L'Officiel Nose: Kilian Hennessy

Hailing from a family of premier cognac makers, the perfumer is bringing his first name to fame via fragrances like the mysterious Dark Lord.
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Kilian Hennessy is using his family’s tradition to carve his own path. A childhood of visiting the cellars where his relatives had made cognac for centuries, as well as growing up after the company had merged with Moët and Louis Vuitton to create LVMH, inspired him to craft a luxury brand of his own in the world of perfumery. His college thesis on the semantics of scent led him to begin training with the most prestigious fragrance houses, including Dior, Alexander McQueen, and Giorgio Armani. In 2007, Hennessy founded his namesake fragrance house, Kilian, and he has since created dozens of scents, all of which share the brand’s “eco-luxe” philosophy that bottles can be refilled and kept for a lifetime.

Over the past few years, Hennessy has been working to bring his olfactory concepts to new spaces, such as jewelry and decorative objects. While these show his innovative talent, the perfumer is far from abandoning the body as a canvas, as he continues to develop a range of spray-on scents that blend luxury heritage with forward-thinking creativity. Recent launch Dark Lord crafts the essence of a mysterious gentleman of the night with notes including leather, rum-drenched jasmine, and pepper. While the scent suggests the wearer has secrets to reveal, Hennessy helped L’Officiel USA to better visualize this nocturnal world.

If Dark Lord was the star of its own movie, which actor would play the starring role?

Jeremy Irons. His dark, almost erotic voice is the essence of Dark Lord.


What color(s) does your fragrance smell like?

A deep, dark color. Either dark blue or black.


Which city/place in the world does Dark Lord encapsulate best?

Hong Kong. It's one of the rare cities where I still see men dressing with a great sense of style.


If you had to place your fragrance in an iconic decade past, which one would it be?

The turn of the 20th century, when elegance still mattered.


What item from your wardrobe would you compare your scent to?

A velvet tuxedo jacket: it's masculine, chic, and timeless.


What genre of music do you think Dark Lord most aligns with and why?

R&B or soul music with jazzy vocals. The music of a tormented soul.


If your fragrance had a night out on the town, what drink would it order at the bar?

A Hennessy X.O. on the rocks. It's cool, intense, and noble.


If you were to relate your new scent to a book, what would it be? Why?

Belle du Seigneur by Albert Cohen, and more particularly his leading male character, Solal. He is gorgeous, tormented, passionate, and in search of an ideal love.


If your new fragrance had a soundtrack, what three songs would play once you spray the scent?

"Back to Black" by Amy Winehouse, "Kiss From A Rose" by Seal, and "Set Fire to the Rain" by Adele. 


If it wasn’t called Dark Lord, what would it be called?

Mirror To My Soul.

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