Concoctions of the Senses Featured

Kilian Hennessy, the grandson of the founder of the LVMH Group, awes the olfactory world with his creative fragrances

by 07 May 2010

Heir to a long line of cognac-makers that were pioneers in luxury, the grandson of the founder of The LVMH Group, Kilian decided to continue his family’s tradition. His childhood haunts included the family cellars in Cognac. Before graduating from CELSA, he wrote a thesis on the semantics of odours, in search of a language common to gods and mortals. Searching for the "angels' share", he encountered 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. Kilian's fragrances are redolent of the sugar in alcohol and the wood of cognac barrels. After graduating he trained 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. Today, he launches his own brand with a collection which reflects his personality and achieves a perfect alliance between elegance and absolute, uncompromising luxury.

Kilian Hennessy describes one of his creations, “I conceived L’Oeuvre Noire with a quasi-Faustian ambience in mind. I wanted to cast a spell, 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."

Together with Luxos, discover the sumptuous creations by the great perfumers of our time. “L’Oeuvre Noire” is a collection of 10 unisex fragrances composed of the highest quality raw materials, the rarest and most expensive essential oils – the perfect treasure for a connoisseur of perfumes. The collection revolves around three themes: “Love and its Prohibitions”, “The Artificial Paradises” and “The Temptations”. It offers a varied choice according to personal preference, also capturing the moods of love, pleasure or pain. The power of fragrances! Three fragrances in particular from the magical world of “Kilian” have captured our imagination:

Back to Black Aphrodisiac
A tobacco aroma with sweet undertones of honey. A pure aphrodisiac. The freshness of the Bergamot contrasted by the heat of the spices – Nutmeg, Cardamom and Coriander – creates an elegant yet unusual opening. The heart is honey from Laos, the oliban from Somalia and with rich and sensual woods – cedar from the Atlas and vetyver from Haiti. A few notes of oakmoss and Patchouli coat this woody marquetry. This “Tobacco” composition is further intensified by powerful ambery notes – Cistus Labdanum from Spain – reinforced with a soft accord of powdery vanilla –from Bourbon islands – , and bitter almond, which provide the power and tenacity to the perfume.

A Taste of Heaven Absinthe Verte
Inspired by Absinth, the bittersweet nectar of poets, this fragrance gives an initial burst of orange blossom then blossoms into a heart of Turkish Rose. Then swirling woody notes of Patchouli and Oak Moss join with provocative Amber. The fragrance beckons one to enjoy a Garden of Delights, an astonishing olfactory oxymoron combining the freshness of lavender from southern France and the warmth of Bourbon vanilla.

Beyond Love Prohibited
An incandescent tuberose with narcotic charms. This forbidden elixir is for adventurers of love. Cool and blue-blooded, tuberose starts out by insidiously drawing attention to itself. Its more incandescent aromas only emerge progressively to bewitch one with opulent, narcotic charms. It delivers the coup de grace with a fabulous animal note that vanquishes all attempts of resistance.

Besides being enchanted by the fragrances, we were particularly fascinated by the "Fountain" - the beautiful refillable bottle. It is shaped like a cognac barrel, the only reference to Kilian Hennessy's family heritage. Who could resist the "Fountain", this precious jewel, and fill it with their favourite perfume?

Photography by Albert Giordan