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Fashion / Beauty

Scents from Heaven

French Perfumer Jets In from Paris and Tells All — Surprising New Project Included

BY // 05.09.17

“Heavenly freshness” is how celebrated French perfumer Francis Kurkdjian describes Aqua Celestia, the third fragrance in his Aqua series. Following Aqua Universalis and Aqua Vitae, Aqua Celestia blends notes of lime from Mexico, mint from England, and blackcurrant from Burgundy — a musky, floral, and citrus fusion.

The trio is a modern tribute to the ancient eau de cologne, Kurkdjian says. “Invented in the 18th century, eau de cologne was sold and promoted for its scents but also as drinkable medicine. I wanted to reinterpret this idea of feeling good, being good, and smelling good.”

Following a recent appearance at Dallas’ Neiman Marcus NorthPark — where Kurkdjian flew in specially from Paris for one-on-one customer visits — we chatted with the Maison Francis Kurkdjian founder about his new scent (also available in a body cream and shower cream), his favorite Paris restaurant, and his next major project.

What inspired you to create Aqua Celestia?
The inspiration comes from the blues of the sky and the sea. It brings an inner feeling of joy; its scent uplifts the mood and brings happiness. It is the perfect scent to wear in the summer.

Do you travel to Mexico often?
I live in Paris now, but back when I lived in New York, I used to go to Mexico. I have friends living there. I keep a great memory of my very first trip as it is linked to the first skydive of my life.

Favorite places in Paris to eat, shop, play?
My favorite restaurant is La Dame de Pic by Anne Sophie Pic, who is one of the best chefs in the world and France’s first woman to win three Michelin stars. To shop: Atelier Renard, the place where I get all my leather goods. I love walking the streets of Paris — it is my hometown and my endless inspiration.

You’ve collaborated many times throughout your career. What do you enjoy about it?
I love working with other creative people. It energizes you and opens new creative perspective and inspiration.

Who else would you love to work with?
I would love working with two artists I revere: American artist James Turrell and Venezuelan artist Elias Crespin.

What is your next project, or ambition?
I am currently working with French director Cyril Teste on a live theater play that will showcase this fall in Paris, and later in Belgium, Switzerland, and probably New York. I am scenting the play with different fragrances to accompany the show. It’s rather challenging from a creative and technical point of view.

Aqua Celestia eau de toilette $205 (70 ml), $375 (200 ml); body cream $75; shower cream $60; available at Neiman Marcus.

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