Maison Francis Kurkdjian Amyris Femme

Amyris Femme

Fragrances are inevitably personal, but here at ITG, we know a good one when we smell it. Maison Francis Kurkdjian launched Amyris as a fragrance duo (for homme et femme, bien sûr) in an attractive pair of squat, square bottles linked by their shared use of Florentine iris and a resin derived from amyris, a flowering Jamaican tree sometimes referred to as “torchwood" for its flammability. The use of resin in a perfume usually makes for a heady, musky, amber-full fragrance, but the addition of the (super-rare!) iris balances both scents nicely. Now, we're not the “girliest” of groups, but we were surprised to find ourselves all consistently favoring the lady version versus its masculine counterpart (which boasts rosemary, mandarin, tonka bean and oud). We were less surprised when we found out that Francis Kurkdjian conceived the scent with the “Parisian woman in mind,” according to the press materials. (Since, you know, we all wish we were French.)

It’s always a perk to find a perfume that isn’t aggressively musky or sweet, that doesn’t project too much (is there anything worse than being in an elevator with someone who seems to have doused themselves in scent?) and Amyris Femme’s lighter citrusy notes (Californian orange, though it smells lemony to us) combine well with woody vetiver and a subtly musky amber base for a clean smelling perfume that’s both pretty and fresh while still being warm—and lasting all day. It’s a grown-up scent (and not "cheap" at $185 for 2.4 fl oz)— sort of sophisticated without trying too hard (i.e. going the full “old-lady”)—that won’t freak your friends out or smell like anything else out there.

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  • SF City Editor

    I love the skull! Gorgeous...

  • fairytalesandcoffee

    I like the flowers, skull and the books - great and interesting arrangement. I could care less about perfumes but this is a great set up.

  • Hgh1975

    His fragrances are just amazing. I was in Paris last week, and visiting his shop was one of my priorities. When I arrived, the salesgirl was locking the door to go to lunch, and when I told her that I'd come from New York to make a pilgrimage to the Francis Kurkdjian store (somewhat of an exaggeration, but not totally), she reopened the shop. I did try the Amyris, but ended up getting the Oud. It is now sitting next to my APOM, which is my all-time favorite. Yes, I could have bought it at Bergdorf's. But getting it at that teeny tiny flagship store was just so much more memorable (not to mention cheaper).

  • jen

    I have been noticing the pretentious backgrounds as well! I definitely agree that make-up doesn't need to be just for bimbos, but . . . it just doesn't make sense! Eagleton and bronzer? Perfume and Ionesco? Is one of the people on the ITG team is moonlighting as a lit grad student or what???

  • The Snail’s Pajamas

    So acknowledging you read is now pretentious? Sad.

    • Gaufrette

      Those who read understand what pretentiousness means

  • HBS8044

    Love these posts--am constantly on a quest for my next scent, really ever since my favorite was discontinued and I've been unable to replicate it with any mixture of my own (you'd be amazed how hard it is to get just the right touch of gardenia before smelling like a funeral parlor). I agree, I love the set-ups of this photos and ones I've seen like it on ITG. Not only are they beautiful and interesting (so much to look at and be curious about) but it really seems to be about how the makeup or beauty product is being incorporated into your life. I much prefer seeing a bottle of perfume set on a shelf with books, or next to a table decoration, much like where I would put it, than in some painfully plotted bathroom scene. How boring. I'm much more likely to pick up a bronzer, use it, and put it back down in the midst of my belongings (books, magazines, shelf, dresser). And these products are so beautiful themselves, it's nice to see them on display with other pieces to be admired. I am also of the mind that it never hurts to see a few classic titles. Maybe someone will actually look one of them up!

  • Anais

    Actually that Terry Eagleton was at Alessandra's place, she's a writer, so it's not surprising that she would have a lot of books. What sort of background would not be pretentious?

  • Gabrielaamarchand

    Where is the skull from?!

    • ITGAlessandra

      It was given to me after a dinner party I'd covered at WWD-- it was part of the table décor. The necklace on its head is by Lizzie Fortunato.

  • Joanna

    I don't think the photo is pretentious at all. In fact, I quite like the juxtaposition between the flowers and skull (life v. death). I heart MFK and will definitely seek out this latest fragrance on my next shopping trip. I wear MFK Lumiere Noire Pour Femme; it's a gorgeous dirty rose that smells sexy and ladylike at the same time.

  • SF City Editor

    Just read all of these comments, who are these people? Gorgeous photo and love Amyris, perfect.