Kilian Hennessy makes his Washington debut with eight parfums at Saks Fifth Avenue in Tysons Corner

March 29, 2010

I had the pleasure of meeting a visionary in the perfume industry last week at Saks Fifth Avenue in Tysons Corner. Kilian Hennessy, heir to the Hennessy Cognac and grandson of Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy founder, gave Washingtonians a preview of his parfum label By Kilian exclusively in Tysons Corner.  The perfumer is in a league of his own as he launches an eco-chic collection that is on the radar of fashion’s elite.  Kilian’s first collection is dubbed L’Oeuvre Noire, a collection of ten perfumes is inspired by three themes: ‘Love and its prohibitions’, ‘the Artificial Paradises’ and ‘The Temptations’.  The collection isn’t yet complete but the eight fragrances offer a choice for different personalities and preferences, whether pleasure, love or pain.

What sets By Kilian is that the designer has chosen to use essential oils from the rarest and most expensive flowers to create his perfume collection.  Kilian told me he wants his perfumes to speak for themselves; they last longer, smell more potent and are devoid of all the chemicals other perfumes now are polluted with.  One whiff of each scent in the collection and you know you’re smelling a premium fragrance. There is a perfume for everyone, both male and female.  Choose from Liaisons Dangereuses or Cruel Intentions, Love or Beyond Love, A taste of heaven or Straight to heaven.

Kilian has been in the perfume industry for years.  Our brief conversation shed light on his motivations and passion for creating the very best scents to represent his themes.  Each of the eight scents fit neatly into one of the three categories; and each smells heavenly. I didn’t test any of the perfumes on my skin but smelling each of them made me want to take a vial of each home with me.  What I really loved about the By Kilian perfumes is that the bottles are made to be refilled. Once you are done with your bottle, simply return it to the Saks Fifth Avenue for a refill for half the price, saving you money and helping the planet.

Kilian worked for Alexander McQueen and told me that the designer had all the scents in the L’Oeuvre Noire collection.  We reminisced briefly on the McQueen’s genius and talked about what would possess such a genius to end it all at the height of his popularity and progress. 
The perfume designer and I also talked about the saturation of the perfume industry and why so many people choose to wear a particular scent.  I used Armani Code as an example, which Kilian worked on before launching his own.  When Armani Code was released, you couldn’t walk into a block without smelling it on a woman. It seems that women and men love the status that goes along with designer perfumes. He said his perfume is for the woman with confidence; a woman who can walk into a room and say “I am wearing By Kilian.”  It shouldn’t matter what perfume you’re wearing as long as you like it right? Sometimes women and men just want to wear a familiar designer, one that everyone will recognize and hold up in esteem.  

The ninth perfume in the L’Oeuvre Noires collection launches in September 2010 and will be sold at high end stores worldwide and exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue in this area.  I will be doing a review of each scent in the collection in the near future so stay tuned. By Kilian perfume are worth sampling. The perfume is very romantic and sexy and the packaging is to die for.

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