March 31, 2012
2011 was a tour de force for Bertrand Duchaufour as sixteen signed fragrances were released for seven different perfume houses. I don’t know if any perfumer has ever had the kind of year M Duchaufour had as the most amazing thing I can say about those sixteen different perfumes was that not a one of them were boring. One of the standouts for me from that group was M Duchaufour’s first creation for The Different Company, Oud Shamash. We were told that was going to be the first of two oud compositions for The Different Company named the Collection Excessive. The second fragrance is now available in Europe and it is called Oud For Love.
In Oud Shamash M Duchaufour wanted to create a sensual masculine and I thought he succeeded. You might think Oud For Love would be the flip side of that and an intensely floral heart could lead you to believe that was what he was shooting for. As I wore Oud For Love I found it more a study in three acts to see what different sets of notes could bring out from the oud. To allow for this enjoyment Oud For Love might be one of the most deliberately developing perfumes I’ve worn in a long time as each phase comes and goes in distinct acts and each one sticks around long enough for you to fully enjoy it.
In Act 1 the top notes bring out the more medicinal aspects of oud. In Oud Shamash there were a number of spice notes that never really developed on my skin but in Oud For Love the listed saffron, cumin and coriander are hard to miss. The real bit of genius in the top of Oud For Love is the two notes which M Duchaufour uses very judiciously. One is a drop of boozy woody whiskey the other is an almost subliminal application of aldehydes. It adds an interesting tickle. I imagine there are many that are seeing cumin and oud and going “Oh, NO!” and if you are averse to those notes the opening stage of Oud For Love is going to be very difficult to bear. Act 2 takes place in the garden and it allows the floral facet of the Laotian oud M Duchaufour has chosen to be accentuated. The Laotian ouds have this subtle floral quality over the well-known qualities and M Duchaufour clearly knows that and he uses some strong floral notes to coax it to the forefront. Tuberose is the ringleader but also ylang, carnation, and iris bring out this unusual aspect of the Laotian oud. This phase is the most unique part of Oud For Love and it is fantastic. Act 3 is the familiar woody quality of oud and it is amplified with a concentrated Tolu resin, vetiver, and immortelle. The immortelle is well chosen as the maple syrup quality it brings really makes the woodiness of this oud pop with life. You might think the final part is boring for this familiarity, and I suppose it could be, but I found it was what was needed to complete this study, um, completely.
Oud For Love has outstanding longevity and average sillage.
Oud For Love is for those who love oud as it truly allows it to shine through quite beautifully. If 2012 is going to be a year where M Duchaufour takes it slower that works for me because if his creations are as multi-layered as Oud For Love it is going to take me a little more time to enjoy them fully.
Disclosure: This review was based on a decant purchased from The Perfumed Court.
–Mark Behnke, Managing Editor