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Maison Francis Kurkjian

Apparently the fragrance industry doesn’t like a show off. Let’s not say that Francis Kurkdjian is one for self-promotion, but – like Marc Jacobs – he knows his worth (and the camera loves him).

There is no disputing his ambitions, or abilities. By the age of 25 he had created the international successful Le Male. Meanwhile, decadent collaborations – such as a partnership with Sevres, an appointment only perfume for Marie Antoinette, and his near five figure consultantion service – proved his calibre within the upper echelons of luxury, as well as his intimacy with the power of bespoke. 

Now this maverick is going it alone. Having opened his first standalone boutique in the Place Vendome,  this Christmas will be the first for his debut line: Maison Francis Kurkdjian.

We hear of his failed aspirations as pianist and dancer, and everything suddenly makes sense. Francis Kurkdjian is a dreamer. The emotions that you feel as you venture through his extensive Maison Collection are refined, yet poetically distinct.  Rather than focusing on ingredients, Francis Kurkdjian focuses on different times of the day, different moments. From the awakening of a delicious afternoon nap, through to throwing on cashmere, fur and YSL tributes for a  inpromptu midnight stroll along the St Germain, this family of fragrances and products  is utterly divine.

The zinc square bottle top evokes the rooftops of Paris – and we just know that Francis always looks down on Paris from the sky.  However, his feet are ever on the ground in terms of business.

Taking the home – ‘la maison’ – as his inspiration, innovations such as Aqua Universal (a unisex detergent water) may see this innovative product push the range to grow beyond the niche market. True, not everyone would want to wear a fragrance on top of scented clothes, but Francis is also marketing himself at those that don’t wear fragrance. Subtle in fragrance– and surprisingly good value – this detergent will make the opening of any valise –  in any hotel room – a luxury.

Extending the reach of fragrance further, the scented bubbles for children are a delight. That is what is charming about this range, its quiet joyfulness – and Francis’s genuine desire to see perfume integrated into the lives of all.  A  fragrance infused leather bracelet feels modern and understated, yet harks back to decadent 17th Century Paris, when men infused strings of leather and lightly bound them round their wrists. This is proof that fragrance – via an eclectic range of formats – doesn’t need to be invasive, it should just be.

Critics may be saying that this new range is a honing of his triumphs – but what is wrong with that? Like his boutique in the Place Vendome, why be disrespectful to your surroundings – or history? For a perfumier so intimately entwined with his creations, it is a sign that he genuinely loves what he produces – and that he is finally doing it ‘his way’. We still may expect the radically new from every fashion season, yet perfumes can be worn a lifetime and no one bats an eyelid.

Francis has had some serious fun here, but has been wise enough to tread the boards with the ease of someone who is playing the long game.  His self confessed ‘nothing to declare’ attitude has achieved an intricate range of offerings that  will ingratiate themselves into the lives of your loved ones, with a timeless charm.

Sorry, did we say Marc Jacobs? Maybe he’s more Thomas Maiers.

  

Maison Francis Kurkdijan is available in the UK, exclusively at Liberty.