On 1 May 2021, venerated French fragrance house Maison Francis Kurkdjian is releasing three new scents.

The new Cologne forte collection is a continuation of Kurkdjian’s Aqua Universalis catalogue, a range of light and breezy scents that offer a modern reinterpretation of traditional cologne.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Universalis fragrance in gray bottle

‘I wished to reconnect with the tradition of the Eau de Cologne,’ says Kurkdjian, ‘which, in its original form, was also drinkable, creating a visible "inside-outside" effect. What is good for my body is also good for my mind.’

Post-2020, the notion of finding sanctuary in scent had never been more pertinent, as people search for easy ways to enhance themselves and, consequently, enhance their wellbeing. At-home facials, floral tinctures, or, in this case, a spritz of perfume, offer simple salves for emotional stress. As a keen student of perfume history and a perceptive judge of its future, Kurkdjian is playing on this trend with a collection of fresh, positive scents that evoke the warmth and light of summer days.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Celestia fragrance in blue bottle

‘In 2021, I wanted to bring a new light to this Aqua collection,’ says Kurkdjian. ‘In keeping in mind that the idea of freshness could also be explored starting from the sensations induced by light.’

To achieve this effect, Kurkdjian has used bergamot as the basis of all three scents. Aqua Universalis blends bergamot with the sweetness of white musk to create a scent that echos the freshness of crisp white linen.

For Aqua Vitae, Kurkdjian was inspired by the feeling of ‘freshness in hot weather,’ he’s experienced riding his motorcycle at high speed in the summer heat. It blends the bergamot base with luminous mandarin to create a warm floral fragrance

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Vitae fragrance in yellow bottle

The final scent in the collection, Aqua Celestia, is a mixture of bergamot, blackcurrant, mimosa (with its raspberry and blackberry facets), and jasmine (strawberry, apricot and peach accents), undercut by a mellow musk.

The result is a collection of gender-neutral fragrances that are, in the words of Kurkdjian, ‘a modern, long-lasting Cologne, showcasing the idea of light, color and sensations which was already in the genesis of the original eau de toilette fragrances.’ §