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Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Summers in Paris: Creed’s Original Vetiver

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Of all my summer fragrances, only one takes me straight to France. The whimsical, white columns and sculptures of Paris are only done justice by sartorial elegance with a bit of flair, which is exactly what Creed does best. Look no further than Creed’s Original Vetiver, which (contrary to popular opinion) is both heavy on the vetiver and quite original.

Based solely on the opening, Original Vetiver does smell similar to Mugler’s Cologne, a fragrance that is sometimes heralded as the “original” Original Vetiver merely because it was released a few years earlier. But while there is a similarity of style and genre, these fragrances are quite different. Original Vetiver is significantly more expensive, but is worth the premium if you like the style. Where Mugler Cologne is extremely heavy on the musks and fresh citruses/neroli, Original Vetiver has more complexity since it incorporates several textures at once. KEEP ON READING

Arabian Nights: Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Oud

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The evocative power of fragrance is known to everyone who reads this blog. Upon the first whiff, one will think (fondly or otherwise) of a friend, a place, a moment in time, a favored sweater, or even a song. But Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Oud is one of the only fragrances that has made me immediately think of a book. That book is the classic (love it or hate it) 1001 Arabian Nights.

Does Kurkdjian’s fragrance have oud? Yes. Saffron and exotic spice? Of course, even that. Read a description of this fragrance and you will find ingredients that might combine to produce something typical. But lest we get carried away and assume the authenticity of Kurkdjian’s interpretation of oud, we should remember that Kurkdjian embraces a distinctly European style of perfumery: Quality musks, buoyant new synthetics, and a certain wearable freshness are hallmarks of Kurkdjian’s style, blended to perfection as only a master perfumer could achieve. Kurkdjian’s Oud is not a traditional oud. This is not even something like, say, Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle’s attempt at authentic oud with a European medium, as its fragrance “The Night” managed to achieve. Nope. This is something new, yet old. European, but also distinctly Arabian. KEEP ON READING

Shaving Cream in a Barbershop: MDCI’s Le Barbier de Tanger

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From the respected brand MDCI comes the magnificent Le Barbier de Tanger, a scent that promises a relaxing journey into the barbershops of Morocco. MDCI is known for artful blends done with high quality ingredients. Le Barbier de Tanger fits the bill and earns a thumbs up from this reviewer.

To even begin to describe this fragrance, I have to mention a few others: Chanel’s Platinum Egoiste, MDCI’s Invasion Barbare, Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Masculin Pluriel, Creed’s Green Irish Tweed, and Penhaligon’s Sartorial. Le Barbier de Tanger channels all of these fragrances to some extent, but only smells a bit like one of them. Perhaps the closest comparison is Chanel’s Platinum Egoiste, which has the same powdery-barbershop texture and overall vibe of this fragrance, but Le Barbier de Tanger is higher quality and more natural-smelling. KEEP ON READING

Beauty and the Beasts

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It’s clear that we will soon find ourselves in the midst of another wave of popularity for the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, thanks to an impending Disney film whose trailer was viewed a record-breaking 127.6 million times in the first 24 hours after its release several days ago. But as we all know, the greatest perfumers have been playing beauty against beastliness for a long time.

Tea with (smelly) friends

in Thoughts by

Two weekends ago I went to London with a good friend I’ve known since I was in my 20s – that’s her in the photo with me – Sam who writes the I Scent You A Day blog. We went to hang out and drink tea with a group of perhaps twenty people, many of whom we hadn’t physically met before. What did we have in common? Perfume. How did we know these people? The internet.

Now some people get upset when I refer to them as Smelly Friends, so I may need to use some other terminology, such as Fragonerds, Perfumistas and Perfumisters, or just fragrance afficionados, but it all boils down to the same thing. We are people who love perfume. You, dear reader, may very well be one too. KEEP ON READING

Everything is Orange: The Best Orange Fragrances for Men

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Orange and its derivatives are some of the most popular notes in all of perfumery. Depending on how they are presented and what portions of the tree are used (orange, orange blossom, neroli, and petitgrain are all derivatives of the orange tree), orange-based fragrances often come across as uplifting and clean. After testing a large portion of the niche market, here are some of my picks of the best orange-based fragrances for men:

Tom Ford Neroli Portofino: Neroli Portofino is on many of my top lists for a good reason. This is the epitome of the fresh neroli fragrances and is a classic cologne that actually lasts, especially in the heat of the summer. Mixing soapy oceanic accords with neroli, Neroli Portofino straddles the gap between a classical cologne and modern aquatic. Two flankers – Acqua and Forte – were recently released, and while the Acqua is totally forgettable and fleeting, the Forte would be nice for folks who would prefer a less soapy version of the original with added leather. KEEP ON READING

Ormonde Jayne – Ormonde Man: The King of understated masculinity.

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I’m not sure how I’ve been deeply entrenched in the niche-fragrance “game” for the better part of 5 years, but I am just now becoming acquainted with this fragrance. I believe that we’ve crossed paths years ago, in the midst of a niche-sample haul. I could imagine with the amount of pepper and refined “matureness” running through the veins of Ormonde Man, I’m positive that I swapped that sample immediately or threw it in a goodie-bag for someone else to enjoy, or loathe.

Fast forward to present year, 2016, I am more seasoned to say the least. After chasing down every hyped fragrance to ever grace the channels of YouTube and forum pages of basenotes, I think it’s time to revisit, re-discover, and settle in with some lesser-mentioned, cult favorites. KEEP ON READING

1740 Marquis de Sade by Histoires de Parfums: The Gentleman Animal

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FragranceDaily’s own Claire Vukcevic and Ana Maria Andreiu have written eloquently about 1740 Marquis de Sade by Histoires de Parfums. Today I offer my own perspective:

Marquis de Sade is an interesting muse for this fragrance. In true French style, Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de Sade, was a writer that mixed philosophy with pornography. A particularly shady and licentious fellow, he was tossed in prison and spent time in an insane asylum for exploring the eyebrow-raising themes of 50 Shades of Grey (and worse) far before its time. The themes of his writings are far too explicit to discuss in detail here, but let’s just say that there is a reason why the modern term “sadism” is derived from his name. KEEP ON READING

James Heeley Chypre 21

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The term “chypre” seems to be a rather fluid one these days. Technically, in order to be classified as a chypre, a fragrance should contain bergamot, labdanum, and oakmoss. But you can drive yourself crazy trying to sort perfumes into chypre and non-chypre categories, checking off notes lists, and so on.

In general, the nose can recognize a chypre right away, because of its immediately recognizable Yin and Yang of sweet and bitter. In its entirety, a chypre should smell the way a perfectly balanced Chinese meal tastes, with the bitterness and saltiness of oakmoss contrasting the brightness of the citrus, and the ambery base softening and sweetening the final “taste”. KEEP ON READING

Three Great Non-Rose-y Oud Fragrances

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Is anyone here just a teeny tiny bit tired of the rose-oud combination? Don’t get me wrong – there are days when I still crave that wonderful combination of smoky, sour oud and sweet rose. But increasingly, I am turning to oud fragrances that either do away with the rose part of the equation, or bury the oud in dark woods and crisp leather so that it becomes more of a bit player than the main attraction.

The key words here are subtlety and novelty. Can oud be presented in a manner that surprises and pleases even the most jaded of palates? Here are my thoughts on a few fragrances I’ve been testing recently that place the oud note in a new light. KEEP ON READING

Roses Volume III

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Today I’ll be looking at some Arabic-inspired rose fragrances at various price points – Velvet Rose & Oud by Jo Malone, Ta’if by Ormonde Jayne, Oud Silk Mood by Maison Francis Kurkdijan, and Wissal by Ajmal.

Velvet Rose & Oud by Jo Malone

Flowers & Trees
Nature Hd Beauty Flowers Rose Red Scarlet Petals Px images: ~ hd beauty images, hd beauty balm, hd beauty supply coupon

Velvet Rose & Oud is utterly brilliant. I always feel that the traditional pairing of rose with oud never goes quite far enough to modulate the underlying sourness of oud, especially if the traditional Bulgarian rose is used, because there is always that faintly tart, green-lemon edge to Bulgarian roses that inches it too close to the sourness of the oud. KEEP ON READING

How does the Fragrance Daily team smell at Christmas Eve?

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Fragrance Daily CHRISTMAS SpecialOh Christmas, oh Christmas – it truly is a very special time of the year. Despite all the commercialism, there is still this magic floating in the air, a relic from your very personal childhood. The silence that covers the snow on a Sunday morning walk, the December-long frenzy of activity that culminates in legendary and often disastrous family events and the breathtaking peace of the morning after – all wonderful. The feeling of seeing one’s beloved or estranged family members once a year, the joy of symbolically putting the whole “old” year behind us, and the act of preparing for the new one. And on top of that all: the fragrances that encapsulate this special time for us, that pervade our senses, and make Christmas time so remarkable and unique. KEEP ON READING

My ten autumn perfect perfumes

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I’ve always loved autumn, even as a child. Of course, a child loves most things anyway, but even if the arrival of autumn meant the end of summer holiday’s freedom and the beginning of a new school term, I still loved autumn. The colours drove me wild with excitement. I used to spend hours collecting the most beautiful fallen leaves for the collage projects we always had going in the art class during autumn months. I loved the smells too, the smoke of burnt dead leaves, the damp scent of foggy mornings, the tangy sweet aroma of soft fruit fermenting on the ground, the huge yellow and white chrysanthemums from my grandma’s garden, and that dark, mossy forest smell of autumn soil slowly warming up in the gentle, pallid glow of October sun. KEEP ON READING

Oud Satin Mood by Maison Francis Kurkdijan: A Middle Eastern Sweet

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White rose esti- / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Oud Satin Mood by Maison Francis Kurkdijan is a big, fat Middle Eastern sweet, the kind that is doused in rose syrup, thickened with salep, aromatized with mastic, sprinkled with rosewater and pistachios, and then, finally, dusted with a thick layer or five of powdered sugar so thick your teeth leaves indents in it.

Which means, of course, that I love it.

How could I not? I live in a country so thoroughly marked by a Turkish occupation in the late 1500s that every second word in the food vocabulary is Turkish. And since Turkish cuisine is influenced also by high Persian cuisine, we have quite a few Persian woods for food too. Lokum (Turkish delight), halva, tulumba (fried cakes doused in honey syrup), baklava, sutlias (rice pudding) and many, many others – well, you get the picture. KEEP ON READING

My Best “Soft Oud” Perfumes

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As we all know in the last couple of years oudh/oud also known as agarwood has started to be almost ubiquitous in Perfumeland. Everybody, either designer, mainstream or niche brand, carry at least one oud note centered perfume in their lines. Agarwood is now everywhere and for all the pockets. Oud theme, orchestrated more or less with the synthetic stuff dominates the “Men’s World” mainly.Even names like Serge Lutens or Frederic Malle that previously took distance from this trend finally couldn’t resist and change their minds approaching oud. KEEP ON READING

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