This is a serious question: if you’re wearing a fragrance, do you really know who is the real master behind the fragrance? The real genius who created it from scratch based on their own inspiration or others? 

Perfumers used to be behind the curtain, because the fragrance industry is more driven by the fashion houses. But lately, there are more recognition from the industry for the perfumers,” said Marc Chaya, President &co-founder of Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris, when he visited Jakarta, Indonesia yesterday. We’re lucky to have Francis’ creations for Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s fragrance collection in Jakarta, as they selected their retailers very carefully. Over 150 premium retailers around the world carry their collection, to name a few: Bergdorf Goodman, Harvey Nichols, Neiman Marcus, Isetan and Joyce. 

Marc who met Francis about 5 years ago, was in Jakarta to launch the latest fragrance from the luxury fragrance house. This time, they come in pair, Amyris. The inspiration behind the name? “It’s a very beautiful name. In French, Amyris comes from the word Ame (means: soul) and Iris. Amyris is an essential oil that grows from a beautiful little tree in Jamaica which have orange powdery scent.”

“Amyris is a definition of effortless sophistication. Amyris can be a fragrance for hard working women, either working as a career woman or simply raising children, who still wants to have fun by the end of the day but have no time to get ready. The idea is just to wear the fragrance and you can feel extra sophisticated in an instant,” he later explained.

In this case, sophistication really didn’t come cheap, as Iris from Florence (used as one of the ingredients) counts as one of the most expensive essential oil in the fragrance industry. “There are only five flowers in the world that can be extracted to essential oil. And Iris is one of them. It’s more expensive than gold. One liter of essential oil cost 110 thousand Euros. And to produce one liter of essential oil, we need 10.000 kg of flowers. Yes, Iris is one of the beautiful and rare flower in the fragrance industry,” Marc added. 

Amyris from Jamaica and Iris from Florence, Californian Orange, Vetiver from Haiti and Amber, created a floral, woody and luminous scent for Amyris Femme. Meanwhile, Amyris Homme retain its luminosity by combining Amyris and Iris with Rosemary from Morocco, Mandarin from Sicily, Tonka Beans from Brazil and sandalwood. Unlike the previous Aqua Universalis that can be share and considered a genderless fragrance, I wonder why divide them into two genders? Marc gave me and some media friends an explanation, “Lot’s of women love to use men’s fragrance. Like you can wear a man’s shirt and look sexy in it. But, the other way around, I don’t think so.”

Being one who doesn’t go with the flow and never in life using a man’s fragrance, or either using my other half’s shirt to look sexy or appear sensual, I’ll stick to Amyris Femme, thank you. Do I like it? No, I love it! It’s ultra feminine and it comes in Eau De Parfum which will stay forever if you spray it on your hair. It melts really well with my skin in this crazy hot climate and yes, it makes me feel expensive. As for Amyris Homme, I can feel the freshness of green notes with just a touch of masculinity, which left me questioning myself, should I begin my experience with a men’s fragrance?