creating a “wardrobe”

Francis Kurkdjian, photographed October 2012 in New York City.

Paris-based perfumer and maestro nose Francis Kurkdjian returned to New York City recently, and I was lucky enough to snag an interview with the legend in the making himself. I mean, how many fragrance experts are tapped to procure and create an exclusive scent for an exclusive store such as Bergdorf Goodman to mark its anniversary?

We met downtown at Osswald NYC, the U.S. outpost of the very Swiss and legendary retailer. The store is a beautiful fragrance haven in lower Manhattan that in addition to Bergdorf’s, has the exclsuve goodies of Maision Francis Kurkdjian, the fragrance “wardrobe” Kurkdjian is masterfully building.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian at Osswald NYC.

His recent release “Amyris” is a delicious, sensual and somewhat telling scent. As Kurkdjian explains, “its head is in Jamaica, its heart in Florence”.  It is both feminine and masculine, sweet and strong and “inspired by the same flamboyant freshness”.

And fresh it is. Amyris includes notes of Californian orange, which may bring to mind some of the citrus notes in  “Aqua Universalis”, the cult scent from Kurkdjian that seems to always be sold out when I want a bottle.

In creating Amyris, Kurkdjian explained his fragrance collection is a sort of “wardrobe”, consisting of some essential items, just as a clothing collection would. And with each new scent, there is a “master” piece. Or in this case, “note”. His inspirations are diverse, he says, and in creating Amyris it was the beloved iris flower that drove him. “Iris is a very important note [in perfumes] because it has an extraordinary capacity. It can be sheer, almost like a cloud, in some instances”.

Amyris is now part of my fragrance “wardrobe”. Check out Maison Francis Kurkdjian and its growing collection. Notable scents worth a sniff–Oud and Aqua Universalis. In Paris, his gorgeous and namesake flagship can be found at 5, Rue d’ Alger.


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