What Do People Want To Smell Like During 2020? As It Turns Out, Cognac

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Courtesy of Kilian
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The luxury fragrance brand Kilian has never held back its love for a good time. One of the latest perfume launches, dubbed Kilian Angels' Share, follows in the footsteps of the flirtatious Good Girl Gone Bad and downright sultry Adults. (For the unaware, the latter features a bottle that reads: Let's settle this argument like adults, in the bedroom, naked.) Inspired by the cognac that made Kilian Hennessy's family a household name and packaged in a cocktail-glass-like bottle, the perfume is provocative and, more poignantly, evocative — the campaign features a gaggle of beautiful people in an upscale, velvety club, drinking and spritzing their way through a night out. It's how many people probably wish they were spending the last half of 2020.

It also keeps selling out. Currently, the $195 Angels' Share fragrance is out of stock online at Sephora, Bloomingdale's, and Neiman Marcus, just to name a few stockists. It's intriguing, following the similarly metric rise of pampering body-care and at-home spa nights during lockdown; the idea of a gorgeous, going-out perfume tethering shoppers to better times and better memories, and tapping into the of-the-moment escapism that so many crave.

After all, how great does going out for a drink with friends — while wearing a fabulous dress and ridiculous heels — sound right now? "I had been working on these creations for many months before the crisis began, at a time when no one knew what was coming," Kilian Hennessy, founder and creative director, tells TZR via email. "Perhaps this aspect has allowed consumers to get away from it all somehow during these troubling times."

Courtesy of Kilian

Though you can't ignore the allure of the fragrance itself, the deciding factor beyond any glitzy campaign or well-crafted bottle. Angels' Share hails from the new Liquors collection and arrived on Oct. 1 alongside Roses on Ice, a sweet and herbaceous scent that nods to the complexity of iced gin. Angels' Share smells neither overtly feminine or masculine, not too gourmand and not too botanical, with a caramel hue thanks to a liquor-derived cognac essence.

"Angels' Share represents a kind of comforting scent, almost cocooning," says Hennessy. "It opens with cognac oil, upon a blend of oak absolute, cinnamon essence, and tonka bean absolute. Long-lasting drydown notes of sandalwood, praline, and vanilla make for a delicious finish. I wanted to be close enough to the idea but far enough so people would not smell as a cognac. Indeed, quite challenging."

Courtesy of Kilian

But it was a challenge fit for a Hennessy. Although Angels' Share might remind anyone else of long evenings on the town, it conjures to mind childhood for the founder. "Angels’ Share is my most personal fragrance creation yet, as it is inspired by my olfactive memory of the Hennessy cognac cellars that I used to visit as a child," says Hennessy. "I hope that these fragrances will allow [shoppers] to escape, hoping for better days. And I personally hope to be able soon to smell again my creations on the streets, in a peaceful environment."

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