Francis Kurkdjian talks taste: Part Two

Krug champagne, Tokyo and unexpected parties round out the perfumer’s penchants

Francis Kurkdjian at Maison Francis Kurkdjian in Paris
Francis Kurkdjian at Maison Francis Kurkdjian in Paris | Image: © Lea Crespi

My style icon is my maternal grandfather. Both of my grandfathers were incredibly stylish, but my mother’s father had a separate dressing room complete with rows of white shirts and collections of hats and coats – everything was just perfect. His style was very Cary Grant, with a unique twist; he even wore sock holders, which I loved.

In my fridge you’ll always find Krug champagne, as well as a lot of food, because I love to cook. There tend to be dairy products – cheese, yoghurt – as well as filo pastry dough, as I like to make small, hot pastries filled with feta cheese. I also like making fruit compotes for dessert, so there are always plenty of apples around, too.

An Anselm Kiefer exhibition at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Pantin
An Anselm Kiefer exhibition at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Pantin | Image: Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris/Salzburg. Photo: Charles Duprat

A recent “find” is the new Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Pantin, just north of Paris. I met Thaddaeus at a dinner party hosted by Terry de Gunzburg many years ago and instantly became a fan. This space was once a heating systems factory and is designed to hold large-scale installations. 69 Avenue du Général Leclerc, Pantin 93500 (+331-5589 0110;

The sight that inspires me is the rooftops of Paris as seen from the restaurant Georges, at the top of the Pompidou Centre. From here you have a 360° view of the cityscape, with its grey zinc roofs and the golden tops of monuments such as the Dôme des Invalides. These grey and gold hues are the inspiration for the colour codes of my Maison, and all of my perfumes. 19 Rue Beaubourg, Paris 75004 (+331-4478 4799;


The last meal that truly impressed me was at my friend Alexis Muñoz’s house. He is an amazing cook and manufactures his own olive oils. We sampled the various kinds, made from olives from different parts of southern Europe – some infused with lemon, some with mandarin orange – with a meal of simply grilled calamari, mixed lettuce, tomato and mozzarella. Sometimes less is more. From €11.40;

The last music I downloaded was Bohèmes by my friend Béatrice Ardisson, a sound designer. She lives in London but whenever I need music for one of my in-store events in Paris, she is the first person I call.

The Château Baccarat collection, with wine glasses from £64
The Château Baccarat collection, with wine glasses from £64

The best gift I’ve given recently was a birthday party at my home in Paris, for a friend who lives in New York. Our group started with drinks, followed by dinner at a friend’s restaurant, before returning home for more champagne. It was a cool, unexpected party that lasted until 6am, and it was a great celebration.

And the best one I’ve received was an entire collection of new Château Baccarat crystal wine glasses. They are so pure and simple, and yet have a sophisticated design. From £64; and Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road, London SW1 (020-7730 1234;

The Roses Costes Dani Roses boutique at Hotel Costes in Paris
The Roses Costes Dani Roses boutique at Hotel Costes in Paris | Image: © Julio Piatti

The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a dark-blue, wool and cashmere striped suit by Boglioli. I bought it at Avedis, my favourite men’s tailor in Paris. It has a three-button jacket and is very stylish. Avedis, 354 Rue Saint-Honoré, Paris 75001 (+331-5862 4937; Boglioli,

My favourite room in my house is my kitchen. This is the place where I work, eat meals and host my friends for dinner. All parties – even ones with 50 people – always end up in the kitchen. The furniture is arranged in an L shape, which is inviting – as is the full bar area.


If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose the first arrondissement in Paris, where my flagship store is located. I like Rick Owens’s shop for the overall atmosphere. Au Vert et Plus sells beautiful flowers, and I buy the special roses from the Roses Costes Dani Roses boutique at the Hotel Costes. Chocolatier Jean-Paul Hévin is also nearby; his creations are works of art, so I like to stop here whenever I am in the neighbourhood. And for lunch I’ll maybe have a chicken Caesar salad or a Casti burger at the lively Le Castiglione, just around the corner from the Place Vendôme. Au Vert et Plus, 14 Rue Saint Roch, Paris 75001 (+331-4020 4280; Jean-Paul Hévin, 231 Rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris (+331-5535 3596; Le Castiglione, 235 Rue Saint-Honoré, Paris 75001 (+331-4260 6822; Rick Owens, Jardins Du Palais Royal, 130-133 Galerie De Valois, Paris 75001 (+331-4020 4252; Roses Costes Dani Roses, 239 Rue Saint-Honoré, Paris 75001 (+331-4244 5009;

The people I rely on for personal grooming and wellbeing are Cyril at Absolut’R for my haircuts, my personal trainer Stéphane Machovic, who comes to my home two mornings per week to work out, and physiotherapist Julien Montenot. I love a good massage, and Julien has the best hands in Paris. Absolut’R, 4 Rue Française, Paris 75001 (+331-4026 2464). Julien Montenot, +336-5002 6862. Stéphane Machovic, +336-4284 1393.

If I didn’t live in Paris, the city I would live in is Tokyo. I love the Japanese lifestyle as it is so out there – the fashion, the food, the colours; it really is a one-of-a-kind place. I always shop at Muji for things such as specially designed tableware and leather goods that I can’t buy elsewhere, and the Prada store is amazing architecturally. I like the Shinjuku area best, because it is very central and has amazing views. But while I love the cleanliness of the streets there, I’m still very happy living in Paris. Muji, Ginza Matsuzakaya, Matsuzakaya Ginzaten Honkan B2F, 6-10-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo (+813-3572 1111; Prada, 6-10-16 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo (+813-3575 9071;

If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be telling stories in other creative ways. There is a narrative to each of my scents, so I assume I would work in a field such as dance, literature, or art – who knows?