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)