‘I shower, it’s fast, efficient and kind to the environment’
After reading an article about perfumers in a glossy french magazine aged 14, Francis Kurkdjian was hooked on fragrance. Finding inspiration in Jacques Polge’s Chanel, Jean Kerleo’s Jean Patou, Françoise Caron, Jean-Louis Sieuzac and Annick Goutal he immediately rushed to visit ISIPCA, the famous school of perfumery in Versailles. Initially too young, Francis simply remained focused and reapplied at the age of 20. After a brief career as a classical ballet dancer the fragrant fairytale began. Here at The Grooming Guide we love both Francis’ modern and sophisticated take on fragrance and his smooth personal style.
Do you think that more men are taking more care of their appearance?
Of course they are, and especially the younger generation with their increased use of cosmetics and perfumes. Sociologists have described this widely for many years now using the term ‘metrosexuel’.
Is there a European way of grooming, if so what does it mean to you?
Not really, I travel widely to visit the point of sales of Maison Francis Kurkdjian (about 50) and I see how very different men are in terms of their hair, clothing, etc.
How do you take care of your skin?
As I travel and fly a lot for business my dermatologist has been very picky about how I should care for my skin . Once I complimented her on her complexion and she told me she had been using Nivea blue cream for about 20 years! I could not believe it, binned all the products I had and now it’s the only thing I use!
Do you have a specific routine?
I clean my skin with a spray of mineral water and then apply Nivea cream. Initially my skin felt heavy but it has adjusted very quickly, now I can’t live without it.
Which products do you travel with?
My Nivea blue cream box, samples of the fragrances that I am currently working on and a toothbrush and toothpaste, a razor and a trimmer.
Bath or shower and why?
I shower, it’s fast efficient and kinder to the environment.
What are your favourite fragrances?
My favourite fragrances are the one I have launched under my own name, Maison Francis Kurkdjian. I have a total overview on the creative process, on the type of fragrances I want to create. It’s very much different than working for other brands.
How does fragrance fit in your life?
I wear all the perfumes I create, follow them on my skin to study their development and their course. It is very important to do so if you want to give your client/consumer the best products ever.
If you were not a perfumer you would be?
Another kind of storyteller!
How do you like to smell?
Neutral. I smell too many things during the weekdays and weekend (see #10). Not wearing perfume is a way to take a break and feel I am off!
Least favourite aroma?
What products could you not live without?
All of them. I can detach myself from material things quite easily!
What does being well groomed mean to you?
Grooming has its trends. To me it’s all about how confident you are, being who you are.
Which men get it right? (in history or present day)
Both my grandfathers were extremely elegant and very well groomed. My mother’s father was a tailor who designed coats, suits and tuxedos. My father’s father was a fur dealer and a fashion designer as well.
1. Nivea Creme about £3.00 for 200ml at Tesco
2. APOM Eau De Parfum Pour Femme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian £99.00 for 100ml at Liberty
3. Avene Thermale Spring Water Spray £5.60 for 150ml at www.escentual.com
4. Maison Francis Kurkdjian Interior
5. Aqua Universalis EDT by Maison Francis Kurkdjian £89.00 for 70ml at Liberty
6. Francis Kurkdjian
7. Pour Le Soir Perfumed Candle by Maison Francis Kurkdjian £52.00 for 385g at Liberty
8. Garbage Can