Perfumer Francis Kurkdjian was born in Paris in 1969, to a family of Armenian heritage.
He had his perfume epiphany when he was 13 or 14, playing with his sister who, as teenage girls do, had a little collection of perfume sample bottles. [...] “She was into the bottles and I was into what was inside,” he says. When Kurkdjian told his parents he had decided he was going to make perfumes for a living, they were greatly relieved. “Before that,” he says, “I wanted to be a ballet dancer.”1
Francis Kurkdjian trained at ISIPCA and Quest. His first big success was with Jean Paul Gaultier’s Le Mâle, which he developed at the age of 25.
He was the winner of the Prix François Coty in 2001. In 2009, Francis Kurkdjian was named Chevalier des Artes et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture.
In 2009, Kurkdjian launched his own line, Maison Francis Kurkdjian.
Fragrances by Francis Kurkdjian
Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile (2004, with Françoise Caron)
Armand Basi Lovely Blossom (2007)
Bebe Bebe Eau de Parfum (2009)
Carven Le Parfum (2013)
Caudalie Zeste de Vigne (2011)
Christian Dior Eau Noire (2004)
Christian Dior Cologne Blanche (2004)
Custo Barcelona Custo Man (2009)
Davidoff Silver Shadow (2005)
Demeter Holy Water
Demeter Pruning Shears
Elie Saab Le Parfum (2011)
Elizabeth Arden Green Tea (1999)
Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Summer
Elizabeth Arden Spiced Green Tea
Emanuel Ungaro Apparition (2004, with Francoise Caron)
Emanuel Ungaro Ungaro by Ungaro (2007)
Escada Lily Chic (2000)
Gianfranco Ferre Ferre Rose (2007, with Alexandra Jouet)
Giorgio Armani Mania for men
Gloria Vanderbilt Reverie (2001, with Christine Nagel)
Guerlain Eau de Lit (home fragrance, 2006)
Guerlain Rose Barbare (2005)
Indult C16 (2008)
Indult Isvaraya (2007)
Indult Manakara (2007)
Indult Reve en Cuir (2008)
Indult Tihota (2007)
J Del Pozo In White (2007, with Violaine David)
Jean Paul Gaultier Fleur du Male (2007)
Jean Paul Gaultier Fragile (1999)
Jean Paul Gaultier Gaultier2 (2005)
Jean Paul Gaultier Le Beau Male (2013)
Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male (1995)
Jean Paul Gaultier Ma Dame (2008)
Jean Paul Gaultier Monsieur Eau du Matin (2008)
Joop Muse (2003)
Juliette Has A Gun Lady Vengeance (2007)
Juliette Has A Gun Miss Charming (2007)
Kenzo Eau de Fleur de Magnolia (2008)
Kenzo Eau de Fleur de Prunier (2009, with Jean Jacques)
Kenzo Kenzoki Lotus Blanc
Lancaster Aquasun (2005)
Lancaster Aquazur (2004)
Lancome Miracle Homme (2001)
Lanvin Rumeur (2006)
Le Sillage de la Reine (2005, reformulation of a Jean Louis Fargeon scent)
Narciso Rodriguez For Her (2003, with Christine Nagel)
Narciso Rodriguez For Him (2007)
Parfums MDCI Enlevement au Serail (2006)
Parfums MDCI Promesse de l’Aube (2006)
Parfums MDCI Rose de Siwa (2006)
Roger & Gallet Fleur de Figuier (2013)
Salvador Dali Purplelight (2007)
Salvatore Ferragamo F de Ferragamo (2006)
Ted Lapidus White Soul Gold & Diamonds (2013)
Versace Jeans Couture Glam (2003)
Versace Versus Time for Pleasures (2002)
Yves Saint Laurent Kouros Eau d’Ete (2002)
My style is about having no style. Other fragrance houses tailor their creations, even the customized scents, to fit their brand’s identity. I don’t have those limitations. — quoted in Perfumer Francis Kurkdjian Goes Bespoke at Paris By Appointment Only.
Being a perfumer is a bit like being a magician, it’s about realising your vision of someone else’s emotions. It took all my energy for six months to come up with the right formula for Rumeur because for me it’s not just about mixing raw materials, it’s about creating a memory that will last. — from “Fragrance focus.(Francis Kurkdjian)” at Cosmetics International, 8/18/2006.
See all articles on Now Smell This tagged Francis Kurkdjian.
Read a portrait of Francis Kurkdjian (in French) on Parfums et Aromes.
1. From “Winner by a nose”, The Independent on Sunday, 9/28/2003.