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OUD fragrances "for dummies"

OUD fragrances "for dummies" 6 years ago 5
I would like to invite all the oud lovers in PARFUMO to give some hints about OUD fragrances.
Why to use it? When to use it? How to use it? What to buy and why?
Here is my contribution:

I do like beasty fragrances. It's only natural that I like ouds. In fact, I love oud fragrances. I am not a fan of airy or freshy fragrances. I can accept that a person does not like ouds in general or a particular kind of oud. However I consider to emphatic someone to comment that a fragrance smells like a stable or camel poop for no apparent reason. Either that person is not smelling an original perfume, or has never been in a stable, or something is wrong with his/her pituitary. Nevertheless I do admit that some very well identified oud fragrances are really "skunky".
I have a lot of fragrances who contain oud. In the fragrances I refer in the list below, oud is clearly the dominant note and not "just another note" (exemple of oud just as another note: my signature fragrance Halston Amber for Men). Sometimes the designer does not use or does not include oud in the notes list, but the fragrance either has an oud note or mimics the oud scent with other notes (exemple: Armaf's Niche Oud that has no oud but smells like it).

I do consider the following type of ouds with some examples (I have all those fragrances). Please bare in mind that this classification is just a matter of personal taste:

Crying or Very sad- BAD ouds - Perry Ellis Vetiver Royale Absolute Oud; Kelsey Berwin Midnight Oud, Pascal Morabito's Bois & Or.

Confused- AVERAGE ouds - Avon's Premiere Luxe Oud, Montana Graphite Oud Edition, Iceberg Oud.

Smile- NICE ouds - Oudi Al Haramain Perfumes, Royal Oud Korloff Paris, Bogart's One Man Show Ruby Edition, Vince Camuto Oud, Black is Black Modern Oud, Swiss Arabian Mutamayez.

Very Happy- VERY NICE ouds - Ferrari Oud, Perry Ellis Black Vanilla Absolute, Zara Exclusive Oud, Fan de Fendi Assoluto, Perry Ellis Rose Saffron Oud, John Varvato's Oud, Bogart's One Man Show Oud Edition, Armaf Niche Oud, 24 Platinum Oud Edition.

Twisted Evil- REALLY GOOD ouds - Versace's Oud Noir, Aramis Perfume Calligraphy, Armaf's Shades Wood, Yves Saint Laurent M7 Oud Absolut, Ettienne Aigner Nº 1 Oud, Lomani Intense Black, Swiss Arabian Shaghaf Oud, Montale's Black Aoud, Rasasi's Faqat Lil Rijal, Frank Olivier's Oud Touch, Bentley Absolute, Rasasi's Dhanal Oudh Nashwah, Swiss Arabian Nawaf, Bvlgari Man Black Orient, Montale's Dark Aoud.

Twisted EvilTwisted Evil- EXTRAORDINARY ouds - Christian Dior Oud Ispahan, Tom Ford Oud Wood, Swiss Arabian Dehn el Oud Malaki, Swiss Arabian Shaghaf Oud Abyad, Royal Platinum by Charriol, Montale's Aoud Saffron.

The best value for money Ouds:
Lomani Intense Black, Armaf's Shades Wood, Swiss Arabian Shaghaf Oud Abyad, Swiss Arabian Shaghaf Oud, Bogart's One Man Show Oud Edition, Frank Olivier's Oud Touch, Zara Exclusive Oud.

All of them are very good fragrances, have well above average quality, are kind of easy to buy and are quite inexpensive (below 20 Euros). You can blind buy any of them.
If I would have to pick just one of them?.... it would be Swiss Arabian Shaghaf Oud.

The Gentleman Oud:
Royal Platinum by Charriol. One of the most beautiful flasks in the market and you smell like a million dollars. You can blind buy it.And just look at the beautiful bottle. It's gorgeous.

The Skunky Oud:
Swiss Arabian Dehn el Oud Malaki. It opens with wrotten carcasses notes and dries down with one of the best oud notes I have ever experienced. Do try it before you buy it. The opening is really skunky.

The strongest Oud:
Rasasi's Faqat Lil Rijal. It's a real powerhouse and quite a "nose intrusive" scent in all its stages. Lasts an entire day. Do try it before you buy it. Just don't be fooled by the bottle exterior mega size.... Inside there is another bottle with only 50 ml capacity.

The nicest Oud fragrance bottle:
Bvlgari Man Black Orient.
Yes, the Charriol bottle is gorgeous, but this is a matter of personal taste. So the most handsome Oud fragrance bottle for me is: Bvlgari Orient . Sheer elegance ! Do try it before you buy it.
Some people just wonder how to wear and enjoy a strong oudy/woody perfume. Let's remember some basic rules:
Arrow Don't spray near the face or neck (near the nose). Use back of the neck, chest, wrists, fore knee, elbows .... or clothes. If you spray near the nose, you may become "oud sick" or have "oud olfactory fatigue".
Arrow Forget about the first 10 or 15 minutes. The food is still raw, let it cook for a while. Many Oud fragrances do present some heavy changes in that period. Don't be fooled by what the fragrance gives you in the beginning. Usually it's a case of "better later than sooner".
Arrow Smell what you get from the sillage effect in the first couple of hours. If you spray the back of your hand and then sniff it with the skin "glued" to your nose, you may get nausea and headache. Most of the times is just to strong and cloying.
Arrow Want to smell it with your nose close to the skin? give the perfume 2 hours or more before doing it.
Arrow Want to wear it on a night out? Spray it at least one hour before leaving your home. Better 2 hours Smile You will be the Club King that night.
Arrow This is not Aqua di Gio or Versace pour Homme. Don't use the same way you use a citrus fresh perfume. If you become an oud addict, make sure that your spouse also appreciates oud. Otherwise he or she may fill in divorce papers for no apparent reason. Smile
Last edited by ExUser on 24.05.2018, 00:37; edited 41 times in total
6 years ago 1
Impressively elaborate classification. I'm afraid I can't add anything of substance as to why and how. So, why? Because I like it. And how? Just wear it.

Two synthetic oud fragrances I very much like are "Fortis - Eau Delà" and "Terryfic Oud@Terry de Gunzburg".
Stunningly beautiful and suggesting the real deal is Oudh InfiniOudh Infini.
6 years ago
I'm not sure you can so lightly dismiss someone to whom the aroma of oud is evocative of that of a stable. (Notice I do not simply say "smells like": I am not merely being a °Thorhalla Wordy° saying this - I am making a bona-fide point about olfactory correspondences.) I know someone who would not let me go near her when I was wearing Xerjoff's ~Ceylon~ recently (which cannot be placed on your scale, in my opinion, being way beyond the upper-end of it!). At first I thought her distress was hyperbolic and a theatrical demonstration, but it quickly transpired that she was in earnest. This lady seems to have an extraordinary olfactory faculty, and in company is ^always^ the first to notice my perfumes, but generally not really liking them much. I myself do perceive the farmyardiness of some kinds of oud; but this is not a deprecation of it, as I was raised in a country area, and the reflex elicited of me by the said farmyardiness is the association with the idea of an essentially wholesome place. (I very recently conversed with a lifelong city-dweller who has ^literally^ never seen a cow!!)

I also am not sure what you mean by ^how^ to use it, except insofar as you might possibly mean the kind of practice & philosophy I describe in my blog (which I will not even attempt to summarise here): but I think the ~why~ part is a valent line of enquiry, especially in view of the extraordinarity of the effect it has on some people, of which I have just presented an instance; and of the the distinction of the effect it has on a greater number. Though only one person on the occasion I relate reacted so paroxysmally, there were many whose curiosity was very strongly piqued by it. I think such motive as one might frame for wearing such a 'fume as ~Ceylon~ ^had better^ accomodate the possibility of creating such a stir!

Some other ^surpassingly^ excellent oud fragrances ...

Boadicea the Victorious -
~Green Sapphire~

Bond N°9 -
~Dubai Ruby~

Frederic Malle -
~The Night~ (or ~Al Laylah~ if you prefer).

Seriously good ones ...

Christian Dior -
~Leather Oud~

Thameen -
~Carven Oud~

L'Ancôme -
~L'Autre Oud~.
6 years ago
Dear QuercusAlbus ,
I do agree with you. I was carefull enough to refer people who often state that opinion for no apparent reason.
I also give an example of a "skunky" fragrance, and anything skunky may smell a lot worse than a barnyard.
Nevertheless I did it for a reason. As far as I'm concerned, the Oud scent is allways divine but not a singular one. You may get "different Ouds" in different fragrances. Sometimes you may also get those different Ouds in the same fragrance. If somebody has a "barnyard" experience in the first time they experiment Oud, he or she may generalize that opinion to all oud fragrances. Some people avoid Oud without even having tried it due to opinions they reed or ear in fragrance reviews.
I read a couple of reviews from the same reviewer where he reffers the Oud scent as the barn scent. That's a bit heavy, or even a prejudice for the fragrance at stake - Secret de Rochas Oud Mystère. To say that this perfume smells like a barn is an evil deed and untrue.

I really hope that I have been clear. English is not my mother language and sometimes I may use the right words but the wrong meaning. And yes, I do agree that sometimes some particular oud notes in some fragrances may smell like a barnyard or poop or a dead carcass or a skunk or wrotten leather. But it's a better service to our community to praise and qualify strong woody oud or saffron oud or rose oud when it's the correct thing to do.

And now, a new suggestion as a really nice oud fragrance and quite inexpensive as well.

Imperial Arabia by Swiss Arabian
Last edited by ExUser on 26.04.2018, 01:02; edited 2 times in total
6 years ago
It's definitely clear what you mean - certainly ^now^ it is. I also know what you mean about ^seizing upon^ the funky aspect of a perfume or perfume-constituent and going overboard swinging the weight about it (two rather quaint English turns of phrase there that don't really fit together all that well!).

In my review of ~Ceylon~ I speak of the "fabulous olfactory landscape" or something like that. This is no hyperbole. I find that the funkiness of oud is not merely an element in an °itemised list° of elements constituting the aroma, but that it is ^transfigured^ from skatile to sublime by virtue of its subsisting in that landscape. Each element of the aroma is °recast° or °reinterpreted° by the presence of all the others.

Someone a while ago asked me to describe the smell of oud, and after some thought I said "imagine the smell of a freshly-sawn piece of wood - that, but in some sense °exalted° or °sublimated° in such a way that it is more like an animalic, such as musk or ambergris, or whatever". I haven't been able to think of a description that seems to me better without using ^very^ many more words.

I've thought of another excellent oud-containing fragrance; and I think this one deliberately brings out the skankier aspects of it, which is ~Hard Leather~ by Laurent Mazzone.

... about half an hour later ...
I knew there was one I particularly wanted to mention; and I didn't realise there was oud in this until well-after I'd acquired it, and when I found out I was aghast, but then when I tried it anew I °got° how it is that the oud-note fits in, and how ingenious a composition it is: and that fragrance is the eponymous Bond N°9 fragrance - the one often called ~Signature~, in a gold-coloured-stuff-coated bottle with the Bond N°9 logo done in ^absences^ of the coating. What is so remarkable to my mind about this fragrance is that, whereas oud is a heavy & opaque note, this fragrance is rather æry & transparent, & yet the oud somehow actually ^helps^ it to be that!
Excellent guide for Oud lovers 5 years ago
Thanks for sharing the extensive information on Oud perfumes, Carlitos! Laughing
This article contains such precious gems which most of us shall collect if they love Oud. Oud is genuinely amazing journey for anybody in fragrance community. This has been highly appreciated by kings, sultans and sheikhs in middle east and south east Asia. Pure Oud is rather rare and very expensive, but when used it is bound to do magic.
The options you have suggested are treasured, and I would love to try them all. For me, Jacques Bogart One Man Show Oud Edition takes the cake, because of such widespread availability, price and oh my god! excellent scent. I find it magical.
Good Oud 3 years ago

Good oud is ---- Ensaar oud, Areej le dore .... it is good

1 year ago

Is oud one of the ingredients in creed?

29 days ago

Wow, thanks for this beautiful classification of Oud perfumes! 

28 days ago


I will try to answer your questions to the best of my limited experience with note. I am not an expert on this topic just someone who enjoys the note of oud a lot. I don't care if it's natural or synthetic, can't tell the difference so it doesn't matter to me.

-Why to use it? The first oud fragrance that I purchased was Rasasi Boruzz Asrar Indonesia. At first I didn't understand the note, it was very challenging but for some strange reason, the smell of oud gave me a feeling of contentment and relaxation. From then on, I could not let go of it. Of course my spouse complained heavily that I smelled like manure and cow urine. He grew up in a farm with cows, chickens and pigs so his opinion is based on lived experience. It is true, oud smells like hay and manure but I still spray myself. 

-When to use it? Whenever I need to feel comforted and contained. If I have a stressful day in front of me, I will use something with a noticeable oud note to feel cocooned. I don't care much about the time of the day, setting or season. Is it cold outside: oud. Is it warm: oud! Other days I will find myself "longing" for the smell of oud and I will reach for an oud fragrance. 

-How to use it? I am a conservative sprayer, 2 sprays max. I bring my sample with me to re-apply. I spray my clothes mostly. With oils, I rubbed them on my clothes.

-What to buy and why? I cannot tell you what you should buy because when it comes to oud fragrances, I consider it a personal journey of discovery and learning. More than "what to buy" I would suggest "What to try". Others before me have already mentioned outstanding fragrances like The Night or Oudh Infini and I will add: Rasasi Boruzz line, Hind al Oud Sheik A, Ahojas. Carolina Herrera´s Oud couture, Dior Oud Rosewood, Bortnikoff Oud Cologne, and BTV Nemer. 

Best wishes,


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