The By Kilian line seems to evoke strong emotions in perfumistas. You seem to have those who adore the perfume and those that deplore the prices (and the extreme luxury positioning of the brand). While I could never see myself buying a full bottle, I must say that I have quite enjoyed two in the line that I've tried, Pure Oud and Back to Black. I also have a sample of Cruel Intentions, the subject of my review today. The listed notes include bergamot, orange blossom, violet accord, rose absolute, agarwood, papyrus oil, gaiacwood, vetiver, sandalwood, styrax, castoreum, vanilla and musk. Crumbs, what a list. The opening is bright and citrusy. It goes to show how poor I am at identifying notes sometimes. Having not read any listed notes, I wrote down that I could detect lavender, coriander and cardamom! In any event, there is a piquancy early on, but as the top fades, the oud slowly comes into focus. What really surprised me is that the feel of the oud here is very much like M7 by YSL. It is a slightly sweet, peppery oud accord, with a bit of a muddy feel to it. This is the best way I can describe it. At one point, I was really struggling to tell the difference between the two. I don't get any of the other notes, especially the violet and rose. At about the half way point, the oud becomes less pronounced and a very familiar accord came to the fore. I couldn't quite pinpoint it, but then it struck me - Gaiac by Micallef. I sampled this only a few days before Cruel Intentions, but I realise now that Gaiacwood is a big component of both Cruel Intentions and M7. I'm afraid to say that Gaiacwood and I are not best mates. I don't mind the smell but I'm not doing backflips over it either. At the end of the day I found Cruel Intentions to be a decent perfume, but not really my cup of tea. I actually prefer M7, and at the very least a third of the price, I can't see why I would shell out the cash for Cruel Intentions instead. Cruel Intentions is perhaps a slightly more refined, sophisticated take on M7, but packaging aside, I don't personally see what the fuss is about in this case.
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