Baccarat Rouge 540 Is More Than Just a TikTok Trend - Men's Folio
Grooming, Fragrance

Baccarat Rouge 540 Is More Than Just a TikTok Trend

  • By Bryan Goh

Baccarat Rouge 540 Is More Than Just a TikTok Trend
Technically speaking, me talking about Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Baccarat Rouge 540 (fun fact: the 540 is a reference to the melting temperature of the Baccarat crystal) in a TikTok context is already really late. Or as a nail technician I recently worked with joked, “Okay, boomer.”

But more than just leveraging off this trend to tell a story, however (Sorry to the Gen Z-ers, but Ariana Grande’s Cloud does not cut close), I’m here to take about how Baccarat Rouge 540 is as aspirational as it is artificial. As rare as it is prestigious, a scent that is frothy in nature and contradictory to what I’ve mentioned before about “blind-buying” fragrances, demands one to experience it in the flesh.

The interesting thing about Baccarat Rouge 540 however would be how polarising it is. While perfumers usually aim to create that one loved-by-all scent, I’m not entirely sure of Francis Kurkdjian’s true motivations when creating this one as compared to his hits. The Aqua series is beloved by all for its shimmering aquatic notes and Oud is so beautifully refined that both men and women aspire to it. Baccarat Rouge 540 however, is incredibly divisive.

Some liken its scent to a heavy, hazy cloud of sweet warmness and others are a little more vulgar. They claim it smells of the clinical nature of a dentist’s office or the odour of burnt plastic. Some, even go as far as to say it smells like a rubber contraceptive item.

One can’t deny however, it’s incredibly well-blended and what do I mean by that? The interesting thing about Baccarat Rouge 540 and perhaps, what made it rise to Internet fame would be that it’s difficult to dissect any notes familiar to one’s nose upon the first sniff. There is some kind of mystique in the unknown. The jasmine note is as unrecognisable as the saffron and one really has to “discover” the ambergris and cedar notes within. This perhaps is Francis Kurkdjian’s true prowess as a perfumer: how he is able to blend separate ingredients together into a concoction where all the notes play at a similar pitch and hum at a similar tempo.


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How then would I describe Baccarat Rouge 540 for a first-timer? Impeccably sophisticated? Of course. Extraordinarily powerful? Of course, too. It has a beast-like sillage. To be rudimentary about it (again, I highly encourage one to test it out for his or herself), it is a sweet and gentle jasmine upon the first spritz with a hot, bitter, and earthy saffron note that blooms after. As for the “saltiness” and “cotton-candy” note after (again, the notes that trigger heavy internet intrigue), it provides a resinous sweetness to the scent that circles a salty ambergris note for some cozy coherence. If one is lucky or has a body that is well-hydrated), expect the scent to last and last. Believe me, I clocked in at 16 hours with this wonderful water.

Shop Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Baccarat Rouge 540 on Escentials today.