a journey of the senses by FLACONNEUR
GRAND SOIR – 2016 – ♂♀
Classification: Oriental Woody
Top: Ciste Labdanum from Spain
Heart: Benzoin from Siam
Base: Brazilian Tonka bean, Amber, Vanilla
Perfumer: Francis Kurkdjian
Price: $215 for 2.4 oz bottle
Francis Kurkdjian is always introducing perfumes that I deem classic sophistication. His product presentation is clean, simple and architectural. The most important part is that the bottles are filled with amazing scents. I haven’t fallen head over heels for every single one of Kurkdjian’s creations. But, I can say this: I haven’t smelled one yet that is a terrible disappointment. This talented, Paris-born perfumer has developed some amazing perfumes during his career, and for some of the most successful houses in the business: Guerlain, Giorgio Armani, Perfumes MDCI, Yves Saint Laurent, Versace, Jean Paul Gaultier and Dior to name a few. With that in mind, I doubt this new arrival will be something other than fabulous. Let’s find out.
It all started on a chilly, rainy fall afternoon. I found myself catching up with my good friend Billie at the Neiman Marcus fragrance counter. Billie thought Grand Soir might help brighten the damp, cold, rainy day that persisted outside. She also was keen to my weakness for amber fragrances. As she pulled out the bottle, it immediately reminded of another offering by Kurkdjian I have in my collection.
Grand Soir opened with a lightly sweet, but consistently feisty vanilla note. This lingered for some time, escalating into an aromatic, boozy, evening-time mélange. It was quite nice. I was beginning to understand the reasoning behind Billie’s suggestion. Grand Soir’s warmth slowly wrapped itself around you like a cozy, woolen sweater. Brazilian tonka bean suggested culinary notes of cinnamon, cloves and almonds, creating a vague incense effect. The heart, at its peak, had a more dedicated resinous vibe. Speckled with more nutty vanilla, the base was completed with a sweetened finale. Overall, a very pleasant performance. Would I find the need to add this to my collection? Well, no to be honest.
I find interesting similarities between Grand Soir and Absolue Pour le Soir. For me, there’s a relationship that exists between these perfumes beside their unisex appeal. Absolue Pour le Soir is the more “bad boy” between the two. With ingredients of rose honey, sandalwood, frankincense, ylang-ylang and cedar wood, creating a profile the likes of unwashed skin. Grand Soir is simply clean, ambery and warming. There are so many other amber fragrances that fill this niche. So, for me, Grand Soir just seems redundant. If you are exploring your first amber fragrance, certainly give it a try.