Category: Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Oud, 2012

Oud perfumes are the new “orientals”.  Like their early 20th century predecessors, their fantasy/reality ratio is sky-high. They are less overtly culturally offensive, but in terms of authenticity, they are just as much a bill of goods. Francis Kurkdjian avoided the pitfall of attempting to mimic Arabic style. Instead, he treated oud like any other centerpiece note in western traditional…

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat 540, 2014

Kurkdjian excels at creating well turned-out perfumes. Smooth, seamless perfumes with lovely olfactory shapes and pleasant profiles. Of course, he also makes Cologne and Absolue pour le Soir, two of the dirtiest roses available, so he’s not limited to olfactory pleasantry. Still, most of the Maison Francis Kurkdjian perfumes have a mannered quality. Where various perfume lines promise Arabian fantasy or…

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Lumière Noire, 2009

Maison Francis Kurkdjian provides a number of entry points to the brand. It offers traditional products (perfume, papier d’Armenie, candles, body creams) and less expected ones (fabric softener, soap bubbles.) There is a deliberateness to much of the line that challenges the trend-chasing and slot-filling approach of many brands. His vision of a contemporary sensibility derives from an understanding of…

Maison Francis Kurkdijan Cologne pour le Soir, 2009

(image, Le Male Frida Kahlo by Debora Pota) Perfumer Francis Kurkdijan Traditional Eaux de Cologne are designed to take advantage of the volitile qualities of citrus materials. The basic structure of composition is concise and most Colognes smell alike. Cologne is associated with its characteristic smells: hesperidic notes (citrus fruit, leaves, woods) herbs, florals, musk. Kurkdijan reinvents the Cologne by throwing…

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Amyris pour Homme, 2012

(image source somosmultiples.es) Perfumer Francis Kurkdjian The gender pairing in perfumery always bothers me. (product) pour homme (product) pour femme My general complaints revolve around mistaking the arbitrary for the essential.  Dresses/trousers.  Pink/blue.  Princess ballerina/andro-jock.  It’s all bad fiction to me.  Must an idea be tailored in different ways for men and women to understand it?  Please don’t feel the…

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Lumière Noire pour Homme, 2009

Perfumer Francis Kurkdjian Back it up. If we go in reverse I can end on a positive note.  Lumière Noire pour Homme winds up a tidy, sweet musky rose.  If you like it, you’ll recognize that it comes from thoughtfully designed succinctness.  If you don’t, it’s a bit matter-of-fact.  I won’t say that this fragrance loses steam or loses track, but…

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Absolue pour le Soir, 2010

(image from the film Melancholia) Perfumer Francis Kurkdjian Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Absolue pour le Soir is an eau de parfum based on the house’s Cologne pour le Soir. Absolue purports to be a ‘night on the town’ update of the Cologne and they are cut from the same cloth. It’s not so much the materials in common that you notice. It’s…