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April 21 2014

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A Date with a Sweetly Scented Devil

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By Kilian
When a fragrance is dubbed Playing with the Devil, I expect it to smell dark and fiery—not feminine with a slight edge. However, when Kilian Hennessy creates a perfume, one should never assume that he’d stay inside the box. Instead, he’ll design a covetable lacquered clutch (inspired by vintage Van Cleef & Arpels minaudières) adorned with a gold serpent (a design element he borrowed from 1940s cigarette cases) to hold the fourth addition to his In The Garden of Good and Evil collection. (The other three eaux in the line—In the City of Sin, Good Girl Gone Bad, and Forbidden Games—exhibit a similar theme and are housed in the same bottle with white frescoed sides emblazoned with tantalizing symbols, such as an apple, snake, door knocker, and grapevine.) “I wanted an item that would be an object of desire, an object that would come from the world of beauty, but with accents of danger,” explains Hennessy.

As for the olfactory tale this new eau tells, it’s the classic plot of saint versus sin. The top is composed of sweet forbidden fruits like blood orange, white peach, and lychee, mixed with spicy pimento berries and black pepper (meant to express the internal struggle to resist or surrender to temptation). A heart of warm cedar, sandalwood, patchouli, and jasmine leads to a more complex base—which blends provocative notes (such as resinous benzoin and smoky tonka bean) with demure yet sensuous vanilla. The end result, in a word: intoxicating.

$245; www.saks.com

Photo: Courtesy of By Kilian

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