An ode to oud

Best oud fragrances

It’s strong, it’s musky and almost animalistic in its sensuality; Some people love it while others find it offensive and gross.

I’m not talking about durian, the beloved but smelly southeast Asian fruit, but oud – one of the most expensive raw perfume ingredients in the world.

Known as oud (or oudh), it comes from the wood of the Southeast Asian agar (aquilaria) tree. When the wood becomes infected with a particular type of mold, the tree reacts by producing a dark, scented resin, which is often called “liquid gold.”

As there have been changes in fashion trends , technology trends , the same is seen in fragrances as people are slowly drifting way from feminine florals and crisp citruses to smoky incenses and heady woods.

With it’s musky nature , oud is usually combined with Rose and vanilla or other floral/sweet notes to tone it down and is usually unisex. Oud fragrances go extremely well with traditional attires and formal attires

The scent of oud has recently been made ubiquitous in the perfume world, adding a touch of the exotic and the luxurious. With so many fine blends to choose from, this roundup will explore some of the more notable ouds.

Tom Ford Oud Wood:

A remarkable piece of perfumery. Very aromatic, with a fresh and spicy opening coming from the Cardamom spice and drys down to a sweet and subtle vanilla and wood scent. This is actually Taylor Swift’s signature scent.

Versace Oud Noir:

Versace Pour Homme Oud Noir is a nice,soft and well-blended oud scent. One of the most affordable ouds in the market; a gentle combo with bitter orange, spices and leather.

Xerjoff Mamluk:

This fragrance is named after Mamluk , which supposedly refers to the knightly Warrior class of Egypt and Mesopotamia in the Middle Ages.

It is a composition of honey, jasmine caramel and oud. A first sniff it’s a bit offputting with a mix of the raw sweetness of the honey and the rancidness of oud , but as it dries down to a sumptuous jasmine and vanilla base.

Dior Oud Ispahan:

Best rose and oud combo with a lovely animalistic character.

This is perfect for the formal outfits. It starts off  with a labdanum note well blended with English rose absolute and Indian oud.

Maison Francis Kurdjian Oud Silk mood:

Oud Silk Mood is the epitome of the Middle Eastern Rose & Oud perfume in my eyes. It’s beautiful, so sparkling, so sexy. There is absolutely nothing that doesn’t ooze class here.

The Rose is gorgeous and juicy. It never fades to the background. Its always there, to let you know that its the boss. Its not soapy, not powdery. Its as if you were to pick a Rose out of the ground and dig your nose into it. Thats what you get.

There is something that adds a certain dustiness to the rose, it almost smells like an ever so slight citrus, but not. I believe this is the papryus. That would make sense to me.

The backbone of the scent is the Oud. Everpresent. Giving character, depth, and thickness. It adds a layer of beauty that no other material on the earth could.

Amouage Jubilation XXV:

A very opulent and bold oud scent.

The fragrance opens with a creamy blackberry smothered in resins. The fruity berry note doesn’t disappear altogether, but gets considerably softer throughout the wearing. After a solid 30 minutes of this blissful berry beginning, the opoponax (sweet myrrh)  appears and goes on forever and ever, a The berry still attempts to poke it’s head out, but the thick, super-sweet, almost vegetal opoponax bullies it back into a corner. This struggle continues for a solid 5-6 hours and then vanishes.

The drydown is a pleasant mix of, to my nose, very dry cedar and just a touch of the previous sweetness.

Dolce and Gabbana Velvet Desert Oud:

Velvet Desert Oud wafts like a breeze through the dunes of a desert. The fragrance seduces with classic Middle Eastern incense notes topping a heart of mysterious oud and the sweetness and depth of amber. The lingering soft musky base notes leave a final memory of the sweet seduction.



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