Monday Question – You Must Choose: By Kilian Or Parfumerie Générale?

The You Must Choose question where I pitched Chanel against Guerlain was great fun, so I decided to do something in that vein again.

In my mind By Kilian and Pierre Guillaume’s Parfumerie Générale are somehow linked. Black designs, beautiful faces, lovely perfumes, but different price points.

If you had to decide for one house, which would it be?

The more economic and prolific PG line?

Or the ultra-luxurious and elegant By Kilian?

My Answer:

I hate myself for those questions as soon as I have to answer them myself.

I own more PG than Kilian fragrances, but that is that down to their greater affordability or because I like them more? Hmm, I do like them of course, but if all were equal, I probably have just as many Kilians. I hate that it comes down to price, but in the end it does. And unfairly so. If I was a little bit less greedy, I’d have less bottles, and only those I regularly wear.

It comes down to this: I wear my Rose OudAmber Oud and Back To Black a lot, but Tonkamande and Indochine are staples, as are Cadjmeré and Bois Blond. So that is 3:4.

I must choose? I choose Parfumerie Générale. (SO sorry, Kilian! They made me say that!)

How about you?

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89 Responses to Monday Question – You Must Choose: By Kilian Or Parfumerie Générale?

  1. Lyubov says:

    So, so hard to answer…But to me it should be pure mathematics at the moment! I fell in love with all the fragrances of PG I tried and worn. Unfortunately, they are only three…:0( – Felanilla, Musc Maori and Iris Taizo. On the other hand, thanks to the great marketing strategy of Kilian, I know a whole pile of his aromatic creations. And the ones that impressed me most were Prelude To Love, Love, Cruel Intentions, A Taste of Heaven, Straight To Heaven, Back To Black, Amber Oud and the last ones from the Asian Tales – Bamboo Harmony and Water Caligraphy. The outcome so far is in favor of Kilian, but I guess that if I have the chance to sniff all of his and Pierre’s aromas, the result wouldn’t be the same…

    • Olfactoria says:

      It is great that so many people now know the entire Kilian line thanks to their generous sample policy.
      But I agree with you, Lyubov, so hard to answer… :)

  2. Sandra says:

    Oh that is a tough question! As much as I enjoy my PG perfumes, I love my Kilian perfumes more. I wear Liaisons Dangereuses, sweet Redemption, Louve, Rose Oud, Back to Black, Incense Oud and Amber Oud regularly. I understand the price point completely, but it does not factor in if I must choose. Kilian wins hands down.

  3. Brooke says:

    I have to agree! I enjoy both houses but I have purchased only 1 By Killian and several PG’s – Bois Blond, Bois Naufrage, Jardins de Kerylos, Coze, LdNuit, and Un Crime Exotique. Packaging isn’t nearly as important to me as the juice.

  4. Undina says:

    If we’re talking about perfumes only, it’s easy – Parfumerie Generale. Just because I still haven’t found a single perfume from By Kilian to love yet and at the same time, I think, I’m close to that feeling with Indochine.
    You’re talking about perfumes, right? ;)

    • Olfactoria says:

      Yes, we are talking about perfume! What are you thinking, Undina! ;)
      Indochine is so lovely, isn’t it?

      • Undina says:

        I was thinking… No, I shouldn’t! ;)

        When I first put Indochine on my skin I didn’t even expect to like it so much. I will finish my sample (thanks to Tara!) but then I suspect it will be my first FB from this brand.

  5. Marie in DK says:

    Based on the evidence which is: I like one By Killian (Back to Black ) and I know one PG fragrance (Tonkamande) and of the two I prefer BtB, I would have to say that I prefer By Killian. However, BtB is the only By Killian fragrance of the ones I have tried and over all his vision of fragrance is not for me. So I’ll take my chances with PG and hope that there will be more hits than misses with them.

  6. lady jane grey says:

    Oh, no problem for me at all ! The Kilian scents just don’t work with me, far too heavy for my taste and often turning soapy on me (and/or contain loads of orange blossom…).
    So PG is the winner with me with his lighter scents, full of playful ideas.

  7. Georgy says:

    I’m afraid I must not post about this issue any more, because “the husband” threatend me over a short encounter on friday that he will take revenge, if I compare his very doubtable beauty with PGs perfect symmetrical body and face…….nevertheless I would choose PG over killian, I love his scents, the prices are affordable, and the customer service is perfect……and yes he’s sweet and hot as well, although I certainly don’t take this in my consideration:-)

  8. Vanessa says:

    Now this one is easy for me – PG. I find a number of the original By Kilians to have a headache-inducing accord, notably Love, Beyond Love and Liaison Dangereuse. This put me off the entire house for ages, until I discovered Love & Tears and Sweet Redemption, Rose Oud etc, which don’t have this “suffocating” feel to them.

    By no means all the PGs are my cup of tea, now, however, enough are for me to declare this my clear preference!

  9. Ines says:

    Oh, you’re being mean to us again! ;)

    I’d have to go with PG because I have more of his perfumes in my stash than By Kilians and I seem to love PGs while I appreciate the beauty of By Kilians (none has made me fall in love with it yet).

  10. andreawilko says:

    You ask the hardest questions, I have tried every single By Kilian thanks to the wonderful sampling programme that he has, unfortunately I have only tried a fairly small amount of Parfumerie Generale. So far I have Back to Black and Sweet Redemption in my collection but would like to add Beyond Love to it. I have Tonkamande and will soon have Bois Naufrage (Thanks Birgit :) ) although this is totally unsniffed, If I really really had to choose, I would choose By Kilian but that may well have changed by the end of this week.

    • Olfactoria says:

      A vote for Kilian! Good, I like to keep a balance. ;)
      But the beauty of it is, many of us will have changed their minds by next week, so it is perfectly fine if you do too.

  11. raab says:

    For me, it’s not a hard question. Of course, By Kilillan has an amazing marketing policy and a very beautiful packaging but…..every scent By Killian I used to sample:
    - doesn’t work on me, becomes soapy, or sour,
    - has no lasting power at all,
    - has a twin in another brand (born before……).

    While, PG is very weird but his universe is great and endless….. I started with Cozé (too masculine but a beauty), I’m in love with each scent I sampled or bought: Cadjmere, Un crime Exotique, Brûlure de Rose, Musc Maori……..

    And I like very much too the packaging of PG: the juice is more important, we agree, but his bottles, simple, squared, are……..beautiful.

    Love him (well, in many ways of the word hum hum…….) ;-)

    • Olfactoria says:

      Too bad that Kilian’s don’t work for you (money, a lot of it, saved though).
      Your PG loves are the same as mine. Did you try Praliné de Santal and Aomassai? You might like them as well.

  12. Aw man, this is a tricky one!

    I’d have to go for By Kilian, simply because I have spent more time with the line than I have PG (I have still so much of the PG line to discover). But the prices of the Kilian line are very prohibitive :( So it’s a begrudged vote for Kilian :P

  13. I have struggled with the Kilian line until I discovered Incense and Rose Oud. Now once again I look forward to trying some of the other Kilian fragrances. And their marketing and sample program is genius. I only have tried Indochine from PG and liked it, but it was not my cup of tea. So I have much to check out there as well. Any suggestions? Ok, I know this is not the right answer but due to lack of exposure to PG I choose team Kilian!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Team Kilian it is! (And you met him recently, I’m very jealous!) ;)
      Enjoy sniffing your way through the PG line, so many gorgeous scents to get to know. I recommend those that I have reviewed highly, you can check the archives if you want to read up for suggestions.

  14. Tara says:

    Very, very tough question and lots of fun too! I have gone back and forth on this one. The sensible answer, largely because of the cost, would be PG but I’m going with my heart and choosing By Kilian, purely because I don’t love any of the PGs the way I love Rose Oud. There, I’ve chosen! As long as I can still admire PG from afar :)

  15. Bee says:

    This is a good question, By Kilians sample policy is great (I’m trying out amber oud today), and I find the little travel flacons truly beautiful, so one day I’m going to buy one of them (still have to decide which scent)… For the moment however PG is winning FB-wise (with iris-formerly-taizo and felanilla), the little 30 ml bottles are really cute. The dry-down of PGs is rather similar (at least for those I’ve tried, there must be some common note), BKs remain more distinct, thus compensating the lack of edginess at the beginning. Both are handsome guys – that’s a draw (sorry for being so frivolous). Summing it up: slight advantage for BK.

    • Olfactoria says:

      You summed it up perfectly, Bee.
      Those Kilian travels sprays are utterly beautiful (so are the bottles, but just too expensive to invest in more than one for me).

  16. Alexandra says:

    Good grief…

    While I have fallen completely in love with the entire By Kilian Oud collection (and ADORE the travel set gold bottle), the main line currently leaves me unmoved – although Love & Back to Black might change my mind eventually. PG on the other hand provides some heart warming gems: I have lived in Cadjmere this year and have so many others vying for a place on my wish list – Indochine, Tonkamande, Felanilla, Jardins de Kerylos, Aomassai, happy/frustrated sigh.

    So PG wins, despite not having a sample set, which would make my life, and my decision making process, much easier!

  17. Alex says:

    Difficult question this Monday! I can easily say exploring well both of them that I love PG 17 and Beyond Love, PG 13 and Rose Oud, Pralinee de Santal and Love…….If my bank account says Pierre my heart says Killian and I always follow my heart:). so BK will be!

  18. Persolaise says:

    Oh, this is an easy one for me. Definitely PG. I don’t think much of By Kilian as a brand: many of their scents are overly synthetic.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I must agree with that assessment for some Kilians (Liaisons Dangereuses for example strikes me as such), but thankfully there are some beautiful perfumes among them as well. Thanks for your vote, P.

  19. I don’t have much history with either brand. A couple of samples of each but when by Kilian sent me the 2 latest samples it made me feel special and I liked that from a world class company. by Kilian has my vote.
    Portia xx

  20. raab says:

    Birgit, I LOVE Praliné de Santal but have just smelt it, a beauty, I hope having a vial or a decant one day, I don’t know AOMASSAÏ, I’ll sniff it asap!

  21. Suzanne says:

    I have only tried about four By Kilian fragrances, but didn’t like any of them with the exception of Love and Tears. So the choice is easy for me, PG, as I love so many of them. Plus, PG actually is a perfumer, giving him more points in my book.

    But I will admit that looks-wise, I prefer Kilian! :)

    (Not that either one is hard on the eyes.) ;)

  22. Fernando says:

    Weirdly, I have not really tried any PGs. My wife loves the jasmin soliflore in the By Kilian line, I think it’s called “Love and Tears”. So I have to go with them, even though that is the only one we have. I could enjoy Amber Oud and Incense Oud if I could afford them, and perhaps also the lavender one (Taste of Heaven?). My one objection to Kilian is that they tend to go for names that are similar: Taste of Heaven, Straight to Heaven, Love, Beyond Love, who knows what. It confuses me.

  23. Natalie says:

    Hmmm, only because I keep finding samples in my mailbox, I’d say by Kilian. They are so easy to come by, the just fall in your lap. The PG’s are very hard to find where I live, and I really like a low treshold when it comes to sampling perfume. They don’t sell a sampler-set online like HdP, do they?
    Then again, I can hardly imagine something more beautyful than amber oud (the ONLY amber I like) or as lovely as love and tears. Any suggestions on what must-try’s are from PG?

  24. deeHowe says:

    When I saw the Monday Question today, I thought, “That minx!” ;)

    Well, after thinking about it for just a minute, I see that the answer is clear— though my logic might be slightly fuzzy:

    From BK, I love B2B, Love, Amber Oud, and most of all: A Taste of Heaven.

    From PG, I love Bois Blonde, Brulure de Rose, Aomassai, Tonkamande, Praline de Santal, Iris Taizo, Felanilla, Coze… Pretty much everything this man does pleases me ;)

    My winner? By Kilian, because I love those few scents more than I love all the PG’s together!
    And, the Kilian’s last forever on my skin, while the PG’s seem to fade out after just a few hours.

  25. Ari says:

    Not hard for me! The PG line is more creative and MUCH cheaper. By Kilian makes beautiful perfumes with very high quality ingredients, but the Kilian perfumes are simply not as innovative.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Since I’m more the classical type, the lack of innovation doesn’t bother me so much, but the pricepoint is clearly a major argument for PG.
      What is your favorite PG, Ari?

  26. Alexis says:

    My answer is biased: By Kilian. My very first niche fragrance purchase was Love and Tears travel set w/the black enameled holder. Also, I’m not familiar with PG so that said I’ve got some homework to do!

  27. anatu13 says:

    I have not tried PG yet, so I will have to go with By Kilian, which I have just tried thanks to Birgit’s giveaway! The Amber Oud is absolutely *gorgeous*! I shall put PG on my list to obtain samples of–Cadjmere and Praline de Santal I would particularly like to try.

  28. Civava says:

    What an evil question? I didn’t have much problems choosing Guerlan against Chanel. This is cruel. I feel I’m more PG. I like by Killian too but the price is really to be considered. And like you I would probably wear more Killian. So I choose not to choose ;-).

  29. kjanicki says:

    Interesting! I own and love By Kilian Incense Oud but PG has my all time favourite perfume, Papyrus de Ciane. I didn’t notice anyone else mention it, I think I might be the only person in love with it, but I couldn’t live without its bitter, dark green mossiness. So PG for me!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Excellent, another PG vote, thanks Krista!
      I have tried Papyrus only on paper, a long time ago, but the more you mention it, the more I think I should get a sample… :)

    • hemlocksillage says:

      I love Papyrus de Ciane, too! So very unique, and I’ve worn this more than anything this Spring. You aren’t alone :D (I’ll put my official vote below, but you can see where this is headed!)

  30. hemlocksillage says:

    Tough question. I love BK’s Straight to Heaven, Amber Oud and Sweet Redemption. . .and would buy Back to Black in a heartbeat if Chergui didn’t fit that niche in my collection. From PG I love Papyrus de Ciane beyond all reasoning, and also love Cadjmere and Indochine enough to buy full bottles. I love Jardin de Kerylos as well, and may purchase a FB. It’s my favorite fig, surpassing Philosykos. There are many more PGs to explore, and for me, there’s a bigger range of expressions, from floral to fruit to incense and soft woods, so I’d regretfully release my BKs if forced. Blessedly, this is all hypothetical. Thanks for inspiring much thought! Be well.

  31. Kimberly says:

    Since I have not tried a single PG, but am the proud owner of the BK discovery set, I will tentatively say BK. I really like a lot of them, not as much as I love some of my other perfumes, but there are days when Beyond Love, Taste of Heaven or Love and Tears totally hits the spot. Liaisons Dangereuses is a great scents to wear when I can’t figure out what to wear, if that makes any sense (and doesn’t do that chemical thing to me, not that I’ve noticed at least). I think I may just love Taste of Heaven, even though I am rarely in the mood for lavander, but this is just very special. And for those nights when I am having a difficult time winding down, Cruel Intentions is a pleasing, smooth and grounding way to get to sleep. It appears only to work that way when I need it to however, since I just sprayed it on the back of my hand only to find myself more alert!

    But I do have to try PG someday, so things can change at any time;).

  32. Kimberly says:

    I can’t believe I forgot to mention Back to Black, because Wow! Amazing! It’s good to have your mind blown by a perfume every once in a while.

  33. Parfumesse says:

    That was way too easy LOL I love and own 3 Kilian but adore PG…I own Felanilla,Jardin de Kerylos,Aomassai,and my beloved cadjmere and Indochine is on its way……so yeah.-D

  34. Petra says:

    i love both, but if i had to choose it would be PG

  35. Noch eine Stimme fuer PG! Ich kann nicht ohne Iris Taizo, Intrigant Pachouli, Musc Maori und Praline de Santal leben :))

  36. Parfumerie Generale for me.
    Whilst I do have a small issue with some of their longevity, Intrigant Patchoul is outstanding enough to make me fall in love with the whole line.
    And Aomassai? Probably one of the greatest gourmand openings.
    Unfortunately (and shoot me for saying so), I haven’t found a single By Kilian I would want to purchase yet :(

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