Oud Maximus by Bortnikoff is a thoroughly enjoyable fragrance that veers between being an animalic floral oud, a floral oud leather, and a slightly gourmand, ambered fragrance. I truly did not expect to like it as much as I did.
Bortnikoff, like his former partner at Feel Oud Russian Adam, is an artisanal perfumer who works with limited quantities of high-end raw materials. He, like Russian Adam and a few others, distills a number of his fragrance materials himself. As a result of sourcing and new ingredient harvests, he puts out limited quantities of each scent each year.
My sample of Oud Maximus is from 2018. There have been subsequent yearly entries, like, for example, Oud Maximus 2019 and Oud Maximus 2020. My understanding is that the fragrances are essentially the same but may possibly have fractional differences due to that year’s harvest and distillations thereof. In short, my 2018 Oud Maximus is going to have the same basic, broad parameters as subsequent bottles. For that reason, I thought my old review might be of interest to some.
(REVIEW THREAD) 1. I'm really enjoying #Bortnikoff's orig. 2018 #OudMaximus (now further refined as Oud Maximus Autumn '19). An animalic floral oud w/ 4 types of roses; jasmine; Laotian, Hindi & Sri Lankan ouds; citruses; amber resins; civet & deer musk; birch tar; spices & more: pic.twitter.com/ofKKJQP00B
— Kafkaesque (@Kafkaesque_Blog) December 1, 2019
The quality of the materials in the Oud Maximus I tried was superb. You can clearly tell that. Some say that the later successors are even better and further refined. I haven’t tried them to know, but I trust artisanal perfumers who distill their own materials to focus on quality no matter what the year or version.
I have a two or three other old samples of Bortnikoff that I may test and review if anyone is interested.
In the meantime, lovers of floral oud leathers, Hindi ouds, and slightly animalic, slightly gourmand, ambered fragrances should definitely try Oud Maximus if you haven’t already.