Olfactive Studio

How to choose a perfume gift for a special occasion

Last week I bought a scented gift for my fiance’s niece Rachel for her college graduation. A very special occasion! My aunt had given me a bottle of Diorella perfume many years ago at my high school graduation and I still wear It. So I wanted to buy Rachel a perfume to link this happy occasion of graduating with a fragrance.  I wasn’t sure about her taste in perfume, only that she is 23 years old and likes perfume.

So I went to the perfume shop The Perfume Lounge which specialises in niche perfumes in Amsterdam. Where Phine helped me choose an appropriate gift for her.  She thought Olfactive Studio could have a perfume Rachel would like, since young women of her age usually like their fragrances. I choose the Olfactive Studio discovery set with 7 fragrances of 4 ml spray samples. This will give her plenty of possibilities to test them extensively. If she likes one of these she can choose a full bottle of one of the Olfactive Studio fragrances as a gift. I like the fact that Rachel can sample all fragrances for a longer period as the samples are 4 mls and experience which one she likes best. Rachel loved her present very much and we will see which fragrance she will choose.

Buying a Discovery Set and later a full bottle is probably not a common solution for all scented gifts given its price tag but I find it a good idea for a special occasion if you have a bit more to spend on a gift. It will also work well if you are buying a present with more people together for example at work or with a group of friends.

What do you think, would this work for you? Do you give perfume as a gift? How do you choose a fragrance for someone else?

Disclosure: photograph 1 and 3 made by me, photograph 2 made by Rachel.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Cologne pour le Matin Fresh…ok, but exciting ?

The French/Armenian perfumer Francis Kurkdjian made one cologne for the morning and one for the evening for his own perfume line Maison Francis Kurkdjian (MFK). This is a different approach to classic colognes which are mostly used in the morning to refresh but not very suited for evenings.


Cologne pour le matin is one of my favorite cologne.  The image I get is the one above. At first you smell citrus notes, lemon and bergamot very shortly. Afterwards you smell cedar wood for hours, like scenting sharpened pencils. This reminded me of the perfume Autoportrait by Olfactive Studio. Giving a clean, fresh but warm feeling. 

Cologne pour le Matin is fresh but not very exciting. Much more stimulating is another evening scent from MFK: Absolue pour le Soir. Absolue pour le Soir, an animalic scent, reminding me of horse barns. Kurkdjian said he was inspired for Absolue pour le Soir by a photograph of Bianca Jagger lying on a leather couch during the eighties while wearing a little dress.

He got his inspiration for Cologne pour le Matin from the first lines from the book Bonjour Tristesse by the French writer Francoise Sagan. She describes being wakened by a sunbeam. Another inspiration was walking on the grass in the morning. I can imagine these two sources of inspiration but not a picture of Bianca Jagger. 

Cologne pour le Matin might be too clean or even a bit boring for some but I find it a refreshing scent during the morning or day. Different from classic Colognes like Muelhens 4711. Longevity of Cologne pour le Matin is excellent.

Official notes according to MFK website: bergamot from Calabria, lemon from Sicily, white thyme from Maroc, lavender, oranjeblossom from Tunis. According to the Fragantica website the notes are cotton and flax.

August 8, 2012

Updated: October 14, 2014

Photographs were made by me.

Origin of sample: my own