When perfumer Francis Kurkdjian launched his own brand in 2009 it was clear the man knew what he was doing. The perfumes were well-composed, accessible and friendly. They were a great fit for most upscale boutiques and department stores where shoppers were interested in a prestigious name, good quality and chic but wearable fragrances. I liked a couple of them, though not enough for a full bottle, but was mostly bored. I guess I'm just not that into accessible and friendly.
The recently released Absolue Pour Le Soir, an intense interpretation of Kurkdjian's Cologne Pour Le Soir, is of a different caliber. Cologne is cuddly and polite but neutered. Absolue is animalic, and that probably would sum it up for many. It's not the cumin note that would separate lovers from haters. I find the cumin used by Kurkdjian to be at a very tolerable level and even the husband has yet to complain (he thinks Absolue is not particularly strong. All I say to that is: Seriously!?!?).
Absolue Pour Le Soir is mostly honey- honeyed rose, honeyed incense and honeyed kitten. I'd venture a guess that people who find Onda, Ferme tes Yeux, CB Musk, Miel de Bois and MKK despicably vile would also consider Francis Kurkdjian's Absolue too much like a dirty barnyard. If, however, you belong to the group who wears these scents for their fuzzy touch and sweet warmth, APlS is probably right up your alley. It's gorgeous in that real perfume way where cumin is just a spice that brings out other qualities in a scent and keeps it from going all treacle on one's skin. I tested it by spraying as well as dabbing and I definitely prefer to spritz- the skank develops more fully this way. Just use with caution.
Absolue Pour Le Soir ($175, 2.4oz) is available at most Maison Francis Kurkdjian authorized retailers from Bergdorf Goodman to Luckyscent. Aedes should be getting it soon and there's also the perfumer's Paris boutique (5 rue d'Alger).