Meet one of the world’s top noses — and he doesn’t wear perfume


Upstairs in Prunier, a culinary institution in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, Francis Kurkdjian can “smell something”, and it’s not the caviar-topped eggs. No, before anyone else in the room, he has realised that a sprig of foliage, hovering above a candle, has started to singe — but this is perhaps not surprising from someone who possesses one of the finest noses in the world.

Kurkdjian has created blockbusters for the world’s best labels, from Elie Saab and Jean Paul Gaultier to Narciso Rodriguez. In 2009 he co-founded his own line, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, of which LVMH acquired a majority share in 2017. Then, in 2021, he became the perfume creation director at Dior and was tasked with reimagining its bestselling scent J’adore, now 25



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