Maison Francis Kurkdjian Cologne Forte Collection

My first experience of Maison Francis Kurkdjian was in one of London’s prestigious department stores, Fortnum and Mason. The range of fragrances immediately caught my eye, their striking vessels exuding an alluring understated luxury. With a vast range to choose from, I soon worked my way through each one, treating my senses to a complex range of undeniably beautiful scents. I was instantly captivated and immediately sought to increase my knowledge of this brand and the people behind the collection. Co-created in 2009 by perfumer Francis Kurkdjian and businessman Marc Chaya, Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s aim was to bring the genuine creativity of the perfumer to the forefront. Francis Kurkdjian who is an internationally renowned perfumer, created numerous iconic fragrances such as Jean Paul Gautier’s Le male and My Burberry, to name but a few. He has recently stepped into the role of Creation Director at Christian Dior Parfums and I am very excited to see what creations he comes up with next.

Released in 2021 is an exciting new interpretation of three fragrances from the aqua collection, which garnered fans from around the world (including myself). Named Cologne Forte, these new renditions take inspiration from the essence of light with their main ingredient concentrating on the zestful Calabrian bergamot. Aqua Universalis, Aqua Vitae and Aqua Celestia have all been reimagined and intricately modified to reveal a fresher facet of their original composition. Normally when I see the word cologne, I tend to deviate away from it as I have not had much luck with traditional ‘cologne’ fragrances. Colognes certainly have their place in the market, but for me they are always so fleeting and fail to make any long-lasting impression. Luckily MFK has skilfully encapsulated the lively effervescence of a cologne with the intensity of an Eau de Parfum. Released just in time for summer, their new Limted Edition Aqua Cologne Forte gift box allows you to experience all three of the above variations.


Aqua Vitae Cologne Forte

Just like its vibrant yellow bottle, Aqua Vitae is a fragrance full of light and warmth. As you spritz the smile-inducing scent on your body it has the ability to instantly transport you to happier climbs. Like stepping outside to catch the first slithers of the morning sun, it begins with the most joyful and bright effervescence. Sicilian Mandarin & Calabrian Bergamot intermingle to bring delightful energy that playfully engages the senses. Ripened yellow bergamot unsheathes its gnarly skin to reveal its precious fruity, juicy and sweet facets. Freshly peeled mandarin dispels its oils in the air, bringing a welcoming freshness that enhances this beautiful fragrance. Like a summer afternoon, Aqua Vitae swathes the wearer in a candescent ray of sunshine, coating the skin in a golden veil of luminous and delicate florals. Imagine laying in a summer meadow, a gentle breeze allowing slithers of sunlight to slip through colourful petals, releasing their subtle aromas. It’s not long before a blanketing of musk ensues, a tender softness that billows from the skin in undulating waves. Aqua Vitae is certainly my favourite from the trio as it perfectly encapsulates summer and is an instant boost to the soul on days when you need it most.

Aqua Vitae Cologne Forte

Blu Blazer Guy Rating:
Presentation 4.5/5
Sillage 4.5/5
Projection 4/5
Longevity 4/5


Aqua Universalis Cologne Forte

With the previous scent you experienced the warmth of the sunshine, but with Aqua Universalis Cologne Forte you will revel in the natural light cast from its heavenly body. Aqua Universalis is as pure as the bottle it is presented in, revealing an array of crisp, fresh and radiant notes. Calabrian Bergamot again brings its zestful entity to the forefront. Like a freshly poured glass of lemonade, it twinkles in the sunlight, unveiling its uplifting aromas with a nose-tingling effervescence. It’s a blast of freshness that may be intense for some. For me, it’s reminiscent of travelling to the coast on a hot summer’s day to relish in that instantaneous waft of fresh air. Before long that intense wave of vibrancy wanes and hints of delicate florals start to shimmer through. A covering of white petaled flowers showered in brightness allows their bouquet of sweet elegant aromas to fly free in the air. Mingling with a smooth comforting musk it begins to reveal nuances of freshly laundered clothes. Envisage crisp white shirts rippling in a summer breeze, a floaty clean redolence that revives the mind.

Aqua Universalis Cologne Forte

Blu Blazer Guy Rating:
Presentation 4.5/5
Sillage 4/5
Projection 4/5
Longevity 4/5


Aqua Celestia Cologne Forte

Last but certainly not least we come to the final fragrance in the trio; the stunning Aqua Celestia Cologne Forte. Once again citrus tones of bergamot provide that initial vivacity, this time beautifully backed with a tinge of summer berry nuances. Imagine blackcurrants falling from their stem into a cascading mountain stream. Tumbling over rocks their fragile skins gently bruise, releasing purple clouds of sweetness in the bubbling spring water. This cool aquatic freshness is soon caressed with a ray of sunlight. A gentle warmth begins to ensue with the powdered honey tones of mimosa. The floral heart flirts between this gentle warmth and the fresh airy seductiveness of jasmine. Like a chiffon veil of petals, the floral notes gently flow in the forefront, uplifted by the cool breeze of that perpetuating freshness. The dry down is simply exquisite when that impressive musk comes into play. Sitting close to the skin like a luxurious cream it encapsulates the freshness in a comforting bubble. Like a gentle summer wind carrying a dandelion in its grasp , the soft nuances delicately fill the air for the longest time, dissipating into the distant summer sky.

Aqua Celestia Cologne Forte

Blu Blazer Guy Rating:
Presentation 4.5/5
Sillage 4/5
Projection 4/5
Longevity 3.5/5


Cologne Forte Collection

Fragrance Concentration: Eau de Parfum
Size: Available in 70ml, 30ml or 3 * 30ml Limited Edition gift box
Available to buy in numerous stores and Maison Francis Kurkdjian website.

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