Heir to a long line of cognac-makers who were pioneers in luxury, Kilian Hennessy decided to take up the torch of family tradition. Creating a new luxury brand was definitely a challenge worthy of his predecessors.
His childhood haunts included the family cellars in Cognac. Before graduating from CELSA, he wrote a thesis on the semantics of scent, in search of a ‘language’ common to gods and mortals. Remembering the «angels’ share» as part of his heritage, he was led into the world of perfumery. The «angels’ share» is what the House of Hennessy calls the percentage that - inexplicably - evaporates from cognac cellars, like an offering to the gods. Many of Kilian’s fragrances today carry this childhood memory as they are reminiscent of the sugar in the alcohol and the wood of the cognac barrels.
After graduating, he then went on to train with the greatest noses in perfumery and worked for the most prestigious perfume Houses such as Christian Dior, Paco Rabanne, Alexander McQueen and Giorgio Armani.
In 2007, Kilian launched his own namesake brand with the ambition of reflecting not only his distinct personality, but also to achieve a perfect alliance between elegance and uncompromising luxury. His “eco-luxe” philosophy that each bottle can be refilled and kept for a lifetime, therefore creating less waste for the planet, catapulted the brand to the top of the fragrance market and into a niche of its very own.
In 2014 and seven years since its launch, the world of Kilian includes a total of 27 scents, spanning across 5 different fragrance collections; “L’Œuvre Noire”, “Arabian Nights”, “Asian Tales”, “In the Garden of Good & Evil” and “Addictive State of Mind”.
In addition to fragrances, Kilian introduced in 2014 his first collection of scented jewelry with the ambiton to make perfume visible.
This year, Kilian enters the field of olfactory interiors design with a collection of sophisticated decorative objects.
KILIAN’S CREATION PROCESS
“A perfume must be at first a great story, long before being a beautiful olfactory harmony. A film director first writes the script and then begins the production… this is exactly how I went about developing each collection. Contrary to many of my competitors who name their perfumes based on one main ingredient, I chose to do something totally different. I chose to name each perfume with both a “title” and a “subtitle”, expressing the notion that each scent is the beginning of a real story, one that has yet to be told. More complex, yet adding a great deal of depth to each particular scent.”- Kilian Hennessy.
All my perfumes are unisex. I create perfumes that express the emotion carried by the name. Nothing interests me more than approaching as close as possible to that truth.”- Kilian Hennessy.
“The creation process of a new collection is a long process that takes 18 to 24 months. I go through moments of happiness followed by moments of discouragement throughout the entire creation of the collection until one day everything clicks. Then it is absolute bliss!” - Kilian Hennessy.
KILIAN’S ECO LUXE PHILOSOPHY
Kilian believes that while perfume is an art, it also needs to have a conscience.
For this reasons all the brand’s products are refillable or reusable. The bottle you buy is the bottle you keep for your lifetime. KILIAN collections’ coffrets can be reused as a jewelry box, an evening clutch or a cigar box.
“For me a true luxury product, must have, in its DNA, in its genes, the capacity to be transmitted from generation to generation. A luxury product should not be disposable!” - Kilian Hennessy.
THE FRAGRANCE COLLECTIONS
“L’Œuvre Noire” is a collection of 10 unique fragrances composed with the highest quality raw materials, the rarest and most expensive essential oils without any limit to the perfumer’s imagination. A deca aroma that revolves around 3 themes : loves and its prohibitions, the artificial paradises, the temptation.
«I conceived “L’Œuvre Noire” collection with a quasi-Faustian ambiance in mind, like those that darkened Rimbaud’s spirit or conjured the witches in MacBeth. But it also recalls contemporary R&B lyrics like those of 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg or Pharell Williams, all about temptation in the face of urban violence, like Baudelaire before them, as expressed in his prose poetry.» - Kilian Hennessy.
“I chose to take inspiration into the Middle East olfactory world to create the 5 perfumes of the “Arabian Nights” Collection. What interested me was not to compose a collection built on the oud resin, as there are thousands of perfumes already done this way, but on the reconstitution of the scent of the “Bakhoor”, the oud wood burning in the air. Because that was unique!” Kilian Hennessy.
Periods and continents meet to give birth to this oriental collection. “Arabian Nights” is a collection of 5 perfumes, 5 olfactory harmonies, all built around essential oils with strong symbolic values from the East: oud, rose, incense, amber and musk.
“Asian Tales was first conceived as an olfactory voyage, yet soon transformed into a spiritual journey, as meanings behind symbols and words became increasingly significant and relevant. As the creation took shape, every detail was placed with careful attention and with the intent to show respect to this great culture.
This olfactive voyage brought me to create more exotic accords (Water Lily, Bamboo, Peach Flower, Tea & Sandalwood) to offer a moment of meditation and spirituality in this fast paced life we are all living.” Kilian Hennessy
In the Garden of Good and Evil
“For me, an olfactory harmony always begins with a story. In this collection, it is the myth of original sin which is found at the heart of the narrative - a classical theme whose interpretations punctuate art in all of its forms.” Kilian Hennessy
Once more, Kilian leads us somewhere we didn’t expect to find ourselves. Here the air is perfumed with unspeakable dangers. The sin of pride, carnal sin, the unanticipated scrutiny of our most unconfessed and shameful desires - all manifest themselves in the hidden and not-so-hidden corners of this new collection.
A collection as a promise of forbidden pleasure that invites us to succumb to our most secret desires, breaking through time back to the entrance in the Garden of Eden.
Voulez-Vous coucher avec moi is the 5th fragrance of «In the Garden of Good and Evil» Collection. Night is the realm of this new fragrance, designed to prolong love’s magic into the small hours. The bottle is as black as the darkest night; the fragrance both intense and festive. The mysterious side of desire.
Addictive State Of Mind
An olfactory dependence, an essential narcotic, a means of escape, a craving. An overwhelming desire aroused and gratified the «Addictive State of Mind» collection, leaving you in a daze of fulfilled stupefaction.
An obsessive luxurious withdrawal into your own secret world of dreams and fantasy, an artificial paradise of heightened sensations, brilliant colours and untamed beauty.
Dangerous thoughts, captivating scents, exquisite ingredients and oils. Perfume to light a fire in your blood and ignite fantasies in your mind.
THE SCENTED JEWELRY
Kilian Hennessy is known for his salient fragrances—complex, refined and truly unique—since he launched his namesake brand in 2007. Now, this already iconic brand is introducing something that’s as exceptional as those scents: collections of wearable perfumed jewels for women and bracelets for men, each infused with a choice of KILIAN’s unique fragrances, offering a softer and visual way to wear their striking olfactory creations.
This July, Kilian Hennessy announces the brand’s first collaboration with iconic luxury accessory designer and close friend, Paige Novick. These two brands are combining their signature designs to introduce an exceptional capsule collection of wearable perfumed jewelry for women.
This fall, Kilian hennessy returns to his roots with the Lights and Reflections Collection, an art deco inspired collection with an edgy R&B twist. As with past endeavors, Kilian’s olfactory artistry meets haute couture designs personify dark, sexy and smart offerings that have become synonymous with the brand.
THE HOME COLLECTION
In addition to his line of fragrances and scented jewelry, Kilian Hennessy has entered into the field of olfactory interior design with four decorative objects.
Kilian Hennessy has developed a collection of scented decorative objects for the home that create a private olfactory world and give physical form to 4 fragrances.
Sensorial embodiments of fragrances that embellish interiors and gradually transform them. A clever alchemy of shapes and noble materials (lacquered wood and mother of pearl), created these nomadic objects which can be moved from room to room, or enjoyed outside the home – at the office or on holiday.