Review: Maison Francis Kurkdjian's Oud Satin Mood

Sunday, May 7, 2017

I love oud. And it's not because I live in a country where oud and oud based fragrances are the epitome of local Arab households when it comes to scents. In the UAE, oud has taken a rather interesting turn. While we have local perfumeries that create classic oud fragrances, established global brands have studied and understood our love for oud thereby, developing their own versions.

Oud is beautiful and luxurious. It gives off a wonderful and pleasing fragrance. For some, it is overwhelming and immediately disregarded. For the rest (like me), it is one of the most unique ingredients in a fragrance. Having said that, I buy only a few oud fragrances as opposed to the collection of oriental/woody fragrances I own. And I don't really deviate from the local brands that develop my favorite oud fragrances. Having said that, there's one particular French perfumerie that blew me away with their oud fragrance.

Let's back track a bit before I tell you what happened. When I received the invite for the launch of Francis Kurkdjian's new oud fragrance, I didn't jump with joy. Let's face it; it was just another fair attempt in creating an oud fragrance.

 The reason I wasn't quite intrigued was due to the fact that the Arab world specializes in oud and while I love this element, global brands/perfumeries that aren't from this region, don't do justice to oud. I've noticed time and time again, that the ingredient is lost in the background as other fragrance notes come alive. The oud is usually overpowered by the likes of amber, citrus, musk and similar. Hence, I only prefer oud fragrances from the Middle East region.

However, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Maison Francis Kurkdjian's Oud Satin Mood is a far cry from that. The unisex oriental woody floral fragrance, taps into the purest form of oud derived from Laos. Here, the oud is uncontaminated and hence even gives off a slightly different but concentrated scent. The subtle floral bouquet of violet accord skims the grandeur of this luxurious oud cocoon while anchoring in the rich Bulgarian and Turkish rose.The opulent fragrance is swaddled in decadent vanilla accord.

While the velvety oud takes center stage, it steers away from being overwhelming and the (nearly faint) floral notes are spun incredibly well to strike a perfect balance. I fell in love with the first spritz. You don't need to be an expert to sense the fragrance of the delicate Bulgarian and Turkish roses dancing around the oud. Think of it as a tranquil night sky, blanketed with fragrant stars.

The dry down makes the Oud Satin Mood score big and is easily a perfect evening fragrance. Men and women, alike will appreciate it but those who are not into oud, may want to stray from this.

I'm intrigued and utterly impressed as to how the creator of the fragrance, Francis got this right. I had the opportunity to hear him speak about the making of the fragrance, and it was wonderful to see his passion come alive with every word he spoke. I was surprised to discover that he is the nose behind the famous, Jean-Paul Gaultier's Le Male. And to add to my surprise was the fact that he is also the creator of fragrances that are my favorites- Elie Saab's Le Parfum and Narciso Rodriguez's classic Narciso Rodriguez.

 As an oud lover but not an expert, I'm awfully critical when it comes to oud based fragrances that don't originate from the Middle East. I'm bowled over by and genuinely appreciative of Francis Kurkdjian's Oud Satin Mood. I genuinely love it and it has landed on my top 5 oud fragrances list.

If you are looking for a new oud fragrance that strikes a perfect balance between oriental/woody and floral, try the Oud Satin Mood. This is one of those fragrances that will stay on the dressing table as part of the classics for a long time.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian's Oud Satin Mood is available at Paris Gallery across the UAE.

Elsa said...

I must say this is such a good review! It makes me want to try this on right away.

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