Francis Kurkdjian : “A great perfume, it smells beautiful!”

“Sylvie and Odile came to see me to talk about their project on their family estate.

It’s a project that took a long time to set up, like any entrepreneurial project. There is not only the creation of the products, there is also the whole ecosystem that has to be invented…

I advised Sylvie and Odile on several perfumers.

I sincerely thought that they could work on the project and then finally I think that what made me change my mind was a walk I had from the Palais Royal to my office; it must have been an afternoon in June, and suddenly I found that the smell in the air at the Palais Royal was divine, delicious!

I mean, all of a sudden, I thought, “well, it doesn’t actually smell like I thought it smelled, the linden tree!”  I think it was also the same linden trees as the property, so the silver linden tree which has a facet that other linden trees don’t have. I’m not a great botanist but I can tell the difference and so I called Sylvie. I told her ” Listen, I think I have what it takes to make your project, I have what it takes to make this linden note contemporary and above all to fit in a wide range” because it is not only an Eau de toilette, but there were also all the cosmetic products.


To have a strong idea in perfumery, especially on a flower, you have to manage to schematize it, in 3 points…

You have to find the angles, to find three of them, like that, it makes a triangle with a center of gravity that makes everything balanced.

So we had to find both the green freshness of the linden blossom, the little honey-orange blossom side (because it’s inherent to linden blossom, you can’t miss it otherwise it doesn’t “look like linden blossom”) and then this floral facet – because finally a linden blossom is a flower – and we had to find this very solar side, well rounded.

Because even if the linden refers to a little Proustian side, the madeleine, in fine, it is not that which counts. It is necessary to find “an evocation of” … plus the domain of Meynardie … plus a lot of personal things…

After that, what was interesting about this project, which I also really liked, was that the Eau de toilette was like a kind of “pretext” in the cosmetic line.  It is above all a story about the benefits of the linden tree – more than “I launch an Eau de toilette and then I’ll make a shower gel and a cream” – This was not at all the idea of the sisters, and I liked that.

The idea that appealed to me was the fact that this fragrance had to be modest compared to the other products of the range. It had to be there with a form of “modesty”, yes, that’s it…

It’s not like in traditional fine perfumery, where you have the Eau de toilette, the eau de parfum and then everything “depends on” the Eau de toilette/parfum…

Here, the idea was different: we had to anticipate the fact that it was a scent that would be used immediately in a cosmetic cream, in a skin care product, for the face, for the body…

We had to play with the scent and I liked that very much because linden has this olfactive elasticity. It can be very voluptuous in a cream that takes care of the body, the skin, the face. But you can also play on the fresh side of linden, for the morning in a shower gel (which I use by the way because the texture is very beautiful) which smells good, which feels good.

Simple and beautiful smells…. a perfume, it should just do that! I often say, a great perfume “smells beautiful”.  That’s the deal, when you work on a fragrance… the word “beautiful” is really pretty. A beautiful scent, it’s actually very pretty!

Finally, what was nice was to adapt the scent to sensations, to a galenic, to the smoothness of the cream, to the foam that you will have in the shower… I think it’s really nice to be able to play with these codes!  And linden blossom is a great way to do it!”

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