Prolific perfumer, Francis Kurkdjian, has his own luxury perfume house, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, where everything costs a little too much for me to justify buying an actual bottle, although I am extremely in love with Oud Silk Mood, it’s luxurious and wearing it is like enveloping yourself in a fur coat and strutting around on skyscraper heels confidently like some bigshot.
But of course, I can’t afford that price tag, and hence let me turn to something more within my budget means and yet also fantastic and so very gorgeous.
Elie Saab’s Le Parfum (EdT) and L’Eau Couture are both by Kurkdjian, and despite the common note (orange blossom) shared between these two perfumes, he has managed to create two very different scents.
Le Parfum is sweet and effervescent – right from the start, I get a very strong dose of mandarin blossoms mixed with honey and the slightest touch of jasmine (or some other white floral?) lingering in the background. The orange blossoms start to creep in as the scent dries down and slowly the jasmine lose their sharpness, becoming a blend of sweet and syrupy molasses. This bright sweetness is anchored down by a base of woods – vetiver, maybe? Or patchouli? But overall, this perfume is warm and sweet, like the hug of a beloved friend.
The sillage for Le Parfum is also quite decent, one good spray is noticeable enough but not strong enough to knock someone out from across the room, and I’m pleased to say that this perfume is lasting on my perfume-eating skin. I can still smell the faintest hint of it on me while I’m showering after I get home from work, which means this perfume can clock in at least 9 to 10 hours of wear time.
Kurkdjian’s vision for Elie Saab’s Le Parfum was to create a perfume that would reflect ‘when the sun is almost gold or even white,’ and smells ‘as if gold was glowing so brightly it was almost white’, and I think he has done so brilliantly. Le Parfum is simple yet elegant, and wearable in almost all occasions and good in all kinds of weather.
On the other hand, if Le Parfum is a bright summer day, then L’Eau Couture would differ in the sense that the main idea here is to convey ‘a sophisticated, sensual freshness, far removed from the conventions found in fragrances usually created in this repertoire’. L’Eau Couture feels like a cool spring day to me, from the pale green box housing the similarly coloured juice.
Crisp green almond tones down the sweetness of the opening, created by the white floral (magnolia?) and orange blossoms, which is sweet but quieter than the original Le Parfum. There’s the orange blossoms note taking centre stage here as well, but this time, it’s more restrained, and also almost creamy, thanks to the vanilla/musk base.
The sillage for L’Eau Couture is lighter than the original, giving off this delicate, almost wispy feeling as it weaves in and out throughout the day. Just when you thought it has faded to nothingness on your skin, you turn your head just the slightest and you smell its trace once again. So yes, this does last up to 9 hours for me as well.
Effortlessly elegant and simple enough to be wearable for all situations, L’Eau Couture is not just one of them flankers that fashion houses churn out one after the other in their sleep, but this one is well designed and a delight to smell.
While these two perfumes are not ground-breaking or avant-garde in any sense, they’re well-designed and worth their price tags, and I can imagine people who are not crazy perfume lovers to pick this up and make this their signature scents because it’s just so easy to wear and adds a layer of sophistication to any outfit.