Why you need an ‘olfactory wardrobe’ | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Grand Soir is a woodsy oriental blend.
Petit Matin is bright and citrusy.
Petit Matin is bright and citrusy.


We’ve always been taught to search for that one signature scent that defines us—that perfect blend that marries well with our skin chemistry and creates a lingering olfactory memory of ourselves.


While the idea of a signature scent is very alluring, Thanos Orros, international sales and business development manager for Maison Francis Kurkdjian, explains why this doesn’t quite work.


“Francis Kurkdjian goes away from the notion that every person has only one fragrance for themselves, and likens it to us changing clothes depending on our mood and what surrounds us.”


Several scents


It does make sense. In the same way that you wouldn’t pair a smoky eye with your workout gear, your go-to baby cologne will feel out of place when paired with a formal gown—hence the “olfactory wardrobe.”


In effect, why limit yourself to one scent when you can wear several signature scents to suit your mood, your wardrobe and the season?


Maison Francis Kurkdjian is a 20-year-old fragrance atelier established by Kurkdjian and Marc Chaya. Kurkdjian differentiates himself from other perfumers by infusing elements of fine art, history and architecture into the development of each scent.


You can see this immediately in the bottle that houses his scents: the glass bottle’s cut and shape were inspired by flacons found in luxury vintage trunks, while the caps, either in a rough gray zinc or shiny gold finish, are nods to Paris’ zinc roofs and gold domes.


The “Globetrotter” flask, a refillable metal container for travel-size fragrance, is a heavy hexagonal case that looks and feels luxurious.

Grand Soir is a woodsy oriental blend.
Grand Soir is a woodsy oriental blend.

In keeping with its olfactory wardrobe concept, Maison Francis Kurkdjian categorizes its scents according to the situation. “Les essentiels” are everyday scents; “Easy to wear” for effortless elegance; “Cocktail lounge” for a haughtier, standoffish line of fragrances suited for a night out; and “Oud,” a heavier, sensual line that marries European and Middle Eastern “scentsibilities.”


Ode to Paris


At the sneak preview of Kurkdjian’s latest addition to his fragrance lineup, we got to meet his ode to the lights of Paris, two very distinct scents that are polar opposites yet inspired by the same thing.

“Petit Matin,” a bright, citrusy scent with a melange of Indonesian Litsea cubeba, Calabrian lemon, hawthorn and Provençal lavandin, was inspired by a Paris morning, with nothing but empty streets and the breaking of first light.


“Grand Soir” is as different from its twin as night from day. This ode to the wild Parisian evening is a woodsy/oriental blend of soft vanilla, benzoin from Siam, and tonka bean from Brazil and finished with Cistus labdanum from Spain.


“It’s almost ‘animalistic,’” says Orros to describe the heady appeal of “Grand Soir.”


“Petit Matin” is a light, airy fragrance that instantly smells like an everyday go-to fragrance. “Grand Soir” is bold and sharp, but dries down sweet and feminine, one of those fragrances that you can’t quite describe, but one your nose will keep following and smelling in an attempt to pin it down.


Other bestsellers in Manila include Aqua Universalis, A la rose and Satin Oud.


Maison Francis Kurkdjian is available at Adora and Rustan’s Shangri-La Plaza. The new fragrances will be available on Sept. 1.

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