Kilian Hennessy: Intoxicating Scents in a Glass or Carafe

Kilian Hennessy is a French perfumer who reigns from the Hennessy Cognac family. Hennessy Cognac began in 1763, as his family hailed from Ireland and immigrated to France. The Hennessy family developed the prestigious liquor in 1763. Kilian named after the cognac’s founder, started his own niche in 2007. He did not want to be in the family corporation mainly because he wanted to carve out his own identity. Kilian Hennessy has done well as a perfumier, curating a distinct luxury brand with themes of religious angels, devils, Adam and Eve, heaven and hell, sexuality, love, symbolism in painting from renowned artist; Gustav Klimt, using archetypes of a noir mystique and narcissistic eroticism. His first collection; Noir Love was sold out in Paris’ Printemps and was then launched in NYC. Kilian speaks to culture in perfume and marketing a brand without a lot of traditional advertising. How to create appealing packaging and alluring bottles, conveying the Kilian brand image. His unique approach to an upscale scent which is musky, oud, sweet, sensual and clever. Kilian was inspired by crystal at France’s Baccarat Museum and uses the style concepts in his glass bottle designs. Kilian Hennessy mentored with the House of Guerlain, Paco Rabane and Alexander McQueen, before pursuing his own perfume venture.

The most current fragrances; Angels’ Share and Roses on Ice are part of The Liquor Collection. Angels’ Share or, La Parte de Ange, is housed in faceted clear glass bottles which resemble a drinking glass and carafe. The perfume, a cognac color, is Kilian’s collaboration with Benoit Lapouza. Foundations lie deep into the cellars of the founder’s mind and memories. An evaporation of liquor oak barrels with a caramel color of notes; cognac oil, cinnamon, oak absolute, tonka bean, vanilla, sandalwood and praline. It is a tribute to the Hennessy cognac family. Roses on Ice is akin to gin on ice. Its top notes; rose, juniper berry and cucumber. Both scents come in a 1.7 refillable square shaped bottle and a larger carafe size. Other collections are The Smokes; Dark Lord: Ex Tenebris Lux, Smoke for the Soul, Royal Leather and Light My Fire. The Cellars; Straight to Heaven, Apple Brandy NY, A Taste of Heaven and Absinthe Vert. The Narcotics; Good girl gone Bad, Woman in Gold and Liaisons Dangereuse are in white bottles. Kilian uses a serpent symbol which represents the Garden of Adam and Eve. Woman in Gold is named after Austrian painter, Gustav Klimt’s famous gold portrait painting of Adele Bloch Bauer and is valued as one of the highest paintings ever sold at auction. Kilian has a Muse Klimt Coffret. The My Kind of Love Collection features; Princess, Adult, Kissing and After Sunset. The bottles have a black sphere on top, you turn the ball over, to spray. Each perfume has a catchy and flirty saying printed in red and gold. Princess with the top note of matcha tea, has princess in bold red and the gold lettering says; “You do not need a prince, to be a princess”. Kissing is made with notes of hot milk, lily of the valley and sugar candy. The tagline; “Kissing, burns off 6.4 calories in a minute, do you wanna work out? My Kind of Love is slightly less expensive than the other perfumes and is sold at Sephora. Fresh fragrance line comes in blue lacquer bottles, reminiscent of Yves Klein and has a silver Achilles shield emblem on the bottle’s side. The shield symbolizes protection and a lasting essence. The fresh citrus and aquatic notes have scents with names such as; Moonlight in Heaven and Vodka on the Rocks. Moonlight in Heaven contains: grapefruit, mango, creamy coconut, rice and pink peppercorn, evoking romantic and tropical emotions. Vodka on the Rocks visualizes smoky ice, rising from a crystal decanter, The top notes of rhubarb and oak moss conjure up a fragrance of a crisp and fresh sensual drink. The Kilian line offers perfume, but by Kilian sells decorated coffrets, mini spray collections, candle holders, home gifts and sensual rose red lipstick shades in black patterned cases. Cheers, to a dynamic house of fragrance.


Makeup Your Mind and Go to The Makeup Museum

The Makeup Museum is a new exhibit, which opened September 1, at 94 Gansevoort Street, in the Meatpacking neighborhood of NYC. It features the history of cosmetics, makeup artists, industry speakers, models, ads, actual makeup displays from past eras. Its presentation is eye catching, Instagram or I Phone worthy, but it is the actual exhibit which opens your eyes. Many pieces come from The Hollywood Museum. One major backdrop exhibition at the entranceway, is the pink jungle which represents the 1950’s period. An area lit with the expression colored neon pink with tropical trees. Strike a pose and have a group or individual picture taken.

Begin your tour with a section for blondes only, brunettes only, brownettes, and red heads only. Hair and makeup are a piece of every female’s daily grooming routine, yet we are not aware of the history and how the industry evolved. Max Factor was the first company which served Hollywood, beginning in the 1920-1930’s era. Max Factor, a creative and entrepreneurial man from Russia, worked with the Russian royal family. Since he was of Russian Jewish heritage, the family helped him escape and emigrate to the US. He brought lipstick, powder, makeup brushes and cosmetic innovation. Maxwell’s great great grandson, Davis and founder of SmashBox Cosmetics, spoke at the museum, this past month. He presented the company’s history which began among the actresses in Hollywood such as; Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Greta Garbo. The pancake makeup, lipstick cases, old time mirrors, decorative compacts, lipstick cases are on display. In the 1930’s and 40’s, makeup started to move beyond theater and the movies. All women started to buy lipstick, blush and eyeshadow and it became an accepted piece of the beauty standard. There was a reputation that women before this time, wearing makeup, were “hussys” or gave the appearance of a “prostitute”. The Harmony Rooms.. dressing like rooms with neon mirrors are inspired by Max Factor, as well. As the company became the founding American cosmetics company, they set the precedence for the commercialization of makeup/cosmetics, beauty appliances and goods. One can see a heart shaped compact given to a mother from a Korean War veteran, as well as a metallic designed lip case for Greta Garbo. Helena Rubenstein and Elizabeth Arden developed their powerhouse companies, run by the women themselves. There are pictures/ads of 60’s icon, Twiggy, with a colorful flower eye makeup application. A prescription skincare routine, from Ernest Laszlo, is written out for Garbo. Current makeup artists such as; Kevyn Aucoin, are highlighted and photographers like; Steven Meisel, worked with him on campaigns with Paulina Porizkova et al.. There are photos of eyeliner winged star, Amy Winehouse. This is a trend she copied from other starlets and modernized the look with her music. For Hispanic Heritage Month, the founder of Besame Cosmetics, shows off the collection. A new book: If I Had Your Face, by Frances Cha, is a fictional book about four South Korean females who try to live up to their culture’s beauty standards of K Beauty, plastic surgery, a job as a room salon girl, prestige in cosmetics and K Pop. Memorabilia, on view, also shows the all American movie; Mary Poppins and the makeup that went into the production. The history of makeup, how it affects people and the way we feel is a core theme of the museum. Whether it was 10,000 years ago with Cleopatra and Egyptian kohl eyeliner, Japanese Kabuki girls, the 1950’s, after the war, when females wanted to be feminine and come into their own, drag queens or the 1970’s disco with glitter, there is a timeline for all to see. Come and make reservations to see this exhibit, it will bring back memories of eras gone bye and bring you up to date for your next purchase.