Free Association: By Kilian In the Garden of Good and Evil

Luxury niche fragrance house By Kilian has just announced its forthcoming collection, In the Garden of Good and Evil. This collection is inspired by the Biblical story of original sin in the Garden of Eden, and each of its three perfumes is presented in a white lacquer box adorned with a golden serpent.

In a publicity photograph for the new line, Kilian Hennessy poses with a scaly companion. I suppose we’re meant to read this image as a sexy, subversive allusion to the Old Testament.

We all know that Eve, the first woman, was tempted by the serpent in the Garden of Eden and ended up tasting the forbidden fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

The pairing of a sensuous woman with a sinuous snake has been a powerful motif in art and literature ever since that story was first told.

One of the iconic twists on that subject from our own lifetime is Richard Avedon’s photograph of Natassia Kinski. Symbolically and visually, it’s a beautiful, provocative image.

On the other hand, when I encounter a man with a python draped around his body, it’s usually something more along these lines.

Probably not the association that Monsieur Hennessy intended.

Images: By Kilian promotional image via By Kilian; Adam and Eve (detail) by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1513-15), via Wikimedia Commons; Natassja Kinski and the Serpent, Los Angeles, June 1981 by Richard Avedon, via the Richard Avedon Foundation; Snakeman, Village, NYC by Elvert Barnes, via Flickr.


11 thoughts on “Free Association: By Kilian In the Garden of Good and Evil

  1. The only association I get is from the name with the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The whole biblical thing never crossed my mind. Killian is easy on the eyes but the snake, not so much.

    1. I liked that movie… still haven’t read the book! The press release for this collection was full of blather about original sin and the Garden of Eden, which seemed silly enough to me, but then this photo put me over the edge.

      1. Loved the movie, loved the book. We went to Savannah and went on a tour of the movie sites. Plus we got to see the Lady Chablis perform which was so much fun. The scent descriptions sound more fruity than sinful, but I do want to try them even though they have nothing to do with the movie.

  2. I am looking forward to smelling this vist it the garden. Have you seen th packaging? It is incredible. And the gross guy with the snake, yes I run into him at all the street fairs in town. NOT a pretty encounter in the least!

  3. Snake or not, Mr Hennessy looks sexy and that other dude doesn’t ;)

    I like how these bottles look on pictures and I’m curious to try all three new perfumes.

  4. Kilian Hennessy is eye-candy. I also like snakes, although not the live or even dead ones — I like them as a jewelry motiff.
    I’ll have to check out the packaging (and yes, the juice) when I am at Saks…I wonder if Barneys has it (I like Barneys’ perfume counters better).

  5. What about the “artist” Britney and her snake at the VMA? Or did you purposely omit her from your montage? I prefer van Stuck’s Sin myself.

    1. Poor Britney… and that turned out to be her heyday! I always thought that routine was more of a belly-dancer/snake-charmer thing, though, rather than an Eve reference.

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