My Paris Stories

Francis Kurkdjians wonderland of scents

Have a look at his displays and you’ll feel like you're being drawn into another world like Alicewas sucked into Wonderland. It is like a miniature version of Baz Lurhmann's film Moulin Rouge.

Besides the main display, which allows you to look into the boutique, Mr. Kurkdjian has created a second showcase: inside Paris en miniature. It’s pure poetry. The Eiffel Tower lights up from time to time, the huge Ferris wheel turns just like the carousel and the sails of the Moulin Rouge. Here and there a perfume bottle appears and disappears again.

"One of the edgiest perfumers in the one-off niche"

You can immediately feel that this guy is an artist. At just 25, Francis Kurkdjian had concocted his first scent for Jean Paul Gaultier, Le mâle. He worked for Yves-Saint Laurent, Guerlain and many others. Six years later he had already been awarded with the Prix François Coty for his life's work. For several years he travelled the world meeting his clients with a mobile laboratory in which he carried an assortment of essences. But last year, in 2009, he finally set up his own house, called Maison Francis Kurkdjian on rue Alger, near Place Vendôme. It is inspired by the covered passages of Paris and Jean-Hugues de Chatillon, a scenographer for the Paris opera and ballet, created the interiors.

Perfumers now bring more than 300 new scents to market every year, but according to the New York Times, Mr. Kurkdjian surely is „one of the edgiest players in the one-off niche“. He was not born in Grasse, he is French-Armenian and before becoming a perfumer he studied piano and dance. “Paris was at the heart of my inspiration,” he says. “My travels take me away, but they also bring me back to my City and its heterogeneous population, to its light and the shade of its monuments, the grey of its rooftops and the bursts of magic as its golden spires puncture  its incredible skyline here and there. Paris inspires the universe of my House: grey, zinc and gold.”

Maison Francis Kurkdjian
5, rue d'Alger
75001 Paris
+33 (0)1 42 60 07 07

Photos:
Francis Kurkdjian