Being a Francis Kurkdjian fan-boy I am always excited when Captain Kurk launches a new fragrance, whether it be for a designer brand of his eponymous line, but especially when it is one for his own brand, Maison Francis Kurkdjian. So I need little encouragement to get excited about anything that bears the name of this incredibly talented perfumer, especially when the word ‘aqua’ is involved.
The latest launch from MFK is Aqua Celestia, which comes after Aqua Universalis and Aqua Vitae as the third in Kurkdjian’s ‘Aqua’ collection. This collection celebrates fragrance that is bright, buoyant and musky in a brilliant, breezy and bubbly way. Aqua Celestia takes the collection in a new direction, moving away from summer refreshment to something icier and more ethereal.
“Aqua Celestia forms a seamless bond between the blue of the sky and the blue of the sea, forging a path toward absolute serenity. A heavenly freshness, an emotional journey lulled by the harmony of the senses and the mind.”
– Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Lime from Mexico, Cool Mint (Mitcham), Blackcurrant Bud Absolute from Burgundy, Mimosa Absolute from Provence and Musk Accord
How Does it Smell?
Aqua Celestia starts out with an intriguing accord of lime, blackcurrant and mint. The blending however, is seamless and rather than coming across as some sort of delicious tropical cocktail, the impression given is that of glassy, sweet water that is ice cold to the touch. Kurkdjian so often plays with light in his fragrances (I think I say that in every review of one of his scents, so do forgive me for banging the same drum over and over) and Aqua Celestia certainly is no exception, especially in the opening. To my nose it feels like a glowing beacon shining brightly from underneath a deep body of water.
The heart is a case of mimosa but not as we know it. I’m a big fan of mimosa in fragrance and I feel it is criminally underused, perhaps because it can feel a little bit dowdy if not handled correctly. With Aqua Celestia, Kurkdjian has managed to create a mimosa accord that boasts the fluffy, powdery quality of the note but none of its sweet, vanillic warmth. In contrast to the ice sculpture of the opening, Aqua Celestia’s floral heart is grainy and soft, like a paste of white moonlight. Beautiful.
As is so often the case with Kurkdjian’s oeuvre, the key note in the entire composition is musk, a nifty laundry musk to be exact. Much like Aqua Universalis, Celestia boasts a musk note that is airy and fresh, conjuring up the image of pure, cold waters. It’s not anything remotely like clean linen blowing in the breeze, you’ll be pleased to know, but it does allow for Aqua Celestia to dominate with an expanse and a sense of purity that feels as wide as the sky.
Aqua Celestia is beautiful and it’s VERY Kurkdjian, referencing his penchant for light-bearing florals in a uniquely cool way. If Aqua Universalis was a refreshing splash of water and Aqua Vitae a warm pool of H2O under the sun, then Aqua Celestia is an ice cold babbling stream cast in moonlight. It’s one of those fragrances that smells of no particular one thing, with each of the notes finely blended to sit seamlessly within the composition. It feels clean, luminous and frosty, all at once, and by gosh is it beautiful.
Aqua Celestia is available in 70ml (£130) and 200ml (£225) Eau de Toilette.
Sample, notes and quotes via Maison Francis Kurkdjian. Images are my own.