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Meet By Kilian Creator: Kilian Hennessy

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In preparation for his November 16 personal appearance, Kilian Hennessy sat down with 5th/58th to chat fragrance, his influences, fond scent memories and more. . . .

5th/58th: What is your earliest (or fondest) scent memory?

Kilian Hennessy: The scent of Tuberose. All the women in my family would wear Tuberose from LE GALLION when they were going out. It is for me the epitome of elegance & glamour.

5th/58th: By Kilian is such an alluring and wonderfully mysterious brand. We would love to hear a bit about the inspiration behind creating such unique and extraordinary collections.

KH: For me, a great perfume is a great story long before being a beautiful olfactive harmony. Which means that I don’t start to work with my perfumers before having a story, a script: the name of my collection and the names of my scents. My new collection IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD & EVIL is a contemporary metaphor of the “Garden of Eden”…but twisted in a very contemporary way of course!

5th/58th: Does your heritage in cognac influence the composition of your scents or the aesthetic of your bottles?

KH: It is hard to say that it does not…as everyone is made of our heritage…even if it is to go against! What I came to realize over time is that I tend to always like woodsy/Animalic accords in the dry-down of my scents. Consciously, I do it because it allows to ring tenacity to my scents. But, unconsciously, I think I also do it because it reminds me of the scent of the Coganc cellars.

5th/58th: Is fragrance essential?

KH: Of course! Coco Chanel used to say “A woman without a scent is a woman without a future”. For me, a woman without a scent is a woman who does not know herself.

5th/58th: Does time of year direct your personal taste in scent? If so, what do you recommend as we approach winter?

KH: Oh yes it does! I use my perfumes as a wardrobe as I do not want to wear the same scent in Summer or in Winter…during the day or at night…when I am dressed in jeans & T-shirt or when I wear a Tuxedo. For me, Perfume is really the ultimate accessory, the final accessory! In winter, I like warmer scents…either woodsy or Oriental scents. From my L’Oeuvre Noire Collection, I recommend STRAIGHT TO HEAVEN -WHITE CRISTAL or CRUEL INTENTIONS – TEMPT ME. From my Arabian Nights collection, I actually recommend all of them as they are ALL built like that but especially AMBER OUD! And from my new collection IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD & EVIL, I recommend IN THE CITY OF SIN.

5th/58th: How do you, personally, wear scent? Where do you place it? How much do you apply?

KH: I personnally spray 6 or 7 times…mostly on my chest & neck. For a woman, I think that the neck, wrists and hair is the best as the fragrance “moves” with her. But honestly, there are NO rules! Just apply wherever you want to be kissed!

5th/58th: If someone’s never tried By Kilian (for shame!), what do you recommend as an introduction to the brand?

KH: For a woman: LIAISONS DANGEREUSES – TYPICAL ME if she likes very elegant floral or fruity scents….LOVE – DON’T BE SHY if she likes sweet sexy scents…STRAIGHT TO HEAVEN – WHITE CRISTAL if she likes very unique woodsy scents…ASIAN TALES – WATER CALLIGRAPHY if she likes fresh clean elegant scents.
For a man: A TASTE OF HEAVEN – ABSINTHE VERTE if he likes classic elegant scents…STRAIGHT TO HEAVEN – WHITE CRISTAL if he likes more manly scents….BACK TO BLACK – APHRODISIAC if he likes very sexy scents…BAMBOO HARMONY if he likes fresh cool scents.