Old Southern ladies like to say things like “Oh, this rain is playing the devil with the arthritis in my knees!” and stuff like that. So when I heard of this new By Kilian perfume, Playing With the Devil, I thought about my great aunts’ grouchy old friends and one of their favorite phrases, “playing the devil with“. This has nothing to do with this fragrance but it’s funny how you forget something like that and then some niche perfume makes you think of ladies in frosty coral lipstick smoking Virginia Slims and listening to Marty Robbins while gossiping on a porch swing…
Lychee is prevalent in the top notes of this fragrance. Now if you read the note list of Playing With the Devil, you probably expect a fruit salad as the scent is inspired by “forbidden fruits”. It is fruity but there’s more than just juicy fruits. Even in the opening I get hot spices. The spices are pepper, slightly fruity pink pepper and pimento but they are fiery! I think this could help soothe arthritis vs. playing the devil with it…. Crème de cassis and lychee are the most noticeable fruits. The heart is a voluptuous spiced jasmine and a fruity rose. Playing With the Devil actually smells “rouge” to me. The dry-down is a slightly powdery, clean musky floral but has a sharpness from cedar and other “dry woods”. The dry-down is rather subdued and more abstract and well, frankly, generic.
Out of the fragrances in The Garden of Good and Evil Collection, Playing the Devil is the one I like the best. However, it’s not completely “novel” as it reminds me very much of vintage Dior Poison. It’s not exactly like vintage Dior Poison; it’s had some updates like lychee and the florals have been sanded down but it does have the same sultry character as Dior Poison. Like many of the By Kilian perfumes, this one does smell different from a distance (because it projects). I pick up on lots of its spice and warmth; however, others around me tend to pick up on the fruitiness. I honestly don’t notice this as much once the lychee fades after the first 30 minutes of wear. David did ask me while I was testing this if I were wearing “a perfume for little girls”. He says lots of whack stuff but for some reason this bothered me because I honestly do not think of this one as “little girl”. To me it’s more spoiled 18-25 year old with money to spare. Oh, well.
Notes listed include blood orange, black currant, peach, lychee, pepper, pimento, cedar, sandalwood, patchouli, rose, jasmine, tonka bean, benzoin and vanilla. Launched in 2013. PERFUMER – Calice Becker
Give Playing With the Devil a try if you like fruity floral perfumes. Or if you like perfumes like Dior Poison, Escada Magnetism (By Kilian’s is not as sweet), M. Micallef Rouge No. 1, Elizabeth Arden Pretty Hot and/or Lacoste Touch of Pink. Playing with the Devil is more feminine to me as it reminds me of other perfumes marketed to women.
Projection and longevity are above average. Even the more muted base has sillage. And of course, the packaging is gorgeous (and of course, you’re paying for that).
The 1.7 oz bottle retails for $260 at Saks.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – Fiery fruits over a rather classic floral base. I said this is the one that I like the best from The Garden of Good and Evil but that isn’t saying much (I’m not the collection’s demo). I may like it but that’s only in comparison to other recent Kilian launches. I do not love Playing With the Devil and at this price, I must love it. I’d rather wear Dior Poison. And that’s what frosty-coral-lipstick-wearing, Marty Robbins-listening-to women should wear.
See, I tied my memories with this review. Playing With the Devil could be called Devil Woman…and Dior Poison could be Maria…
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