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Olfactory Installations

Francis Kurkdjian loves the fleeting magic of olfactory installations and the emotions they trigger. For nearly a decade, he has been helping fragrances leave their bottles to discover new playing fields.

Accompanying visitors as they climb the stairs to a Hall of Mirrors suggested by a giant looking glass, the scent of roses adds a poetic, sensory dimension to the retrospective exhibition on the painter Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun. Designed by Francis Kurkdjian in collaboration with the scenographer Séverine Baehrel, this new installation drew inspiration from floral ornamentation, a recurring theme in the artist's work that echoes the fragrance "À la rose" created for Maison Francis Kurkdjian. Exhibition from September 2015 - January 2016 at the Grand Palais.

For his second collaboration with lille3000, Francis Kurkdjian drew inspiration from Leonardo da Vinci, whose artistic presence marked Milan. He dreamed up a fragrant sfumato visible from the Palazzo delle Stelline's main entrance. Named "Stratus 2015", this cloudy impression invited visitors to escape into a deep haze that left an olfactory trail along the passageways of the France / Lille Europe Pavilion. Built around an accord of banana, orange, lotus and coffee blossoms, this bouquet echoed the plants featured in the "Textifood" exhibition. By using a groundbreaking medium for this new olfactory installation, Francis Kurkdjian brought a unique creative approach to the France / Lille Europe Pavilion.

For the 27th annual Biennale des Antiquaires, renowned decorator and scenographer Jacques Grange chose French gardens as the theme, in reference to the Château de Versailles and the Trianon. When the idea of creating a scented fountain emerged, he naturally turned to master perfumer Francis Kurkdjian to compose the olfactory signature of this event, which was held under the glass dome of Paris's Grand Palais from 11 to 21 September 2014.

In collaboration with Albert Schrurs, the founder of Allegory Studio. This project presented flower-like fans of the invented variety dubbed "Flora Tournicota" featuring white petals and golden stems. Crafted out of perfume blotters, their energy produced a fragrant breeze that naturally caused the pinwheel flowers to turn.

In a dual tribute to the stunning venue and to childhood, 800 two-wick candles, as expressive as eyes, were specially created for this event and arranged in a dreamy geometric pattern. Hundreds of gazes shimmering in the darkness interplayed with the light and the air as it moved. With every blink they released a woody, spicy, fruity, powdery fragrance, dancing and carefree.

A deliciously perfumed performance took place to mark the 6th European Night of Museums under the glass dome of the Grand Palais. Francis Kurkdjian transformed this space into a giant imaginary greenhouse, where no fewer than ten fragrances of flowers, wood and honey created a magical world in which thousands of bubbles floated against the backdrop of a musical ambience created by Béatrice Ardisson.
The installation drew 23,000 visitors.
Music: ""Pavane for a Dead Princess"" by Maurice Ravel, interpreted by Katia and Marielle Labèque (eMusic • iTunes)

lille3000 asked Francis Kurkdjian to join the group of artists presented at Shanghai's Expo Off. At the Lille Europe Pavilion, located at a Taoist temple in the heart of Shanghai, Francis Kurkdjian chose to release bubbles scented with violet, symbolic of a certain French charm.

At the same time, the France Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo wished to organise a similar event, and asked Francis Kurkdjian to diffuse three different fragrances – freshly cut grass, fig and lily of the valley – throughout the pavilion.

Francis Kurkdjian celebrates Béatrice Ardisson and Emilie Simon, the ambassadors of Parisian style and sound.

Act I
Scented bubbles are released on 5th Avenue

Act II
Their sparkling rose scent lures VIPs inside, where hundreds of fragrant candles are arranged in this embassy-turned-lounge for one night.

Act III
A unique, perfumed atmosphere of light beckons upstairs to the concert hall. A fragrance specially composed to complement Emilie Simon's music.

Summer 2008. A giant trompe l'oeil representing a theatre curtain marked the entrance to another world. The Ballroom was lit with 600 scented candles, underscoring the venue's natural elegance. In the air floated a powdery fragrance peppered with violet.

A playful olfactory installation at the Latona parterre in the gardens of the Château de Versailles during the Grandes Eaux Nocturnes in 2007 in 2008.
Sixteen bubble machines released thousands of strawberry, pear and melon-scented bubbles in homage to Louis XIV’s favourite varieties of fruit.

This olfactory installation enhanced with music and light was set up in the Grove of the Three Fountains during the 2007 and 2008 Grandes Eaux Nocturnes in Versailles.
The grove's basins, water jets and fountains gave off a scent of metallic rose, while mist and lighting effects evoked a glacial universe.

To celebrate the 3rd edition of Versailles Off, Francis Kurkdjian transformed the Orangerie basin into a giant fluorescent, fragrant orange. The scent of orange blossom, propelled by the water jets and diffused throughout the park, lent a unique magic to this autumn night.