Saturday, December 19, 2009

Some of Agathe's Good Scents for Us All

“FRUGAL fatigue.” You have it? You know what it is, right? The condition – as defined by one of the commentators on CNBC's “Fast Money” – characterized by a weariness of being frugal and thus wanting to spend money. Of a great desire to pony up for something a bit more substantial than toothpaste and toilet paper. According to the “Fast Money” guy, many Americans are tired of T&T and crave SONY&DKNY&BMW&I-PHONE & the like. This being December, FF is probably taking a huge toll on lots of folk.

Yours Truly, on a strict money diet for many moons now, is not suffering from FF. But I would be remiss if I did not do my patriotic duty and lend a hand to my fellow Americans who are agitating to furiously and, no doubt, responsibly spend for the holidays. Over the next several days I will introduce a product (or brand) a day that I would buy for myself or someone else if I were spending (and could afford to, of course).

Let’s see, Gift No. 6:

When I decided to attend the launch party for the Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris line at Bergdorf Goodman, I imagined that it was just another fragrance debut. A perfumer, even one of the most famous in the world, throwing a shindig to introduce his new scent to a (hopefully) receptive and exclusive public. I’d be in and out in 30 minutes tops, I calculated, long enough to pay proper respects.

My imagination was way off, for FK’s vision is much grander than a mere cologne. This goes far beyond his thriving bespoke (made to order) business. Or his scents for Elizabeth Arden, Giorgio Armani, Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Yves Saint Laurent, Versace, et al.

A Frenchman of Turkish/Armenian descent, FK has imagined “24 hours of a perfumed life.” In other words, a product line, “because day after day, perfume does exist for me as a part of the art of living, as a transcendent approach to life,” he waxes poetic in the press materials. He works in the main from a base of white flowers (Aqua Universalis), orange flowers (APOM), and rose (Lumiere Noire), but the scents vary (great marketing!) from product to product.

Naturally, cologne (for morning and evening, $195), eau de toilette and eau de parfum (for him and her, $130 to $185) are to be expected. But by my count, the cologne and two eau des only add up to around 9 hours. What of the other 15 hours? Mmm …

Scented Candle – ($65) Why not offer the hostess one of these in lieu of flowers? It sits on a zinc base with a felt underside, rendering it quiet and non-detrimental to fragile surfaces. More important, the host will be able to spend more time with guests because s/he won’t feel obligated to go in search of a vase.

Interior Perfume ($55) – What a charming euphemism for air freshener! Move over Glade.

Incense papers ($25) – The eccentric aunt who goes in for chanting and palm-reading may appreciate these strips. Even if she isn't eccentric, even if chanting and palm-reading aren't her thing her appreciation is almost a given. Place them in a container such as a drawer or suitcase (my plan for my samples) or burn them. Light the fire with one of the matches included with the 20 strips in a slender match box.

Perfumed Leather Bracelet ($200) – Inspired by leather gloves, it fastens with a sleek monogrammed silver magnetic clasp. A fragrant alternative to a wrist watch

Agathe’s Bubbles ($20) – Says FK of his little muse: “For Agathe, I have created a collection of scents to help discover the world of fragrance while playing. Twist, blow, marvel! … Here’s an opportunity to both program children to love a brand, and for adults to get in touch with their inner 6-year-old (smart marketing!, both).

Laundry Detergent (fabric softener, too, $45)– Banish the thought of dirty gym socks and rough towels! Move over Tide. Bounce, Downy

Like the man said, 24 hours of a perfumed life.

Learn more about Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris at

1 comment :

  1. Vevlyn! Thank you for the wonderful writeup! I am glad that we are all feeling Frugal Fatigue! Let's get this economy going again! :) Was great to meet you at the Maison Francis Kurkdjian party at Bergdorf Goodman's and a pleasure for me to take you through the collection. Come and see us again soon! Happy Holidays to you and yours!
    Peace, KVD for MFK
    P.S. — What MFK scent are you loving? K.


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