Gorgeous perfume from the Frenchman who could write the text-book on luxury ...
There's something about the By Kilian boutique that reminds me of a Jackie Collins novel - and that's no bad thing. Sleek and highly polished, lots of monochrome and sparkle, one can easily imagine one of her glamorous heroines slipping on a scented By Kilian pendant with her Balmain bodysuit. Indeed, any self-styled starlet would feel right at home in this polished perfumery - where you can snap up some exquisite French fragrances, original artwork and scented jewellery (and be treated like a Dauphine in the process).
Its founder, Kilian Hennessy is no stranger to luxury, being part of the famous Möet Hennessy dynasty, he decided to branch out into luxury perfumery (he wrote a university thesis on the 'semantics of scent') cutting his teeth working with perfumers for Christian Dior, Alexander McQueen and Giorgio Armani.
He launched By Kilian in 2007 and in terms of high-end glamour, it's everything one might expect - with scents that would suit a Hollywood starlet or a time-strapped CEO looking for a scent to jazz up her work wardrobe.
I'm led up the spiral staircase and introduced to the different collections (some in chic black bottles, others in stark white) all of which differ in character, from rich ambery ouds and sugary sweet gourmands to the delicate orange blossom and tuberose notes of 'Good Girl Gone Bad' (no relation to the Rihanna album I'm told); and the fresh crisp accords of 'Bamboo Harmony'. The names are certainly fun - my favourite is the powdery floral 'Voulez Vous Couchez Avec Moi' - a gentle floral that's not overly strong for the hot weather, with creamy gardenia and ylang ylang, shot through with a sparkle of neroli, an understated yet rather addictive little number all the same. 'Moonlight in Heaven' is their latest offering - with slightly less razzmatazz glamour than its predecessors, it comes in a smart sapphire-hued bottle and boasts summery notes of lemon, pink pepper and coconut milk.
By Kilian have plenty to scent your home with too, from scented paperweights to wardrobe tassels, clutch bags and candles. And for those who don't like spraying a fragrance directly onto their skin or clothes, you can opt for some cleverly designed perfumed jewellery - such as a pendant or earrings with ceramic disc inside which can be sprayed with scent.
Elsewhere, serious scent lovers can snap up their favourite concoctions a giant crystal decanters, as well as special 'Art Edition' scents which come with original hand-embellished works from artist Sophie Matisse.
I was kindly given a little travel version of 'Voulez-Vous' - which comes in a sleek refillable monolith holder, engraved with their signature tessellating motif. If there's anything I love more than perfume, it's a handbag-friendly perfume ...
26 Burlington Arcade 51 Piccadilly London W1J 0Q +44 (0)2074919236
Open: Monday - Saturday: 10am - 7pm; Sunday: 11am - 5p