Between a divine sensation of warm honey and suffocation caused by its vacillating animal odors, oud is a wild beast to be tamed. In 2012, I initiated my olfactory dialogue with oud by comparing different samples from suppliers. I chose a protected grade of Laotian oud that met my requirements and aesthetic criteria: a fruity facet reminiscent of peach, a saffron accent, a dry, waxy side, the famous animal note, and potency. Because oud wood resonates with intense, opulent flowers, not with the transparency of faint, fleeting accords. Intoxicating jasmine and sensuous rose above all are its preferred flowers. The spices and woods that blend with oud are powerful and bold. With its robust notes, oud wood opens up an unprecedented avenue of expression and allows extremely sensual compositions, revealing the secrets of certain olfactory territories.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s OUD collection includes this powerful note from my olfactory alphabet. It introduces a new path in French perfumery and rises to the challenge of remaining harmonious rather than caricatured. It pays tribute to my Occidental conception of perfume: elegant, distinct, sophisticated.