I have encountered the work of the perfect Parisian artist and idealist. A dreamer, a creator, a story teller of scents… I was strolling through the Printemps Haussmann store searching for Christmas gifts when I came across a perfume stand that caught my eye. It was full of lovely shades of cream and white, slate and gold, and little silhouettes of a Paris skyline… HOW COULD I RESIST!?! La Maison Francis Kurkdjian.
I inquired the sweet and knowledgeable sales girl and asked for a presentation of the brand. Mr Francis Kurkdjian it turns out it a first generation descendant of Armenian immigrant parents. He became a perfume artist and spent many years working for others, creating scents for some of the biggest brand names in the industry. One of his creations, just to give you an idea of his talent, is Le Mâle, in 1995 for Jean-Paul Gaultier. Here is a list of some of the other perfumes he has created for others. As you can see, the man has got talent.
And like most people with talent, in a search for expressive freedom, he wanted to make his own creations, for himself. He launched his own brand in 2009. I tested several of his scents, and found them all intriguing and complex. But what I appreciate most from his work is his inspiration : Paris. His bottles are inspired by the golden or slated hues of the Parisian rooftops, his scents tell stories of the elaborate and eclectic world that is Paris, and the packaging will appeal to any Paris dreamer out there.
This perfume artist has been known to create large « olfactive installations » with his work. He orchestrated events at Versailles with fountains, or bubbles, and other beautifully executed events around the world. He sees perfume beyond the bottle.
Ever the playful artist, at the Printemps Haussmann stand he had a game installed during the holiday season for people to discover the delights of perfume and the playfulness of scents. A guessing game with perfumed wax can be played for a prize (everybody wins) of a 5ml miniature bottle of his signature eau de toilette : Aqua Universalis.
1. A foreigner such as myself, who is in love with Paris.
2. An artist who is able to take risks and go out on a ledge by creating his own brand in very precarious times.
3. Exquisite perfumes made with minute attention paid to the artistry of creating scents.
You can find his perfumes all around the world.
I hope his brand lasts for many many decades to come so that his art may develop and continue and my children’s children will hopefully someday appreciate this special kind of creator.