On very rare occasions, you can have a sensory experience so great that it leaves a lasting impression. My trip to the Kilian fragrance boutique was one of those very moments.
My new fragrance obsession is “Single Malt” by Kilian… and here’s why.
I’ve always loved fragrance but have become particularly interested in it this year. I’m so intrigued by its evocative nature; reminding you of past experiences (both good and bad), people in your life, or creating a full new sensory experience from the very first time you smell it.
“Perfume should be a messenger that opens a thousands doors in the memory…”
– Kilian Hennessy
The story of Kilian Hennessy is just as intriguing as his fragrances. The heir to a long line of cognac-makers, Kilian decided to take up the torch of family tradition, creating his very own luxury brand.
Before creating his own namesake business in 2007, Kilian trained with some of the most prestigious perfume houses in the world including Christian Dior, Paco Rabanne, Alexander McQueen and Giorgio Armani.
Nine years since its launch, the world of Kilian now includes a total of 37 luxury scents, across different fragrance collections; “L’Oeuvre Noire”; “Arabian Nights”; “Asian Tales”, “In the Garden of Good & Evil”; “Addictive State of Mind”; and a collection of unique blends inspired by liquors.
The fragrances tell stories of Kilian’s own experience and provide quite the window into his life. With names like “Intoxicated” (Turkish coffee); “In The City of Sin” (fruits, flowers and woods); “Straight To Heaven” (inspired by rum); and “Vodka On The Rocks” (vodka cooled by ice); it’s clear that Kilian has lived a pretty decadent life. My kinda guy!
I spent a good hour with the girls in the Kilian boutique in Burlington Arcade (Mayfair, London) nosing the scents and picking out some of my favourites. Unlike other fragrances that I’ve worn, I had a polar reaction to every one of them – I either loved them or hated them!
The girls in the boutique – Davina, Ash and Michelle – were fantastic and took me on the most incredible fragrance journey. They even went as far as predicting which fragrance I would like based on my first reactions to a few of them. Nailed it!
As soon as I had my first smell of “Single Malt”, I knew it had to be mine. The opening scent of a 20-year-old Single Malt moves to a hearty plum, finally mellowing out on cedarwood, vanilla and tolu balm (a warm and spicy scent originating from South America). It sits perfectly on my skin and every time I’ve worn it, I’ve had loads of compliments.
At £245 for a refillable 50ml bottle (50ml refill – c. £120), they’re a pretty serious investment and make the Tom Ford Private Blend fragrances (c. £150 for 50ml) look like a magazine scratch and sniff.
The presentation of the fragrance is also exquisite – from the black lacquered wood coffret of the bottle, to the key used to open it. It’s definitely the perfect piece for a gift or just as a pick-me-up to yourself.
The brand also practices their philosophy of “eco-luxe” and provide refills for each of the bottles at a reduced price. It’s quite literally one bottle for life.
Even if you’re not in the market for a new luxury fragrance, I would definitely recommend popping in to Harrods, Harvey Nichols or one of their boutique stores to experience the scents for yourself.
These are seriously mind-blowing fragrances… and the chat with the girls in the boutique is worth your time – and perhaps money – alone.
London boutique – 25 Burlington Arcade, London, W1J 0QJ.