Jump to content

Francis Kurkdjian

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Francis Kurkdjian
Born (1969-05-14) 14 May 1969 (age 55)
Paris, France
Alma mater
  • Paris Institute of Luxury Marketing
  • Businessman
  • perfumer
Years active1993–present
Notable workLe Male
LabelMaison Francis Kurkdjian (2009–present)

Francis Kurkdjian (born 14 May 1969) is a French perfumer and businessman of Armenian descent. He is best known for creating the men's fragrance Le Male for Jean Paul Gaultier in 1995, which has become one of the world's best-selling perfumes. He has since created a further 40 fragrances for major companies worldwide, including Elie Saab Le Parfum for Elie Saab; My Burberry for Burberry; L'extase for Nina Ricci; and Narciso Rodriguez for Her for Narciso Rodriguez, Green Tea for Elizabeth Arden.

Kurkdjian co-founded the fragrance house Maison Francis Kurkdjian with Lebanese-French businessman and former Ernst & Young partner Marc Chaya, which has become a niche brand in the fragrance industry. The brand was purchased by LVMH in 2017 for an undisclosed sum.[1] He was the winner of the Prix François Coty in 2001 for his lifetime achievement.

Early life[edit]

Francis Kurkdjian was born in Paris, France on 14 May 1969 to Armenian parents.[2][3][4] Having been exposed to music and dancing at a young age, Francis Kurkdjian wanted to be a ballet dancer during his youth.[5][2] However, he failed passing the competition to study at the Paris Opera Ballet School in 1983.[6] Kurkdjian, who already had an interest in perfume making since he was thirteen years old, decided in 1985 to become a perfumer.[5] In 1990, Kurkdjian entered the Institut Supérieur International du Parfum, de la Cosmétique et de l'Aromatique Alimentaire (ISIPCA), a perfume school located in Versailles, France.[6] He graduated from ISIPCA in 1993 and joined Quest International in Paris the same year. Kurkdjian continued his studies and obtained a master's degree from the Paris Institute of Luxury Marketing.[6]


In 1995, at the age of twenty-six, Kurkdjian created Le Male for Jean Paul Gaultier, one of the world's best selling perfumes.[7][8] This became Kurkdjian's first success at perfume making.[8] This was followed by more than 40 creations for major fashion designers and houses.

Besides selling his scents to major fashion designers and houses in the beginning of his new career, Kurkdjian opened the pathways to a new vision, lending his talent to contemporary artists, re-creating Marie Antoinette’s favorite perfume for Palace of Versailles, going back in time to the early 17th century and the sources of perfumery.[7]

Kurkdjian has also created gigantic olfactory installations in emblematic spaces, making people dream with his ephemeral and spectacular perfumed performances and was honoured the "Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres" by French Government in 2008.[7][9]

Papier d'Arménie being burnt on the right side

He was the first to open his bespoke fragrances atelier in 2001, going against the trend of perfume democratization.[6]

In 2006, Kurkdjian redeveloped the Papier d'Arménie for the year of Armenia in France.[10] Papier d'Arménie, a type of Armenian paper produced in France, is a room deodorizing product sold as booklets of twelve sheets of paper each cut into three pieces, which are coated with benzoin resin, the dried sap of styrax trees.

He co-founded his own fragrance house Maison Francis Kurkdjian with business partner Marc Chaya in 2009 near the Place Vendôme in Paris.[6][9] The Maison Francis Kurkdjian is now a major player in the niche luxury fragrance segment with more than 300 locations worldwide.

In March 2017, European luxury goods conglomerate LVMH purchased the Maison Francis Kurkdjian business for an undisclosed sum.[1] Kurkdjian remains highly involved in the business.

On October 2021, Christian Dior appointed Kurkdjian as its new creative director of perfume.[11]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Among Kurkdjian's awards include:[6]

  • Winner of the François Coty perfumer (Oct 2001)
  • Award for the collective body of his creative work
  • Cosmetique Magazine's best perfumer of year 2008
  • Named Chevalier of Arts and Letters (July 2008)
  • WWD Beauty Biz Award, Maison Francis Kurkdjian
  • Breakthrough product of the year Fine Fragrance (2009)
  • Cosmetique Magazine's best niche mixte perfume for Aqua Universalis (June 2010)

List of creations[edit]

List of fragrances created by Francis Kurkdjian
Year Name Brand Co-perfumer
1995 Le Male Jean Paul Gaultier
1999 Fragile Jean Paul Gaultier
Green Tea Elizabeth Arden
2000 Lily Chic Escada
2001 Miracle Homme Lancome
2002 Armani Mania Giorgio Armani
KenzoKi Lotus blanc Kenzo
Kouros Eau d'été Yves Saint Laurent
Versus Time for pleasures Versace
2003 For Her Narciso Rodriguez Christine Nagel
Jeans couture Glam Versace
Miracle Homme l'Aquatonic Lancome
2004 Aquazur Lancaster
Apparition Emanuel Ungaro Françoise Caron
Autumn Van Cleef & Arpel
Iris Nobile Acqua di Parma Françoise Caron
Kouros Cologne Sport Yves Saint Laurent
Muse Joop!
Summer Van Cleef & Arpel
2005 Aquasun Lancaster
Cologne Blanche Dior
Eau Noire Dior
Gaultier Puissance2 Jean Paul Gaultier
Rose Barbare Guerlain
Silver Shadow Davidoff
2006 F by Ferragamo Salvatore Ferragamo
Rumeur Lanvin
2007 C'est la fête Christian Lacroix Jean Jacques
Fleur du Male Jean Paul Gaultier
For Him Narciso Rodriguez
Isvaraya Indult
Lady Vengeance Juliette Has a Gun
Le Parfum Emanuel Ungaro
Manakara Indult
Miss Charming Juliette Has a Gun
Thiota Indult
2008 Eau d'Amour Jean Paul Gaultier
Ligne de beauté Monsieur Jean Paul Gaultier Nathalie Le Cann
MaDame Jean Paul Gaultier
pour Colette C16 Indult
2009 APOM femme Maison Francis Kurkdjian
APOM homme Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Aqua Universalis Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Cologne pour le matin Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Cologne pour le soir Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Lumière Noire femme Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Lumière Noire homme Maison Francis Kurkdjian
2010 Absolue pour le matin Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Absolue pour le soir Maison Francis Kurkdjian
2011 Aqua Universalis forte Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Le Parfum Elie Saab
2012 Amyris femme Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Amyris homme Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Le Parfum, eau de toilette Elie Saab
Oud Maison Francis Kurkdjian
754 for Bergdorf Goodman Maison Francis Kurkdjian
2013 Aqua Vitae Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Ciel de Gum Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Le Parfum Carven
Oud cashmere mood Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Oud silk mood Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Oud velvet mood Maison Francis Kurkdjian
2014 A la rose Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Baccarat Rouge 540 Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Carven pour homme Carven
Féminin pluriel Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Masculin pluriel Maison Francis Kurkdjian
My Burberry Burberry
2015 Aqua Vitae forte Maison Francis Kurkdjian
L'Extase Nina Ricci
Le beau parfum Maison Francis Kurkdjian
La collection des essence Elie Saab
Oud satin mood Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Ultra Male Jean Paul Gaultier
2016 Baccarat Rouge 540 Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Carven L'Eau Intense Carven
Kenzo World Kenzo
Mr. Burberry Burberry
My Burberry Black Burberry
Petit Matin & Grand Soir Maison Francis Kurkdjian
2017 Aqua Celestia Maison Francis Kurkdjian
2018 Her Burberry

Artistic collaborations[edit]

  • Voir et être vu, Grand Palais Paris 2015/2016 - olfactive installation for the Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun exhibition
  • Milan world expo 2015, Stratus 2015 - olfactive installation for Pavillon Lille 3000
  • L'Art du Jardin, Grand Palais Paris, Flora Tournicota, 2013
  • Chateau de Versailles, Sillage De La Reine - Re-creation of the scent of Queen Marie Antoinette, 2006
  • Olfactive installations in the gardens of Versailles: Bosquet de l'orangerie, 2006 - PréamBulles, Bosquet des 3 fontaines, Bosquet de la Rocaille, 2007 and 2008
  • Grand Palais, NoctamBulles: olfactive installation during the 2010 Paris great museum evening
  • Shanghai expo 2010: Olfactive installation at the French Pavilion
  • La Luce Degli Innocenti: Olfactive installation, Florence 2011
  • Sophie Calle: The smell of Money, 2003
  • Paris Garnier Opera: Pas de deux, eau de parfum, 2004


  1. ^ a b Weil, Jennifer (2017-03-20). "LVMH Acquires Maison Francis Kurkdjian". WWD. Retrieved 2024-02-02.
  2. ^ a b "Francis Kurkdjian" (in French). Parfume et Aromes. Archived from the original on 2019-09-14. Retrieved 2014-11-15.
  3. ^ Carter, Lee. "Francis Kurkdjian Is Creating His Own Olfactory Universe". Hint Fashion Magazine. Archived from the original on 2019-10-21. Retrieved 2014-11-15.
  4. ^ "Armenians of the World-Fransis Kurkjyan". YouTube. Shant TV. Archived from the original on 2021-12-15.
  5. ^ a b "Francis Kurkdjian: Perfumers". NST Perfumes.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Biography". Maison Francis Kurkdjian. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2014-11-15.
  7. ^ a b c "Fragrances from the Past". cfi.co. 15 July 2014.
  8. ^ a b "Francis Kurkdjian Fragrances". Sartorial Male. Archived from the original on 2016-07-07. Retrieved 2014-11-15.
  9. ^ a b Molvar, Kari. "Eau Extraordinaire By Francis Kurkdjian". Vanity Fair.
  10. ^ "Incense Paper by Maison Francis Kurkdjian". Lucky Scent.
  11. ^ "CHRISTIAN DIOR NAMES FRANCIS KURKDIJAN AS NEW CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF PERFUME". crfashionbook.com. CR Fashion Book. 8 October 2021. Retrieved 9 October 2021.

External links[edit]