Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Gentle Fluidity

In a time when sexual fluidity is so du jour, Mason Francis Kurkdjian’s Gentle Fluidity duo could not be more relevant. The concept behind these two fragrances focuses on how two very different and distinctive olfactory personalities can be created using exactly the same notes. Francis Kurkdjian is a believer that fragrance notes have no gender and that it’s the perfumer’s job to shape the ingredients, bringing out in them what is traditionally considered masculine or feminine. The result is astounding; Gentle Fluidity Gold and Silver seem to come from completely different worlds. Indeed, they represent different ends of the olfactory family (one woody, aromatic and fresh and the other oriental vanilla). However, the differences also continue on a more abstract and emotional plain; as the names suggest, GFG and GFS are as different as gold and silver, hot and cold and, indeed, male and female; a duo of fragrances that are both conceptual yet as polished and wearable as all MFK scents are. Personally, I adore the vision behind GFG and GFS and the fact that Francis Kurkdjian chose to push his creative limits in this way, speaks of the genuine love he has for his craft; this is truly a perfumer at the top of his game. .

The notes:

Juniper Berries, coriander seeds, nutmeg, vanilla, musk, woods and amber


Gentle Fluidity Silver


Aromatic and spicy, Gentle Fluidity Silver represents the more masculine interpretation of the notes and in my opinion is the more successful fragrance of the two. In this creation, Francis Kurkdjian focuses on the spicy notes of nutmeg and coriander, mixing them with the fresh, gin-like notes of juniper. The result is refreshing, cool and dry.  I love the scent of nutmeg and coriander seed and found the scent’s opening explosive, if slightly harsh. If you are not a fan of these spices, the opening may be off putting, but give it a minute. Soon the juniper shows up, and it is wonderfully dry, green and refreshing. Finally, GFS is rounded off with woody, amber and vanilla notes, however, these only serve to harmonise and round off the concoction, and are never strong enough to be singled out. The “green” addition to GFS calls to mind the fern like notes of a classic fougere and in my opinion GFS could easily be considered a perfect barbershop scent. While a common complaint many men have with unisex fragrances is that they are too feminine, GFS is in my opinion quintessentially male.  In fact, I cannot see many women wearing this, except perhaps those who adore male perfumes. With regard to sillage and longevity I would say this scent is medium to heavy and very long lasting. All in all, I believe that GFS is a fantastic success and will please both Niche and designer fragrance lovers alike.

Gentle Fluidity Silver showcases the refreshing, gin-like notes of juniper berries


Gentle Fluidity Gold


While GFS is fresh, cool and bracing, Gentle fluidity Gold celebrates everything that is warm, sensual and feminine. In GFG vanilla is used to extravagant excess, and the result is a syrupy, slightly boozy oriental vanilla scent. And therein lies the problem for me; GFG is a fairly one-dimensional, and dare I say, generic fragrance. Even though it is spiked with the addition of coriander seed, amber and musk which add depth and warmth to the whole composition, these notes are never strong enough to make a big enough impact. GFG basically starts and ends with vanilla, and while the quality of the ingredient is clearly evident, if you don’t like vanilla, gourmand or sweet fragrances in general, this is not the fragrance for you. I feel that GFG would have been much more successful and interesting if a little more emphasis had been placed on the spicy, woody and green notes. This would have offset the vanilla and added an extra facet to an otherwise linear scent. In saying that, I don’t dislike GFG, and I am sure it will please many, especially lovers of vanilla. It’s inoffensive and safe, however, it lacked an edge and did not live up to what I expect from this house. With regard to sillage and longevity, I would say that GFG is a heavy and is a very long lasting fragrance.

Vanilla is used to extravagant excess in Gentle Fluidity Gold