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Jan 6, 2023
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Podcast: Marc Chaya (Maison Francis Kurkdjian) on the perfumery since its merger with LVMH

Translated by
Jan 6, 2023

Marc Chaya is our first LuxurynsightXFashionNetwork podcast guest of this new year 2023. The co-founder and CEO of the exceptional perfume label, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, sits down with Godfrey Deeny, FashionNetwork.com's international editor, to discuss his personal journey, the house's connection with LVMH and the importance of French perfumery know-how. 

This former partner of the financial auditing firm Ernst & Young founded a luxury perfume house in 2009 with renowned perfumer Francis Kurkdjian - nose for Jean Paul Gaultier's "Le Male". Maison Francis Kurkdjian quickly established itself as an exceptional perfumery.

Its signature fragrance? "Baccarat Rouge 540" with its saffron and woody notes of Virginia cedar. This perfume was born from an artistic conversation with the Baccarat house. Originally it was just a limited edition, created to celebrate Baccarat's 250 year anniversary, as said the director. However the parnternship was extended following the scent's great success. 

Creativity at the core

The entrepreneur underlines the creative essence of his company and importance of celebrating the artistic expression of France's most talented perfumers. 

"Francis is not from Grasse like most of the worlds renowned perfumers, he is a city person and a Parisian, and therefore he brings something urban, modern and contemporary to the house's DNA." A way of differentiating itself in the current industry.

The capital and its cultural heritage are thus a source of inspiration for the duo at the head of the brand. "Our bottles, with their sleek, golden design, are a tribute Paris' monuments and institutions," adds Marc Chaya before recalling his primary ambition, which is "to bring joy to consumers.

A strategic and successful partnership

With Godfrey Deeny, the entrepreneur also discusses the changes that Francis Kurkdjian has undergone since its strategic partnership in 2017 with the LVMH group, which acquired a majority share of its capital.

Marc Chaya and Francis Kurkdjian, who are CEO and creative director respectively, remain shareholders in the company and retain their positions. The group led by Bernard Arnault is supporting the perfume house in its internationalisation, particularly in China and the United States. The dynamic expansion of its distribution network is proof of this, having opened in the last five years 200 additional points of sale, bringing the total to 750.

"We have multiplied our sales by 14," adds Marc Chaya, who claims the house is the number one brand at Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale's and the second at Saks.

The brand has come a long way since the inauguration in September 2009 of the first Maison Francis Kurkdjian boutique, a cozy glass and marble cocoon (25 square metres), located a stone's throw from the rue Saint-Honoré, which was formerly a shoemaker's shop.

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