NEW FRAGRANCE DUO

To complete Francis Kurkdjian’s fragrance wardrobe, he launched PLURIEL.

Bursts of floral scents for the féminin Pluriel, and classic manly scent for the masculin Pluriel. Simple yet elegant 70ml packaging with Rose Gold cap for the féminin (EDP) and titanium cap for the masculin (EDT). 

Here are their notes:

  • Féminin Pluriel: Florentine Iris to Violet, Grasse Rose, Egyptian Jasmine, Lily of the valley, Orange Blossom & Indonesian (yes, Indonesian) patchouli.
  • Masculin Pluriel: Lavender from Provence, Eastern red cedar, vetiver from Haiti and (yes again) Indonesian Patchouli.

Available in September 2014 in Papilion Duo, Jakarta. 

A CHIC TRAVELER’S COMPANION

Seems like my problem about having to carry a big glass perfume bottle for traveling is over. Thanks to Maison Francis Kurkdjian who just launched GLOBE TROTTER.

Yes, you’ve been there also right? You love to smell good while traveling, but you have to think twice to put your favorite perfume bottle (especially the glass ones) inside your hand carry bag due to those traveling regulations & standards. Not too mention, it’s fragile (hello, it made from glass, people!) and heavy with a chance of spilling all over your belongings. Ouch! Worry no more as GLOBE TROTTER come to the beauty rescue. GLOBE TROTTER from Maison Francis Kurkdjian is a savvy travel spray case (currently only available in Zinc color for Indonesia’s market), with a pack of three fragrance refills which sold separately (currently only available in Aqua Universalis Forte). Just slip a vial inside the case and voila! You’re ready to travel with this chic companion. 

Inspired by Francis Kurkdjian’s trip around the world, this special case can store an interchangeable glass vial of his fragrance. Fits perfectly in my hands, perfect for hand carry bag, too. Bonus point: this luxurious fragrance traveling case will securely holds the vial with a magnetic clasp and a chic fine leather pouch

For me, it’s very travel friendly and very good looking (thank God I’m not into girly stuffs). And I just can’t wait for others fragrance refills scents to be available here in Indonesia.

 

SCENTS & SENSIBILITY

Thanks to Living at The Papilion, I was able to meet the person behind the fragrance I’m wearing.

Francis Kurkdjian, Master Perfumer, Co-Founder of Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris was here in Jakarta, Indonesia yesterday. And lucky me, I was invited by Living at The Papilion to meet him and had a chat with him & fellow press. Check out my twitter @shintarosvita for my pic side by side with Francis!

Anyway, Francis was here to introduce Maison Francis Kurkdjian new scented range for the body. Five new body creams were added to his collection: Aqua Vitae, Amyris, APOM, Lumiere Noire Femme and OUD. Each was created in perfect harmony with the same name fragrances.

Why body cream? “Body cream is important. Some people just like to wear body creams only. And I think it’s important to have consistency in the range. They’re a favorite in the US and Europe. Very good for the skin as they’re very rich,” said Francis.

Surprise, surprise…In my lazy (OK, super lazy) days when I didn’t even bother to spray any perfumes, I always count on my shower gel and body cream. But what do you expect if you purchased those typical shower gels or body creams from the grocery racks? Scents will be gone once you walked out that door. So, imagine my happiness when my favorite perfume now has a scented body cream. Not just enhancing the perfume, the body cream is nourishing and moisturizing (thanks to Shea Butter extract as one of the main ingredient). And lately (thanks to aging), my skin needs more than just ordinary body lotion which didn’t work well like it had before. So, body cream in thicker texture is my skin savior, especially if I have to spend time indoor with AC on for 24 hours. My favorite? Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Vitae Scented Body Cream. Carrying the same fragrance whose name it bare, (Aqua Vitae) with notes like Lemon from Calibria, Mandarin from Sicily, Tonka bean and Gaiac wood, it’s fresh, light yet sensual like a second skin.

Always remember that layering is a trick to wear the perfume you already have, BETTER! This will extend your favorite Maison Francis Kurkdjian scent throughout your day, especially in our weather.

FACTS ABOUT FRANCIS:

  • He teaches (for five years now) at a perfumery school named ISIPCA Versailles (outside Paris), which he graduated from in 1993.
  • Most of his students are female (considering there are more male perfumers out there).
  • Between 1995 and 2013, he already designed more than 40 fragrances for luxury & fashion brands, such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Lanvin, Dior, YSL and Elie Saab.
  • His average time to produce one fragrance is 18 months (even though he admitted that he’s not a very patient person when it comes to work).
  • He only wears a fragrance that he’s currently working on. Once it was created, he won’t wear it anymore. He confessed that he’s only using Maison Francis Kurkdjian Liquid Detergent to wash his clothes.

 

NEW FRAGRANCES TO HAVE AND TO HOLD

Once you went niche, there’ll be no turning back.

At least, that’s how I feel about niche fragrances. Somehow, they attracted me with their specific, unique blending and simple packaging. Let’s just say they succumbed me with their intellectually stimulating scents.

Two of my favorite brands are Diptyque and Maison Francis Kurkdjian. Both from Paris, and what I’ve learned from my previous visits to the city of love, most of the people there really appreciate nice scents. Once, a hotel receptionist (an old guy) in a Paris’ hotel complimented me on the scent that I was wearing. I know, right?

The latest launch in Indonesia for the two brands are Diptyque Eau Moheli and Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Vitae. Both in EDT, light and fresh for warmer days.

Dyptique Eau Moheli is a bit on the sweeter scent, coming from a flower ylang-ylang which grows and harvested on Moheli, one of the smallest islands in Comoros, the Indian Ocean. The latest addition to the Floral Water Collection (after Eau Rose a few years back), Eau Moheli is a beautiful bouquet of exotic flowers scent mixed with green notes, peppery spices and woody notes. The most interesting part about the tropical flower ylang-ylang used for this fragrance, they have to be cut every week at dawn, or else they will loose their scent. And the distillation process which conducted locally can take up to 20 hours. Considered a summer fragrance, Dyptique Eau Moheli is perfect for those who want floral fragrance without being too flowery.

The other must have fragrance in our warm climate is Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Vitae. Inspired by one of Francis’ own trip to Formentera in the Balearic island (at the Mediterranean), when one afternoon he rides an old motorbike. It was blazing hot, but the cool wind touched his face. That beautiful feelings created Aqua Vitae, the water of life. Citrusy, woody and musky, it’s an easy, simple fragrance for man and woman. Lemon from Calabria, Mandarin from Sicily, Tonka Bean from Brazil, vanilla infusion, hedione and guaiac wood were chosen by Francis to make this relaxing scent. Yes, somehow I personally feel that it’s such a relaxing fragrance, soft like second skin but better.

What I love about both fragrances, even though they come in EDT, don’t let the light textures fooled you. They sit on my skin quite long during my active days and don’t you just love when your fragrance stayed close to you all the time? I know I did. 

STEP FORWARD IN PERFUMERY

If you choose a cashmere sweater from a high end brand because you think about the quality of the material and the longevity of having & enjoying it, then you’re already a step forward.

Are you also ready to take a step forward in your choice of perfume? Now, you can experience something entirely different and totally unexpected out of the Oud Mood collection from Maison Francis Kurkdjian.
Especially for the Indonesia’s launch of these unique perfumes, Marc Chaya, President &co-founder of Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris kindly shared with me and fellow press about the goods of Oud.
Oud is a very powerful scent, used by people in the middle east,” explain Marc. He later explained that most perfumers mixed Oud with incense to make it more acceptable. “It’s not a DNA of French perfumery. French school of perfumery is all about floral.” Even though Francis Kurkdjian himself did resistant about adding Oud to his perfumer palette at the first place, this raw material become OUD, the embryo for Oud Mood collection in February 2012, after Marc convinced him.
The Oud that we’re using, come from Laos when they’re growing naturally like a fungus. They’re like a disease which formed white resins around trees. Oud is the second most expensive essential oil in the world after Iris. It cost us US$65.000 per kilo, and we need 5 tons to make 1 liter of essential oil.”
Just like its’ predecessor, the trio in Oud Mood Collection are not all about Oud. We will only feel a fraction of Oud which wrapped with other interesting scents. “Rough and brutal Oud, wrapped up with the softness of rare and soft fabrics,” said Marc about the Silk Mood, Velvet Mood & Cashmere Mood, three extraits de parfum from Oud Mood Collection. No ordinary perfumes indeed, as they’re concentrated with 30% pure essential oil (that’s 10% more than ordinary Eau De Parfum).
Smooth as silk, Silk Mood is the lightest and the most feminine of them all. Created in Francis’ mind as a genderless perfume, this perfume extract wrapped up Oud with Bulgarian Rose, Blue Chamomile from Morocco and Papyrus. Expect to scent a very Oud scent became airy like a caressed rose petals on our skin.
Luxurious like cashmere, Cashmere Mood is definitely not for the faint of heart. Imagine walking inside an all leather store, as it’s very leathery, thanks to Moroccan Labdanum, Benzoin from Laos and Vanilla which enhanced the Oud. I imagine a very sophisticated man (with a nice leather shoes) owned this.
Mysterious like velvet, Velvet Mood is the purest and closest interpretation of OUD, the predecessor, released with cinnamon from Ceylon, saffron and exotic Copahu Balm from Brazil. It goes dark yet give those majestic and royal sense.
After attending the exclusive launch of Oud Mood in The Library at The Dharmawangsa Hotel, Jakarta, Indonesia, I really believe that Oud is not for those commercial (read: mass market) type. For those who embrace life and of course, Oud fanatics, Oud Silk Mood, Oud Cashmere Mood & Oud Velvet Mood will be a permanent collection. Available in 70ml Extrait de Parfum (price TBA in Indonesia), it’s a perfect way to enjoy your fine life just like the cashmere parable mentioned above.

 

PERFECT PAIR

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?