Scented christmas trees & more from Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Maison Francis Kurkdjian has pulled out all the stops this season, offering new and exciting ways to scent your home (and yourself!) From fragrant Christmas trees, scented caligraphy cards and the most goregous candle, there’s also excellent news for fans of a certain best-selling fragrance who’d believe in going big or going home…

There’s no doubt that perfumer Francis Kurkdjian is one of the most stylish people we know. From the exquisite fine fragrances and accessories that have made him world famous, to his personal flair when designing the so-chic boutiques and decorating his own (of course ultra fabulous) Parisian apartment. Borrowing a little of that effortless élan for some French contemporary style, Maison Francis Kurkdjian invite you to come inside and ‘…plunge into a unique universe where the art and pleasure of giving become one. Fragrances and candles wait patiently by the Christmas tree, the theme chosen by Francis Kurkdjian, as the quiet and elegantly dressed witnesses of the season’s celebrations.’

‘O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree, how lovely is thy fragrance…’

Mon beau Sapin, the iconic holiday candle by Maison Francis Kurkdjian, now comes in a dark green colour adorned with a fir bough decorated in white and gold. Its generous, characteristic smell of a balsam fir, slightly resinous, slowly guides us towards a reassuring forest. This candle, with its specific wintery enveloping fragrance brings the finishing touch to the joyful holiday mood and memories past.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Mon Beau Sapin Candle £55 for 190 g, at Selfridges new MFK counter


If you’re one of the many (many!) fragrant fans of the iconic Baccarat Rouge 540 extrait de parfum, or you know someone who is, get ready to squeal quite a lot. A whopping great supersize-me version of the fragrance has been created especially for Christmas, standing proud at 200ml, and definitely subscribing to the belief that bigger is better.

‘Baccarat Rouge 540 was born of the encounter five years ago between Baccarat and Maison Francis Kurkdjian, two luxury houses with a shared passion for know-how. Baccarat Rouge 540 tells the story of how gold is magically transformed into red, a process whose secret is known only by Baccarat. Blended with 24-karat gold dust and gradually fused until it reaches precisely 540 degrees, Baccarat’s transparent crystal slowly dons a dazzling red hue.’

This fragrance has been a world-wide best-seller for a reason: it smells incredible – we know exactly where a certain member of The Perfume Society team has been because she trails this everywhere she goes. It’s available as an eau de parfum in the clear crystal bottle and as an extrait de parfum in a deep, ruby red bottle; and if this is a present for someone you love, it’s certainly not only Santa that’s getting snogged under the mistletoe this year!

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 extrait de parfum £590 for 200ml at Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, John Lewis, Les Senteurs, Harrods &

Thursday to Sunday there will be caligraphy on specially scented Christmas cards at the new Maison Francis Kurkdjian Selfridges counter. And they are also offering a mini Mon Beau Sapin candle as a free gift with purchase. (We absolutely will not judge you if you decide to keep this for yourself. The person you’re buying the gift for will never know, right? Right. And we’ll be doing the same, so…)

Finally, if you needed another reason to pop across to France (with the car, we think, for this one…) before Christmas, then look no further than the wonder that is a scented Maison Francis Kurkdjian Christmas tree! Sadly these are not available in the U.K. this year, but those seeking the ultimate in festive fragrance can delight in them at the following stores:

Perfumed and fireproofed Nordmann Tree, 100/120 cm:
Green natural tree from 145 euros*
Flocked tree with natural dusting from 185 euros*
Flocked integral white tree from 205 euros*
*(Suggested retail price excluding delivery)

Order from Parisian shops Maison Francis Kurkdjian:
Boutique Saint Honoré – 5 rue d’Alger, Paris 1er – +33 1 42 60 07 07
Boutique Marais – 7 rue des Blancs-Manteaux, Paris 4ème – +33 1 42 71 76 76

The mere descriptions, let alone gawping at these pictures, makes us feel instantly more stylish; and we find that theme of the Holiday tree on all accompanying boxes, gift sets, tissue paper and bags – illustrations and images drawn by Kurkdjian himself and created by his design team. So if you’re searching for that perfect present for someone special, hankering after treating yourself for a change, or heavily hinting to loved ones (we find choosing the Print Screen option and circling the ones you want in red while mouthing ‘THOSE PLEASE’ works really well); you’ll find that ‘…everything at Maison Francis Kurkdjian comes together to create a wintry harmony where an eye for detail lies at the heart of the creative process.’ Naturellement!

By Suzy Nightingale

Peony perfection: the new Acqua di Parma Nobile addition is blooming gorgeous

The celebrations for Acqua di Parma‘s centenary (which you can read all about in the current edition of The Scented Letter, by the way) continue apace with the unveiling of a new addition to the much-loved Nobile range.
Kickstarted by Francis Kurkdjian and Françoise Caron‘s Iris Nobile in 2004, the collection puts individual blooms in the spotlight – and the latest flower to be its focus is the opulent, elegant peony: said to be a ‘flower of the gods and protagonist of ancient myths, its name originates from Paion, the physician of Olympus who cured Zeus with the root of this flower.’
We can’t vouch for that, but Acqua di Parma Peonia Nobile is wonderfully spirit-lifting, opening with a burst of raspberry and a twist of black pepper, before the heart unfolds: petal after peony petal, sharing space in the bottle with Turkish rose, the freshness of freesia, and sun-baked geranium. It lasts beautifully on the skin, too, thanks to woody accents of patchouli and musk, in the dry-down.
We honestly thank our lucky stars on many a day for the amazing sights and smells we encounter in the line of duty, but we’d also add that Acqua di Parma‘s Peonia Nobile launch was one of the prettiest we’ve ever seen, peonies unfurling all around a stunning room overlooking The Mall, filling the air with the powdery scent. Thought you’d enjoy some of our pictures, below…
It’s also put a new destination on our bucket list: northern Lazio, in central Italy, where the slopes are apparently carpeted with peonies in spring. Home to Europe’s largest collection, there are said to be 600 varieties – with over 200,000 flowers blooming simultaneously.
Peonia Nobile is exclusive to John Lewis till Monday 1st August, then nationwide – and wonderful news: it can also be lusciously layered on the body via a matching Body Cream, a glamorous addition to any nightstand and rich in fragrant and plant oils and butters. (And the perfect way to further prolong the life of the fragrance itself by creating a ‘base’ for it to cling to.)
Our kind of flower power.
Acua di Parma Peonia Nobile from £76 for 50ml eau de parfum
Acqua di Parma Peonia Nobile Body Cream £52 for 15og
Buy them at John Lewis (and nationwide from 1st August)

Peonies with the best possible view of London, Big Ben in the distance!

Surrounded by petals, a floral that’s fresh and opulent, all in one

Aptly sitting amongst a bunch of beautiful peonies

400 roses in a bottle? That’ll be Francis Kurkdjian’s new A la rose

The lusciousness of this visual for Francis Kurkdjian‘s newest (just-in-time-for-Valentine’s) launch. It’s roses, roses all the way – ‘the Queen of flowers’, as Francis puts it – and every bottle contains 250 Centifolia (May) roses from Grasse, together with 160 Damascena roses from Bulgaria.

It’s airily beautiful – Francis, as his fans know, has a wonderfully light touch, and this floral-woody creation is a gauzy, ‘see-through’ rose with a soft sensuality. Opening with bright Calabrian bergamot and Californian orange, pear and lychee add playful touches. In the heart, the rose garlands violet and magnolia blossoms, drizzled with honeyed sweetness, radiating absolute femininity.

Of course it doesn’t end there: musk and cedarwood blend with the Centifolia roses. It’s sexy, yes – but not overpowering (and airy enough to wear to the office, we’d say.

It may be winter outside, but it has us dreaming of summer, rose gardens and warm (but hot water bottle-free) nights.

Francis Kurkdjian From £145 for 70ml eau de parfum

Launching imminently at Liberty and Les Senteurs and available online now at

Written by Jo Fairley

Elie Saab Le Parfum Resort Collection has us dreaming of blue skies

There’s a particular shade of blue that immediately puts us in mind of cloudless skies, our skin being warmly kissed by the sun as a cool breeze tickles our hair and we languidly contemplate dip our toes into the deep blue of the shimmering infinity pool, beyond… Ah yes, we can practically hear the clink of ice-cubes in a glass of something refreshing carried toward us by a handsome waiter…

Well, if looking out the window right now drags you back down to earth from such a pleasing reverie, Elie Saab Le Parfum has managed to capture those glamorously warmer climes in an eye-cathing azure blue bottle. An updated version of the incredibly successful Le Parfum, the Resort Collection has been inspired by the French Riviera and the stunning 2015 fashion collection by Elie Saab.

Renowned for his use of elegantly flowing fabrics that swathe the female form, and stunning prints which keep the look young-at-heart but remain totally wearable – and lusted after – by women of all ages; Saab excels at celebrating modern yet ethereal femininity with an eye to screen goddesses of the past. We could totally see Grace Kelly flitting from one cocktail party to another in the French Riviera while wearing one of the exquisitely beaded and cleverly draped creations from the latest ready-to-wear collection – along with a fragrant trail of Elie Saab Le Parfum Resort Collection, of course.

Star perfumer Francis Kurkdjian (a busy man no matter what time of year it is!) took the juicy sunshine notes of the original and pared the sweetness down a little by using ripe fig – a slightly fresh yet decadently creamy touch of the exotic we can’t get enough of.

It can be difficult to find the perfect transitional perfume, sometimes; Something that lifts the spirits from the steely grey reality of the weather but doesn’t smell too freshly squeezed citrus or barely-there body-splash.
We think Elie Saab Le Parfum Resort Collection might be a perfect choice for February, when it’s officially launched, carrying you right through the first buds of spring and into the welcome embrace of full-on summer.
Along with the new note of fig, we have an intoxicating mixture of orange blossom and jasmine with the divinely feminine frangipani – a clever blend of solar floral and delicious gourmand, this latest addition to the Elie Saab fragrance portfolio invites us to imagine a tranquil, warm holiday seascape, this characterful Resort is one you’ll want to revisit time and again.

Read more about Elie Saab

Elie Saab Resort Collection £47 for 50ml eau de toilette
Try it at House of Fraser

Written by Suzy Nightingale