When it comes to the perfume brands which comprised the pillars of my perfume foundation recent years have found them decaying before my eyes. It makes the arrival of each new release an exercise in dashed expectations. Dior has been one which has been on a particularly destructive trajectory. Their mass-market releases have been terrible. The place I turn to for hope is their exclusive collection Maison Christian Dior. They changed the name two years ago and promptly did what they’ve done with the mainstream releases dumped a collection of 18 mostly mediocrities. Thankfully for my battered psyche perfumer Francois Demachy has returned to the previous exclusive release pattern of two a year. The one for the back half of 2020 is Maison Christian Dior Oud Rosewood.
M. Demachy has made some memorable oud perfumes for the exclusive line. 2010’s Leather Oud and Oud Ispahan two years later remain a couple of my favorites from this collection. Oud Rosewood provides the third point of an oud triangle which stakes out new ground. While I am usually not a fan of berry notes it seems I like them when used with stronger base notes. Oud Rosewood gives me that.
That berry note is what begins things. A tart raspberry one maybe harvested a little early comes forth. It finds the slightly fruity quality of rosewood awaiting it. This is a lovely accord which sometimes reminded me of a cola accord. There were times I was looking for my glass. It takes a turn for darker depths as the oud comes to the foreground. This is that more restrained oud carrying less of the barnyard quality it often can. A little leather picks up for what is missing. M. Demachy then adds in sandalwood to create a woody triptych that carries itself with confidence.
Oud Rosewood has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
I enjoyed Oud Rosewood as much as I did the previous oud releases. Together they make an excellent sub-collection within Maison Christian Dior. It is funny to say but I wouldn’t have liked Oud Rosewood as much without the berry on top. It is the contrast which exposes the woody power to come.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Maison Christian Dior.