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Baccarat Rouge 540 isn't just a perfume — it's a global phenomenon. When dreamed up by renowned perfumer Francis Kurkdjian on behalf of French crystal manufacturer Baccarat, the now viral fragrance existed solely in 250 limited edition bottles. But Kurkdjian knew he had created something special and enduring, especially as he found himself inundated with compliments every time he spritzed it.
Seven years since Baccarat Rouge's inception, it has made a name for itself as one of TikTok's most talked about perfumes. "Imagine you’re in a penthouse apartment in New York City," said one TikToker keen to describe the fragrance to their followers. "You’ve just come from a black tie ball, wearing a backless dress and the love of your life starts kissing you on the neck. It smells like sex. It’s so incredibly sexy to me. I’d rather bankrupt myself than not smell like this."
Many on TikTok have dubbed Baccarat Rouge the 'hot girl' perfume, while some say it evokes luxury and status and others report being stopped in the street by passersby who have fallen for it hook, line and sinker. Put simply, Maison Francis Kurkdjian has caused quite the stir — and that's why we all jumped at the chance to try the newest addition to the brand's perfume dynasty.
Lightly floral and musky, 724 only launched in September but TikTokers are convinced it's signature scent-worthy. "Think of coming out of the shower; of fresh linen; a breeze hitting your face," says one TikTok user. Another says the perfume smells like "quiet luxury", which makes sense considering a 35ml bottle is a breathtaking $182.
According to Kurkdjian himself, 724 is a "soothing eau de parfum with a vibrant yet enveloping urban spirit". He says that it brings a sensation of comfort and protection — like that of cleanliness — which he craves when wandering around in the city. That's all down to the white flower notes including jasmine and mock orange, as well as woody sandalwood and clean, skinlike musk.
The question is: will 724 put us under the same spell as Baccarat Rouge 540? And will it go just as viral — or perhaps even more so? Ahead, eight R29 staffers give their honest verdict.
Jacqueline Kilikita, deputy director, beauty
"I’ll be the first to admit that I got caught up in the TikTok hype for Baccarat Rouge. ‘Sexy’ and ‘rich’ are the most common words TikTokers have used to embody the fragrance, which has become something of a status symbol. I struggle to put my finger on this but there’s also something very nostalgic about it. To me, it smells like Barbie doll heads or the jar of cherries that you got with the Baby All Gone doll. Sweet but not sickly: frangipane mixed with strawberries and honey. In my opinion, the fanfare is justified and I love it. But I was equally intrigued to try the latest addition to the Maison Francis Kurkdjian dynasty: 724.
Now, this is very different. Similar to Byredo’s famous Blanche, it’s ultra clean and a little bit soapy, like diving headfirst into a pile of freshly laundered sheets. There’s also a skinlike element to it, which makes it quite wistful, like a long hug from your mum when you were little, where you’d breathe in her comforting smell. Just like its predecessor, this fragrance lasts all day, especially on clothes. I spritzed it onto my jacket and I could still smell it days later. (I would expect nothing less for the eye-watering price tag.) Whatever Kurkdjian is doing here, it’s working. I’m obsessed all over again."
Esther Newman, affiliate writer
"Though I haven’t yet tried Baccarat Rouge (I’ve only heard good things so it’s on my perfume wish list), I am already a big fan of Maison Francis Kurkdjian. Namely, the brand’s Amyris Femme eau de parfum — a light, airy, floral scent that quickly became my holiday go-to.
I was definitely not disappointed, which is surprising since I usually opt for deeper, muskier, spicier scents as the nights draw in and the temperature drops. 724 is the complete opposite, vibrant and zingy upon first sniff. It's energising almost, which is probably thanks to its top notes of Italian bergamot and white flower. After wearing for a while, though, the base note of musk pulls through and you’re left with a deeper, comforting, almost sweet fragrance. Given the price tag, you’ll be glad to know that this stuff really does last all day. In fact, it's strong enough to spray in the morning and then receive compliments many hours later. Just the other day, one woman leaned over her date in a crowded London restaurant to ask what I was wearing. I suggest not just spraying on your pulse points but also over your hair and clothes to really make the most of its staying power."
Alicia Lansom, associate editor
"I’ll be completely honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Baccarat Rouge 540. After seeing it all over the internet, I went into Selfridges specifically to have a sniff and I found it to be too potent for my liking. 724 is more up my street. While I would still describe it as a ‘mature’ scent, it's nowhere near as heavy as I expected it to be yet it has the depth and staying power you’d expect from a luxury label. I would describe the overall vibe as a clean, chic smell, almost like a posh soap at a very nice restaurant. The floral notes are what truly make it distinctive, though, so it succeeds at being fresh and light rather than intense and overpowering. If 540 is ‘that girl’ then 724 is her more laid-back younger sister: cooler, calmer and oh so sophisticated."
Susan Devaney, acting managing editor
"Seven hours and one long, indulgent Sunday lunch later and I can still smell Maison Francis Kurkdjian's 724 on me. It smells so good, so subtle that it brings me some form of comfort. Is there a better test of how much you love a scent than if you keep subtly sniffing your spritzed wrists? I think not. It’s an extra add-on if your lunch friend asks: what are you wearing because you smell great?
Of course, I’d heard so much hype about Baccarat Rouge that I wasn’t going to say no to trying out the brand’s next eau de parfum. I’ve never been one for heavy, floral perfumes so notes of bergamot, white musk, jasmine absolute and sandalwood are exactly what I want from a perfume. Unlike floral perfumes, throughout the day this scent becomes subtle rather than lingering. And while I love it, in our current cost-of-living climate I fear that I can’t justify the hefty price tag, even if it does smell addictively fresh and clean."
Hannah Shaw, associate director, audience & growth
"I was drawn into the Baccarat Rouge hype with its powerful, indulgent scent. It’s the sort of perfume which makes everyone ask: what are you wearing? For that reason, I was very curious to try Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s 724 to see if it lived up to the brand’s hype. I am big into perfume but I don’t have a signature scent and I’ll often swap out perfumes as the seasons change. One thing is consistent, though. I’m always on the hunt for something long-lasting.
724 feels like a breath of fresh air: it's vibrant and powerful but definitely a lighter scent compared to Baccarat Rouge. It smells sweet but not sickly and although slightly overpowering at first, I really like how it wore throughout the day. In terms of longevity, this scent sticks around — and I’d expect nothing less with its eye-watering price tag. Personally, I wouldn’t be dropping $588 on the full size. However with its enduring scent power, I’d guess a bottle would last a very long time."
Kristine Romano, associate editor, photo & design
"The first time I got a whiff of Maison Francis Kurkdjian's 724 was just last week, when my colleague came in wearing it. I don’t often feel compelled to ask what perfume others are wearing but I simply had to know. There was something so alluring about the scent, so naturally I was pretty excited to try it out for myself. I’m not typically a fan of overly floral fragrances so I was a bit nervous when that’s exactly what I was hit with after spraying this for the first time. That said, what actually dries down on the skin (and evolves throughout the day) is something far more light, fresh and wearable. I wore this out to dinner and could still smell it on my wrist the next morning, which, at the very least, is what you expect from a perfume at this price. It is very expensive and while I can definitely see myself reaching for it, I don’t think I could justify repurchasing."
Kelly Washington, social editor
"Although I haven’t tried Baccarat Rouge, I was keen to try 724, mostly because of 1) the hype surrounding the former and 2) because it’s so expensive (and, frankly, way out of my reach). Although I tend to have a taste for the finer things, I definitely cannot afford them unless it’s a special treat. So it really has to pique my interest and leave a lasting impression in order for me to invest. The first scent I got when I smelled the perfume was grapes. Crisp, juicy and fresh, it certainly isn’t something I’ve smelled before but I’m not sure that I was immediately impressed. It had floral notes and a fresh and mature feel.
Throughout the day it definitely grew on me and smelled less sweet. Although it did evoke memories of being somewhere you shouldn’t, like your grandma’s jewellery box or a fancy brasserie where you check the menu and politely nod like you can afford it before swiftly moving on. Classic and vintage, I feel like I should be wearing pearls, not trainers. Long-lasting and strong (as you’d expect for the hefty price tag), it lasted all day and, in its defence, gained some compliments. I would wear it again but I have to ask myself if that’s because I really like it or because it’s so expensive and luxurious. If I’m honest, that $588 would be spent on a pair of timeless trainers that’ll last forever."
Sadhbh O'Sullivan, health & living editor
"I’m not really sure what it says about me but my first thought on this perfume is that it makes me feel grown up. There’s something to it about getting into your mum’s perfumes at the age of seven and having no conception of scent but playing with them anyway (and pretending there will be no consequences). I do like it and despite us all banging on about how ‘mature’ it is, there is a cleanness and freshness to it that makes it less overpowering and more inviting. I’d reserve wearing this for when I have to be my most impressive, whether that’s public speaking, sending a stern email or a big event."