By Kilian L'Oeuvre Noire / The Black Masterpiece ~ new fragrances

Love By Kilian perfumeBy Kilian perfume fountain

L'Oeuvre Noire, or The Black Masterpiece, is the debut collection of fragrances from By Kilian, a new brand founded by Kilian Hennessy:

I conceived The Black Masterpiece 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.

The collection comprises six fragrances in three pairs: The Ingenues for women (Love and Beyond Love), The Artificial Paradises for men (A Taste of Heaven and Straight to Heaven) and two unisex scents, The Parisian Orgies (Liaisons Dangereuses and Cruel Intentions).

Love by Kilian (don't be shy) (shown) ~ "Taking inspiration from the Marshmallow, this fragrance is a sweet treat for sensuous connoisseurs. At first soft and tender, it unfolds into the intensity that graces truly great seductresses. Top notes of glorious Neroli are like a shy, tentative kiss given by fresh lips. At the heart of the fragrance, Sambac Jasmine caresses skin warm with Rose and Iris, reaching ecstasy in the embrace of vanilla and musk." Created by perfumer Calice Becker.

Beyond Love by Kilian (prohibited) ~ "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 at resistance." Created by perfumer Calice Becker.

A Taste of Heaven by Kilian (absinthe verte) ~ "Inspired by Absinthe, 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 lascivious 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." Created by perfumer Calice Becker.

Straight to Heaven by Kilian (white cristal) ~ "The leitmotif here is Rum, a sexy note blending the heat of Caribbean islands with Patchouli, hot and deep. The mystery of its aura is deepened by Nutmeg, Cedar and Brazilian Rosewood. This life-giving alcohol definitely leads us into temptation, an invitation to partake of forbidden fruit." Developed by perfumer Sidonie Lancesseur.

Liaisons Dangereuses by Kilian (typical me) ~ "This fragrance highlights Plum from Damascus, a delicate fruit with a smooth note redolent of an alcove inhabited by languid lovers. Rich and complex, this odour has the heady charm of alcoholic vapours. At the heart of the fragrance, the floral breath of Egyptian Geranium is warmed by Cinnamon from Ceylon. Sandalwood from India structures the composition, which reaches fruition in a bouquet of sensuous musk notes." Developed by perfumer Calice Becker.

Cruel Intentions (tempt me) ~ "This fragrance features the warm, enfolding balsamic notes of Oud, a legendary wood said to be "worth more than its weight in gold". Beneath the pseudoinnocence displayed by Bergamot from Calabria, the seduction trap closes… courtesy of Centifolia Rose and woody heart notes. Papyrus, Vetiver from Haiti and Guaiacum Wood provide hints of mystery and elegance and then comes a grand finale of warm, sensuous Styrax and Castoreum." Developed by perfumer Sidonie Lancesseur.

The By Kilian line debuts in September in France, in October in the US. The fragrances will be sold in 50 ml refillable bottles for $250. Refills will be available at store counters for $95, or you can buy your own 1 litre fountain (shown above right) and "do it yourself" for $3000. (all quotes via bykilian, additional information via abc-luxe, Women's Wear Daily)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh my, I'm strangely drawn to that inky juice… But the Cruel Intentions sounds fascinating too. Sounds like an interesting line.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wow, looks interesting. Not sure about black being the colour of the juice though. I'm sure that it will leave awful stains on one's clothes.

    Kilian doesn't look bad either!!!!!!!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Several of them sound very worth trying! They are obviously going for the same “deep pockets” audience as Tom Ford Private Blend :-)

  4. Anonymous says:

    He isn't too hideous :-)

  5. Anonymous says:

    Karl from Aedes was talking about these in Paris–and they do sound interesting. I'm particularly drawn to Cruel Intentions, and perhaps A Taste of Heaven and Beyond Love. Butcha never know. . .

  6. Anonymous says:

    A little too Edward Scissorhands for me. When did men get the idea that a patchy three-day scurf of beard is attractive? I blame it on Don Johnson. And how can a girl possibly keep up with all these new fragrances? Are they really better than all the old ones? Sigh. I'm still new at this…

  7. Anonymous says:


    The copy is a bit over the top, isn't it? The scents might be great, but I get weary of wading through the ridiculous descriptions.

  8. Anonymous says:

    You can't keep up, don't bother trying ;-)

  9. Anonymous says:

    A Taste of Heaven does sound good, and Cruel Intentions is at the absolute top of my list.

  10. Anonymous says:

    “Beneath the pseudoinnocence displayed by Bergamot from Calabria” might be one of the funniest bits of ad copy I've seen this year, actually. Somebody really had fun with these :-)

  11. Anonymous says:

    While reading the copy of this release, all I could think was that there should be a “Faux Fragrance Copywriting” contest (like the famous “Faux Faulkner” competition).

    Is this perhaps the first time a scent has taken “inspiration from the marshmallow”? Thanks for the laugh late last night!

    “A bit of fun” is all well and good… but the frivolity apparently ends at the $250/50ml pricetag!

  12. Anonymous says:

    What a great idea! Maybe I'll organize one…

  13. Anonymous says:

    Oh, I don't know. I kinda like “fresh lips” and “life-giving alcohol.”

  14. Anonymous says:

    LOL — I missed “life-giving alcohol” altogether.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Famous last words, Robin!

    I just got my mitts on a bunch of these, and Beyond Love, the tuberose bomb, is the first one on the back of hand.

    Whoah. The quality is — as it ought to be — top-notch. You know when an EdP goes on and it's almost viscous and oily, it's got so much in it? That's this one. A blast of tuberose, something animalic, and also something along the lines of Chinatown: peach and cardamom, maybe, with that same crazy sillage.

    The packaging is pretty nice and, while they're too spendy for this girl, I think there's been a decent investment made in the juice and they'd be worth a look. Hint Hint!! I hope you review these, R., because I'd like to follow along. . .

  16. Anonymous says:

    I might, but didn't adore them. I did think the tuberose was the best, but I didnt' get all excited about it. It is still waiting for a 2nd & 3rd try, so we'll see…maybe it will grow on me.

  17. Anonymous says:

    This is a little late but I've just tried A Taste of Heaven and I have a question. Everyone talks about the lavendar of this frag which is why I ordered a sample. On me I can't smell any lavendar at all, only a really strong spicey note that tickles the back of my throat and that I can't identify. Am I insane? Does anyone know what that note is? And would it smell different if I sprayed it on rather than the dabs from the sample?

    Okay that was three questions :) Cheers!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Bethy, this question might be worth posting over at MakeupAlley's fragrance forum — this is an an old article so isn't getting much action anymore, and unfortunately, I can't answer you!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Since Bethy revived the thread, I thought I'd say hi again, months later, and nod my head vigorously in agreement with your assessment of the line. Borrowing from your phrasebook, I'd happily wear Cruel Intentions if a bottle fell out of the sky, but otherwise, there are so many more interesting fragrances out there — AND that don't cost an arm and a leg.

    We really rely on your wisdom and experience, Robin, as you probably are well aware; I know that I'm frequently raving about some great, hot new scent initially, log on to NST and read here that you're lukewarm about it, and eight times out of ten, eventually come around to agreeing with you wholeheartedly (and with some chagrin)!

  20. Anonymous says:

    HA — except on those Biehls, right?

  21. Anonymous says:

    You got it! :-D

  22. promiseevans says:

    late but not never…. I have tried the Cruel Intentions.. it is soft and I hardly get the “oud/aoud” at ALL! I mean it would be a whif of oud left after JHAG, Midnight Oud or Dark Rose, by Czech and Speak took about 30 showers. It does somewhat remind me of Citizen Queen by JHAG. It also didn’t last very long on me at all… I agree with the review by Luca in PTG on this one… “thin, uncertain thing, w/ no discernable intentions, cruel or otherwise”

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