Modern, evocative, and sophisticated–just some of the qualities that French perfume house, Maison Francis Kurkdjian is beloved for.
Gifted with an exceptional eye for detail and a nose for sensorial story-telling, the modern day maison was created by master perfumer Francis Kurkdjian and co-founder and CEO Marc Chaya. In an industry that has no shortage of commercial, marketing-driven scents, the duo burst forth with a celebrated take on contemporary perfume-making. In just over a decade, the Paris-based fragrance house bestowed upon us generation-defining perfumes such as Baccarat Rouge 540 and Aqua Vitae.
And now, Singapore gets to experience the richness of the maison as it debuts in the heart of the Lion City. Situated in Takashimaya shopping centre, the flagship juxtaposes the best of classic and modern aesthetics with Lutetian limestone, also known as ‘Paris stone’, laced with gold and wooden detailing. The brand’s artistic sensibility is distilled down to the details–from their boutique’s luminous interior, to the fragrances’ crystal-like packaging. In this elevated space, contemporary perfume lovers are invited to fully immerse themselves in their own personal scent journeys.
The codes of Maison Francis Kurkdjian
“Since we started the maison, our dream was to bring joy,” Chaya explains. “We love to see you smile; to bring joy through an uplifting journey through fragrances, where you can wear extraordinary scents on your skin.”
So what sets Maison Francis Kurkdjian apart from the rest? For starters, there’s the visionary Francis Kurkdjian himself who is given carte blanche to create what his heart desires. Here, you’ll find no pressure from focus groups or perfume wishlists dictated by marketing teams: just imagination gone wild. Chaya recalls the genesis of the Parisian brand, “It was a necessity to create a platform for Francis Kurkdjian to express his creative talents freely. Everything we do is the reflection and celebration of this genius.”
Naturally, Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s philosophy runs counter-cultural to that of the industry. In Chaya’s eyes, gone are the days when one signature scent ruled our vanities.
“The house also celebrates the freedom to choose. We want to move away from the dogma of a one man or one woman scent all your life. A lot of people come to us and say “I haven’t yet found my signature scent” and my answer to them is, “have you found your signature dress, your signature make-up? Your signature hair cut, your signature accessories?” We are much more diverse than that,” says Chaya.
In a refreshing take, the house is helping us relearn the beauty of creative freedom in fragrance wearing: wear what you like, when you like—outdated rules be damned. Driven by the vision to create a tangible scent wardrobe, the house empowers individuals with the power to build an enduring collection centred around their evolving individuality.
“Fragrance is an invisible accessory that is here to empower you, to make you feel complete,” Chaya shares.
“You’re not the same woman or the same man every day,” Chaya reasons. “One of the most beautiful things that I do every morning is decide which scent is going to complement how I feel. Sometimes I feel sunshine, sometimes I want to feel dramatic, and sometimes I want to be seductive. Sometimes I just want to be discreet and left alone. And perfume is an invisible accessory that shares a part of you with others.”
If you resonate with this multifaceted take on fragrance accessorising, it’s time to step into Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s journey of a dozen scents, beginning with these six essential perfumes.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s bestsellers
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Maison Francis Kurkdjian 724
From the maison’s fresh take on big cities and fashionably sleepless nights comes this sophisticated and trendy scent. This energetic fragrance begins with a fresh urban accord, dancing into an airy aura enriched by white jasmine and sandalwood. 724’s musky, white floral notes will transport you to the sleepless metropolis in a New York minute.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian 724, $335 for 70ml eau de parfum, available at Maison Francis Kurkdjian Takashimaya and escentials
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Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540
“When you wear Baccarat Rouge, people stop you on the street; they ask you what you are wearing. It’s an extraordinary scent,” shares Chaya. “It has this je ne sais quoi, this magical power.”
A show-stopping scent is not out of reach with the Baccarat Rouge 540. Before going viral on TikTok, the amber floral scent had already scored top billing in the hearts of many a perfumista. The intoxicating scent, lifted by saffron and jasmine, is apt for any occasion–from business meetings to brunch dates.
“Baccarat Rouge is the reflection of Francis’s genius of creativity. It’s a masterpiece. It is a new family in the fragrance world, it’s a sweet scent yet it’s airy, so it’s not heavy,” Chaya explains. “It’s not uber sweet, yet it has this beautiful sweetness and this airiness and the combination of both brings a lot of attraction.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540, $400 for 70ml eau de parfum, available at Maison Francis Kurkdjian Takashimaya and escentials
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Maison Francis Kurkdjian Gentle Fluidity Gold and Silver
Indulge in the twin silhouettes of the Gentle Fluidity Duo–birthed from the same notes but diverging into different identities. For days that need a slow and sweet build up, Gentle Fluidity Gold is your best bet with its amber vanilla notes, delivering a radiant yet delicate scent. When in need of more sharpness, pick up the Gentle Fluidity Silver and spritz away for a fizzy and spicy contrast.
As Chaya puts it, “there is freedom to choose which one fits your personality [for the day] more. These fragrances are about the idea of gender fluidity coming into fragrance.”
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Gentle Fluidity Gold, $290 for 70ml eau de parfum; Maison Francis Kurkdjian Gentle Fluidity Silver, $290 for 70ml eau de parfum, available at Maison Francis Kurkdjian Takashimaya and escentials
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Maison Francis Kurkdjian Oud Satin Mood
“Ten years ago, you would never have thought that an elegant Singaporean woman could wear Oud Satin, but today, she is,” muses Chaya.
First unveiled in 2015, this deliciously elegant yet sultry scent has risen to become a collector’s item. The Oud Satin Mood provides a perfectly harmonious platform for those looking to venture into the rare ingredient. For first date nights or moments of intimacy, let this woody amber scent lead the way.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Oud Satin Mood, $385 for 70ml eau de parfum, available at Maison Francis Kurkdjian Takashimaya and escentials
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Maison Francis Kurkdjian Grand Soir
For a scent as luxurious as it looks, pick up the Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Grand Soir. Dripping with rich amber and vanilla, these sweet, honeyed notes dry down into a sophisticated yet undoubtedly scrumptious scent. To make a head-turning impression, consider this liquid gold perfume that deepens in personality in our balmy climes.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Grand Soir, $290 for 70ml eau de parfum, available at Maison Francis Kurkdjian Takashimaya and escentials
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Maison Francis Kurkdjian À La Rose
Celebrated by Chaya as one of the maison’s most tremendous success, À La Rose serves as a paean of praise for roses. Initially only available in Japan, the rest of the world is now invited to bask in the sparkling aroma of this delicate scent. Clean, bright, and crisp–the fragrance, decorated with bergamot, orange, musk and cedar, will appeal to more than just the average rose enthusiast.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian À La Rose, $335 for 75ml eau de parfum, available at Maison Francis Kurkdjian Takashimaya and escentials
Discover Maison Francis Kurkdjian Boutique at Takashimaya S.C., Ngee Ann City 391 Orchard Road #B1-35, Singapore 238872. Tel: 6235 0593