Francis Kurkdjian (born 14 May 1969) is a French perfumer and businessman of Armenian descent. He is famous for creating the men's fragrance Le Male for Jean Paul Gaultier in 1995, which has become one of the world's best-selling perfumes. He has since created an additional 40 fragrances for major companies worldwide, including Elie Saab Le Parfum for Elie Saab; My Burberry for Burberry; L'extase for Nina Ricci; and Narciso Rodriguez for Her for Narciso Rodriguez.
|Maison Francis Kurkdjian (2009–present)|
Kurkdjian co-founded the luxury fragrance house Maison Francis Kurkdjian with Lebanese-French businessman and former Ernst & Young partner Marc Chaya, which has become a major niche brand in the fragrance industry. He was the winner of the Prix François Coty in 2001 for his lifetime achievement.
Francis Kurkdjian was born in Paris, France on 14 May 1969 to Armenian parents. Having been exposed to music and dancing at a young age, Francis Kurkdjian wanted to be a ballet dancer during his youth. However, he failed passing the competition to study at the Paris Opera School of Dance in 1983. Kurkdjian, who already had an interest in perfume making since he was thirteen years old, decided in 1985 to become a perfumer. In 1990, Kurkdjian entered the Institut Supérieur International du Parfum, de la Cosmétique et de l'Aromatique Alimentaire (ISIPCA), a perfume school located in Versailles, France. He graduated from ISIPCA in 1993 and joined Quest International in Paris the same year. Kurkdjian continued his studies and obtained a master's degree from the Paris Institute of Luxury Marketing.
In 1995, at the age of twenty-six, Kurkdjian created Le Male for Jean Paul Gaultier, one of the world's best selling perfumes. This became Kurkdjian's first success at perfume making. This was followed by more than 40 creations for major fashion designers and houses.
Besides selling his scents to major fashion designers and houses in the beginning of his new career, Kurkdjian opened the pathways to a new vision, lending his talent to contemporary artists, re-creating Marie Antoinette’s favorite perfume for Palace of Versailles, going back in time to the early 17th century and the sources of perfumery.
Kurkdjian has also created gigantic olfactory installations in emblematic spaces, making people dream with his ephemeral and spectacular perfumed performances and was honoured the "Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres" by French Government in 2008.
He was the first to open his bespoke fragrances atelier in 2001, going against the trend of perfume democratization.
In 2006, Kurkdjian redeveloped the Papier d'Arménie for the year of Armenia in France. Papier d'Arménie, a type of Armenian paper produced in France, is a room deodorizing product sold as booklets of twelve sheets of paper each cut into three pieces, which are coated with benzoin resin, the dried sap of styrax trees.
He co-founded his own luxury fragrance house Maison Francis Kurkdjian with business partner Marc Chaya in 2009 near the Place Vendôme in Paris. The Maison Francis Kurkdjian is now a major player in the niche luxury fragrance segment with more than 300 locations worldwide.
Awards and recognitionEdit
Among Kurkdjian's awards include:
- Winner of the François Coty perfumer (Oct 2001)
- Award for the collective body of his creative work
- Cosmetique Magazine's best perfumer of year 2008
- Named Chevalier of Arts and Letters (July 2008)
- WWD Beauty Biz Award, Maison Francis Kurkdjian
- Breakthrough product of the year Fine Fragrance (2009)
- Cosmetique Magazine's best niche mixte perfume for Aqua Universalis (June 2010)
List of creationsEdit
|1995||Le Male||Jean Paul Gaultier|
|1999||Fragile||Jean Paul Gaultier|
|Green Tea||Elizabeth Arden|
|2002||Armani Mania||Giorgio Armani|
|KenzoKi Lotus blanc||Kenzo|
|Kouros Eau d'été||Yves Saint Laurent|
|Versus Time for pleasures||Versace|
|2003||For Her||Narciso Rodriguez||Christine Nagel|
|Jeans couture Glam||Versace|
|Miracle Homme l'Aquatonic||Lancome|
|Apparition||Emanuel Ungaro||Françoise Caron|
|Autumn||Van Cleef & Arpel|
|Iris Nobile||Acqua di Parma||Françoise Caron|
|Kouros Cologne Sport||Yves Saint Laurent|
|Summer||Van Cleef & Arpel|
|Gaultier Puissance2||Jean Paul Gaultier|
|2006||F by Ferragamo||Salvatore Ferragamo|
|2007||C'est la fête||Christian Lacroix||Jean Jacques|
|Fleur du Male||Jean Paul Gaultier|
|For Him||Narciso Rodriguez|
|Lady Vengeance||Juliette Has a Gun|
|Le Parfum||Emanuel Ungaro|
|Miss Charming||Juliette Has a Gun|
|2008||Eau d'Amour||Jean Paul Gaultier|
|Ligne de beauté Monsieur||Jean Paul Gaultier||Nathalie Le Cann|
|MaDame||Jean Paul Gaultier|
|pour Colette C16||Indult|
|2009||APOM femme||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|APOM homme||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|Aqua Universalis||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|Cologne pour le matin||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|Cologne pour le soir||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|Lumière Noire femme||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|Lumière Noire homme||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|2010||Absolue pour le matin||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|Absolue pour le soir||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|2011||Aqua Universalis forte||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|Le Parfum||Elie Saab|
|2012||Amyris femme||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|Amyris homme||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|Le Parfum, eau de toilette||Elie Saab|
|Oud||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|754 for Bergdorf Goodman||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|2013||Aqua Vitae||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|Ciel de Gum||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|Oud cashmere mood||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|Oud silk mood||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|Oud velvet mood||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|2014||A la rose||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|Baccarat Rouge 540||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|Carven pour homme||Carven|
|Féminin pluriel||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|Masculin pluriel||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|2015||Aqua Vitae forte||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|Le beau parfum||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|La collection des essence||Elie Saab|
|Oud satin mood||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|Ultra Male||Jean Paul Gaultier|
|2016||Baccarat Rouge 540||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|Carven L'Eau Intense||Carven|
|My Burberry Black||Burberry|
|Petit Matin & Grand Soir||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
|2017||Aqua Celestia||Maison Francis Kurkdjian|
- Voir et être vu, Grand Palais Paris 2015/2016 - olfactive installation for the Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun exhibition
- Milan world expo 2015, Stratus 2015 - olfactive installation for Pavillon Lille 3000
- L'Art du Jardin, Grand Palais Paris, Flora Tournicota, 2013
- Chateau de Versailles, Sillage De La Reine - Re-creation of the scent of Queen Marie Antoinette, 2006
- Olfactive installations in the gardens of Versailles: Bosquet de l'orangerie, 2006 - PréamBulles, Bosquet des 3 fontaines, Bosquet de la Rocaille, 2007 and 2008
- Grand Palais, NoctamBulles: olfactive installation during the 2010 Paris great museum evening
- Shanghai expo 2010: Olfactive installation at the French Pavilion
- La Luce Degli Innocenti: Olfactive installation, Florence 2011
- Sophie Calle: The smell of Money, 2003
- Paris Garnier Opera: Pas de deux, eau de parfum, 2004
- "Francis Kurkdjian" (in French). Parfume et Aromes.
- Carter, Lee. "Francis Kurkdjian Is Creating His Own Olfactory Universe". Hint Fashion Magazine.
- "Armenians of the World-Fransis Kurkjyan". YouTube. Shant TV.
- "Francis Kurkdjian: Perfumers". NST Perfumes.
- "Biography". Maison Francis Kurkdjian.
- "Fragrances from the Past". cfi.co. 15 July 2014.
- "Francis Kurkdjian Fragrances". Sartorial Male.
- Molvar, Kari. "Eau Extraordinaire By Francis Kurkdjian". Vanity Fair.
- "Incense Paper by Maison Francis Kurkdjian". Lucky Scent.