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Francis Kurkdjian

I have never heard of an occasion when the women of Artsakh were invited to an event with a world-famous perfumer as a guest. I will not describe the beauty of the invited ladies. You can see it very well. The connoisseur of taste and beauty confirmed it.

But first, let me introduce the man who was the reason the beau monde of Stepanakert gathered. Anahit Sahakyan, the First Lady of Karabakh, honoured the presentation of Francis Kurkdjian’s new fragrances. The famous perfumer’s arrival was quite simple. Though tired from the long road, he did not show it in any way. Instead, a kind smile, observant look and French charm. He was welcomed by reserved yet friendly smiles and infinite joy from the fact that nothing is unreachable for us in Artsakh. Believe me – I saw the joy on everyone’s face and felt proud about it. Slowly, but with steady steps Artsakh is reaching the outer world.

The evening dedicated to Mr Francis Kurkdjian started off. The presenter speaks about the hero of the day who listens to her with a warm smile. Francis Kurkdjian is a world-famous perfumer of Armenian descent. Since childhood he was enchanted by music and ballet but Providence had a different career for him. At the age of 15 he made up his mind to become a perfumer. The master of fragrances says, ”When I was little on my way to Armenian church I passed across Nina Ricci, Guy Laroche and other stores.  Everything was decided by then.”. In 1990-1992 Francis studied at the International Superior Institute of Perfume. He worked for Quest International in Paris and later continued his studies at Paris Institute of Luxury Marketing. Parallelly he opened his fragrances atelier. Francis Kurkdjian is a member of the French Society of Perfumers. Today he is one of the best in the field in France.  His portfolio includes tens of world-famous fragrances. He designed scents for such perfume brands as Jean Paul Gaultier, Elizabeth Arden, Lancôme, Giorgio Armani, Kenzo, Lancaster, Versace. He is also author to numerous fragrances that are part of private collections but are unknown to the general public. It was our compatriot who re-created Marie Antoinette’s favourite scent using archive recipes. Because of its rarity and high cost there was no mass production – only a thousand bottles were put on sale in Palace of Versailles. For his contribution to the art of perfume making the French Ministry of Culture named Francis Kurkdjian ”Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres”. Author to more than 80 scents, he won the Prix François Coty in 2001. His scent Narciso Rodriguez For Her won the prestigious Fifi annual award of The Fragrance Foundation. The debut fragrance of Elie Saab, a famous designer known for his evening gowns – our favourite Le Parfum – was designed by Francis. According to him, every perfume is a revelation. ////////// and then I decide which notes I will use in the composition. In his perfumes Francis combines several forms of art –painting, literature, music. He says, ”My weapons are my brain and my fantasy. The nose is secondary”. Here is who Stepanakert hosted. His welcome was short, friendly and started with the Armenian “Barev”. “I am very honoured to be here. This is my 4th visit to Armenia and for the 1st time I left Yerevan and saw the beauty of our regions.  On my way I saw wonderful storks. The mountains, the trees, nature – they are amazing. It all gave me strength after being in the car for 6 hours. I am sure this trip will stay as one of my best memories. Today I applied for an Armenian passport. I’ll be the second in my family to have it. This is all very exciting and makes me think about my ancestors. After so many years I feel Armenian again. I am proud of  being an Armenian. 5 years ago when I opened my atelier in Paris I decided to keep my second name which is not an easy one to remember in business. But I decided to keep it. I am very happy to be here today with the help of “Hermitage” stores. As for my art, I just want to say that a modern woman deserves lots of fragrances. My goal is to create the ideal perfume for them.”

After the short speech of the French-Armenian perfumer, it was time to hand him the surprise which was probably appreciated by him. “Nobody has ever discovered the marvelous scents of Artsakh. Scents that are flights of fancy and  sources of  spontaneous inspiration. I would like to give you this bouquet of field flowers.”

The evening organized by the Ministry of Culture and Youth Affairs of NKR in cooperation with “Hermitage” stores was accompanied by Francis’ new fragrances, music, communication, gifts and wins. My desire to interview on of the twenty best perfumers was certainly natural. But he was tired and had to rest. We agreed to have a briefing on the next day after his meeting with Artsakh Republic president. He was eager to see Gandzasar and set off. We were glad for even a very small interview.

Francis Kurkdjian’s interview

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