Perfume Pen Pals: Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Universalis


Katie,

This evening I'm wearing Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Universalis, which is also a laundry detergent and a fabric softener and a candle, presumably for those preoccupied with getting all their smells in harmony with each other. Which is less weird than being preoccupied with collecting Hummel figurines, but just barely.Unsurprisingly, it smells like laundry detergent. I suppose it's possible LuckyScent mistakenly put the Aqua Universalis laundry detergent in my perfume vial. Though because my arm hair didn't suds up, I'm going to believe no mistakes were made. Except for the original concept, which is the fusing of a common lemon-fresh cologne (think The Art of Shaving Lemon Oil) and soap. And that's all. It's dull. It out Coldplays Coldplay. It's Travis. It's Keane. It's Keane in clean white shirts, fresh out of the shower, listening to Keane. Is that worth $195? If you think so, watch out, the Hummels might be gaining on you.

Dan


Dan,

I kind of like that Hummel horse boy.

Katie

28 comments:

  1. Hey ouch, I used to collect Hummels and like to smell like fresh laundry. WOW - two with one blow.

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  2. Hummel horse boy frightens me. Reminds me of some horror movie set in the mid-West, surrounded by cornfields with creepy murderous entities jumping out of them. Invading an old farmhouse with clean laundry and big-eyed Hummels staring out of display cabinets.

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  3. For $195 dollars I would rather smell dirty....do you know for years and years and years I saved up every christmas and bought my mom a Hummel. I think I kind of outgrew smelling light and lemony and everything matching. I like my life to be a cacoffiny of scents throughout my day. I think my modern day collection has grown up to collecting scent. bye little boy on the pony.

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  4. Oh no, capri, I'm sorry for the sting. I had mentioned to Katie that she might have posted this note too quickly because I wrote it in a fury last night and I'd surely come around to liking the perfume before long. And, of course, she liked the Hummel boy straight away. That's the insidiousness of both Hummels and smelling like laundry. And Coldplay. I've resisted so far but it's probably only a matter of time.

    And, melisand61, I can only hope your vivid imagination isn't informed by actual experience. Because I've only known Hummel boys to be perfectly polite.

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  5. Dan. My vivid imagination takes a decidedly off-beat turn. I'm sure that horse boy is adorable in real life. My humble apologies to the collectors out there.

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  6. Urrrgh. My dragon of a great aunt collected Hummels. She smelled of moth balls and disapproval, though, which is what I associate with those particular figurines.

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  7. m61, I like the way your mind works.

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  8. my sister-n-law collects Hummels. I have my own collections, so I can't cast aspersions. To each their own. But they do tend to take over - lol. When I was a little kid, I had a Hummel doll. He was the little chimney sweep. I, of course, had to undress him and dress him which I am sure was not the intent. I think he ended up stored in an attic and melted somewhat.

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  9. Dan, it cracks me up that perfume can throw you into a fury. So far, the most a perfume has done is depress me. Is depression before or after anger in the five stages of bad perfume acceptance?

    capri, even if fresh laundry is your happy smell, you'd balk at shelling out 195 clams for something achieved by a sprinkling of Tide or a spritz of Estée Lauder Pleasures. (See, this is me trying to get everyone onboard Dan's Fury Train.)

    Though I've not smelled Aqua Universalis, so for all I know, it might make me as happy as a Hummel Horse boy. And his collector.

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  10. Estée Lauder Pleasures = fresh laundry? I am wearing today and while I think it smells a littly soapy when I first put it on, I don't get laundry. Oh, well, maybe my nose is on the fritz.

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  11. Waitwaitwait... *melted*, SoS? Aren't these figurines earthenware, then? They sure do look it. I'd place them in the same category as Anne Geddes photography. You may interpret that statement as you like.

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  12. Arachne

    I hope that I'm interpreting correctly. Anne Geddes' photography frightens me too. Something about a baby in a shoe with a rat-like tail growing out of its rear end is just, well, creepy. Or maybe I'm just easily spooked.

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  13. SoS, it's all down to your brand of laundry detergent, I suppose. Pleasures is the pure, snowy clean ideal, but these days detergents have all these little "mountain fresh" or "ocean breeze" tweaks to them.

    Of course, the perfume brand Clean have a whole line of frags purporting to smell of various laundered and showered things and people, but those ones give me a headache and put me in a bad mood (if not quite a fury).

    Arachne, if SoS could undress it, it sounds like she had an Hummel toy doll, rather than the ceramic figurine. But the actual figurines might melt too, if Dan threw enough of them on his Hummel bonfire.

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  14. m61, the faux-innocent stuff is always the creepiest. Witness the effectiveness of spooky films like "Village of the Damned", "The Bad Seed" and all those "Omen" movies. And any "Twilight Zone" with animated toys and puppets and marionettes. Oooh, marionettes. *Shiver*

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  15. Dear Dan,

    "It out Coldplays Coldplay. It's Travis. It's Keane. It's Keane in clean white shirts, fresh out of the shower, listening to Keane." is brilliant.
    Please hate more perfumes.

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  16. i'm with nina.
    hilarity on the blankness
    hurrah for badly drawn boy too

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  17. Katie, anger is actually four of the five stages of bad perfume acceptance. It goes: Outraged Anger, Disgusted (at self for buying it) Anger, Disgusted (at whoever made this crap) Anger, Angry Anger, and finally Acceptance. Angry, angry acceptance.

    When I was a kid my neighbor got shot in the head when someone broke into his house to steal his wife's Hummel collection. Can you imagine being shot over Hummels? Or for that matter, shooting anyone over Hummels?

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  18. Hooting laughter at this end, Angi, over your helpful breakdown of the five stages of bad perfume acceptance. And I think "angry, angry acceptance" counts as "anger", too, so we'll just conclude that the five stages are all anger.

    Also, shocked, funeral-style inappropriate laughter at the Hummel gunslinger. That's just such an "oh no!" story.

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  19. Arachne, I must clarify. While Hummels are the porcelain little figurines, my chimney sweep boy was rubber or plastic. Probably rubber. His clothes were made from felt and he had little black felt slippers (chimney sweeps wear slippers?) and he carried a little ladder and a curled up brush. He wore a top hat. Otherwise his features and hair were rubber but the same look as all the Hummels. Where the figurines are maybe 4 - 6 inches tall, this one was probably 10-12 inches tall. I was probably around 8 when I got it. Some years back I unearthed it and it had warped, not really *melted*, from not being stored properly.

    I submit my version of the five stages of bad perfume. First, happiness at *scoring* a new fragrance, then doubt sets in when you notice funny looks from friends when you wear it, next you start to think someone ran over a skunk only to find that it is you, dismay is next when you realize *now* the perfume has a long life and hasn't faded away even by the next day, then resignation when you realize you just spent $195 for this horrid smell and you can't decide whether you will wear it again or not.

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  20. Perhaps there's a need for a stage six of bad perfume: selling on e-Bay.

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  21. Stage Six: dropping said bottle of bad perfume down a very tall apartment building's trash chute . . . from the top floor. Then fleeing for one's life.

    My mother collected Lladró figurines. Honestly, I'm just not a porcelain figurine person, so I shouldn't be dismissive. There are people out there who love the stuffing out of things like Hummel and Lladró, and would likely give my latest color-in clothing obsession a snort of derision.

    Ha! I say.

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  22. Nathan, I've seen your posts on your color-in dress:
    http://www.nathanbranch.com/2010/03/in-progress-2-berber-soepboer.html
    I'm shocked that you have the time to comment on perfume and Hummel discussions. Now get back to your markers!

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  23. Like sex, religion and politics, entering into the discussion of Hummels has it's own cautions apparently. It seems that when an author here reflects upon a Hummel story it has as much to do with the person who owned as it says about the piece itself. As the artistry was initially born from the pen of Franciscan nun, Sister Maria Innocentia, born Berta Hummel, they can't be seen as all bad. So, no Karen Black, Chuckyesque, One Step Beyond leanings attached. As for me, the collecting was an outcome of residing in Germany for 12 years. In my own defense I collected the Century Pieces and the annual plates, and a few other lovelies into the mix... so no pony boy in the lot, not to say he would not have been welcomed in. Some 40K plus later - I would not be heartsick to see them all safely in another's care.
    As for the clean laundry... yes, mark me as guilty of liking that olfactory direction as opposed to say the onesmalldog's contribution... I can make my own dirty laundry.

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  24. Jane, you can make your own dirty laundry, but you can't make your own Hummels. As witnessed by your wallet being 40K lighter. I do believe you've astutely placed Hummels in the grouping of topics not to be discussed in polite company.

    Gah - I've just had a thought! There's probably a Hummel blog out there ridiculing perfume lovers....

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  25. Then there may be the covey of devotees that covet the ceramic that houses fragrance - ala Harajuku Lovers, etc ~
    They would throw us all over the wall...

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  26. capri - I'm imagining a "West Side Story"-style face-off between perfume-lovers and those who only care about the bottles. With those who treasure both standing on the sidelines crying, "Why can't we all just get along?"

    Do you think there's a Hummel perfume housed in an adorably windswept little girl in a kerchief holding an umbrella?

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  27. I can see it now, odd thing is that she bears a close resemblance to your own cherubic visage. No wonder they are so adored. Sail on Ms Breezy with your perfumed sails...

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  28. Ha-ha, that's the first time I've been told I look like a Hummel! That's hilarious. And sweet - thank you.

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