April 21 2014

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12 posts tagged "By Kilian"

High Tea With By Kilian



If venti iced Americanos trump teatime in your world, By Kilian’s latest release may just be the shot of gentility you’re looking for. With its two new additions to the Asian Tales collection, the luxury fragrance house sets its sights firmly on the East with a little help from the transportive capabilities of scent. First there’s Sacred Wood, a tribute to Mysore’s infamously scarce sandalwood (no longer used in the production of perfumes). Perfumer Calice Becker created a blend that’s at once comforting and sheer, using notes of polished woods and spices. Slightly carmelized hints of hot milk make for a creamy drydown that should please even those avowed haters of gourmands. Imperial Tea, meanwhile, is a strikingly on-point homage to the delicate florals of a steaming cup of jasmine tea. It’s a masterful blend, with the sometimes-cloying jasmine tempered by the faintly astringent edge of strongly brewed green tea (but rest assured, the divisive flower’s headiness remains firmly intact). The pairing makes for an experience every bit as Zen as a fresh cuppa of sencha—antioxidants not included.

By Kilian Sacred Wood & Imperial Tea, $235 each, available beginning in April at Saks Fifth Avenue

Snake Charmer


bykilian-snakeWith awards season in full swing, it seems like no better time to launch a clutch-size atomizer—especially one as glamorous and red-carpet-worthy as this one from By Kilian. The 18-karat gold-plated serpent with Swarovski-studded eyes wraps around a 7.5-milliliter vial of Good Girl Gone Bad, a blend of jasmine, tuberose, narcissus, and amber. (Perfect for Rihanna’s next big night out, no?) This olfactory accessory can also be refilled with any of the brand’s travel sprays—convenient considering the number of events on the calendar in the coming weeks.


Kilian Joins the Downtown Crowd



After the successful launch of a freestanding store in Moscow last November, Kilian Hennessy has set his sights on New York City. The first By Kilian fragrance boutique in the U.S. debuts tonight at 804 Washington Street, a chic block nestled in the cobblestone landscape of the Meatpacking District. The black-and-white decor combines the sleek, sophisticated By Kilian aesthetic with the cool, industrial vibe of the neighborhood. Think custom-made furniture, Japanese lighting, and silk carpet, plus exposed brick painted in white lacquer. Customers will get to explore the brand’s complete collection of fragrances, including Apple Brandy, a sweet and woody scent that will only be sold at the NYC location. In between final preparations for the store opening, we got Hennessy to talk shop.

What made you want to open a boutique in New York City—and why now?
Who doesn’t dream of opening a store in New York City? We have actually been searching for the right location for a year!

Why did you choose the Meatpacking District?
We knew right from the start that we wanted to be downtown. When the space next to Louboutin Men’s and in front of Nicholas Kirkwood became available, we jumped on it. The square footage was perfect, and it will be amazing when the Whitney Museum opens in 2015.

What are some of the design elements that you wanted to include in the space?
I absolutely wanted the feeling of a downtown store, which is why we kept the exposed brick on the walls. To offset this, however, we lacquered the brick in white, added black marble flooring, and dropped in a black lacquered ceiling. I also really wanted to give our clients the feeling of entering into my private world. That’s why the [boutique] has been designed to mirror my apartment. For me, it is of utmost importance that anyone who enters the store feels at home. [A customer] can stay as long as she wants to discover our bespoke service offering, or to [experience] our collections of perfumes and evening bags.

Why did you decide to create an exclusive New York-inspired scent for the boutique, and how does it epitomize NYC?
I didn’t want my New York store to be a copy/paste of my Moscow store. Of course, the key visual identity elements will always stay, but I really want to keep the flavor of the city and its culture. I always want to preserve a sense of uniqueness. This comes through some design elements and through exclusive products. No other store in the world will carry [Apple Brandy]. This scent is very personal. It’s an accord of apple liqueur melting with woods. Of course, there is a wink to the Big Apple, but I would have never done it if the two didn’t blend so well together.

As a member of the family that developed one of the world’s most beloved cognacs, we trust that you know a thing or two about brandy. Looks like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

804 Washington St., New York, NY, (212) 600-1298;

Photo: George Chinsee

A Date with a Sweetly Scented Devil


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.


Photo: Courtesy of By Kilian

Beauty Nostalgia: Reminiscing With…Kilian Hennessy


CD-Eau-Savage-KilianBeauty Nostalgia is a weekly column on Beauty Counter in which we ask influencers, tastemakers, and some of our favorite industry experts to wax poetic on the sticks, salves, and sprays that helped shape who they are today.

The Pro: Kilian Hennessy, founder of By Kilian fragrances

The Product: “Since as long as I can go back in my mind, I have the memory of my grandfather applying Christian Dior Eau Sauvage in the morning, after his bath, once he was dressed. He would pour the perfume from his 500-ml. bottle in his hands and wet his hair with it—it was his gel, in a way! Eau Sauvage is, for me, the scent of elegance. It’s clean yet present. It’s aromatic yet feminine. It was created in 1966, I think, yet it’s timeless. It is the masterpiece of Edmond Roudnitska. But the way this scent smelled on my grandfather was unique, because it blended with the smell of his pipe. That combination is my Madeleine de Proust. My grandfather and I were very close. When he passed away two years ago, I felt that I lost my spiritual guide, my compass. His scent memory has stayed with me, because when I was close to him, I always felt protected. And perfume is as much about protection as it is about seduction. People tend to forget that. But this is why I carved a shield motif on my bottle, to help people feel secure. I haven’t created a cologne inspired by him yet, but my next collection is very much inspired by his world.”

Photo: Courtesy of Parfums Christian Dior