Maison Francis Kurkdjian (2012)

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Oud by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

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Maison Francis Kurkdjian
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Oud is a shared scent launched in 2012 by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

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Reviews of Oud by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

There are 43 reviews of Oud by Maison Francis Kurkdjian.

I thought something was wrong with my nose when I first smelled this. This was one of the last scents to try from the house, and it did not impress me at all. After reading Varanis Ridari's review, I feel reassured and comfortable to call this an overpriced, boring, and bland oud.

Why would you keep this scent and discontinue Oud Cashmere Mood? Makes no sense. Discontinue this one and bring Cashmere Mood back. What a joke.

I half expected Maison Francis Kurkdjian Oud (2012) to be like this, synthetic and minimalist with very little actual oud tones to it, and I was right. Clearly, Kurkdjian worshipped at the Church of Tom Ford with his super-medicinal take on oud, showing a clear lineage to Yves Saint Laurent M7 (2002), which started it all. I wasn't the biggest fan of M7 either, and the fact that it is a mega-hyped unicorn post-discontinuation didn't help matter any, in spite of the retooled version YSL released post-Ford due to that same hype (although these same talking heads rejected the re-issue). Since then, a lot of designer prestige lines and Western niche houses have done "luxury oud" takes in this vein, including Tom Ford himself within his Private Collection, so seeing MFK take this direction is almost par for the course. Of such clean and completely-neutered interpretations of oud, Maison Francis Kurkdjian Oud is really just average, but boasts a humongous price tag that sits at a premium above even the already-high prices of his standard lines, turning what might have been passable into a hard-pass. Of course, if you are a fan of this style and see value in the way MFK handles the synthetic oud accord on display here, you may find my words harsh and crass, and I wouldn't fault you for doing so as tastes are what they are.

The opening of MFK Oud has bergamot and this loud peppery pop, followed by the familiar "cherry cola" vibe of vintage M7. There is elemi and some aromachemical white floral sparkle to make this clean, before saffron comes in to smooth everything down a la something like MFK Baccarat Rouge 540 (2014). The synthetic saffron was used here before BR540, so perhaps Mr. Kurkdjian learned something of it from the application in MFK Oud, but it is the biggest single note of distinction in this oud compared to other Western takes. Eventually a dry Hermès-like patchouli note enters, transparent and green, blending with the "oud accord" of the base. Cedar, Iso E Super, amber, norlimbanol, and the medicinal oud note itself complete the experience, which lasts all of maybe 7 hours with middling performance. MFK Oud is a very office-safe oud and will remind you of a less-blended and less-classy Creed Royal Oud (2011) with the peppery notes, merged with vestiges of the pioneering M7. MFK Oud is even-keeled enough to be good in most weather conditions save maybe the hottest of days, and can be used for formal gatherings outside of office use, but isn't a very easy-going smell suitable for casual gatherings with friends. Maybe it's me, but I find MFK Oud too austere for friendliness.

As a whole, this would not be a terrible fragrance if that clean and sharp, peppery medicinal oud style is what you enjoy, but nothing about such an obviously-synthetic on-the-cheap kind of accord as this could be construed as luxury, let alone worth $300. I've smelled better synthetic oud takes than this at $20, which really puts misfires like these in perspective, especially because the perfumers working on those ouds probably had even lower materials or development budgets to work with than dear old Francis does. If there was some real genuine complexity here, a lot more blending as per the norm with MFK, I could arguably see how the brand could at least fetch the standard price for the stuff, but this feels cheap and somewhat thrown together, so I'm at a loss to find the value. MFK seemingly did some better stuff when the accord was built into the various "mood" flankers, and they may seem a little more worth the coin for that reason, but the bare-bones progeny of the Tom Ford-pioneered "Comet cleanser" oud note on display with MFK Oud is not. Again, your thoughts may vary, and the newer extrait de parfum variant from 2018 is a different animal not to be confused with this, but Maison Francis Kurkdjian Oud is awkwardly vapid take on a usually heady subject. Thumbs Down

Smells pleasant... a bit generic for an oud offering... It smells clean and inoffensive, but nothing mind blowing here.

Like & pass.

I haven't been terribly pleased with my MFK sample set so far, and Oud is definitely one of the disappointing ones. I just don't find the scent particularly pleasant, it's a sharp chemical oud that just doesn't work for me. For how much it costs, they could put together that smells less synthetic. It's also strongly spiced, in a savory kitchen-spice way. So I was surprised to see saffron as the only spice listed in the notes. It is a projection monster, with strong sillage, but that doesn't particularly matter if I don't like the scent itself.

One of my favorites from the Oud line and my girlfriend's favorite on me...


I will admit it took me a couple tries to really enjoy it so if you're on the fence on this give it some time.

Been meaning to try Montale's Aoud Melody since I hear it's so similar..

This uses the same saffron as L'Agent Provocateur, which can be fun. They're similar enough to be confusing during moments when the saffron is strongest, but the general feeling of the opening of L'Agent Provocateur is better for me, with its rose notes. I don't think there's much oud in this, but what there is doesn't work as well with the saffron.

The base is the scratchy synthetic ambery woods I dislike, and it will not wash off.

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