Monsieur Kilian Hennessy, he’s as smooth as silk that one.
Not only does he tempt you with his original ‘By Kilian’ range with such names as Liaisons Dangereuses, Cruel Intentions and Beyond Love, but he’s added Oud to the range as well as scents of an Asian slant. And now, just when you thought it was safe to re-indulge your original dalliance with this smooth operator, le brave gentilhomme de la prouesse audacieuse is set to thrill once again with the release of his ‘In the Garden of Good & Evil’ range.
With new additions, ‘In the City of Sin’, ‘Good Girl Gone Bad’ and ‘Forbidden Games’, this isn’t so much as an olfactory version of “50 Shades of Grey” (Kilian doesn’t do cheap. Thank God for that) but a quick rush of forbidden fruit with spun gold, hedonistic indulgence and the over-powering urge of latent sexuality. This is woman as a Machiavellian grown-up. No airy-fairy girly skipping or woman as soft mothering iconic figure, Kilian’s ‘In the Garden of Good & Evil’ practically take us to the intelligently sinister yet sexy John Berendt Southern novel where well-bred Southern Belles meet rednecks and there’s the over-riding presence of a voodoo priest. All very ‘True Blood’ without the vampires.
Kilian isn’t afraid to rush in where angels fear to tread and this comes across in his fragrances’ make-up. ‘Good Girl Gone Bad’ is a complex little ditty, much like the women it’s aimed at, and smells of devout naughtiness. There’s a slight ‘gone off’ smell to this, like rich fruit that’s been lying just that little bit too long or like pouring good Cognac over ice-cream or rich pudding – this is the apricot sweetness of the Chinese Osmanthus meeting the headiness of the Jasmine Sambac. Then, just as you get used to this first rush, like good champagne, the taste changes with more consumption as the Egyptian Narcissus and Indian Tuberose make their presence felt. This is a big, wild and seductive fragrance with no hint of guilt. White cedar and amber try their best to calm the sexual tension, but don’t quite manage to reduce the urge. They just add kisses of sweetness in the dead of passion.
The perfumer, Alberto Morillas, must have had fun and free reign with this one. This cannot be typecast like most releases nor have a genre applied to it. As much fruity and animalic as it is a white floral, this is pretty much unrestrained and unique.
Like Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond in ‘Sunset Boulevard’, I’m now read for my close up with ‘Forbidden Games’ and ‘In The City of Sin’. Forgive me from temptation.
Kilian’s ‘In The Garden of Good & Evil’ trio of perfumes are available from Harvey Nichols and priced at £160 for each 50ml refillable spray.