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Francis Kurkdjian : Recipe for a Great Perfumer

October 14, 2010
Francis Kurkdjian

A remarkably talented perfumer, a creator of his own brand, a former ballet dancer, Francis Kurkdjian represents an idea of a Renaissance man. He first became famous for Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male, which became of the defining masculine fragrances for the 1990s. Subsequently, he created a wide array of scents, from airy Elizabeth Arden Green Tea to smoldering Christian Dior Eau Noire. He also has his own eponymous line. Below are a few excerpts from a good interview Kurkdjian gave to Kanokporn Chanasongkram of Bangkok Post (originally published on September 2005.)

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Serge Lutens Interview : "all my perfumes are sixty six years old"

January 05, 2009

Photographer, artist, visionaire… The name of Serge Lutens evokes both his beautiful photographs that recall the Japanese woodblock prints and his perfumes that reinvented the concept of luxury and art in perfumery. Born in Lille, Serge Lutens found himself moved by Morocco in 1968 and Japan in 1970. His collaboration with Shiseido in 1981 resulted with the launch of enigmatic Nombre Noir. In 1992, Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido were born in order to provide a setting for Serge Lutens’ rich collection of olfactory art.

It is my pleasure to bring you an interview with Serge Lutens, who kindly agreed to answer my questions about his creations, inspirations and views on perfumery and art in general.

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Ralf Schwieger : Portrait of an Artist

July 10, 2006


The winter light is casting pearly grey shadows upon Paris, as if transforming the city into a sepia photograph. The neat rows of trees in the Jardins des Tuileries are shrouded in a light mist which also covers the tall towers of the Museum and hovers above the transparent glass facades of the Pyramide. Looking up I glimpse the glow of lights inside the galleries containing treasures of art for which the Louvre is rightfully renowned. However, today I do not intend to enter its halls, because my purpose is to meet the perfumer behind fragrances which themselves can be termed works of art. Although it is the first time we meet, it is not difficult to pick Ralf Schwieger out of the crowd. The man approaching me has a handsome face that recalls paintings of Romantic period artists. He is dressed in a tailored black jacket which further completes the portrait. Although he is a relatively young perfumer, Mr. Schwieger is the author of several noteworthy fragrances such as Hermès Eau des Merveilles, Frédéric Malle Lipstick Rose, Marc Jacobs Men, Paula Dorf Zita and Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll. Given the incredible growth of competition within the industry, such a portfolio speaks for itself. ...

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Interview with Perfumer Sophia Grojsman

March 12, 2006


To say that Sophia Grojsman is responsible for a revolution in perfumery would not be an overstatement, because her unique vision ushered in a new style of fragrances that broke with the traditional classical forms formerly prevalent. Indeed, she is a Picasso of perfumery, with her fragrances unfolding into visions that were as progressive as they were breathtaking. Just like Cubism fragmented three-dimensional forms, intertwining the elements in such a way as to present multiple views of the same subject, Sophia Grojsman’s fragrances changed one’s perspective by allowing the base notes to be visible from the top. ...

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Excerpts from Barney's Interview with Serge Lutens

January 18, 2006


Work interferes today, therefore I do not have a review. Instead, I would like to share a very interesting interview with Serge Lutens I discovered via Barney's catalogue. After reading it, I feel inspired to wear Ambre Sultan today.

Why fragrance? After years as a make-up artist and photographer, what attracted you to this world?
I don’t think that I’ve switched from one world to another. I believe that it is an extension of myself in other realms of creativity. In that sense I can say that my fragrances make me grow creatively. As for my choices, things are not always what they seem. For instance, in the first part of my life, make-up for me was not really about make-up. Images were what it was all about. For me, perfume making is a language. Essences for me are what words could be for a writer. They are tools of expression. ...

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