Friday, 22 May 2015

Persolaise Review: Oud Satin Mood from Maison Francis Kurkdjian (Francis Kurkdjian; 2015)

I confess I find it extremely interesting to watch what Francis Kurkdjian does with his brand. He has made it clear that he does not wish the scents released under the MFK label to be especially outré or unusual: he wants them to find a sizeable audience... which invariably means keeping to the realms of what's been done before. However, within this entirely understandable fiscal imperative, he also does as much as he can to try to reinterpret and revitalise old forms and ideas. The new Oud Satin Mood is a case in point. It presents Kurkdjian's own rendition of oud - in other words, it contains a dry, peppery, faintly medicinal wood note - but it places it within a surprising setting: the lipstick floral.

The 'old school make-up' accord - usually achieved through the use of violet-inflected ingredients - has been making something of a comeback lately. We recently saw it in Olivier Polge's Misia (Chanel) as well as Thierry Wasser's French Kiss (Guerlain) and of course, Frederic Malle re-invigorated it a few years ago when he released Ralf Schwieger's Lipstick Rose. In Kurkdjian's hands, the concept grows somewhat darker and, appropriately enough for an oud scent, more Arabian. The rose is arguably more prominent, acting as a conspicuous link between the juvenile optimism of the violet and the rich sensuality of the woods. The requisite powdery facet seems much more grown up too, channeling the Marquise De Merteuil rather than Madame De Tourvel.

I'd argue that the contrast between the two facets isn't sustained all the way through to the end; the balance tips heavily towards the florals and the gorgeous vanilla as proceedings reach their conclusion. I'm also not clear as to what's especially 'satin' about the scent. However, as an attempt to create a fascinating 'pseudo-retro oud', the perfume demands attention. It is far better than the Oud Mood trio Kurkdjian released in 2013 - which placed excessive emphasis on heavy-handed synthetics - and although it doesn't make the earth move with quite the same force as his original Oud from 2012, it is a welcome addition to his portfolio.

[Review based on a sample of eau de parfum provided by Maison Francis Kurkdjian in 2015.]



  1. A very enjoyable review, Persolaise!

    While I know the original trio did not go down well too-well with you, I really enjoy Velvet mood, which to my nose has substantial amounts of real agarwood.

    Have you tried Oud Imperial by Perris?

    1. Anon, thanks for stopping by. Velvet, Silk and Cashmere did find several fans; I guess I was just immune to their charms.

      No, I haven't tried the Perris. I'll have to sniff it out somehow :-)


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