Moving On, Too, and Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Media Cologne Forte

Well I am not moving on in the way that March is- I am not moving houses. I will state however that just reading about that gave me the fantods- I have piles and piles of stuff- books, DVDs, Tchotchkes, (perfume) and while all but perhaps the last could be ruthlessly abandoned ahead of a raging wildfire or plague of zombies the idea of packing it all up and actually moving it? Ugh. I am happy for March that her move is close enough that it seems some of it can be accomplished by hand-truck and a few nice men picked up from Home Depot. Not that I would not be able to pick up a few nice men at the Home Depot in Hollywood, but I am told that those pick-ups are for rather a different purpose. Not laying carpet but laying.. you get the gist.

No my moving on involves my car.  Avid readers of my scribblings and people with nothing better to do may remember the saga of my little car- a white high-mileage BMW Z-3 that I bought 7 or 8 years ago. Sadly it was bought just before a BFF, who would have loved a trip to Santa Barbara in it, top down, unexpectedly died so the first real road trip was to her funeral. It was a fun car- not great on gas but okay, and very trim, especially in comparison to the Cadillac I had previously driven (which Portia had been driven around LA in) It really helped to keep me sane during Covid- I could go on what I called “Covid Cruises” up the coast or along the length of Mulholland or the bends of Topanga Canyon in those days when the traffic was as non-existent as if there were zombie hordes waiting at the Shell station for when you had to refuel.

Bye old car- donated to KCRW

What it did seem to have was a cloak of invisibility: It was hit three times, the second to last by someone in a parking lot who fled (leaving the drivers door inoperable) and then by someone creating what could be a quintessentially LA accident: illegal exit from an entrance across traffic making a left without looking at anything except perhaps his phone, no doubt updating his IMDB page. He put a thumping dent on the passenger side, making that door only work from the inside, making the process of entering and using the car a long and surprisingly not comedic process.

Luckily his insurance cut me a check for the maximum of his liability since according to their estimates repairs would cost a few hundred more that his covered amount.

The new one. Jungle Red!

Long story short (too late, Tom!) it did cover 90% of the car I bought this week. It’s a few years newer model of the one I had, a Z-4. It’s lipstick red (not my first choice) so it cannot be ignored, if only by the Po-Po. Lucky I drive like a grandma. It does have a standard transmission, which was the only thing that I really missed about the Z-3- I am not commuting in traffic where an auto really makes it more pleasant. I like shifting myself. So it’s in the garage, insured and registered, and I can enjoy the heady luxury of opening the drivers door and sitting down, then using that same door to exit. At least until I meet the next inattentive Chad/Brad/Thad using his in-car TelePromptR to run lines rather than paying attention to the road.

So, I was testing during this week a sample which just popped up on my desk and which I frankly have no idea from where it came. I think my co-worker/work wife may have given it to me: Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Media Cologne Forte. Now I have somehow managed not to purchase anything from Maison Francis Kurkdjian despite really, really liking a lot of what they put out. They even are available in smaller, more reasonably priced sizes. But sometimes I do tell myself “no.”

Even when they make it really hard, and Aqua Media makes if realllllyyy hard.

Reading the notes (citrus, verbena, bergamot) one would be forgiven thinking “hasn’t this ground been covered before?” Well sure, but people have been making chocolate cake for a while too, doesn’t mean they should just pack it in. You would also be forgiven in thinking that there are ghosts of other scents in there: I smell whispers of everything from Eau Sauvage to Canoe. But the Eau Sauvage and Canoe from the 70’s when I was a kid in utero. I think it’s the fennel, with it’s earthy anise and dill notes that really make this one stand out. I can see where I could bathe in this- I went through that whole deluxe sample in two days flat, transported from an unseasonable rainy and cold Los Angeles March to a summer Sur La Plage, where I have 10% body fat, the summer sun miraculously never burns or ages, and I am piloting a small sailboat wearing a blue-and-white striped shirt, saying things like “come about” “trim that sail” or “more gin, less tonic.” For a cologne it actually has pretty good staying power, lasting several hours from the sparkly opening to the verbena-heavy finish. I kept respritzing to start the ride over, greedy Gus that I am..

Bumper stickers make it really mine..

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Media Cologne Forte is available at several places including department stores such as Nordstrom, this comes in sizes ranging from 1.2 OZ for $140 through $435 for the whopping 6.7 OZ. TBH the large size is a bargain and I would likely go through it in about a month or two, especially right now. So short of Looto winnings I am afraid it won’t be happening.

Have you tried this one? A fan of the house? Bought a new car? Want me to stop dribbling on, oversharing? Well, say so in the comments..

Photos: Mine and Pexels

  • Neva says:

    I’ll comment on the car – Z3 and Z4 have always been my dream cars. I didn’t even notice you wrote about perfume. Do I need to say anything else? I wish you many lucky miles with the new car. Red is audacious but it looks amazing on this car.
    …btw, I really like your stories and style.

  • Maggiecat says:

    I love the house (and actually met Kurkdjian himself at a NM perfume event) but it is pricy. This one sounds amazing though and with a Texas summer looming, I could easily be tempted. I love a good cologne!
    And I love your stories too, Tom – don’t stop!

    • Tom says:

      It is a great house. It isn’t that pricey considering I guess, just a little out of my league.

      Just not pricey for the sake of being pricey…

  • rosarita says:

    Congratulations on your new car, love the color and The Women.
    I have always driven a stick shift, really enjoy it, but since left knee surgery a couple weeks ago it will be a while before I can use the clutch.
    I thoroughly enjoy your writing! It’s great to be transported to LA, Cali in general, and your evocative posts about childhood in the east. Oh yes, you write beautifully about perfume, too.

    • Tom says:

      Thank you! That’s very nice of you!

      Hope the knee sorts itself out soon. A friend is having issues and hoping to avoid surgery, at least until after a planned trip to Europe. Which I hope she gets to take- she really deserves it.

  • alityke says:

    Don’t you dare stop writing. If you try my shade will race across the pond, the East Coast, Mid West & chase you round til you get tapping that keyboard again! The new car will just make you easier to find.
    Be afraid, be very afraid….
    As for MFK, dunno why, I haven’t tried many. Ok I do know $$$$$ price. Fortunately those I have tried haven’t gelled with me.
    I also have a new car if my own. A Toyota Yaris Hybrid GRSport in dark grey with red trims.

    • Tom says:

      Well, bring it! Me and your shade will hit the town for gelato and corn dogs! 🙂

      Toyotas are great- I was kind of looking at an old MR2, but it’s even tinier than the BMW was and I could not find one with reasonable mileage for a reasonable price- likely because of Toyota quality. They just go forever if you feed and water them.

  • Portia says:

    I REMEMBER THE CADDI! Like being driven around in a lounge room Tom. So glamorous.
    Can’t believe it’s now two cars since we hung out together. Sorry. Mea culpa.
    LOVE MFK. I have big Cologne pour le Soir and Absolu pour le Soir bottles, oh, and a Lumiere man. Also a mixed pack of travels with the gold case. Very ra sha sha.
    The new car is so freaking cute.
    Portia xx

  • swest says:

    Have you tried any of the new Dries Van Noten scents? Remarkable
    and remarkably pricey.

    • Tom says:

      I haven’t yet. They haven’t landed anywhere here that I’ve seen and $70 for a “discovery” set is bad if it turns out I discover I don’t like them. At that price point even worse if I do..

  • Dina C. says:

    Love the way you tell a story, Tom! Congrats on your shiny new car. Do you name your cars? Does she have a name? She looks like a Ladybird to me. I haven’t tried that particular MFK. I tried and loathed Baccarat Rouge, pissing off a SA in Neiman Marcus a few years ago. I dared to prefer Amyris Femme. (It’s the saffron in BR. Can’t do saffron.) Enjoy your new car! May the Chads, Brads, and Thads stay far, far away.

    • Tom says:

      Thanks! I don’t name them but this one did make me think of the line from “The Women”: “I’ve had three years to grow claws, mother.. Jungle Red!”

      SA’s can be tiresome. I once had one say “We don’t sell THAT here” as if I asked for eau de pigeon poop.

      I was asking for Eau Sauvage. At Robinson’s.

  • cinnamon says:

    Oh, Tom, that car. I get that it can’t fade into the background, but it is mind stompingly beautiful. The kind that brings good things your way (I hope). Kurkdjian … that sounds summer perfect.

    • Tom says:

      It’s funny- I always thought it was nice looking (but the Z-3 was more a classic roadster.) This is from the Chris Bangle era and he was very controversial. Especially his 7 series which was the first one to have the dreaded “Bangle Butt”

  • March says:

    Oh, this car news is wonderful! I’m so happy for you, although sorry you’ve been hit by inattentive dolts (glad you are okay!) I drive a red Nissan Cube that is now 12 years old — it’s easy to find in the parking lot, and visible to other drivers, but utterly ignored by gendarmes who assume (correctly!) that I’m probably the most boring driver ever. It’s also unattractive to thieves (and lots of other folks too, I hear) but I love it.

    • Tom says:

      I love the Cube. It’s funky, it’s cute, and it’s really practical. A little too practical for me. I want plausible deniability for when work decides that there needs to be a home depot run. “Nope, sorry, tiny roadster. You SUV people will have to do it.”

      But I would have something exactly like it as a second car- perfect for trips to costco or the garden center or even if I just needed to carry three people. Don’t know why they don’t make more of them and why people insist on silly giant SUV’s they can’t see out of..

      • March says:

        It is astonishing what I’ve put in the back of it over the years, since it’s so tall — dressers etc. you’d swear would never fit! My sole complaint is it is under-powered on the freeway, especially out here, but that’s not enough of a regular issue for me to replace it.

        • Tom says:

          I’m not sure being underpowered for the freeways is a bad thing. “No friend who lives five towns over, I can’t help you move your water bed/emotional support bison/ butterfly collection- you know my car is dangerously underpowered for the freeways..”

  • Maya says:

    The answer to each of your 4 questions is “No”.
    I always enjoy your writing. You are great at what the Hawaiians call “talk story”. I love storytelling, an art that is sadly disappearing.
    I like your new car too and can’t say anything about the color since my first car was red. Yours makes me think of Lucifer (of the series) who in the first scene drives in a small, very expensive convertible (not red) in LA at night. The devil is on vacation in LA, the City of Angels. Sooooo, have fun in your new RED car! 😉

  • Sarah says:

    Moving is a nightmare. God bless March. MFK broke my heart when it dumped 754. AVF is nice but $$$$!
    Glad you grannydrive. The color of your new foxy car is cop catnip!

    • Tom says:

      Everything seems to be $$$$ these days. Classic Guerlain at $130 seems like dinner for four from Mickey D’s. Which it pretty much is, these days.

      The new one had a bigger engine than the old. I have to remind myself to keep it steady and not be the little old lady from Pasadena..

  • Pam says:

    No new car. Haven’t tried this but it sounds wonderful. And DON’T stop writing! I love your posts.