Once you go Oud you can never really go back. Without launching into a long explanation of the complexities of Oud, I can nutshell it, or at least try to without getting excited and going on and on.
What is it?
Used for incense and perfume oil it is believed to have originated in the Assam region of India. It comes from the wood of the tropical Agar tree and eventually spread through Southeast Asia. If you’re a nerd you’ll like this bit: When the wood of the Agar tree becomes infected with a specific mould it produces a dark, highly concentrated fragrant resin that is called Oud, or Oudh. (Arabic)
What’s so great about it?
Well, it’s rare. Not only are the trees rare, it’s difficult to harvest. That’s why Oud in its pure concentrated form is often referred to as ‘liquid gold.’ Its value is estimated at one and a half times the value of gold! A few ounces can sell for up to thousands of dollars and that’s why perfumes containing pure Oud are insanely expensive. (Soooo worth it)*
Oud gives off a distinct woody, sweet complicated scent. The fragrances can come in an oil version (my personal fave) or in perfume. In a perfume composition the Oud is most often used as a base note, and it lasts and lasts and lasts. That’s how you can differentiate a good Oud based perfume from an average one.
Some of the best Oud brands in my opinion are:
Kilian Rose Oud
Dior Oud Ispahan
Bond No9- New York Oud
Creed Royal Oud – Love this on a man
Armani Rose D’Arabie– Lasts up to a day and a half on my skin, even after showering.
Arabian Oud – The bottles are works of art and the quality amazing.
I find Oud to be extremely sensual. Once I dab a little on my pulse points I feel my body temperature rise and the fragrance unveils it’s redolent characteristics.** The scent completely changes once it opens up and gets acquainted with my skin. It’s an experience unlike anything else.
Kind-Note: Go easy on the stuff, don’t spray an Oud based fragrance as you would a regular eau de toilette and really try not to over dabble the oil-based versions. Chances are you’ll suffocate the person next to you with the intensity. I may have been slightly guilty of that on occasion.
*My two bits
**I’m not kidding; it changes the temperature of my body!