Jo Malone Velvet Rose & Oud is their new launch for this summer of 2012. It is a limited-edition. Note how despite the transiency of this opus, perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin says that it took him 18 months to bring it to fruition. It was clearly an opportunity for him to learn more from his art and in particular to gain experience in working with an oud accord.
Question & Answer with Master Perfumer, Fabrice Pellegrin
What was the inspiration for Velvet Rose & Oud?
I took inspiration from the five deeply sensual scents in the Cologne Intense collection. Rich fragrances each with precious ingredients, I wanted to create a scent that complements the collection. Steeped in Middle Eastern rituals, each fragrance has a delicious and dark side.
Please describe the scent in your own words.
The darkness of the Damask rose is wrapped in the warm and sensual woodiness of oud.Velvet Rose & Oud is a rich floral with sensual and woody notes. It unfolds after the first spritz with zesty fresh bergamot and spiced clove. Developing gradually into a dense floral heart of Damask rose, tickled with the subtle notes of saffron before revealing a deep base of oud and praline...
What ingredients did you use and why?
Unusual as a top note, I chose to use clove for its spicy floral accent; it releases an instant
richness. In the heart of the fragrance I used Damask rose as it adds femininity and sensuality,
developing on the roundness and body of the scent. The saffron is intriguing and addictive,
adding a touch of spicy warmth. In the base you will find oud adding depth and developing
on the body of the fragrance with its animalic and fleshy wood accents. Here, I also used
praline to add gourmand tonalities of almond, hazelnut and caramel, enhancing the texture
of the fragrance and providing a deliciously decadent dimension.
Praline is an unusual note to use in perfumery, why did you choose this particular scent?
Used in perfumery the praline note will give a fragrance more depth, inviting an unexpected
and mysterious side. Known for its regressive quality, praline's sensory effect will evoke
memories that take you back to your childhood.
I chose to use praline in the Velvet Rose & Oud Cologne to add a gourmand tone, with nutty
almond notes. Giving a supple softness, praline is used to calm and balance the intensity
of the oud. Dressing its animalic side, it moulds the oud into a more voluptuous note,
while all the while complementing the sweet floral notes of the Damask rose, to make her
How long did it take to make Velvet Rose & Oud? Which elements were the
Velvet Rose & Oud took eighteen months to complete. For me the challenge was to find
a balance between the femininity of Damask rose and the masculine intensity of oud wood.
Did you find the creative process of a Cologne Intense scent different to that of the
other Jo Malone™ Colognes that you have worked on, for instance Plum Blossom?
It was a very different experience for me. To build this scent I have chosen raw ingredients
that are very intense. The fragrance is built from layering notes inspired by heady Middle
Eastern scents, famed for their balmy, warm and animalistic notes.
Can Velvet Rose & Oud be combined with any of the other Cologne Intense fragrances?
Dark Amber & Ginger Lily complements this fragrance. The top note of clove in Velvet Rose
& Oud fuses with black cardamom in Dark Amber & Ginger Lily, while the smokiness of oud
mingles with kyara wood incense.
What is it about oud that translates so well into a fragrance?
Oud works well in fragrance because it is so distinctive. Imagine replacing the patchouli in
a chypre fragrance with oud. The oud brings a greater intensity, almost an animalic spirit,
to the fragrance, working in unison with the rose.
Grasse is world renowned as the capital of perfumery. What is it about your home town
that attracts and inspires so many perfumers?
Grasse is the cradle of perfumery. It is the place where people come to find the most superior,
natural and raw ingredients to build and create perfume. Every perfumer should experience it!
Our thanks to Jo Malone for sending us this Q & A with perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin as part of their press material.