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Francis Kurkdjian answers (more of) your questions

Early on in #lockdown, Francis Kurkdjian invited us to interview him on an Instagram Live Q+A. We were honoured – and it became the first in what is now a series of fascinating interviews with brand founders and perfumers.

We had so very many questions for Francis that he couldn’t answer them all at the time – so he very kindly offered to give written answers to the questions. Merçi, Francis! It was a wonderful live interview and we really appreciate you taking the time to answer everyone.

Q. Your Aqua Celestia is like ‘Valses Nobles et Sentimentales’ by Ravel.. I feel a beautiful timbre, comfortably complex in harmonies , and exciting rhythms in all your creations. Does music inspire you a lot? A little? Or not at all? (From Miyako)

A. ‘My mother had a beautiful mezzo-soprano voice. My father was a self-taught guitar player. His uncle was a conductor, a composer, a piano and organ player, and his wife was a violinist. So music is very important to me and plays an important part in my work as a perfumer. I have played the piano since I was. One of my composers of choice is Maurice Ravel. I was blessed when sound designer Beatrice Ardisson, along with world renowned pianists Katia and Marielle Labeque, remastered my favourite score for my website: ‘Pavane for a Dead Princess.’ On another level, one of my creations, Aqua Universalis Forte, was inspired by music. I reworked the original eau de toilette into an eau de parfum, making a parallel between playing the same score on a chamber orchestra or with a symphonic orchestra. Same spirit and feeling, same story but in a louder volume.’ (Francis Kurkdjian)

Q. What are your 5 favorite smells? (From Wayne)

‘I don’t have any favorite scents. As a perfumer, when it comes to my personal taste, the smells I have in mind for the future are always for me the most intriguing and appealing. In fact, the most exciting in life is always what lies ahead. So I guess they are my favourite, even if they are not yet created.’ (FK)

Q. Is there something like a place, a person or an event that you would like interpret as a perfume some day? What would you bottle?(From @littleseta)

A. ‘My sources of inspiration are very opened and wide. They go from culture, art, fashion, couture and of course the time we live in, plus my very personal experiences, so I will probably be inspired in the future by a particular place I love or a person… To give you examples, for my previous creation Aqua Vitae, the inspiration came when I was motorcycling on a Mediterranean island. The speed combined with the heat of the air made an intriguing feeling I wanted to capture. I had then the idea of capturing the energy of the sun, its sensuality and glamour. Gentle Fluidity is about redefining the emotional balance between genders. Baccarat Rouge 540 is about the craftsmanship and the alchemy behind the crystal house. Behind each fragrance there is a unique story and inspiration. Without a strong and true story, there is no fragrance creation.’ (FK)

 

 

Q. Is gentle fluidity silver for men or for women? I read that it is for both, but once a brand specialist at a retail shop told me that it is for men. (From @Samah_alquraan)

A. ‘The Gentle Fluidity duo goes beyond the concept of perfumery for women, men or mixed. These two eaux de parfums (gentle Fluidity gold edition and Gentle fluidity silver edition) have two utterly different olfactory worlds – one features a woody, aromatic scent, the other musky, oriental notes – yet draw from the same list of ingredients. Let your mood chooses the Gentle Fluidity that suits you and see how it helps you to express a part of yourself.’ (FK)

Q. ‘If you were to create a powdery male perfume, what ingredients would you put in? (From @nikolaoskanew)

A. ‘The creation of a fragrance always starts with a story, and a name. It’s only after that I choose the right ingredients. Therefore it will depend on the story I want to tell; we cannot predict the ingredients I would choose. What type of powdery notes for men, who is that man, what is his story…? Without a story, there is no scent. And that story has to be strong enough, powerful enough to be translated into a scent.’ (FK)

Q. As you are my favourite perfumer and I have almost all the MFK perfumes, I want to know if you would make a bespoke perfume for my wife and I for our wedding? I also want to know when will you open a boutique in Saudi Arabia? Thank you for giving us a chance to ask such a great perfume. (From @Ameenbeladi)

A. ‘Thank you for your kind words! Do send us an e-mail here and we will revert to you with details about custom-made fragrances. We already have points of sale in Saudi Arabia; you’ll find the list here.’ (FK)

Q. If you still create perfumes for clients / businesses and what are the three most important questions you ask / things you do to determine what the person/people want? (From @greekgoddessldn)

A. ‘My mission when I create bespoke fragrances is to fulfil the clients’ needs and dreams. Creating a bespoke perfume is a question of trust and confidentiality as you share intimate moments and memories. I develop these exclusive fragrances in the course of brainstorming sessions that allow me to get a feel for the client’s personality, environment, tastes and memories. It the scent is for a brand, I ask myself if I have the envy to create. Does this brand and projects resonates with me, my values, my aesthetic vision.’ (FK)

 

 

Q. Are there any plans to release Fendi Frenesia as an MFK product? (From @sarahandherscents)

A. ‘No. Fendi Frenesia was created in collaboration with the Roman house of Fendi, to scent the leather of the iconic Baguette bag and nano- Baguette bag ,designed by Silvia Venturini Fendi. The Fendi Frenesia Baguette is crafted from the finest Cuoio Romano leather tinged with Fendi’s iconic yellow hue (above) and scented with the Fendi Frenesia fragrance, using a signature and patented technique developed by Maison Francis Kurkdjian technique.’ (FK)

Q. I’d like you to recommend me the most amazing parfum in the world! I love anjelica, cinnamon, orange flowers, caramel, bergamot and vanilla. Compliments on your amazing creations! (From Ralitsa Arabadzhian)

‘Thank you for your kind words. To get the best advice, we invite you to go to one of our boutiques or you can contact our customer service team here. Our team will revert to you as soon as possible and will be very pleased to guide you. You can also find on our eshop an assortment of samples, which is a way to discover up to four fragrances of our fragrance wardrobe.’

franciskurkdjian.com

 

 

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