Oud from Laos
The power and complexity of its musky, woody, leathery, smoky and honeyed scent is only matched by the mystery of its creation; largely random since it depends on the fungal infection of a Southeast Asian tree also known as Agarwood (Aquilaria). It is among the most sought-after ingredients in the East and in Asia, and is also one of the most expensive, resulting in poaching. This is why Francis Kurkdjian has chosen an Oud from Laos produced according to the principles of fair and sustainable trade. He combines its vibrant notes with intense flowers, spices and other woods for a bewitching sillage.
Cedar from Virginia
This is the typical smell that comes out when you sharpen a pencil: woody, dry, slightly spicy and creamy. This North American cedar, also called red cedar because of the color of its wood, belongs to the juniper family, Juniperus Virginiana. Several types of cedars are used in perfumery, but this one comes into play in the heart and base, which gives a kind of verticality to its woody theme.
Native to Indonesia, this aromatic plant has almost no smell in the earth. It is first necessary to dry its leaves and to let them ferment for its odorous molecules to form. After distillation, the oil must be aged in barrels for several months to allow optimal use. When ready, Pogostemon cablin reveals a powerful woody and earthy scent with smoky, camphorated, syrupy and even musty accents.
The most expensive spice in the world, nicknamed “red gold” – natural saffron is not used in perfumery because it contains safrol, a highly allergenic compound. But its effect is reproduced with one of its derivatives, saffronal. Its very powerful perfume is bitter and slightly metallic, blowing hot and cold on the rest of the composition with also a leathery, tarred facet. Francis Kurkdjian likes to use it in the top layer of a fragrance to break the sweetness of citrus notes. It is often associated with Oud-based perfumes and oriental amber accords.
This tall tree from the Philippines belongs to the same botanical family as frankincense and myrrh. Its scent evoking lemon, lemony pepper and incense refreshes the top part of a perfume, with also a slightly woody balsamic facet that extends into the heart.