An alchemy of notes: a creative duet from Francis Kurkdjian and Klaus Mäkelä

Perfumes & Cosmetics


Fragrances and music have many shared affinities. When perfume creator Francis Kurkdjian meets conductor and cellist Klaus Mäkelä, the conversation becomes eminently creative. Inspired by Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suite No. 2,  the two artists share words, notes and emotions. Their scented and musical exchange is transformed into a moving sensorial experience, culminating in a very special concert.

On December 2, the Philharmonie de Paris featured notes from Klaus Mäkelä’s bow resonating with the scented notes created by Francis Kurkdjian. Backstage, the artists shared their impressions of Bach’s music. For each movement in Cello Suite No. 2, the Finnish cellist sought to translate into words the emotions he felt as a musician. Taking inspiration from these descriptions, the fragrance composer selected notes of patchouli, mandarin, musk and especially iris. “All of these very much smell like D minor, the key of this Suite. It is a very particular sound D Minor,” said Klaus Mäkelä. The alchemy of the musical and olfactory notes spawned new deep and melancholic emotions expressed by the talented musician, who is Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris.

Watch a video of Francis Kurkdjian and Klaus Mäkelä  talking about their creative process: