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OUD Silk Mood – A different oud experience

When I was handed a decant of OUD Silk Mood a while ago, I delayed opening it for  quite a while. The “oud’ part in the name triggered a definite frisson, in a negatuve way like chalk on a blackboard, an acknowledgment that oud seems to be everywhere, including mainstream now. But the fact that it was from Maison Francis Kurkdjian prompted my inner Perfume Voice: “Open it, you fool! What are you waiting for?” 

Indeed. What was I waiting for? I knew it would be beyond good. Francis Kurkdjian is a master perfumer who has been creating fragrances for both mainstream and niche lines for over twenty-five years. Le Male for Jean Paul Gauthier, which was his first big hit, Eau Noire for Christian Dior, Narciso Rodriguez For HerIris Nobile for Acqua di Parma, Lady Vengeance for Juliette Has A Gun, are just a few that we have written about. With partner Marc Chaya, he has also built his own niche brands, Maison Francis Kurkdjian and Indult.  Absolue pour Le SoirBaccarat Rouge 540, and Reve en Cuir are some fragrances we've listed which showcase his prodigious talent for creating unusual swoon-worthy scents which are emblematic of the best of contemporary French perfumery.

Francis Kurkdjian released his fragrance named OUD in 2012, one of the first from the luxury niche brands that focused on this odd note that is so foreign to Western noses. Medicinal, damp, mushroomy, musty, almost sour, oud is distilled from the sap of agarwood trees infected with a specific fungus. It has been used for centuries in Middle Eastern perfumes, often paired with sweet floral notes in dense heavy oil-based attars (perfumes). 

On his website, he says: 

“Oud is the ambergris of the 21stcentury – animalic, mysterious, and yet vegetal… 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…”

Kurkdjian’s OUD is different. Using the oud sourced from Laos, his OUD fragrance seemed to be lit from within, almost transparent, and it was an immediate success.

Following on this success, in 2013 he introduced the OUD Moods Collection, three fragrances inspired by the feel of different fabrics, Velvet, Cashmere, and Silk. OUD Silk Mood is the classic combination of oud and rose, and it is gorgeous. In the extrait de parfum version, the rose note is up front from the first whiff, cool and peppery-green with a fruity apple-sweetness from blue chamomile, which becomes more radiant as it warms on my skin, but this Bulgarian rose absolute is balanced by warm earthy oud as it moves into the heart. Before OUD Silk Mood becomes overwhelmed by the rose/oud accord, dry green-grassy papyrus gives it wings, so that as the scent dries down it seems to float above rather than settle firmly on my skin. The sensation is absolutely like the touch of featherweight silk, delicate and airy, but with a gentle warmth. 

I love strange notes in perfumes, which is why I like oud fragrances. One of my favourites is Black Aoud by Montale – oud, rose, leather – dark and Gothy, a fragrance which definitely demands the right occasion to work its magic. OUD Silk Mood by Francis Kurkdjian is an oud that draws outside the lines and brings oud into the light, revealing new facets of this ancient note. The extrait version, which I own, has a soft waft and lasts on my skin for eight to ten hours, and I love every minute of it. 

Honestly. What was I waiting for? OUD Silk Mood is definitely beyond good. It’s a whole new oud experience. And I think guys should wear it, too.

OUD Silk Mood is listed in our decant Store. Decants are $6.00 for 1 ml.

Image - OUD Silk Mood - maisonfranciskurkdjian.com