Maison Francis Kurkdjian Absolue pour le Soir, 2010

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(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 the shape.

This particular spin on the woody rose, to look more generically at category, is instantly identifiable as a Kurkdjian fragrance. It’s in the same category as Cologne pour le Soir and the Lumières Noires. They are built around a shared  accord that combines a raspy woodiness and a deep rose with a cumin-heavy spiciness. It’s Kurkdjian’s Guerlinade. Kurkdjade.

I’ve mentioned before that this accord could be used as a replacement to the pariah chypre accord. It’s rich and abstract, it begs for exploration and use, which is exactly what Kurkdjian does in Absolue.

Back to shape, though. Absolue is a trimmed and amplified take on the Cologne. As expected it has greater sillage and is more muscular than the Cologne, while still making the same overall statement  as the Cologne. But it also seems a bit stripped down, less complex than the Cologne. Where the cologne concentration emphasizes subtlety, the edp focusses on expansiveness.

The question for Kurkdjian is why make the Absolue? The Cologne is quite long-lasting, and the Kurkdjade arguably works better with the Cologne’s tone of voice. The question for me was which to choose? I made my choice. Can you guess what it was?


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