Lovely ... but is lovely enough?
The Oud explosion into mainstream perfumery during recent times has been very welcome from the point of view that it has sparked an intense love for something that I didn't have contact with, nor ever thought I would.
Indeed, my contact with Arabic fragrances is new, spanning only the last four years or so. In this time I have come to realize just how fast the infectious marketing machine works ... Oud jumping like a virus from house to house. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but when one hunts these frags out as I do, one also notices that the quality of the product runs the gamut from awful to really fantastic.
S.T. Dupont's Oud et Rose falls into the upper half of this scale ... not near the top, but definitely not close to the bottom either.
It's a classic Oud and Rose combination, with the former making itself well known as it leaps immediately out of the bottle. The Rose is rich and full and blooms slowly ... finally becoming sweet and lush, but retaining a bitter edge and never becoming quite gourmand, as I sometimes like my Roses to be. The structure here is simple (and I can only go by my nose as minimal information on this fragrance exists) ... but in addition to the Rose and Oud, I do get a bit of Patchouli and a touch of Amber, as there is a soft vanilic side here, especially when I draw my hand away from my nose. There is also a dash of good quality Sandalwood present. I was lucky enough to try both from this collection on a recent trip to Jeddah, but found the companion fragrance Oud Oriental to be what I term 'barn yard-y', an effect that my nose still needs some training on to accept.
As lovely as Oud et Rose is, I find it similar in quality and smell to a few other such combinations I have tried ... some by Montale, Jesus Del Pozo's Arabian Nights, Perfume Calligraphy by Aramis and it bears a marked similarity to one of my latest acquisitions Nejma 3.
What I find mind boggling is the decision made by some of these companies to market exclusively to the Middle Eastern marketplace. It becomes obvious to anyone searching these fragrances out that combinations such as this ABOUND there ... adding another drop to a brimming bucketful seems pointless.
All that said, I am happy to have this ephemeral desert wraith in my collection. I don't wear it as often as I should, but then I do have quite a few Arabic frags that jump the line ahead of this one.