Throughout my many years as a beauty editor, I have asked hundreds, if not thousands, of people what perfume they are wearing. I pride myself on being able to sniff out specific perfumes from across the room. The first time I ever stepped foot in the Who What Wear UK offices, the aroma of Chanel Chance Eau Fraîche filled the air. The person who sat next to me in a restaurant last week wore Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt. The mum of two that I sit opposite on the train most days is a big fan of both Marc Jacobs Daisy and Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium.
It is because of this slightly odd talent we beauty editors have that our perfume collections comprise mostly of under-the-radar scents. We all get a quiet kick out of knowing that our fragrance choices could stump even the most in-the-know of perfume buffs. For the most part, our taste in perfume is expensive. We get sent perfumes from all over the world, and it just so happens that the ones we tend to keep for ourselves are unique and different and therefore come with unique and different price tags.
So imagine my surprise when, a few months ago, someone stopped me in the street to ask if I was wearing Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 (£235). I spluttered my coffee, pulled myself together and politely replied that yes, indeed I was. After some casual chit-chat on its beauty, I swallowed my pride and asked her how she was so familiar with it. "I saw it on TikTok and just had to buy a bottle," she said.
From that moment on, I have smelled Baccarat Rouge 540 often. And whilst I'm over the moon that this previously under-the-radar, but very much coveted, perfume is getting the praise it finally deserves, my overwhelming emotion is one of surprise. Maison Francis Kurkdjian is not your standard perfume brand. It’s luxe. Really luxe. In fact, a 70ml bottle of Baccarat Rouge 540 will set you back a cool £235. Discovering that its new-found fame came courtesy of TikTok, an app that is considered one of the best ways to discover affordable beauty dupes, stunned me.
Now, I can barely go a day without receiving a DM or having a friend ask me whether Baccarat Rouge 540 is worth the money, so I thought I’d share my advice here. In short: Yes, this perfume is worth every penny of its price tag. It smells unlike anything you will have ever smelled before. It’s warm, comforting and a little bit sweet. With a blend of jasmine, saffron, cedarwood and fir resin, it’s difficult to pull out any individual note. Instead, they all blend together to create one of the most beautiful perfumes I have ever smelled.
It’s inoffensive enough to be worn in the day with a cosy jumper or white shirt, yet unique and powerful enough to finish off any evening look. In my opinion, there is no individual who wouldn’t be absolutely smitten with it. And as for the price, yes, it’s eye-wateringly expensive, but artisanal perfumery like this should be. It smells as expensive as it is and makes you feel indescribably wonderful. Honestly, if I were going to recommend spending £235 on any beauty product, it would hands down be this one.
Shop the fragrance and its other iterations below.
Shop Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540:
Shop More Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 Products:
One of the latest additions to the line-up is a shimmer-infused body oil that will leave your skin scented and sparkling.
This is, hands down, the perfect gift for any fragrance lover.
Another great gift option. This set contains a mini scented body oil, shimmering body oil and a hair mist.
Committed to Baccarat Rouge 540 as your signature scent? This supersize version will last you for years.
The next best thing to wearing Baccarat Rouge 540? Having a home that smells like Baccarat Rouge 540, of course. Predictably, the throw is powerful, making this a guaranteed conversation piece.
Hair mists offer a chic and subtle way to wear perfume, coating hair in a lightweight veil of scent which activates with movement.
A dry and lightweight body oil, this formula combines the classic Baccarat scent with argan oil, sweet almond oil and apricot kernel oil to soften skin and add shine.
Extrait de parfum is essentially an intensified version of eau de parfum. The higher concentration increases both the strength of the fragrance and its longevity.
For true fans of Baccarat Rouge 540, this stunning 200ml bottle of extrait de parfum will take pride of place on your dressing table.
This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.
Shannon Lawlor is a renowned beauty journalist and has contributed to Who What Wear’s beauty content since 2020. As a leading beauty editor, expert and brand consultant, she has over eight years of experience working for some of the industry’s most esteemed titles, including Who What Wear (of course), Glamour UK, Stylist, Refinery29 and Fabulous.
Having also worked behind the scenes with some of the industry’s biggest brands and retailers, Shannon has a unique insight into what people really want from their beauty routines. Understanding that beauty lovers seek honest, open and responsible advice, she has it made her mission to demystify the intimidating world of beauty, taking a no-frills approach to the most relatable topics.
While Shannon is the first to admit she doesn’t hold the answer to every beauty question out there, she is dedicated to sharing her expert insights in a bid to help. As a self-proclaimed lazy girl, Shannon has an affinity for easy-to-use, foolproof beauty products and has made it her mission to scope out the best of the best.
When she’s not working, Shannon is likely soaking in the bath or giving no-holds-barred beauty reviews on Instagram from her bathroom floor.