I’ve always seen Francis Kurkdjian as a perfumer of light. The fragrances he creates for his own maison and the many brands within the designer arena often possess a radiant and glowing quality that burns much brighter than many other fragrances on the market. Through the use of familiar, yet top quality materials, Francis Kurkdjian captures ultra violet rays and bottles them, making fragrances that glisten but are also approachable, effortless and exceptionally well made. What’s not to like?
His latest fragrance, Petit Matin (which has been launched as a duo with the yin to its yang, Grand Soir) is inspired by the lights of Paris during the early morning. It’s a dewy, optimistic scent made in Kurkdjian’s unmistakeable spacious and solar style, boasting citruses, florals and musks in perfect equilibrium. It’s just the thing if you fancy a fragrance that simply smells good and is neither too bland nor too demanding – something that’s just right (Goldilocks would be all over it).
Litsea Cubeba, Lemon from Calabria, Lavandin from Provence, Orange Blossom, Hawthorn Accord, Musk and Ambroxan
How Does it Smell?
Petit Matin starts out in Kurkdjian’s inimitably bright style. Lemon, all sweet and juicy, squirts effervescently out of the sprayer, dancing as it hits the skin. A sticky sort of lavender note lurks underneath, adding a gourmand and herbaceous strip of colour – a shade that is quickly counterbalanced by a whitewash of clean orange blossom. The orange blossom gives Petit Matin an eau de cologne vibe, with all the juicy freshness but none of the ephemeral laundry detergent. So far so refreshing.
Musks are Kurkdjian’s magic materials. He uses them not to bring odour but instead to create space and lift. In Petit Matin some clever little musks have been deployed to forge an expansive white space, in which all of the other notes can fizz and bounce about, giving remarkable tenacity and presence to what would otherwise be a quiet and short-lived cologne. My good friend, Nick Gilbert says that Kurkdjian’s fragrances are “powered by musks” and I can’t think of a better way to put it than that! In the base, Petit Matin deploys its very best musky moments, whipping them into a delightful mists of ambergris and woods to create a delicately dreamy trail.
Petit Matin is an easy fragrance to enjoy. It’s juicy, luminous, fresh and diffusive, making for an incredibly satisfying fragrance to wear. I would say that it’s not Kurkdjian’s most thrilling composition (check out Baccarat Rouge 540 if you want excitement) or even his most artistic (see OUD) but it is yet another example of his effortless style of casual designer-style fragrances elevated by exceptional ingredients. Given the choice, I’d get my fix from the sparkling whiteout of Aqua Universalis over this one, but if you’re looking for an easygoing yet upscale cologne, Petit Matin is hard to beat.
Petit Matin is available in 70ml Eau de Parfum for £140.
Sample, notes and quotes via Maison Francis Kurkdjian. Images are my own.