Maison Francis Kurkdjian: A Parisian dream factory of fragrances
"I chose to add the word “Maison” (House) before my name. It is not a stylistic conceit but rather a way to express what I believe: A house has a soul and a history, inhabitants and friends and sometimes children. All those emotions derived from ‘home’ join together under this word and animate my dream: to create as my greatest happiness the ability to inspire even little pleasures for others. My “Maison” brings together the various activities that contributed to its construction. There is first my work as a perfume designer for great fashion, beauty and luxurybrands. Then the ‘bespoke’ creations I initiated in 2001 for a private clientele, followed by artistic collaborations in Paris, Versailles and New York. A line through time adds the olfactory and visual productions and leads today to a range of perfumed products newly created under the label ‘Maison Francis Kurkdjian’ Why this product line? Because day after day, perfume does exist for me as a part of the art of living, as a transcendent approach to life. The beauty of perfume speaks at once of the intimate and the universal. No dictumcan be imposed on perfume. Its magic escapes all control and we are obliged to let it speak of our emotions however free and primitive, to live together in a world where scents provide echo for each other, a world I wish to inhabit every waking hour and often in dreams as well"...
Francis Nourhan Kurkdjian
Maison Francis Kurkdjian has been making massive waves in recent years. It has emerged as an elegant and rich line that now has a strong and loyal following. But what is the story of Maison Francis Kurkdjian? And what are the notable perfumes they have released? Read our guide to the enigmatic Monsieur Kurkdjian and all about his brand and olfactory creations.
Who is Francis Kurkdjian?
Let's start by taking a look at the person and nose behind the perfume brand, Francis Kurkdjian. Born in Paris, France in 1969, Francis grew up in an Armenian household. He was interested in ballet and piano from a young age, but by the age of 14 or 15 he was obsessed with the idea of becoming a perfumer.
Kurkdjian was heavily influenced by his sister's perfume collection. While she admired the bottles, he paid particular attention to their contents.
He then studied at the ISIPCA, the prestigious Paris perfume and cosmetics school founded by Jean-Jacques Guerlain. Here he developed his craft as there was no perfume making in his family tradition. He then became a partner of Quest International and enrolled at the Institut Supérieur de Marketing du Luxe.
At the age of 25, Kurkdjian established his reputation as a master perfumer by creating Le Mâle, the first men's aftershave for Jean Paul Gaultier. This fragrance classic continues to be a bestseller and the iconic teal bust owes its fame to Francis Kurkdjian.
Kurkdjian later lent his talent to Dior, Versace, Armani, Elie Saab and Yves Saint Laurent.
In 2004, Francis Kurkdjian met Ernst & Young manager Marc Chaya. Just five years later, in 2009, the two founded Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris.
Kurkdjian was awarded the prestigious Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres award by the French Minister of Culture in 2008.
How did Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris come about?
The Kurkdjian perfumes we know and love today are the result of a collaboration between Kurkdjian and Chaya, who met at a Jean Paul Gaultier show in 2004. From the beginning, Chaya is the company's co-founder and president, while Kurkdjian is the creative director of MFK.
Today, Maison Francis Kurkdjian has 300 locations in 45 countries and is a major player in the perfume industry.
The company now offers men's, women's and unisex fragrances, as well as a travel collection, a body line, laundry detergent and fabric softener, as well as scented candles and bubbles.
What does Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris stand for?
Francis Kurkdjian's perfumes have always pushed boundaries while staying true to the traditions of fine perfume making. Kurkdjian sees perfume as a form of self-expression: by choosing the fragrance we wear every day, we can communicate who we are.
Creativity is at the heart of the brand. By starting his own business after collaborating with numerous designers, Kurkdjian keeps our attention on the fragrance. Each perfume has its own "story": each is inspired by a moment, a picture or a book.
For example, his perfume Aqua Universalis Forte is inspired by the moment when a female dancer looks at her reflection and applies her make-up before a performance. Kurkdjian has also drawn parallels to how his mother applied her makeup as a child.
The most popular fragrances by Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris
One of MFK's most popular fragrances is Aqua Universalis. As with all his perfumes, Francis Kurkdjian believes in the history of the perfume: the name, the bottle, the concept and of course the fragrance. The scent of this perfume evokes clean linen, pure materials and the simplicity of nature.
It can be used both as a perfume for the body and on laundry and around the house.
The next line of fragrances, OUD, is oriental and earthy, reflecting its Laos heritage. This fragrance transports the wearer into the distance, the spicy notes conjure up an image of desert dunes and Arabian nights. The various OUD fragrances include Silk Mood, Satin Mood and Oud in the Extrait variant.
Two dozen fragrances make up this collection - explore the different options on our website.
Aqua Vitae: The water of life
Undoubtedly one of the most striking perfumes from MFK is Aqua Vitae. Aqua Vitae draws its top notes from dynamic fragrances from several parts of the world: Calabrian lemons, Sicilian mandarins, Brazilian tonka beans. These are combined with subtle notes of vanilla and guaiac wood to create a sensual and romantic perfume. It inspires to hug your loved one while inhaling the scent on the skin.
Baccarat Rouge 540: The exceptional perfume
The best-selling Kurkdjian perfume of all time is undoubtedly Baccarat Rouge 540 in the Eau and Extrait de Parfum versions. Baccarat Rouge 540 is a perfume composition created to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of the French crystal manufacturer Baccarat. The number "540" in Baccarat Rouge 540 is a temperature indication: 540 degrees Celsius is the temperature that must be reached during the melting process so that the Baccarat crystal mixed with 24-carat gold dust gets its legendary red color: "Bacarat Red". . This is an exclusive shade of red, which can also be found in the color design of the Baccarat Rouge 540 bottle.
Baccarat Rouge 540 Eau de Parfum
The Eau de Parfum version of Baccarat Rouge 540 is the result of a collaboration between Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris and Baccarat to mark the 250th anniversary of the crystal manufacture. Like an olfactory whisper, the perfume (fragrance family: woody, floral, amber) brings pure fragrance poetry to the skin: Airy jasmine and radiant saffron facets, mineral amber tones and woody notes of freshly cut cedar.
Baccarat Rouge 540 Extrait de Parfum
The Extrait de Parfum Baccarat Rouge 540 is a virtuoso, highly concentrated interpretation of the Eau de Parfum Baccarat Rouge 540 based on the fragrance components Egyptian jasmine blossoms, Moroccan bitter almonds, mineral amber facets and a base of fir resin and cedar.
Current projects of the brand
The fragrance house Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris certainly has many more tricks up its sleeve that we eagerly await. One of their latest releases is the À La Rose collection. This consists of fragrances for men and women as well as a hand cream. À La Rose perfumes come in the classically shaped MFK bottles that fans around the world know and love.
The inspiration for this line are women. It comes from the passionate admiration and glory of the women immortalized by the rose. Two different types of roses are used for the perfume: French centifolia roses and Bulgarian damask roses. Fragrance notes such as bergamot, orange, cedarwood and magnolia complete this intoxicating and feminine fragrance experience.
The rise of MFK
The inexorable rise of Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris leaves many in the industry wondering what's next. Be sure that the latest MFK perfumes will be available on our website, along with many other popular brands.
Check out our full range of fragrance products now!
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