7 posts tagged "Kilian Hennessy"
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, Style.com 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What’s the key to avoiding that stereotypical cloying and altogether outdated home fragrance model that favors overbearing distillation over something more subtle?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.
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, www.sephora.com; Clarisonic Skin Care Brush, $195, and Jack Black Daily
Facial Cleanser, $18, www.nordstrom.com.
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.”
It’s easy to understand why the nine distinct eaux in Kilian Hennessy’s By Kilian L’Oeuvre Noire collection were actually dubbed “temptations.” Just look at their alluring monikers: Prelude to Love, Love, Beyond Love, Love and Tears, Taste of Heaven, Straight to Heaven, Back to Black, Liaisons Dangereuses, and Cruel Intentions. How’s that for a little olfactory plot development? For his fragrance novel’s much-anticipated denouement, Hennessy has just release the final entry in his ten-chapter tome, aptly called Sweet Redemption. Its name is fitting, considering the delicate cloud of orange blossom that dominates the scent thanks to the sturdy base notes that anchor it, including vanilla absolute, myrrh, and sour orange leaf absolute. The result is powerful but soft at the same time, which, as it turns out, is a very seductive combination and totally par for the course. As far as Hennessy’s plans for a sequel, it’s in the works, he says. “I already have a box and a story.”
“You should never want to throw away anything beautiful,” says perfumer Kilian Hennessy, whose latest olfactory object of desire is meant as a keepsake—and a refillable one, at that. After launching an eponymous Art Deco-inspired handbag collection derived from the black lacquered wood boxes that encase his luxe fragrances, the Hennessy scion kept with the same early-twentieth-century artisan theme when designing a limited-edition collection of bedazzled flacons that debuted this month. Drawing inspiration from renowned jewelers of the era—specifically Jean Després, Gérard Sandox, and Jean Fouquet—Hennessy has fashioned four different heavy-weight glass bottles. Just 40 pieces have been created (ten of each design), and each can be filled with any one of Hennessy’s 11 scents. The first design (pictured above at far left) is already sold out and just four remain of each of the other three collectibles. With an equally heavy-weight price tag ($395 at Bergdorf Goodman), they likely won’t be seeing the inside of a recycling bin anytime soon.
Kilian Hennessy’s name precedes him. As the grandson of the famed cognac-producer Kilian Hennessy, he has the rare privilege of being part of the legacy that put the H in LVMH, the world’s foremost luxury conglomerate. The younger Hennessy has steered clear of the family business, though, and instead chosen perfume as his métier. “I found fragrance by luck,” the handsome Frenchman says of his chosen profession, which to date has yielded two fragrance collections (L’Oeuvre Noir and Arabian Nights) and a worldwide fan base that extends from New York to the UAE (he’s huge in Dubai). Putting in time at Firmenich and holding marketing jobs at Dior, PUIG, Gucci Group, and the L’Oréal-owned Armani Fragrances gave Hennessy the olfactory chops to go out on his own, which he did in 2007, when he began working on a collection of ten fragrances that tells a story in three parts: four fragrances correlate to “love and its prohibitions,” three to “the artificial paradises,” and three to “the temptations” category. Love, Tears, Surrender, his ninth offering and the conclusion of his love theme, bows this month. This time around, Kilian played with jasmine, pairing the floral essence with a combination of ylang-ylang and what he calls “beachy notes.” Here, Hennessy discusses the differences between fragrance and cognac, what real luxury is, and why he just may have a future in screenwriting.
How does a cognac heir come into fragrance?
I did a program in college at La Sorbonne that specialized in semantics and literature and I wrote my thesis on the semantics of perfume—I don’t know why. Because I really wanted to understand what I would be writing about, I enrolled at Cinquième Scents to take a nose course. This school educates people who don’t want to be perfumers but want to work in the perfume industry, so it teaches olfactive families, essential oils, synthetic molecules, etc. I did ten crash courses over the course of the year and when I started smelling, it just clicked. I knew instantly that that would be my craft.
Was it a big deal to leave the family business?
Well, Hennessy was no longer a family business—it was LVMH. My grandfather is 103 now, but when he took over Hennessy after WWII he had to open markets to sell product—so everything I’m doing now, he did 60 years ago. We have the same name so whenever I see him he says, “How am I doing?” asking about my business. His favorite fragrance is A Taste of Heaven.