The Montreal Musuem of Fine Arts is a place I frequent often. I saw a wonderful Exhibition on Cuba a few years ago, and the interactive Yves Saint Laurent exhibition a couple of months later, just to name a few.
Currently, there is a Jean-Paul Gaultier exhibition on display. I decided to check it out a few weeks ago. It was thought-provoking, interesting, wacky and at times, random. Just like JPG!
One thing I didn’t see much of was his fragrances. It makes sense that there would be an emphasis on his fashion and the inspiration behind it all. Maybe it’s just me, but I wish the actual exhibition was scented. Just to bring about another perspective and to compliment all his great work. All I kept thinking, was “whoa! I wish I could smell Le Male right now, I mean the picture of the ad is right here!”
Either way, I’m here to tell you about the man behind many of JPG’s fragrances.
Francis Kurkdjian is a powerhouse. A man who describes his style as having no style, meaning he is versatile, unable to stay within the box (lucky for us!) and always pushing boundaries.
His career as a perfumer has been an inspiration to me. He is now a member of an elite group of perfumers who have worked hard to get to where they are today. Working for Quest, after finishing his studies at ISIPCA, he has impressed with his ability to think quick, giving us proof of his raw talent and his determination.
He is the mastermind responsible for Le Male which was an instant success and continues to be a popular scent among men now. It has an undeniable staying power and has been synonymous with the JPG brand for years. Can’t hurt that it smells delicious too (bergamot, lavender, orange blossom, vanilla, cinnamon and sandalwood- I’m here to set the record straight: yes, women love it.)
JPG had asked Kurkdjian to create a masculine scent that didn’t correspond with what was out at the time; strong orientals for example, heady, heavy and opulent (think Opium pour Homme.) He created an a-typical scent that pushed boundaries and varied from the norm, all at the age of twenty-five!
He created Narciso Rodriguez for Him, a few for Kenzo and Juliette Has a Gun (Lady Vengeance anyone?) as well as the divine Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile alongside the great Francoise Caron (she is probably most well-known for creating the amazing, too good for words Ombre Rose for Jean-Charles Brosseau, among many other incredibly crafted creations.)
Most importantly, he has come out with his own bespoke line Maison Francis Kurkdjian. This is his crowning achievement. Both Lumiere Noire pour Homme and pour Femme are so well done, it’s hard not to see what all the fuss is about. If you’re a fan of the Mediterranean and unisex scents, then Absolue pour le Matin is for you and if you’re willing to go darker, then Absolute pour le Soir is just breathtaking.
If you get a chance to smell any of these, let me know! It’s such a treat, and I hope to one day meet him in my perfumed journey. It is always so inspiring to see someone like him out there, doing his thing, and bringing so much light into our scented experiences. So well done Mr. Kurkdjian, we eagerly wait for more of your scentscapes!