To most the distinctive scent of smoked spices, sweet tobacco and heavy leather, will be instantly recognisable as oud — the dark resinous wood used in luxury incense and perfume. Although an ionic ingredient in the Middle Eastern world, the powerful potent of oud can be an acquired taste, but with perfume houses offering fresh interpretations of the scent — from floral-inspired, to crushed mint and musk — the aroma has become a signature fragrance to wear to elegant dinners and exclusive parties. Here’s MOJEH’s pick of the best oud-based perfumes.
Oud, ACQUA DI PARMA
A signature Acqua di Parma scent, this fragrance pairs deep wood notes with a blend of fresh accords; partnering spiced cedar, leather and agarwood’s rare oud essence with an uplifting burst of orange and bergamot. The result is an intense aroma made for red carpet-worthy events.
The Alchemist’s Garden – A Nocturnal Whisper, GUCCI
For Gucci’s first Haute Perfumery line, The Alchemist’s Garden, Alessandro Michele drew inspiration from a vintage apothecary and created lacquered glass bottles with pipette applicators. Infused with notes of oud, leather, benzoin and saffron, A Nocturnal Whisper is a rich perfumed oil encased in a sage green bottle made for the vanity table.
Oud Essentiel, GUERLAIN
Inspired by the precious oud wood, Guerlain Perfumer Thierry Wasser created an olfactory encounter between East and West, which is explored in the Absolus d’Orient collection. Within the collection, the Oud Essentiel is a majestic scent that blends notes of leather and Frankincense with the sweet aroma of Bulgrain rose.
Nuit des Rois, CHOPARD COLLECTION
Formulated from the rich Arabian aroma of oud assafi, Chopard’s Nuit des Rois has the charm and magic of a starry desert night with an opulent scent made for exclusive parties. Crafted by Alberto Morillas for the Garden King collection, the luxury fragrance combines the natural oud with orris, rose, sandalwood, olibanum, saffron, patchouli, and benzoin.
Oud Bouquet, LANCÔME
An enchanting scent of deep oriental wood and warm spices, Oud Bouquet blends a trio of intense woods; fusing the house’s signature proline rose with twenty year old oud wood, smoky guaiac wood, and the softer, more soothing copahu wood to turn out a seductive scent, perfect for date night.
Oud Fleur, TOM FORD
Although Oud Fleur harmonises two traditional Arabian ingredients, rose and oud wood, the fragrance creates a fresh take on the iconic ingredients — in true Tom Ford style. The distinct scent features rich and noble notes of wood, contrasted with a symphony of floral rose and patchouli, to create a luxury olfactory that is sure to leave a lasting scent wherever you wander.
Oud & Musc Les Heures Voyageuses, CARTIER
Cartier’s Les Heures de Parfum collection explores scents of the East, infusing sweet smelling oud resin with oriental ingredient such as rose, sandalwood, jasmine, amber and mint. For this particular fragrance in the collection, Cartier perfumer Mathilde Laurent combined the oud base with musk.
Accord Oud, BYREDO
Byredo’s intricate oud-based scent is built around the smooth accord of leather and blond woods, embracing the traditional incense of oud. The fragrance opens with notes of saffron, blackberry and rum, with base notes of patchouli and powdery musks, that create the perfect scent for an elegant soiree.
L’Atelier de Givenchy Oud Flamboyant, GIVENCHY
Adding a gorgeous finishing touch to any evening ensemble, this scent is inspired by the shimmering glow of gold lamé fabric, which evokes the enchanting spirit of the orient and captures the art of Haute Couture. The oud perfume balances labdanum ciste with woody leather, to produce a sumptuous, smokey allure.
Oud Ispahan, DIOR
Evoking the splendour and opulence of an Oriental palace, Oud Ispahan captures the smoky scent of firewood and contrasts it with a sweet, floral essence to create a velvety fragrance. With lingering notes of rose, frankincense and resin, this oud perfume is an ode to the charm of the Orient, which continually inspired Christian Dior.
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