Perfume critic Ksenia Golovanova talks about oud fragrances that will help you get to know this category of perfume the best.
Oudh Osmanthus, Mona di Orio
Oudh Osmanthus (before the brand's rebranding, it was simply called Oud) was the last fragrance released during the lifetime of perfumer Mona di Orio - and one of her best works. There are two reasons why osmanthus appeared in the name - a small, but very fragrant flower with a complex smell of apricot, leather and soap, as the co-founder of the brand Jeroen Aude Sogtun explains, there are two: firstly, buyers expected something more straightforward from Uda - in any case, more obvious woodiness, and secondly, osmanthus in the composition is almost more important than the same oud. The latter, by the way, here gives the ideal golden East - without manure, plasters, antiseptics and other noises.
Private Blend Oud Wood Intense, Tom Ford
Oud Wood Intense is a flanker of the classic Oud Wood, an exemplary urban oud, not offensive even for the most "European" nose. If you are interested in agarwood and its many interpretations in modern perfumery, then the polished Oud Wood must have been tried - but now check out its muscular cousin from the eco-friendly province, Oud Wood Intense. What perfumer Richard Erpen does: dresses oud in a hot, smoking castoreum, emphasizing the depth and animalic, leathery aspect of the former, but at the same time gives it a light, cheerful disposition - the green smile of sage and vetiver.
Oud Palao, Diptyque
Oud Palao has a very beautiful beginning from the rainforest: the ground squishes underfoot, green air trembles in the crowns of eucalyptus trees, and emerald, menthol roses suddenly bloom in the undergrowth. Rose with oud is a perfume cliché that came from the Arabian Peninsula, but Oud Palao comes from some other place, most likely from Southeast Asia (according to the Diptyque legend, the oud used in the composition is mined in Laos). The main component here behaves modestly: incense and flowers gradually move across the field, and the oud accord holds the rear - a clot of fragrant darkness in the base of the fragrance.
Rose Anonyme, Atelier Cologne
First, let's figure out the title. Anyone who follows the creation of Atelier Cologne knows that each fragrance of the brand corresponds to a story invented by the founder of the brand Christophe Servasel. For example, Rose Anonymous is a romantic detective story about an elusive jewel thief who always leaves a red rose at the scene of a crime. So, according to the official version, the name of the fragrance is explained - the identity of the criminal remains unknown, hence the "anonymity". And here is the real story: Servacel's wife Sylvie Gunter added to the prototype Rose Anonyme, previously rejected by her husband, a graceful oud accord, and Servacel, not recognizing the rejected rose, praised the fragrance. The oud is here for the shade in which the capital rose blooms - providing a smooth flow of time from citrus morning to resinous woody evening.
Agar Musk, Ramon Monegal
This transparent woody-musky scent is based on an unusual accord of oud and vetiver - the latter, very noticeable, spreads as a green spot on white musk and tells Agar Musk a certain similarity to Encre Noire, the famous "Black Ink" by Lalique. A great thing for beginner anglers is dry and clean agar wood mixed with chlorophyll.
To make ouds without oud, and honestly, with some even courage to inform the buyer about it, is a small but proud perfumery trend. Not all of its fruits are equally useful: if, for example, White Oud, Agonist is a really cute fantasy on the theme of icy aquilaria that has grown beyond the Arctic Circle, then another "pseudo-od", Another Oud, Juliette Has a Gun is flat raspberries in norlimbanol, a substance with an intense woody smell, which is a squeeze from a wrestler on steroids. But Dutch perfumer Spyros Drosopoulos's Nooud smells like chocolate, mature cheese and stables - a great reconstruction of the complex aroma that real agarwood oil has.
Obscure Oud, Phuong Dang
Recently Bertrand Duchaufour brought to Russia a collection of Phuong Dang fragrances, most of which he collected himself. He says that working with Vietnamese artist Phuong Dang is perhaps the most ambitious project of his career. And his Obscure Oud, I want to continue, is the most ambitious oud he ever made - with a sulphurous, acrid green, very natural mango accord at the very beginning. The perfumer has already shown it, for example, in Nuit de Tubereuse, L'Artisan Parfumeur and Bombay Bling, Neela Vermeire, but never before has Thai mango lay on a plate made from such an expensive, aromatic wood.