I’ve tried Baccarat Rouge 540. I’ve tried other Maison Francis Kurkdjian fragrances. I’ve generally not been a true fan. I’ve appreciated the artistry and beauty but they just weren’t my style. I’ve not fancied them.

However, my family and I recently stayed at a beautiful hotel that was very contemporary. I think the hotel opened just literally a couple of years ago. And, the moment I opened the door and walked into our room I was hit by the smell of either Baccarat Rouge 540 or something that smelled almost exactly like it. I had such a positive visceral reaction and I was pleasantly surprised.

Suddenly the lighting in the room felt particularly chic and the other up-to-the-minute stylings came fully alive. In the past 540 didn’t fully introduce itself to me, but I now see 540 a little differently… Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 is an optimistic fragrance. It’s a fragrance of today in an upper-middle class, “I’m not worried! My 401(K) is awesome, my kids and I eat exclusively gourmet vegan, I live in the posh suburb and my garage is the size of (and probably nicer than) an average American house.” sort of prosperous, shrewd cheer.

Matter-of-fact I even ordered samples from Luckyscent just to fully renegotiate my feelings about MFK. I also reordered a Lubin to reinvestigate that one as well.

The thing is, MFK is very popular and while that’s certainly for a legitimate reason it’s also difficult to spend over $300 or so for perfume that feels luxurious…but is also somewhat ubiquitous. I would spend more than that for an equally recognizable and classic luxury handbag but I’m less interested in a bottle of perfume that is indeed very “now” but simultaneously also one that you might smell whenever you go anywhere nice… *shrug* I don’t know… I’m sampling MFK Grand Soir and Oud as well. Maybe one of those will be a more likely buy. Or not. But regardless, after smelling a 540 clone the other day in the cooled air of our sleek and stylish room I need a reassessment.

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