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Kilian Playing with the Devil Perfume Review

Kilian Playing with the Devil Perfume Review

Kilian Eau de Parfum features peach and lychee, sweet and juicy, with a dash of pepper paired with soft florals that seesaw between jammy rose and blooming jasmine. The base notes didn’t seem to come through as well on my skin, so the drydown was scant in definable notes; at best, soft, slightly sweet and smooth woods with a fruit-floral veil.

It is described as having key notes of “blood orange, pimento berries, [and] sandalwood.” Here is a list of notes that is quite expanded and found at retailers:

  • top notes: black currant, white peach, blood orange, lychee
  • heart notes: pimento, pepper, rose, jasmine
  • base notes: vanilla, cedar, sandalwood, patchouli, benzoin, tonka bean

It opened with sweet, syrupy lychee with a whisper of peach and orange that was swiftly joined by a jammy rose accented by a subtle, peppery kick. The black currant added more dimension after a few minutes, slightly fresher with green undertones, adding brightness along with and a hint of woodiness. There was a trail of jasmine deep in the background, easy to miss, that became visible after 10 minutes. It was a sweet and floral mixture where lychee and peach were the primary facets.

Through the next hour, the lychee and peach were strongest but slowly shifted downward, weakening and letting the jasmine breath over them and by the end of the second hour, jasmine was the most prominent note in the mix. I didn’t notice a sense of woods or earthiness until closer to the drydown, as the base notes didn’t seem to come through as much as I anticipated on my skin. The drydown appeared as soft, blurry woods with subtle, vanillic sweetness, but it was like a veil of scent on my arm.


For testing, I used 1/3 of a 0.7ml sample vial dabbed to the underside and topside of my wrist area on my left arm. I used an unscented moisturizer prior to applying the scent as this is also my swatching arm (aka, incredibly parched at any given moment) as I found scent did not hold well here otherwise. 

I purchased my sample in January 2022; fragrances are known to be reformulated over their lifetime , so be mindful of when a review was made, e.g. a review from 2010 may not reflect what the same-named perfume smells like in 2022.


It lasted for six hours until it was a skin-scent and about 10 hours before it was quite difficult to detect on my skin. The sillage and projection were moderate and dropping closer to the body after three hours of wear.

Personal Thoughts

I felt like the base notes didn’t translate well on my skin–they were largely absent or otherwise very blurred and hard to detect for me. As a result, I ended up feeling like I was missing part of the journey!

Available Sizes

  • 50ml for $240
  • 50ml refill for $195

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