traversing a dark sea in search of treasure, this fragrance opens with notes of rum, cyanide, and coffee. It’s masculine, complex, and dangerous, before offering a slightly sweet mix of sandalwood and sugar.
Black Phantom was created by master perfumer Sidonie Lancesseur, an expert in the industry known for her complicated fragrances that tell a story. Purchase a 50 ml bottle of this dark Kilian cologne with a skull-adorned coffret for $330 or just the bottle for $295.
Kilian Straight to Heaven Review
Craftily articulating the dichotomy of sweet and sensual, Kilian Straight to Heaven embraces the different parts of your personality. Its key notes of patchouli, nutmeg, and cedarwood will caress you in a soft hug, while subtle patchouli and sandalwood add a spicy and earthy twist.
Also developed by Sidonie Lancesseur, Straight to Heaven is a sweeter alternative to Black Phantom, but with an equally complex scent story. The $330 gift set includes a 50 ml bottle and a black lockable coffret. Or, choose just the perfume bottle for $295.
Kilian Back to Black Review
An aphrodisiac is meant to light a fire within you. So, unleash your inner desire with Kilian Back to Black. This fragrance sparks lustfulness with notes of cedarwood, incense, and honey.
Developed by French perfumer Calice Becker to provide a “gourmand tobacco harmony,” this fragrance is as smoky as it is seductive. Back to Black is contained in an embellished black lacquer spray bottle for $240.
Kilian Intoxicated Review
Mocha coffee, cardamom, nutmeg, and vanilla blend together to offer a perfume that lives up to its namesake: Intoxicated. Featuring some of the best scents the world has to offer, you’ll be transported into a luxurious Parisienne cafe each time you apply it.
Calice Becker brings us this beautiful Kilian Paris blend. The inspiration for this scent was apparently a smooth and deep cup of strong Turkish coffee, and we can definitely see that inspiration manifested in this black and gold bottle.
Throw on a beret, grab your favorite novel, and spritz on Kilian Intoxicated as you skip down to your go-to coffee shop. As one of the company’s most elegant scents, you can purchase it in an ornate carafe for $870. Or, grab the bottle or refill for $195-$245 (50 ml).
Is Kilian Cruelty-Free?
The brand does not explicitly state whether or not it is cruelty-free anywhere on its website. Though, we did find unverified reports online that Kilian does not test on animals.
Kilian’s parent company, Estee Lauder, is not completely cruelty-free because it sells its products in countries where animal testing is legally required. It acknowledges this on its website, and addresses it as follows:
“…we believe that through strong partnerships, sharing our science and engaging with our communities in a meaningful way, we can contribute to the global end of cosmetic animal testing.”
Who Is Kilian For?
Kilian is for everyone—seriously! Well, those that are old enough to wear fragrance. One of the things that the company is most known for is its unisex line. So, whether you’re looking for a scent that’s woodsy, earthy, sweet, spicy, or floral, there’s something on its website calling your name.
This Kilian perfume review also thinks that the company is also a fantastic choice for eco-conscious shoppers. Its refill program means less waste in the landfills and more money in your pocket—it’s a win-win for you and the earth.
Comparison: Kilian vs. Aerin
Aerin is a global luxury lifestyle brand that embodies founder Aerin Lauder’s classic, modern point of view in its products. Like Kilian, it is under the parent company Estee Lauder Companies Inc., but this partnership dates back further, as Aerin Lauder is the granddaughter of Estee and Robert Lauder, the founders of Estee Lauder.
We’ll do a quick comparison between the two brands’ best-selling fragrances so you can see the similarities and differences between them. Kilian’s Good girl gone Bad features key notes of orange blossom, osmanthus, and tuberose. The perfume with the bottle costs $245 and a refill is $195 (50 ml).
Mediterranean Honeysuckle is one of the best-selling fragrances on the Aerin site, and it features notes of honeysuckle, grapefruit, bergamot, mandarin, and gardenia, among others. You can buy it in two sizes within the price range of $135-$185 (1.7-3.4 oz).
Like Kilian, Aerin only ships within the US and it has three boutiques, but unlike Kilian, these boutiques are located within the US alone. But, the biggest difference is the range of products offered. Our featured brand primarily focuses on perfumes, whereas the competitor also sells home goods, accessories, fashion, and more.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for a unique, expertly-crafted perfume, you’ll want to check out Kilian. If you want to bundle a perfume purchase with home goods and clothing accessories, Aerin might be for you.
To learn more about this brand check out our full Aerin Perfume Review for a deeper analysis.
Kilian Reviews: What Do Customers Think?
Scents are incredibly personal. When shopping for your signature fragrance, you’ll want to ensure the product lasts, matches its online description, and is noticeable. To find out how the brand’s perfumes score in these categories, this Kilian perfume review turned to customer testimonials.
We first turned to the brand’s site, where all of its products have scored more than 4/5 stars. Here’s how the best sellers stack up:
- Good girl gone Bad by Kilian – Extreme: an average of 4.33/5 stars from 241 shoppers
- Love, don’t be shy: an average of 4.42/5 stars from 962 shoppers
- Black Phantom – “Memento Mori”: an average of 4.94/5 stars from 36 shoppers
- Woman in Gold: an average of 5/5 stars from 13 shoppers
- Forbidden Games: an average of 4.93/5 stars from 14 shoppers
- Moonlight in Heaven: an average of 4.89/5 stars from 18 shoppers
We chose to dive deeper into Love, don’t be shy because it is by far Kilian’s most reviewed product. Customers report that this fragrance “lasts all day,” is “very addicting,” and that “there’s nothing like it.”
One customer explains how powerful this scent is because of how it makes her feel. Here’s what she said in her Kilian perfume review:
“Feminine, sexy, seductive. I adore this parfume. I wear it all day & night long & i feel so secure, confident, hot. When i wear this parfume i fell that i can do anything i want. Romantic & Wild at the same time. After so many years of searching for my own parfume, just found it! & yes… smells like heaven.”
Similarly, another shopper reports that she always gets questions about what she’s wearing after applying Good girl gone Bad: “Made me feel confident and sexy. Beautiful, sensual scent great for date nights or special events…Very long lasting and strong…a little goes a long way. Everyone is always intrigued when I wear this. Love knowing that I don’t just smell so generic.”
To see how well these sentiments hold up, and to learn a little more about the company, we turned to Facebook. Here, Kilian has a 4.7/5-star score from 426 users. Customers describe the fragrance collection as “very interesting,” “unique,” and “well made.”
All in all, most customers only had good things to say about Kilian’s fragrances. While the return process can be slow, we found no major red flags online about this brand. In fact, most users report that these are the most unique perfumes on the market.
Is Kilian Worth It?
From the unique, expertly-crafted scents to the work-of-art bottles, this Kilian perfume review definitely concludes that the brand is worth it. The company makes it easy to find a signature scent that gets people talking—even Rihana can attest to that.
Customers rave about the brand’s fragrances, reporting that they’re unique, long-lasting, and encourage your confidence to shine through. Returns can be slow, partially due to the fact that the brand does not offer an expected timeline, but its policy for returns and exchanges does seem fairly flexible—Kilian wants you to love the luxurious scent you bring into your life.
Finally, we love the brand’s sustainability missions. Once you use up the last drop in your bottle, simply purchase a refill. For all of these reasons and more, we think you should check out Kilian’s fragrances.
Kilian Promotions & Discounts
Right now, the brand isn’t offering any exclusive deals or promotions. Be sure to sign up for the e-newsletter to be notified as soon as a promo pops up.
Where to Buy Kilian
If you live in the US, you can shop directly from ByKilian.com. Or, if you live in New York, London, or France, head to the Find a Store page to find the location nearest you.
Kilian’s fragrances are also sold through partnered retailers. Some options include Sephora, Nordstrom, and Holt Renfrew.
Who owns Kilian?
Kilian was founded by Kilian Hennesy. The brand’s parent company is Estee Lauder Companies Inc.
Where is Kilian made?
Kilian fragrances are crafted in France. The brand has boutiques in France, New York, and London.
What is Kilian’s Shipping Policy?
Kilian currently only ships to addresses within the US. Most orders ship within 1-2 days, and shipping rates and times are as follows:
- US Ground (2-5 business days): free
- US Second Day (2 business days): $13
- US Next Day (1 business day): $27
Most items can be delivered to Alaska, Hawaii, and the US Territories, along with P.O. Box or Military APO/FPO addresses, but some restrictions apply.
What is Kilian’s Return Policy?
To initiate a return, call the brand at 1-866-262-2402 or email at [email protected]. Kilian’s team will send a free return label, return instructions, and the return shipping address. Print the label, pack the goods, then ship them away.
This Kilian perfume review did not find any information about an eligible return window, so it’s best to reach out to the brand if you have any concerns.
How to Contact Kilian
If you have any questions after reading this Kilian perfume review, reach out to the brand’s team through one of the following methods:
- Live chat
- Contact form
Agents are available via the chat service Monday through Friday, from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm ET, as well as Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm.