Saturday, 1 October 2016

By Kilian Perfume: My Latest Obsession

By Kilian Back To Black, Aphrodisiac Eau De Parfum 50ml - £195

It's not often that I'm completely blown away by beauty products, but by god! By Kilian is a game changer. To tell the brand story in a nutshell, it was launched in 2007 by Kilian Hennessy - aka, the grandson of the founder of the LVMH group (Mo√ęt Hennessy Louis Vuitton) - so he pretty much has luxury running through his veins, and luxury his perfumes are. They're probably the most fancy things I've ever sprayed on myself, and not just because of the price tag. Kilian says his goal is to "put perfumery back on its pedestal", returning the art of fragrance-making to its alchemistic glory in the late 19th century, and he really has - the scents have this hypnotic, mood-altering quality. One sniff and you're in a another world.

The two above are Courtney Love's favourite Kilian perfumes (I first discovered the brand while reading her Into The Gloss interview), and definitely the most rock'n'roll out of the four I was lent to try. Courtney refers to Straight To Heaven as an "amazing mood" in a bottle, and I can't disagree. Rum-soaked, boozy top notes are melded with a deep patchouli, spiced up with dried fruits and nutmeg. The dry down is equally addictive - warmed by ambergris, cedarwood, white vanilla and soft musk. It's described as a unisex scent, but the woody notes definitely evoke a more 'masculine' feel - as does the hedione, included in a lot of men's fragrances for its proven ability to turn women on (yes, really).

Back To Black is, after tough deliberation, my personal fave of the bunch. Now, I love a gourmand scent, and this one is truly special. A cognac and tobacco accord is steeped in ripe raspberry, sweet honey, almond and vanilla - almost tooth-achingly saccharine, but quickly offset by cooling cardamom, coriander, vetiver and moss. It lingers on the skin for hours with a sensual amber glow, faintly animalic thanks to the blue chamomile note. Sex in a bottle, basically. No wonder it's heralded as an 'aphrodisiac'!

 By Kilian Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi Eau De Parfum 50ml - £215

From my teenage years spent doused in Michael Kors, I've always been a sucker for tuberose-laden scents (read more about why I'm still so enamoured with them here). Kilian's Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi blends the narcotic night-blooming tuberose with sweet ylang ylang and vanilla, lush Bulgarian rose and smoky cedar and sandalwood.

The shared notes with Dior Addict  - Bulgarian rose, vanilla, sandalwood - give it a faint similarity but Kilian's feels far more glam, opulent even! A small spritz is like throwing on a fur coat (over lingerie) and heading to the opera. It's so heady and intoxicating, wearing this is almost like putting on a new persona for the evening.

I haven't even got started on Kilian's packaging, so let me introduce you. The women's fragrances come housed in sleek lacquer clutch bags, decorated with gold enamel decals (the men's come in black wooden coffins with a lock and key. Do. You. Die?). The above is Good Girl Gone Bad in its limited edition clutch, which will be available just in time for Christmas.

The aforementioned perfumes are rich, sumptuous and most definitely more suited for winter-wearing, whereas Good Girl Gone Bad is a lighter, summery scent. It's an elegant floral with a creamy sweetness and warmth to the base - aka the 'bad' side - like a lush garden just as dusk starts to fall. Apricot sweetness of Chinese osmanthus, honeyed heat from the rose petals and buttery tuberose are blended with spicy amber and free-spirited patchouli. It's subtle, but so beautiful and the notes all seem to spin - each scent rising and falling as the day, or night, goes on.

Have you tried By Kilian perfumes? Which ones do you like best?
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