Maison Francis Kurkdjian launches Amyris Femme & Homme

by Katie on October 7, 2012

When I met the inspiring Francis Kurkdjian a month or so ago, he was in flow. He was launching his latest releases Amyris for Homme & Femme as well as preparing an original and innovative ‘scent’ design for the Jacques-Emile Blanche exhibition for the Pierre Berge Yves Saint Laurent Foundation, which opens 11th Oct in Paris. (NB. Kurkdjian created Kouros Eau d’Ete for the brand). 

Kurkdjian was also simultaneously working on projects for Bulgari and Bergdorfs. The latter involved him creating an exclusive fragrance to toast the 10th anniversary of his bespoke perfumery workshop. Kurkdjian celebrated by creating a ludicrously beautiful and justifiably expensive limited edition fragrance (only 20 released) housed in an elegant Saint-Louis crystal bottle which was launched at the Grand Palais and is exclusively available at Bergdorf Goodman and Maison Francis Kurkdjian (priced $11,000).

Francis was also starting to re-take ballet classes and feeling the strain (he trained in ballet for 15 years) as well as working on his Fall’13 creation. Monsier Kurkdjian is a creative force and lots of energetic fun with it. He’s immediately amiable and forthcoming and the type of dinner companion you pray you get seated next to. And that’s before he starts talking of his love of fragrance. It’s clear this perfumer is more akin to ‘out-there’ artist than chemist. And we reap the benefits of this.

Kurkdjian sees each of his new creations as a journey and likes to make sure the wearer takes in the scenery as well as enjoying the arrival.

With his latest releases, Amyris, Kurkdjian was inspired on this journey by catching sight of a beautiful young couple arriving on motorbike at a Parissiene cafe on a sunny Spring day and of the light, hope and vitality each of them radiated. Which makes sense, as, for an Autumn fragrance, this is decidedly light and breezy. Light being caught in a city headwind on a clear day that blows in country scents from far away.
Amyris (Femme) is a nonchalant kind of fragrance. It’s feminine and subtly sexy but doesn’t try too hard in a jeans-white-t-shirt-and-pointed-cowboy-boots kinda’ way. It’s far too youthful to be refined and ladylike and doesn’t care a jot for rules or convention for that matter. She’s your veritable epitome of youth that would get right on your nerves if you were sharing a holiday with her but you’d still find her charming (with a lot of growing up to do). Amyris (Femme) is engaging. Not overpowering or even noticeable at first but gently, gently catchy wearer, the fragrance makes it mark with its light lemony zest, Californian orange, Jamaican amyris with hints of Florentine iris. The musky amber and vetiver is never far away and provides the anchor for this light-hearted, flighty filly. It’s a contrasting combination that anyone could wear but best suited for those in love with a younger approach.
As is becoming predictable, I prefer the boys. Amyris Homme is a far more interesting character – more rounded and stable while having a glint in his eye yet still reeking of mischief and pheremones and deeply, deeply sexy. This newbie may prefer the older woman, thankfully.

Amyris Homme is the fragrance you’d wish your other half would wear so you could catch hints of it on his neck, wrists, discarded shirts and sheets. The pull between attraction and obsession and the dilemma of ‘do I like him or his fragrance more?’. This is a complex yet compelling release that attracts from the first sniff. There’s more exoticism here in the Moroccan rosemary, Brazilian tonka bean absolute and a hint of coconut that seems to contrast more greatly and raise its game with the Sicilian mandarin, Jamaican amyris and Florentine iris. Like the scent of suntan oil drying on a handsome body while catching sent of lemons and drinking cool white wine on a hot Sicilian day, Amyris Homme is a catch. It has me hooked. 

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Amyris Femme (£115) & Homme (£105) are sold exclusively from and

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