Oud perfumes have been around for a long time, but I feel that they are really starting to hit the mainstream in the last year or so. Previously, it was really only those that are really into fragrance that knew of, and loved, the Oud fragrances. Now there are releases from Bond No. 9, Trish McEvoy and countless other “mainstream” fragrance houses.
While I am a fan of Oud fragrances, I usually need to be in a particular mood to wear them. Most fragrances with this basenote (sometimes also called Agarwood), seem to really load up on this note. I think this is because the oil is so expensive (the wood is reportedly the most expensive wood in the world). They want you to know it is there and that there is a lot of it. Honestly, it makes me think of those people that used to wander around wearing head to toe logos, back in the early 2000s? Can you just picture their shoes, pants, shirts, hats, bags, just all covered with logos? Being so overwhelmed by one (very expensive) note kind of reminds me of that. (If you’re interested in learning more about Oud and how it is produced, there is a really interesting post about Oud over on Fragrantica.)
So, I like Oud. To me, it is woodsy, but warmer and richer than most of the woodsy notes. It has something a little spicy about it, that I really can’t describe but that you need to smell yourself. But, I don’t want to walk around with so much Oud surrounding me that people can’t stand to be near me.
Trish McEvoy’s Black Rose Oud is now by far and away my favorite Oud fragrance. There is Oud in it, but it isn’t the centerpoint of the whole scent. Instead, it is there in the mix just like any other base note would be.
Top Notes: Fresh Raspberry Leaf, Luscious Lychee, Osmanthus Flower, Japanese Saffron, Black Peppercorn
Middle Notes: Papyrus, Midnight Orchid, Imperial Incense, Black Baccara Rose Petals
Base Notes: Agarwood (Oud), Rare Sandalwood, Sensual Musk, Patchouli, Madagascar Vanilla
When I initially apply this scent, all I can smell is the Black Baccara Rose Petals. There is so much rose, it almost feels like I applied a ton of Crabtree’s Rosewater. With maybe a little bit of something woodsy thrown in.
However, after the initial dry down (on me it is about 20-30 minutes), the rose recedes a tad and other scents start to come out. I can smell a little of the Lychee, the Raspberry and the Oud comes out just a little bit more. You can tell that it is Oud, but it is a quiet Oud, rather than the in your face Oud that I’m not a huge fan of in most scents. There’s a little bit of spiciness as well that makes it feel more like an Oriental Woods, though I haven’t decided for sure which note that comes from, probably the Imperial Incense.
I can best describe the feeling of this fragrance as elegant and refined. It is a quiet and warm fragrance that makes me want to go out for an expensive dinner. It would be great for work, for a refined night out, or I want to wear it while out for a walk in crunchy leaves (that’s likely just me, everything woodsy makes me want to walk in crunchy leaves). I don’t see this working well for anyone under college age (an Oud just strikes me as “wrong” for school), a night out to the bar or a trip to the mall. I’d save this for the times you’re wearing your best heels and have pulled your YSL tote out of the closet. Because that’s what I’ll be doing with it.