It isn’t because Francis Kurkdjian called this fragrance just plain Oud that he meant it to be a plain-vanilla oud. The man couldn’t be pedestrian if he tried. And what he’s gone and done is work what he calls “the ambergris of the 21st century” into a quintessentially elegant French perfume, taming the growling exotic beast until it purrs with pure bliss on a silk cushion.
This is an oud even the most ouded-out could curl up with. Sweetly leathery and animalic, with the touch of honey real oud gives off – and there is real Laotian oud in the blend. With its citrus and pepper facets, elemi resin adds sparkle to the top notes. Saffron brings out the leather effects of oud, set into the tenderest woods: the leathery, almost jam-sweet Atlas cedar, and a lavish, un-musty patchouli.
Francis Kurkdjian says he composed his Oud while dreaming of a marble and gold palace in the desert sands fit for “the prince of raw materials”. He’s done more than that: he’s turned oud into a flawlessly elegant classic of the perfumer’s palette.