Kilian Celebrates 200 Years of Burlington Arcade

Kilian Hennessy

Marking 200 years of the iconic Burlington Arcade, By Kilian has launched Royal Leather in homage to British heritage and the emblematic uniforms of the British guard.

Developed by perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin, the fragrance is a warm and strong opening with notes of hawthorn and black tea accord, a heart centred around a leather accord which complements notes of oud and patchouli making for a provocative journey in Kilian’s gourmand signature style.

The master of sensual fragrances, Kilian’s portfolio now features more than 35 alluring scents in his eponymous line and Royal Leather also wears MAYFAIR as part of its name in a nod to the historic location where the flagship London boutique is located.

In an intimate interview, Kilian shares some of the highlights from his journey so far below.

Kilian, Your fragrances typically have provocative and alluring names, how do you come to name your scents?

I don’t see my names as provocative; more as part of a script or a story. Many represent an emotion I am trying to convey. Honestly, I usually work best on the plane on my way to New York. One of the rare moments when the phone doesn’t ring every 3 minutes!

Tell us how travel influences your creations?

I love to discover new places, new cultures. We are only as rich as the diversity of the experiences we make, the cultures we discover. I like to approach everything with an open mind and these moments are then reflected in my work. When launching KILIAN in Thailand, one night I had the typical Thai desert; sticky rice with a coconut and mango flavouring. This delicacy gave birth to one of my most iconic scents today; Moonlight in Heaven.

How has the fragrance industry changed over the last decade?

It has changed tremendously, but I truly hope for the best with the focus shifting to artisanal luxury fragrances. This has placed creation and luxury at the core of the customer experience, which is so important to me.

What are your vacation hot-spots and why?

I try to change these all the time because I just love to discover new places. But if I want to really feel disconnected from the world, my two favourite hot spots would be:-Relaxing in the Maldives in Winter-Travelling around Greece on a boat in Summer.

How do you evoke luxury through fragrance and in what sense is this reflected throughout your collections?

For me, true luxury should last forever. That’s why I made all KILIAN bottles refillable and all our cases reusable either as a jewellery box or as a clutch. Luxury should also be essential in the excessive. You need today to be a little excessive to create a true luxury statement.

Where do you see the brand going over the next few years?

I would like KILIAN to become the reference when it comes to Luxury & Creativity in fragrances.

What does Bespoke mean to you?

For me, bespoke means complete tailoring to the individual. To that person’s own desires, fantasies and needs.

Article by Jaz Grewal