I didn't quite know where to put this little write up, but here seemed to be the best section. *This is a very quick write up as I need to go to bed, but I wanted to get this written up while it was still fresh!*
Since I've been back home I've made a few friends who work in fragrance shops, such as Les Senteurs, or the fragrance departments of bigger stores such as Harvey Nichols and Harrods. I had heard from people at Harvey Nichols that Kilian would be in their store sometime in June but they weren't sure when he would be there. They then contacted me earlier this month saying he was only going to be there for media purposes, such as in-store interviews. I was gutted I wouldn't be able to meet him but didn't think too much more of it. Then, a few days later, I was told by friends at Les Senteurs that Kilian will be launching his fragrance line in their store on June 17th. (A coincidence as I was in their Seymore Place branch just a week before saying how fantastic the line is, and that it's a pain having to go to Harvey Nichols to smell the Kilian line!).
So on Monday the 17th I rang Les Senteurs and asked them when Kilian would be in store, they said the reception is at 7pm, so come for 6.30pm. We arrived at a fairly empty Les Senteurs a bit before 6.30pm. Kilian was there already, as was Elizabeth, and a few of the people who work there that I know. I expected a signing, with a few people queuing up to meet him. Instead I was asked whether I was on the VIP list. I wasn't, and said I wasn't. I told them I was told to come for 6.30pm. I also said I had tweeted Kilian, and he had told me where it was and that if I bought a box of Back to Black, he would sign it. They said I could still buy things and get them signed, but I wouldn't be allowed in the VIP Q&A etc. I didn't even know there was a VIP event going on later in the evening so I wasn't expecting to get in anyway. I went ahead and quickly bought a box of Back to Black for myself and a travel set of Love for my girlfriend. I didn't want to get in the way of the people who were quickly filling the store. To my surprise, a lady then asked me if I wanted Kilian to sign my purchases, to which I said yes, and instantly Kilian Hennessy made his way over to meet me. He completely exceeded all expectations I had of him. He shook my hand, introduced himself, and asked me what I had bought and why. He took genuine interest in why I bought Back to Black and Love, and what I liked about them. He then took the packaging off and talked me through my purchases. He told me how the coffin the bottle sits in takes 2 months to make due to the lacquer, and how the travel set was originally going to be in a leather pouch with various other nice touches, but in the end they wanted something more affordable. He must have spent about 10 minutes with me, all while people were VIP flooded the Les Senteurs store for his event. He then went on to talk my friend through his purchase (a box of Flower of Immortality). He said how the calligraphy on the box was done by a man on the street, and that the man's signature is the small red square towards the base of the box. It was so interesting to hear him talk with such passion and interest towards his products.
After thanking Kilian we moved towards the door, however a member of the By Kilian team stopped asked us and if we would like to stay. We obliged and put our purchases behind the counter at Les Senteurs, and were then given champagne and macarons and other various nibbles. We mingled and spoke to a variety of people who all had their reasons as to why they were attending. At 7pm we moved down to the basement of Les Senteurs for a Q&A interview with James Craven and Kilian Hennessy. A good, yet shortened write up of the interview can be found here: http://olfactoriastravels.com/2013/06/19/an-evening-with-kilian-hennessy/. Kilian spoke very well, almost poetically, and I for one was hanging off his every word. One thing that isn't in Olfactoria's write up is what he said about candles. He said that the candles are being taken off the shelves to be done better. Apparently the soft wax he uses means the candles must always be kept upright during transit, which is bad for logistics, so they're finding a way to do it differently. He also said about why his candles had various sized wicks, which I found very interesting. It's to do with the notes in the candle. For example thicker candle wicks are best for heavier notes such as amber, but floral notes in a candle come out best with a thin wick. If you use the wrong wick, the notes won't be used to their full potential.
After the talk we went back up stairs and mingled a little more. I met a frenchman who works for Creed and we spoke about various fragrances and the industry in general, which was really eye opening for me. The shop was then much quieter as most people had left, and we decided to leave too. On the way out we spoke to the same lady who let us stay for the VIP event, and she gave us some business cards for people at the company and Kilian's email address. We told her we were very excited about the New York exclusive that Kilian had told us about. She didn't seem to know what we meant, so she called Elizabeth (Kilian's fiance and CEO) over. She asked where we heard that, and was it through the grapevine? I told her we heard it direct from Kilian and she laughed, I suppose Kilian is trying to keep that one quiet. I've no idea what type of fragrance it will be, but it will be exclusive to the New York boutique which opens in September.
As we left we got given a goodie bag which was wrapped in black wrapping paper with a white and black Kilian ribbon around it. Inside, wrapped in black By Kilian wrapping paper, was a mesh bag containing two 7.5ml sprayers (like those in the travel spray atomizer sets) of Bamboo Harmony and Straight to Heaven. We really weren't expecting that!
It was a fantastic end to a fantastic day. The only thing I was miffed about was the fact that the new In the Garden of Good and Evil addition - 'Playing with the Devil', was on display to sample and I didn't even see it. I suppose as I had smelt the entire line I didn't even look to see whether there was anything new.
Here are some pictures of mine and my friend's main purchases (I didn't take my camera to the event as I didn't even know it was going to be an event!)
Edited by HAllen - 10/4/13 at 3:37pm