July 31 2014

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10 posts tagged "Kilian Hennessy"

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

When Ryan Met Kilian: An Intertwining Tale Of Home And Fragrance


To certain interior-minded members of the style set, Ryan Korban’s name precedes him. At 28, the designer who laid out Alexander Wang’s New York store on Mercer Street is also the man Jessica Stam, James Franco, Vanessa Traina, and Natasha Poly call when they’re in need of a specific sconce, an apartment overhaul, or the perfect lamp to tie a room together. His beauty expertise is less well known, although Korban certainly has opinions when it comes to home fragrance. “An interior space cannot be a successful one without a distinct scent. It’s what takes you from looking at a space to experiencing a space,” he says. It’s no wonder the sparks flew when Korban was introduced to cognac scion and perfume purveyor Kilian Hennessy last year through mutual friends. Like-minded in their aesthetic ventures, the two men got to work almost immediately on Ryan Korban by Kilian, a limited-edition blackcurrant, geranium, rose absolue, patchouli, and cedarwood-scented candle set in hand-painted, matte glass and capped with a black, silver-lined shagreen (a kind of stingray) top. The black glass vessel is filled with white aromatic wax, while the white vessel is conversely filled with black. Here, catches up with the new collaborators to talk keeping it classy with scented candles, and why any time is a good time to burn one down.

What’s the key to avoiding that stereotypical cloying and altogether outdated home fragrance model that favors overbearing distillation over something more subtle? Is it a question of specific notes or more an issue of formulation?
Ryan Korban: “I think you can never go wrong with something that has a rose base. I say this because I think rose has such a variety of scent. It can smell good with more of a classic light approach, and it can also be amazing with a deeper, spicy approach. I think the key is to always mix a little bit of the dark and spicy into more commercial scents to avoid a ‘Yankee [Candle]‘ situation.”
Kilian Hennessy: “The only way to keep it chic is to use beautiful and qualitative materials. All notes are possible [with home fragrances] as long as they are being worked in a very luxurious way, the correct use, and the highest quality—which oftentimes means expense.”

Is there a certain scented candle etiquette in your estimation as far as when, and how often, these things should be used?
RK: “I think anytime is appropriate [to burn a scented candle], and the more often the better. The scent begins to stick to your home. When I walk in the door it’s the first thing I do before I take off my shoes.”
KH: “If I could, I would have candles burning 24/7!!! I don’t use the same scent for every room. My bedroom smells of Tuberose (I love the narcotic, almost erotic feeling it brings), and my living room smells of Oud and Patchouli and Lavender (I like the elegance of these three candles combined).”

How did you come up with the scent combination here? Were you inspired by anything particular?
RK: “My design approach is really based on the idea of mixing something romantic and something sexy. This is an approach I take to any creative project I am working on. I really wanted all the notes in this fragrance to represent that idea.”
KH: “Ryan wanted since day one a candle that would evolve around rose and amber. I think what he really wanted was to achieve a delicate balance between fragility and strength, between feminine and masculine. In the end we created a scent that I feel achieves all that but through a very delicate balance of rose and leather.”

As this project boasts a very important design component, was it important that the candle base blend into any well-appointed decor?
KH: “I wanted an object that would reflect [Ryan's] world and be very far from existing candle holders. That’s why I proposed him a vase as a candle glass.”
RK: “We really wanted the packaging to be an object that you would keep after you finished burning the candle. The shagreen and the matte glass were all decisions based on creating something that felt like a beautiful object.”

Ryan Korban by Kilian, $165, available at Aedes de Venustas beginning November 2012.

Beauty: For The People, By The Pros


Still stuck on what to buy for everyone on your list? Our favorite insiders share their picks for the best beauty gifts of the season. Ready, set, online shop.

Who: Nonie Creme, the nail art phenom who plays creative director for hip
lacquer brand Butter London.

What: “For my best girlfriends: Sephora makeup. Each girl gets a Champagne flute filled with a selection of beauty goodies and a baby bottle of Champagne that I then wrap in colorful cellophane with a bow. This year I bought gift sets of lip gloss and eye pencils at Sephora, then divided them up. My numero uno hubby is getting a Clarisonic—a manly, graphite one, with a corresponding face wash from Jack Black because frankly, I’m sick of watching him grind my pretty pink Mia into his beard stubble (ew).”

Sephora Ultra Shine Mini Lip Gloss Set, $22, and Sephora Nano Eyeliner Set,
$20,; Clarisonic Skin Care Brush, $195, and Jack Black Daily
Facial Cleanser, $18,

Who: Kilian Hennessy, the always impeccably groomed and outfitted perfumer behind the eponymous By Kilian luxury fragrance line.

What: “By Kilian solid perfumes come in every scent of the L’Oeuvre Noire collection, so they are a great gift for anyone. I will give it to my two sisters for when they are out and about in Paris. The compact doesn’t scratch and is small enough to fit in their purses; plus it has a gorgeous mirror for touch-ups. For my business partner, Elisabeth Jones, I’m getting Fresh Brown Sugar—she is crazy about it! It offers her a luxurious way to wake up in the morning and I love the sweet smell all day. Who knows, maybe Santa will bring her the Brown Sugar Affair gift set.”

By Kilian Solid Perfume, $95 each,; Fresh Brown Sugar Affair Gift Set,

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