A years ago I spent 4 days in Paris as a part of my summer holidays (I also visited Berlin and Rome at that time). I pretty much enjoyed those few days of walking on foot while I was discovering streets and sights of the city, going out in the morning and coming back in the evening. As much as I was impressed by many historical, monumental objects in the city, nothing surpassed what I saw on one night. My appartement was in the heart of 7e arrondissement. It was around 21:00 when I noticed the Eiffel Tower twinkling with thousands of lights on the background of night sky, just outside my window. It looked glamorous and magical, I will never forget that view.
This year perfumer Francis Kurkdjian launched a new duet of fragrances for his own brand. Both fragrances are inspired by Paris as the city of light. Petit Matin, mentioned in my last part of Monday Quick Sniffs is about the morning light of city that is about to wake up. Grand Soir is the opposition, a fragrance idea of a night-time Paris and its charming evening illumination.
The perfume opens very bright and luminous with a rich aroma of amber. It’s beautifully deep and complex, having a shiny surface resembling of a fossilized tree resin that has the possibility to reflect the rays of light. In a very short time frame Maison Francis Kurkdjian Grand Soir becomes more intense and substantive, marking the appearance of benzoin. This resinoid sourced from Siam has a very balsamic and dense scent. It’s balmy for all the time but with time it reveals some little nuances of sweetness or saltiness. It surely is an interesting way of evolving.
After some time I clearly start to smell a lot of tonka bean effusing from my wrist. It introduces an aromatic quality that for a brief period of time could be recognized as oriental lavender by a mistake, but it’s just a delusion. In fact it smells mildly spicy with a gentle woody tone placed far in the background. When I try to sniff deeper into Grand Soir I seem to notice the aroma that makes me think of a glass of rum as I recognize the specifically sweet alcoholic vibe blended with molasses.
After some time vanilla comes to the front of the composition. In new MFK offering it’s presented in a darker way that is more suitable for an evening-inspired creation. It’s not as black as its pod but instead of being sweet and bright it smells more like a bourbon with just a little peek of sweetness. Labdanum is responsible for adding some smokiness to Grand Soir. This smoky vibe surrounds the wearer in a very elegant, sophisticated way, like small clouds trying to hug the moon. On my skin the perfume kept evolving for around 4 hours and from that point all the notes started to get blurry, yet still full of light. This perfume is like a photograph of Paris with a bokeh effect.
Last but not least, there is one thing that needs to be said from my side. My personal reflection on the scent. Grand Soir is less grand than the name would suggest. This perfume doesn’t evoke beautiful gowns, golden candlesticks or crystal chandeliers in a ballroom full of splendor. To me it’s a perfume for a romantic date on the Parisian streets. Nothing really matters – it’s only them & their hands holding each other. That moment. Guided by the warm lights of street lanterns. Under a silver moon their love story continues… This perfume is seductive in a sophisticated way, thanks to a more intimate sillage. Longevity is impeccable. This fragrance is a desire – liquified.