Kilian Hennessy, heir of a family of industrials who created the eponymous cognac, grandson of the founder of LVMH group, created By Kilian in 2007. First a student in communication and language sciences, he learned fragrance-making as an intern at Firmenich, then directly in houses such as Christian Dior, Paco Rabanne, Alexander Mc Queen and Giorgio Armani. L’Oeuvre Noire, his first collection, started out with six fragrances (two feminine, two masculine, two unisex), then grew over the years. In 2009, By Kilian introduced Arabian Nights, four variations around agarwood, and just recently Asian Tales, with two first fragrances by Calice Becker : Water Calligraphy and Bamboo Harmony. Kilian Hennessy claims an “eco-luxury” approach with reusable (and particularly refined) bottles, exceptional raw materials ( thus expensive), with points of sale across the globe, from Paris’ Bon Marché and Nose to Saks Fifth Avenue, Milan’s Corso Como or London’s Harvey Nichols.
In everyday life, do you trust your flair ?
More and more so ! I’ve learned, over time, to trust it and listen to it more and more. Very often, without really knowing why, I know from instinct whether a creation is right or not. And I only “reason” my choice afterwards! I have already made my decision, by instinct.
Which fragrance(s) do you wear?
Mine, of course… I’ve created 19! I use several at one time, which I wear like an “olfactory” closet, depending on my mood, my outfit… It is the very last accessory I pick. The final detail, and actually the most important.
Which place in the world left your nose the best memory?
Spain: from its neroli to its “Dama de noche”, it is olfactory-wise the most sensual country.
Moroco: from its Atlas cedarwood to its narguile, it is olfactory-wise the most narcotic country.
What is the worst thing you’ve ever smelled?
The are no “worse smells” in perfumery… There are only olfactory “shades” and they are thus all interesting.
What is your nose most useful for when you are not working?
Smelling the skin of my girlfriend.
Which are the smells that bring more memories to your mind?
The tuberose… Every woman in my family would wear tuberous-based fragrances. Poison for my grandmother, Le Gallion followed by Fracas and now Prohibited (mine) for my mother… as well as my girlfriend.
What does your place smell like?
Lavender and agarwood… my two favorite candles, I burn both at the same time in every room except my bedroom, which smells like tuberose.
Can the smell of a person influence the way you feel about them?
It is a little extreme but it does reflect a certain taste, elegance and allure.
What is the worst olfactory faux pas?
Not smelling your own time.
What does your nose tell you about the future?