Kilian Black Phantom “Memento Mori” Eau de Parfum was an elegant gourmand where rum was, in fact, the star through most of the life of the perfume. The rum started as richer, boozier, and more definable before it was sweetened with caramel and chocolate with a creamy, nutty quality brought on by almond and coffee. The sandalwood showed up late in the journey, near the drydown, which was accented by caramel sweetness and a touch of nuttiness.
Black Phantom Notes
It is described as having a “rum accord” with “strong coffee at its heart” that is “balanced by vetiver essence” and has a hidden “cyanide accord.” The notes are listed as: rum, sugar cane, dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, almond, heliotrope, sandalwood.
What does Black Phantom Smell Like?
It was rich, decadent rum drizzled with caramel with a roasted espresso on the side, just poured and piping hot. Black Phantom was dark, heady, and boozy with caramel-coated almonds–sweet, chewy, and nutty. The smooth, nutty almonds stretched out the rum and pulled back some of the sweetness of the caramel while a dash of cocoa darkened the concoction.
After a half hour, it felt milkier; the caramel was creamed, diffusing the richness subtly, while it the fragrance itself was not quite as heady as the rum weakened, buried under creamy caramel and almonds. There was a swirl of cappuccino that came through two hours in, which gave the milky caramel and nuttiness more body. It continued in this vein through the drydown, which saw the addition of soft sandalwood.
It lasted for 10 hours until it was a skin-scent and about 16 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.
This is one of my favorites by Kilian thus far from what I’ve tried! I felt like the rum really came through, and I did get coffee undertones with a caramel swirl that turned nuttier and milkier over time. It was more gourmand but it wasn’t quite photorealistic, possibly the aid of heliotrope and sandalwood. This is definitely bottle-worthy, so I’m thankful that I have one already!
For testing, I used two sprays applied 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 received my bottle in February 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.
Black Phantom is available for $240/50ml.
If possible, I highly recommend trying a fragrance before purchasing a full bottle because fragrance can wear differently just because of skin chemistry. Skin chemistry can effect not just the longevity of a fragrance but also what notes are prominent or hidden.
Black Phantom Samples
We recommend the following retailers for purchasing decanted samples (typically 0.7ml to 2ml in size). This is a fuller list, so individual availability may depend on inventory.