Maison Francis Kurkdjian - Petit Matin & Grand Soir

Review by Luke Singleton

Image by David Newton

Sensual and deeply personal, scents evoke a sense of nostalgia and revive memories once intimate. Gifting fragrance strikes an effortlessly elegant tone, somewhere between sentiment and ardor, without tipping into the saccharine. In an oversaturated market, the old-time wisdom still counts; when in doubt- go French. Today, this applies as much to men as it does to women.

Francis Kurkdjian’s expert nose and discerning instincts, has kept him an industry-insider favourite since debuting his eponymous house in 2009, and his scents are for the most part gender neutral. Launched in Fall 2016 as unisex, multi-purpose fragrances, Petit Matin and Grand Soir – ‘Little Day’ and ‘Grand Evening’ - are seasonal scents of exceptional depth and long-lasting quality. Essential as light and temperature to planetary rotation, this duo performs a day-to-night repertoire, which is equal parts provenance and sophistication. Just as the Earth tilts away from the sun in winter, a subtle performance of contrasts anchors these opposing scents into a complex narrative that evokes the grand drama of the change in seasons.

Ideal for sploshing on first thing before striding out to seize the day, Petit Matin is an aromatic green fragrance with refreshing prowess. Combining the luminous energy of Italian lemon and Orange Blossom, with the floral softness of Lavender and Hawthorn from Provence, the polarizing ingredient here is Ambroxan, which undercuts the citric sweetness with a musky, powdery depth. Capturing the mood for evening, Grand Soir is a rich Oriental scent with bold atmosphere, where base notes of soft Vanilla and warm Benzoin (a balsamic resin) from Siam, combine with the deep darkness of Spanish Cistus Labdanum to simulate a heady orchestra for the senses. Unmistakeably mature and unabashedly exotic, this is a delicious noir scent for those with a romantic predisposition.

Combining ingredients in a way that is unusual, curious and memorable, Francis Kurkdjian has created two modern aromas that effortlessly encapsulate the intangible lure of French elegance. With his mercurial tenacity to satiate our ever-changing moods, the temptation remains to try them all.

Escapism comes in a little glass bottle.