How Molly Mae’s Favourite Fragrance, Baccarat Rouge 540, Became The Scent of 2021

It's been 8 years since this scent launched, and now it's more lauded than ever

Baccarat Rouge 540

by Phoebe Lee |

It's been a good time for Maison Francis Kurkdjian: Baccarat Rouge 540 has had an unexpected revival. It's been 8 years since the brand launched the scent, and thanks to Love Island stars like Molly Mae Hague, Baccarat Rouge 540 has been propelled into the stratosphere.

It looks the part: the fragrance, in its dainty red and golden cube, is an Instagrammer's dream. It's hard to get excited about fragrance over Instagram, though: there is still so much to be said for perfume shopping in store. Really, it should be challenging for an influencer to, well, influence us on scent: we're still a few years away from a digital scratch-and-sniff (sadly), and there is appeal in meandering through a glitzy beauty hall and actually smelling the fragrance before you buy it.

That said, Molly Mae still managed to convert the masses.

Molly Mae Instagram post
©Instagram @mollymae

The nose behind the perfume, Francis Kurkdjian, considers the fragrance 'one of his masterpieces.' Here, he tells us his inspiration behind the scent, and why he thinks the fragrance has been revived...

"I have a long relationship with Baccarat (the French manufacturer of fine crystal)', says Kurkdjian. 'It started in 2004 ,when I re-created the fragrance of Marie Antoinette. The prestige version of the fragrance was bottled in 10 Baccarat crystal flacons, donated by Baccarat.

Finally, at the end of 2013, Daniela Riccardi, the president of Baccarat, asked me to create the olfactive signature of Baccarat to celebrate the company’s 250th anniversary. I then imagined a perfume, called Baccarat Rouge 540, that existed in only 250 numbered crystal bottles. After the launch, the buzz around the fragrance was so incredible, that I decided to give this scent a new momentum by launching it under Maison Francis Kurkdjian with Baccarat’s partnership in our emblematic bottle."

Luxurious indeed. Kurkdjian 'wanted a fragrance that translates the feeling of transparency and density. It is a contemporary fragrance by its name and scent, that reflects the essence of Baccarat."

Here's what TikTokers - aka, the closest thing to Smellevision - have to say about the scent too:

Christine Quinn also counts herself a fan. She featured on Grazia's Life Lessons podcast, detailing her love for the fragrance. Her verdict?

"Always buy fragrance with a high oil concentration. Invest in the right perfume, as opposed to a bunch of EDT's that don't give the result you're looking for. I made my own fragrance in the end. There was one perfume in LA that everyone was wearing. I started that fragrance - nobody knew what it was when it came out. It's incredible, and I love it."

The fragrance in question, was, of course, Baccarat Rouge 540. You can shop the fragrance - and ones that share similar notes to Baccarat Rouge 540 - below.


SHOP NOW: Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540, £215
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The scent of 2021 (and, perhaps, 2022). An amber floral, the scent is truly unique, with many dimensions. One sniff and you'll catch a blend of sensual jasmine, rich resin and cedar, as well as saffron and amberwood. It's powerful, sexy and you'll smell it on your scarf when you wear it the next day.

All Saints Sunset Riot, £39.95
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This shares a similar floral, woody quality with Baccarat Rouge, thanks to its warm, grounding cedar base notes.

Zara Red Temptation, £17.99
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Zara have some of the best scents on the high street. This parfum is surprisingly intense for a floral, balancing orange and amber.

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