Aqua Universalis is part of a new range of fragrances by French perfumer Francis Kurkdjian. At the age of 15 he decided to become a perfumer. At 25 he authored Le Male by Jean Paul Gaultier. Kurkdjian has done most of his work as a perfumer for Quest International and Takasago. In 2001 he began doubling this work with his own bespoke creations and in 2009 created his own perfume line under the name Maison Francis Kurkdjian. The brand is quirky and playful, offering laundry liquids and even perfumed bubbles, encouraging children to discover the world of scent. Other fragrances provide both men and women with an option for day and for night. Aqua Universalis sits in the middle and is not gender specific. Aside from personal use the scent is suggested for living spaces and can be used as a linen spray. It is truly a universal water. Kurkdjian says Paris was at the heart of his inspiration. The city’s skyline, grey roof tops with zinc and gold spires are reflected in the brand’s simple packaging.
I read about the range online and had the fortune of finding it at Joyce department store during a work trip to Hong Kong. Aqua Universalis stood out to me as something special. It is pure liquid light. The orange blossom note is made to feel weightless, delicate, airy and ethereal. A woody cedar note has a grounding presence while a white musk accord acts like a soft focus photographic lens filter. It is pure innocence in a bottle. Although Aqua Universalis may have been inspired by traditional eau de cologne, the modern floral accord and the fresh laundry musk steer the genre in a whole new direction.
Completely unisex and suitable for those who love the feeling of the ritual morning shower, dressing in clothing freshly laundered and pressed. Aqua Universalis’ wearer is thoughtful, optimistic and creative.
Perfumer: Francis Kurkdjian
Bottle designer: Fred Rawyler
Release date: 2009
Typology (via Fragrances of the World): Soft Floral