Maison Francis Kurkdjian Pluriel Feminin ~ perfume review

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Pluriel féminin, brand image

Francis Kurkdjian is arguably the first perfumer to come out of the traditional fragrance & flavor company "system" and make a real success of a brand under his own name.1 Maison Francis Kurkdjian debuted in 2009, and it's far from an obscure niche brand — I can find the fragrances at my local mall, in Neiman Marcus, where they currently occupy prime real estate on the fragrance counter (and I am told they are big sellers).

Pluriel is the latest duo. The women's, Pluriel Féminin, is styled as a "grand, modern floral bouquet",2 and I'd say it lives up to its billing. The start is bright and citrusy, and the "floral bouquet of Florentine iris, rose, jasmin, muguet and orange flower", does, as advertised, seem to unfold flower by flower before evolving into a soft, lightly sweet blended floral. Likewise as advertised, it's entirely modern, that is, it's more clean than not, and the sillage is relatively quiet. It's not soapy, or drowning in white musk, but there's nothing indolic or heavy — Pluriel goes for radiance over depth or richness. Old-school, vintage-fiend perfumistas might prefer otherwise, but Pluriel is adaptable to modern life (and modern offices) in a way that the classic grand floral bouquets (Joy!) are not.

The base is a pale musky woods, with "chypre accents" of patchouli and vetiver. It's also modern: the patchouli adds a touch of darkness but not much else, and it's dry but not at all earthy. Pluriel is feminine but not what I'd call sexy, and has a velvety, lightly powdered finish.

Pluriel reminded me right away of Jour D’Hermès. They smell nothing alike, and the floral notes in Pluriel, unlike in Jour D’Hermès, are distinct and recognizable. But my conclusions about Jour D’Hermès — "...easy-to-wear elegance, gorgeously joyful or joyfully gorgeous" and "still more ethereal than not" — could as easily apply to Pluriel. Pluriel could also be the more sophisticated, somewhat older (and wealthier) cousin of Carven Le Parfum, another of Kurkdjian's recent floral offerings.

Verdict: Pluriel fits nicely into the Maison Francis Kurkdjian line, which emphasizes craftsmanship and quality materials over the kinds of oddball little numbers that some perfumistas (yes, me included) prefer when they shell out for a niche fragrance. Still, it's lovely. If you're looking for a mixed floral that you can wear anywhere, anytime, do give it a shot. It's expensive but not outrageous (depending, of course, on your definition of outrageous, but at least they've kept the cost under $200). If Pluriel eventually comes in the Globe Trotter refills (three 11 ml sprays), I might have to find somebody to split a trio with me. 

For another opinion, do see the review at The Candy Perfume Boy.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Pluriel féminin packaging

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Pluriel Féminin is available in 70 ml Eau de Parfum ($195). For buying information, see the listing for Maison Francis Kurkdjian under Perfume Houses.

1. Or have I forgotten someone? Do comment if I have. Francis Kurkdjian trained at ISIPCA and still works for the fragrance & flavor company Takasago.

2. See the Pluriel video.

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  1. lucasai says:

    I have just received samples of masculin Pluriel and feminin Pluriel. The male one shall be my scent for tomorrow. I’m looking forward to testing them.

    • Robin says:

      Hope you’ll like them! I have not spent much time with the men’s.

  2. scentfromabove says:

    I really do like Maison F. Kurkdjian’s line of fragrances. They are so well done. I keep saying it, but I have yet to purchase from the line. I remember I got a sample of APOM and just fell in love with it. The next bottle of perfume I by will be from this line. I am sure that Pluriel is a lovely fragrance.

  3. Juniper says:

    My perfume lady at NM recently sent me these. Both times I wore the Pluriel Feminin I kept thinking it smelled like something I already have…then I realized what it was reminding me of: Narciso Rodriguez. Does anyone else get that?

    • Robin says:

      Ah, and that is a perfume I cannot smell, so I’ll be no help at all.

  4. APassionateJourney says:

    WHYYYYY couldn’t I be born a billionaire?! I want to try this soooo badly! I still have to purchase his Absolue PLS! :)

    • Robin says:

      Yeah. Or why can’t they show up at TJ Maxx once in awhile!

  5. annemarie says:

    $195 for 70 mls is pushing the needle into the outrageous zone on my perfo-meter. And I would be paying hefty international shipping fees as well.

    Fortunately for me, easy-wearing elegance and social grace can be readily obtained from Chanel, Dior, Hermes … all sorts of places … Everyone has their favourite in this genre; L’Ambre des Merveilles is mine.

    Heck, you could buy a dozen bottles of SJP’s Lovely for the cost of one bottle Pluriel. (Oops … did I say that … ?!) :)

    • Helle says:

      It’s definitely in the outrageous zone for me, even without hefty shipping. The one good thing coming out of the high prizing, is that it makes me appreciate more what I already have, like you give an example of in your comment, Annemarie.

      F K’s offerings usually don’t work for me, I think I’m anosmic to some key kind of musk. Even so, I really appreciate the opportunity to smell his work from the different angles of mainstream and niche. I hope someone mentions another perfumer who’s in the same category!

      • annemarie says:

        I have trouble smelling some of his stuff, niche especially.

    • APassionateJourney says:

      $195 for a 70 ml is a steal for me! Especially when other niche houses charge more for less! :)

      • annemarie says:

        They do indeed. And there are far more expensive addictions than perfume! I don’t like electronic devices much so when I wanted a Samsung tablet earlier this year, I bought the cheapest I could find. It cost a fair bit more than $195.

    • Robin says:

      Yeah. It is expensive. I think the multitude of $250+ fragrances have changed my own bar for “outrageous”.

      Will also say that at least this smells expensive…so many expensive fragrances don’t! And I do think anyone smelling this and Lovely blind would correctly pick the one that was spendy.

      • annemarie says:

        Yes, surely good raw materials make a difference.

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