I’m always high on expectation when perfume maestro Francis Kurkdjian releases a new name to the increasing roster of his own house fragrances. Kurkdjian sits somewhere in the triad of artist, visionary and perfume creator with his dreamy visions of olfactory heaven made real with each of his new creations. I’m a huge fan. I make no apologies for this. Kurkdjian is to perfumery what Riccardo Tisci is to fashion: a couture & ready-to-wear revolutionary who raises the bar with each new collection. If Francis did fashion, Tisci would have a worthy competitor. Meanwhile, Kurkdjian masterfully balances working on perfumes from massive houses like Burberry, Carven and Gaultier, in part due to his massive creative and directional stance re what’s on-point with perfumery but also due to his knowledge and love of fashion and the arts. It shows. He’s a multi faceted colourist who plays with texture, form and balance.
Kurkdjian’s latest addition to his OUD Mood Collection (silk, cashmere & velvet) is the heavenly Oud Satin Mood. This is a wonder stroke of beauty – a paean to the sultriness of the Orient that’s as refined as the people who choose to wear it. Oud Satin Mood is such a sultry, svelte, sophisticated rose oud that it’s like feeling the sweet breath of a lover’s anticipated kiss through layers of the fines gossamer silk chiffon. Rose Satin Oud is no mere dalliance. This is the real deal. A perfume that sways with anticipation.
The beauty of the fragrance lies in its use of violet accord, often forgotten about and unused in perfumery due to its extreme expense. This earthy, powdery gorgeousness only adds lusciousness to the rosy, ruby haze of pink tinged redness that Oud Satin mood bestows. In fact, the whole feel is of a glorious layered hot pink haze in a high Summer Parisian couture atelier – classy, expensive and with extreme attention to detail. Kurkdjian melds the violet accord together with oud wood from Laos, Bulgarian rose essence and Turkish rose absolute. The layers of intrigue reveal themselves bit by bit, flirting and teasing with every move. Like petals opening and revealing fresh nuances.
If the heart is wide and open, the base is a narcotic pillow to lie on. Rich, premium vanilla cuts a swathe with a bolt of precious patchouli-like amber that feels like it’s pillaged from the Knights of Arabia with an added sticky doze of benzoin. That’s the point with Monsieur Kurkdjian’s releases – quality and originality combine in a new oeuvre that’s worthy of creating trends. Or copies. This degree of layering and balance is skill indeed.
At its basest, this mulit-textural Oud has a hint of smoky leather. Like a fine leather salon chair that’s steeped in the rose-tinged, time worn perfumes and wealth of its inhabitants. But wait a while…the perfume to’s and fro’s, constantly beguiling with each new reveal. Complex and intriguing.
Oud Satin Mood is certainly one of Kurkdjian’s finest releases of recent years. Like in fashion, sometimes a mood is just caught. It’s ‘the fashion moment’ that hits us at a stand-out catwalk show. This is Kurkdjian’s fashion moment.
Oud Satin Mood, Eau de Parfum natural spray is priced £195 (70ml). Sold at Selfridges, Liberty, Harvey Nichols, John Lewis, Les Senteurs and Harrods.