My niche perfume tour started when I pitched my tents in Paris for a year in August 2019 to do a voluntary social year in a school for disabled children. I had started to look more intensively into fragrances of all kinds (designers at first, of course) shortly before that; but as I know it from me, I don't stick to the "normal" things in life for long, preferring to devote myself to the extravagant and, along with it, the expensive. So I diligently researched the Internet for the most famous and renowned Parisian perfume boutiques, and found, among others, the "Maison" (house) of Francis Kurkdjian, a perfumer with Armenian roots born in 1969 in the city I love so much.
The flacon design of the fragrances displayed in the boutique near the Tuileries immediately swept me off my feet completely: so simple, so practical, yet so ingenious, so classy and so delightfully snobby ;).
After several tests of random off the shelf perfumes (with then still seeeeehr untrained nose) caught my attention the fragrance to which I dedicate this review. Like liquid auburn-orange gold in a 75 ml glass bottle, I thought to myself. How much I was to be proved right, I didn't know at the time..........
Sprayed it on the tester, found it "Alright", and took it to my little West Paris apartment alongside a few other échantillons, mainly from the "Oud-mood" range. The next day (Saturday), for lack of other choses a faire, I then perfumed my room completely, and sprayed some MFKs on my arm, hand and other still exposed skin areas. The "Grand Soir" also landed somewhere on my body, opening the door to another world. Before anyone thinks this is over the top, wait and see!
After countless more tests of just this one perfume (the "Oud-mood" range had suddenly become terribly boring), I rushed to the metro, got off at the "Tuileries" and snagged a 75 ml Grand Soir gem. After more test sprays over the next few days, I was sure I was definitely in another world. The class, the elegance, the sophistication, the skillful "snobiety" of this fragrance is intangible and incomparable. To me, this fragrance smells of a kind of likeable and endearing, yet insanely decadent arrogance. This could already be the end of this/my story with "Grand Soir" by Maison Francis Kurkdjian, if it weren't for one more huge little anecdote.
In the relatively mild Parisian winter of 2019, I was really looking forward to one of a few get-togethers with a friend who lives in an eastern suburb of Paris. We had a date at a bar near the Place de la Nation in the bustling and lively Bastille neighborhood, and she told me in advance there would be a few other friends of hers joining us. Half an hour after us, these "other friends" arrived at the bar, and introduced themselves as 2 pleasant young men and a girl, the sight of whom left me speechless from the first moment. Their looks, their appearance, their casual elegance and their unaffected charm triggered something like love at first sight in me. I had, of course, in the meantime forgotten the fragrance cloud of the scent, which still surrounded me very perceptibly a good hour and a half after applying the 2 sprays on my neck. As we greeted each other with the typical French cheek kisses, she looked at me for a moment too long and said "tu sens merveilleux" with what could only be guessed as a smile on her lips. We spent a wonderful evening, laughing, playing cards, talking about Franco-German similarities and differences, enjoying those and borrowing a Parisian evening from a picture book, drawn by a master.
Before I fell asleep, an invisible companion, whom by now I should have forgotten for the second time, made himself impressively known again. He seemed to be talking to me, whispering something to me. I did not understand him; he spoke a language not of this world. I knew at once what he was trying to tell me. Two words. Grand. Soir. Grand. Evening. That was all he needed to say. That was all he needed to say. I smiled and nodded. Yes, a truly great evening. You made it so. Your name says it all. You were made for a big night out in Paris. You fit like a glove in this vibrant, breathtaking, charming, beautiful, indescribable cosmopolitan city. Merci beaucoup, Monsieur Grand Soir for this evening that will be remembered as one of the most beautiful of my life and thank you, Monsieur Francis Kurkdjian, for this fragrance.
I have only seen the girl once before today. That night. Whether I will ever see her again, heaven only knows. But when I wear Grand Soir, she sits beside me and smiles softly at me....
some moments can't be repeated. They are too unique, too golden. The most you can do is preserve them in a perfume bottle, and pull them out when you want to remember....
like great evenings out..