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Baccarat Rouge 540

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Created by Parisian perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, for Baccarat’s 250 year anniversary, Baccarat Rouge 540 is, in my opinion, one of the best fragrances created M. Kurkdjian.

The name refers to the process of heating 24-carat gold powder with clear crystal gradually to a temperature of 540 C to create Baccarat’s iconic red coloured crystal.

Baccarat Rouge 540 is Kurkdjian’s interpretation of the process. In an interview he said, “The perfume suggests the heat of the furnace, the breath of the glass maker and the transparency of crystal through the association of ingredients that, in my mind, represent those ideas.”
Baccarat Rouge 540 opens with a sparkling note of blood orange. The ruby red colour echoes the name, but it smells citrusy-bitter, yet sweet and juicy and with its raspberry facets. Lurking just behind it, I smell the salty-sea sweetness of ambergris and the woodiness of cedarwood. On me, these stay present throughout the development of the fragrance, at times in the background at times called forward by facets of the other ingredients. In time, a note of jasmine, sweet and indolic blooms, its airiness warmed by saffron. The fact that saffron is one the world’s most expensive spices by weight, is a nod to the luxuriousness of the Baccarat brand. A note of aromatic, herbaceous sage appears, its peppery aspect keeps the warmth humming. It’s paired with lavender, its medicinal aspect on show here. Oak moss, turpentine-like, earthy and woody gives Baccarat Rouge 540 a rich, foresty, sensuous depth.

For me, what makes Baccarat Rouge 540 a perfect scent is the way the notes play on the skin, as though through a crystal lens, changing, re-arranging, re-combining different aspects of each note. For this to be successful the ingredients have to always re-combine in a pleasing way.  This is the genius of Francis Kurkdjian: choosing and manipulating ingredients to not just represent the heat of the furnace, the breath of the glass blowers and the transparency of the crystal, but to result in a fragrance that is complex, luminous and a joy to wear.

Notes: blood orange, ambergris, cedar, jasmine, saffron, oak moss, lavender and sage.

Type: EdP

Parfumeur: Francis Kurkdjian

Price: $8.00