Blog post by Gwen

Absolue Pour le Soir – animalic and sensuous and sophisticated


Photo: perfumeniche

I’ve been paying attention to French perfumer Francis Kurkdjian for a long time. And with good reason. His first scent, the ground-breaking Le Mâle, for Jean Paul Gaultier made him a rising star in the fragrance industry at the age of 25. Over the years, Kurkdjian has gained a reputation for innovation and artistry, making him one of the most creative perfumers working today. Just take a whiff of his immortelle-laced beauty Eau Noire, which he created for Dior, or experience the sparkling light to sheer darkness journey of Rose Babare, which he signed for Guerlain. Have you smelled the way patchouli cuddles the Bulgarian rose in Lady Vengeance, the fragrance he designed for Juliet had a Gun? This guy is dripping with talent.

Then, in September 2009, he launched his own line, Maison Francis Kurkdjian and opened shop at 5 Rue d'Alger in Paris. I remember the first time I visited the shop shortly after it opened. The sales assistant gave me the low down on how the décor, the bottle design – everything - was intended as an homage to Paris. She pointed out that the zinc stoppers on the perfume bottles were a nod to the zinc bar tops in Parisian watering holes.

Now, I happen to love and own many Kurkdjian creations, but nothing, I mean nothing, matches the moment when I tried Absolue Pour le Soir on my skin for the first time.

On me, it opens with a carnal, animalic note of civet. You read that right – it doesn’t open with a slow build-up to a sexy, animalic heart or base. Absolue Pour le Soir starts where many other fragrances finish. The civet is joined by cumin, which adds a green, herbal note, and benzoin, which gives it smokiness. As it blooms, a note of luscious, fleshy rose, sweetened by a note of sticky honey, envelopes the civet, which on me never goes away. It fades in and out but is always present. A note of ylang-ylang picks up the sweetness of the honey as its fruity, woody, dirty facets create a kaleidoscope effect around the rose, just as a smoky, deep note of incense starts to swirl through the mix. As it develops, there is a moment where it gets powdery, a nod to the French idea that a powdery note adds sophistication to a fragrance. It all sits on a sensuous, woody base of creamy sandalwood and warm cedarwood.

Describing it this way makes Absolue Pour le Soir sound interesting, but don’t be fooled. The minute this juice hits your skin, it starts to sizzle up to your brain where, synapse by synapse, it catapults you right between the sheets. As it dries down, you can smell the traces of your lovely floral/incense/woody perfume throughout the day. But lurking just behind the smoky florals and soft woods is the slight skanky smell of sexual adventure.

Check out Absolue Pour le Soir in our Shop.