Francis Kurkdjian Lumiere Noire Femme and Homme

So.  Ever have those moments in your life where you look up, shake your head a couple of times and realize that you are living the life of your dreams, even though it doesn’t look exactly like what you thought it would be?  Yeah, I have been easing into one of those for months.  What makes it real is that my complete contentment and happiness is dependent on no one person.  I’ve had times before where I thought life was perfect, but it was because I was in love or some other outside thing was happening that precipitated that, and it was transient and cosmetic – it left as soon as that relationship hit bad places or the new wore off of the promotion or new house or Laboutin shoes.  This is a deep-rooted to my bones happiness that comes from my heart and soul.  Wow, that took a long time, just 49 years.

This is also the contentment of abundance season for perfume.  I’m awash in things to try that I’m admiring and/or loving. The FKs, the new Cartiers, the VC&As.  It’s a pretty great fall for perfume. Yes, there’s a lot of releases, but so many are really good and great.  I just can’t figure out what to review next!  So I’ll keep working through the Kurkdjians.

Lumiere Noire Pour Femme has notes of Spiced Rose (cumin, hot pepper), Patchouli and Narcissus. Lumiere Noire Pour Femme is just ridiculous – this is a fully grown, bosom-heaving woman who knows how to cast a come-hither invitation while never looking like a tramp.  There was a scene in Mad Men last year where Betty Draper was standing in her front yard in a beautiful white negligee, perfectly coifed and made up, a cigarette dangling from her lips, eyes squinty to keep out the smoke, and the camera scans down to the shotgun in her hands, which she hoists up to her shoulder and shoots the neighbor’s pigeons because he threatened to kill her kids’ dog.  That’s Lumiere Noire – it is dark because the light can’t penetrate, but it lacks nothing and needs nothing.  Rose, patchouli, spices, warm, lingering,  and hot, naughty narcissus. Caron’s Narcisse Noir meets Amouage Lyric woman and conspire to ensnare your soul.  Denyse reviews it and Pour Homme beautifully.

Lumiere Noire Pour Homme takes masculinity and binds it.  Notes of Spiced Rose (cumin, cinnamon) , Patchouli, Narcissus, Mugwort herb.  On first blush, I thought this was going to be a much more traditional masculine scent.  It opens that way, and then somehow it is captured and bound and starts radiating some heat that’s closer to the Pour Femme, and that dusting of cinnamon as it hits the heart is completely unraveling me in the bet ways.  As Denyse notes, it is a little bit of a sexually ambiguous perfume, which means we chicks can happily wear it, but it’s not anywhere near feminine enough to scare macho guys away.  Well, maybe a little if they scare easy.  They’re not the same scent at all, but wearing one on one arm and one on the other is pretty intoxicating.  The Femme strikes me as being a little dirtier in unexpected ways, and the Homme strikes me as being a little primmer in unexpected ways.

These are two surprising, unexpected, classic scents.  Okay, winner from last week’s FK review post is:  Margot.  Just click on the Contact Us on the left, send me your address, and I’ll get you out a set of samples of all the FKs.

So let’s do it again!  Just drop a comment in today’s post to be entered in the drawing for another set of the new MFK scents.

  • hongkongmom says:

    Wow i am 47 and am finally starting this amazing contented feeling… after a life of searching and questioning life hardships, trails and tests…it is an amazing sense of peace…maybe it is the beginning of the “golden years” and if u work hard enough…u get there!!!
    well now, enough of that heavy stuff..a cross between narcisse noir(absolutely luuuv but only the extrait) and lyric…this is a total must try and have….oh my patty, u rock at this enabling thing…and you are helping me get over seeing him as a clebrity guy (i hate that stuff) and see him as a DUDE…more contentment!!=:)

    • hongkongmom says:

      oops sorry, my fuddled brain put two articles together…the “getting over seeing him as a celebrtiy…” is for march on the next article…what shappening to the contented brain?at least i found my mistake #:-s

  • Sharon says:

    Hi! Please enter me in the drawing – I would be so happy and excited to win!

  • Joe says:

    Wow, I’m late to the party. I’d love to be in the draw. I love a rosy, spicy masculine. Reminds me that now I have a decant of Lyric Woman, I really need another sample of Lyric Man.

  • Liza says:

    That was beautifully said, Patty – referring to your first paragraph. I went through a terrible slump a year or so ago and after many sessions on the couch, realised with amazing clarity that it is I who is responsible for my happiness – not the boyfriend, best friend, mother, father or job.

    I am looking forward to sniffing these as well as the new Cartiers and Van Cleefs.

  • ggs says:

    That’s great news that you like many of the new fall launches! I look forward to sniffing these.

    *high five* on the happy years in mid-life. I’m with you there 🙂

  • Mikael says:

    Please enter me in the draw, all of these FK creations sound so lovely.

  • Michelle H says:

    Sounds awesome, I’d love to smell them. Drop my name in the slew.

  • gwyneth says:

    “….we become so consumed with trivialities, that we often bypass what we already have”…

    Today, this comment and your blog resonate within my soul. It is a wonderful thing to realize there is a balance in life, and it can be achieved. Age and experience are good things – even though I whine about both of them fairly frequently.:o, because if we live and experience life, we can obtain wisdom and equilibrium. Nobody gets out of here alive, and life continualy throws curve-balls our way, so it up to us to learn to deal with it.

    However, even though I have a “comfortable” number of fragrances, I’d certainly like to try the new FKs. Please enter me in the draw.
    Thanks for the chance, and THANKS for the blog@};-

    • marko says:

      Gwyneth –

      I love what you wrote (“It is a wonderful thing to realize there is a balance in life….”) and wanted to add that the hardest thing for me is to realize that “balance in one’s life” is a relative term. For many years I thought I was achieving balance only to find myself unsatisfied because I was trying to fit into someone else’s idea of “balance”. I’m not sure if any of that makes sense, but I wanted to share that with you…..

      Take care,


  • Kathryn says:

    On the long shot that your epiphany has anything to do with those FK scents, I have a serious need to by entered into that drawing. Thanks for the great review and the reminders about life.

  • Gretchen says:

    I definitely want to try these! Enter me in the drawing, please, and I’ll cross my fingers.

  • Christine says:

    You are completely contented with your life right now and I am just about to completely overturn the applecart that is mine. Can I be happy without un homme ( that part’s in French in case someone who shouldn’t see it does…..that’ll confuse ’em!)
    I think I need the MFK Femme to get me through. Please enter me in the draw!

  • Fernando says:

    Good golly! Far too many good perfumes on offer! These do sound very good. An embaras de richesses…

    I’d love to smell this one, so please enter me in the draw.

  • dleep says:

    Please enter me in the drawing. It sounds stunning.


  • violetnoir says:

    Gawd, Patty! That man is one of my favorite perfumers. Please put my name in the drawing.

    Thank you so much.

    Here’s to your continued happiness, my friend!


  • marko says:

    Patty –

    Thank God I’ve only got 5 more years to go before I find Happiness!!!!/:) Your post today really resonates with me……I’ve SLOWLY begun to realize the concept that I AM living my dream – but you are so right – we become so consumed with trivialities, that we often bypass what we already have. And with that, I’d like to be entered in the drawing so I can have yet another thing (or set of things) to distract my happiness (heehee).



  • karin says:

    Okay, okay. I’ll bite. Please throw my name in the hat, too. Thanks, Patty!

    And I’m SOOOO happy that you’re happy!!! I went through a similar experience in 2004 at the age of 44. After years of going after, not getting, tragedy, upheaval, I suddenly became utterly content and happy, realizing that I am complete as I am, without a man, without stuff, without badges of honor. Much of it for me was a coming to a peace with God – He made me as I am, and He will use me regardless of my shortcomings and lack, and that is enough! Funny, though, that once I came to that contentment, everything started to fall into place…without any effort on my part. No, I didn’t “give in” or “give up.” I merely surrendered my will and stubbornness to try and “make” things happen. Once I surrendered, all these blessings showered down on me. Ironic, but true. So happy! 🙂

  • Louise says:

    Welcome home to yourself, Patty 😡

    Throw me in for the draw, please :)>-

  • elizablue says:

    Congratulations–those are the beautiful moments in life, and such realizations can take your breath away for an instant. Please enter me in the draw–thankyou so much!

  • EileenS says:

    “bosom-heaving woman” is so not me, but then you got to the shot gun 😉 Maybe I could handle that one. The homme version sounds like something I should look into..

    Happiness and contentment are hard to come by; I’m glad you’ve found it!

  • Ssy says:

    I happen to like Joan more than Betty Draper but this perfume sound gorgeous, spicy rose perfumes don’t usually agree with me, so this might be the one.

  • Karen A says:

    Hi Patty! Missed you at Fall Ball Sniffapalooza this weekend, but it was great to see March. Francis K was adorable, and he customized my leather bracelet (scented with Lumiere Noire Pour Femme, the silver clasp engraved with 2 K’s – beautiful!) This is a stunning new line from a very talented perfumer.

  • Aimee N says:

    Thanks for the review Patty! Please include me in the draw for I will not be able to sample these at Neimans anytime soon :(. Looking forward to the reviews of the rest of the line!

  • Tara says:

    Patty, I am so happy for you. Feeling happy and content in life is an huge accomplishment. How did you reach such a place? I have been trying for years, but it is has not easy. I keep trying though.

    I would love to be in the drawing…Thanks

  • Erin T says:

    Patty, so awesome that you are living in a dreams-become-reality world – you deserve it. I have a few niggling, worrying things going on with the spouse’s employment (or lack thereof) at the moment, but I am really contented otherwise, too. Such a lovely, lucky, delicious-smellin’ life!

    Please enter me in draw. It’s an expensive time of year for keeping up-to-date with new samples. Nice, though, because I thought it was a sort of boring year in the niches and meanistreams until we hit the fall.

  • Sunnyfunny says:

    They both sound fantastic! I was sold at the Narcisse Noir reference :x. Please enter me in the draw! Thanks:d
    Congrats on your moment of realisation, I bet you sort of radiate something now :).

  • aelily says:

    I love that scene from Mad Men. It is hard to put into words the emotions that the scene conveys. So much about Betty, how she feels about her place in life…

    Anyway :”> Please enter me in the drawing!

  • Shelley says:

    Who knew? Many SOI (Scents of Interest) hitting the radar this fall. These two included. Already on my second decant of Wazamba, btw.

    Enjoy that center place. It’s such an awesome place to live life from. >:d :)>-:)>-

  • Margot says:


    What you’ve described is that “soul joy” of everyday saints and seekers- what each of us hopes to find in ourselves as we live our lives. (NOT the pleasure of FK perfume samples!)

    Wonderful to know that this is where you’re at!

  • Hilary says:

    I loved that scene in Mad Men so much. And the Decemberists song, “The Infanta,” was perfect. If Lumiere Noire is Betty Draper with a gun, I’m sold. Please enter me for a sample set. =)

  • mals86 says:

    The Perfume Shrine review had me swooning already… now I’m lying on the chaise longue* in my burgundy lace peignoir* dying to try these.

    *Imaginary, of course. But to quote Dumbledore, just because something exists only in my head, that doesn’t make it unreal. @};-

  • Margot says:


    Don’t enter me in the draw, but thank you for the samples and the great set of reviews on the new FK line.

    “Deep-rooted to my bones happiness…” beautifully captures it.

    • Margot says:


      What you’ve described is that “soul joy” of everyday saints and seekers- what each of us hopes to find in ourselves as we live our lives. (NOT the pleasure of FK perfume samples!)

      Wonderful to know that this is where you’re at!

  • kathleen says:

    Thank you for that review..and now..I must have some. Please include me in the drawing.

  • Tiara says:

    I thought the last scents reviewed sounded terrific–these appear to be equally as great if not better. Please, enter me in the drawing!

    So pleased for you to have found inner happiness at 49. Just beginning to see peeks of it myself (except a few years later). Comforting to know it can be achieved.

  • Meggie says:

    I would love to be knocked off my feet by these, the reviews are spine tingling, please enter me in the draw!:)>-

  • Fiordiligi says:

    Patty what a lovely post and I am glad to read of your contentment. Congrats dear.

    I’m a bit scared of the narcissus note, I must confess, but you do make these sound alluring so I’m up for the draw, please!

  • Maura says:

    Narcisse Noir meets Lyric Woman?!?! I’m so there!!! :-))

  • aubrey says:

    Wow, spiced rose! I love rose scents. This sounds sort of like Ta’if. How does it compare? I’d love to try them! Please enter me.

    Firefox works for comments for me btw. Running 3.0.14.

  • Will says:

    ;)Can’t wait to get a sniff of these 2 beauties. Really intriguing descriptions.

  • Ines says:

    Everyone’s been saying such great things of MFK. I would definitely like to try some, so please enter me in the draw. 🙂

  • dinazad says:

    Here I was, feeling a bit jaded and not much interested in perfume…. But with descriptions like these, how could I resist? Please enter me in the draw.

    P.S. Firefox doesn’t show comments anymore (and doesn’t let me comment). Is there any specific reason for this?

  • Andrea says:

    Narcisse Noir PLUS Lyric? Woah! Would lurking aroung with pepper spray in a black pyjama also do the trick? Trying to look sinister and aloof at the same time? False lashes too?
    I’d love to be entered in the draw!
    Best, Andrea

    • Andrea says:

      No, cancel the pepper spray – stupid and too mundane. Light in a shade of Paynes-grey though, please. I’ll keep the lashes.

  • Amy k says:

    No perfumes have really wowed me for a while, but these sound like a cure for my scent apathy! Please throw my name in the e-hat.

  • hvs says:

    please enter me in the drawing. i’ve never fired a shot gun in negligee…

  • Klara says:

    The pour Femme sounds wonderful! Please enter me in the draw. Klara

  • Francesca says:

    Deep seated contentment is a good thing!

    Mugwort’s an interesting note for a fragrance–very sharply herbal/aromatic and green. Young mugwort leaves are tasty as an herb for chicken (not too much or it gets bitter). Supposedly if you breathe in burning mugwort, you will have vivid dreams. And no, you don’t get high.

  • Kari says:

    Sounds fabulous! Please enter me in the draw!

  • Sara K says:

    Love the reviews! Please enter me in the drawing!:)

  • Brigitte Smith says:

    Oh my “Caron’s Narcisse Noir meets Amouage Lyric woman” That sounds like total heaven. Please enter me in the draw dearie. I don’t think most people ever find that kind of inner happiness. I think it takes a great strength of character to find that. Be grateful you have that at 49.

  • Karen says:

    Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!

  • Connie says:

    How wonderful, Patty … a lovely epiphany and cause for celebration. I’m working my way through, not there yet but I am ever grateful for my blessings and look forward to that contented state you are in.

    The scents sound lovely, please enter me, too!

  • Kate says:

    Dare I say, 50 is even better!

    Please enter me in drawing too!

  • Natalie says:

    Congrats on your newfound contentment! I’m still trying to figure out how to generate happiness from within rather than from without. In the meantime, however, I’d love to be entered in the draw — thank you!

  • carter says:

    Yes, Denyse has had me fanning and panting for Femme @};- for a couple of weeks now, so please enter my name for a chance to put an end to the misery [-o<

  • Debby H says:

    Yes, please include me in the draw – I’m so wanting one of his scented leather bracelets – but which scent? Need to try them all… Thanks Patty!

  • Roberto C. says:

    I want to be in the draw, again!!! :d thanks for again an excellent review.

  • Parisa says:

    Terrific visual of a new classic scent. FK is rapidly becoming a new favorite perfumed for me. Thank you for doing reviews of his creations. I’d love to enter the draw too 😉

  • HollyGolightly says:

    What a fulfilling moment, to realize your contentment comes from within. That is an epiphany worthy of celebration! <:-p

  • chasa says:

    Well, you had me at Mad Men, that’s for sure! What a vivid picture your review conjured up! Please do enter me in the draw. And hooray for contentment…I am in an upheaval phase but aspire to get to deep-in-the-bones independent happiness someday.

  • mariekel says:

    Yes, please to the drawing. hot spiced rose sounds delicious enough to drink let alone wear!

  • PhinClio says:

    Thanks for the review…..and please enter me in the draw!