The principle notes are oud - saffron - rose : but none of them are really 'real'. A dearth of natural oils makes Midnight Oud feel pretty synthetic; but thats not to say that synthetic is bad - on the contrary, the syrupy-plasticky background sets the fake oud off to good effect.
Its a clean type of oud with no smoky or animal notes but instead you get a smidge of rubber at the start, possibly from the dry bitter saffron substitute. The 'saffron' pairs up with the oud for most of its course, and there's a shy rose accord which mingles in the background with a red cocktail of fruity molecules; this is where the plasticky syrup texture comes in. There's a complement of woody notes and powder which lend a slight hint of naturality to proceedings, but having said that, powder isn't a natural aroma - its just simply one that we mostly all recognise, and so in fact the only natural smell in Midnight Oud is a minor undertone of wood.
Even though 'real' smells are in the minority the profile still doesn't take off into the realms of science fiction, but, by Western standards the red brown, hard bitter woody-oily note combined with the disinfectant twang of 'oud' is pretty out there none the less.
Considering the financial constraints - $15,000 a kilo for oud oil, $1,500 for saffron - (top prices on Alibaba), it should be no surprise that Midnight Oud (like all commercial 'oud's) is a synthetic reconstruction.
But, whether this perfume smells like 'real' oud and saffron or not is really besides the point. Midnight Oud - like Joy, No.5, J'Adore and all other modern perfumes employ interpretations of natural smells (or other perfumes) and not reproductions of them; ie they don't claim to be - or aim to be - copies of flowers, wood, fruit etc, and we shouldn't regard oud as any different to jasmin or rose in this respect. One hardly ever smells pure jasmin or real rose in a (modern conventional) perfume, they are always augmented by isolates and synthetics - and for a host of good reasons, not only price. Therefore, even the best made of modern perfumes must - by their very nature - be, and smell, artificial.
Because Midnight Oud is Romano Ricci's interpretation of the old Arabian construct of oud - saffron - rose, it is doubly artificial. It uses synthetic materials to achieve an interpretation of an exogenous style; its not a genuine Arabian perfume, but an 'Arabian style' perfume made in Europe - big difference.
Modern perfume does not, and indeed should not smell nature identical (be a straight up representation of flowers etc). It is, and should smell like, an interpretation; an artistic (or crafty) re-presentation of 'flowers', filtered through an individual's personal vision.
And what of this interpretation of oud using an imitation of Oud? The question, to my mind, is not "does it smell like oud?" but does it smell any good?
Well, no it doesn't really - and yes it really does.
11th January, 2017 (last edited: 12th January, 2017)
Lovely bottle, but if you're not into saffron, rose and oud stay away. The oud isn't over the top and compared to Another Oud by Julienne Has A Gun, it's a lot more palatable here. It's just ok, not bottle worthy really unless you get a deal on it. I would suggest getting your hands on a sample first.
Also this is listed as feminine, but a lot of guys have this. Safe in the day- not so much for the office.
On me it opens very strongly with the rose, which fades down directly from the skin after only about five minutes but remains in the sillage. The strength and slight initial "rottenness" of the rose note reminds me a little of Penhaligon's Hammam Bouquet.
After about 30 minutes it settles into something much quieter and more harmonious, oud and restrained patchouli. A little sweet with something I can't quite identify. It continues in the same way, getting woody as it finishes.
Good sillage, long-lasting (about five hours on my skin), and pleasant enough but I'm left feeling a little "so what?"
This has a friendly, easy-to-wear and straightforward oud scent. Leathery and intriguing, a good introduction to oud. Works well with the dusky saffron. I feel it cries out for a touch of deep rose to round it out and add depth, but others may disagree. The scent is not cloying and the amber is suitably restrained.
Midnight Oud is can be best described as sexy with an attitude. The oud, rose and castorum play well together. This may be listed as a Women's fragrance but men can definitely wear this proudly and unabashedly. I'm a guy and I love this Midnight Oud.
Longevity is great and sillage is large.
If you are a fan of oud as well as rose, get this!
If you're into oud and rose combo and you want something complex with good quality and pleasant smell, this is a very good choice.
The opening is a warm and sweet vanilla scent mixed with oud, rose and saffron.
The oud note is strong but at the same time very well balanced with the other notes. vanilla is sweet but not syrupy or sugary. just sweet enough to tune down the bitterness woody aroma of the oud and at the same time give the scent a sensual feeling.
Both rose and saffron are at the same level of power at the start and they are supporting vanilla and oud very well.
In the mid the oud note settles down a little bit and rose goes to the background. at this part I can smell a dirty musky animalic feeling which gets stronger as time passes by but it's always a few steps behind saffron, vanilla and oud.
The mid is a very pleasant and gorgeous scent and I believe it's the best part of the fragrance.
The base is a simple creamy vanilla, very soft saffron and a little bit of patchouli completely in the background. oud is almost gone and there is no sign of that animalic musky feeling.
In the description of the fragrance it says feminine but this can be unisex for sure.
Projection is good and longevity is around 6-7 hours on my skin.
Overall it's a quality and well balanced rose, oud and saffron dominated fragrance but it's not my cup of tea at all because it contains a note that I truly hate! ROSE!
Thumbs up for the quality and overall smell.
Thumbs down for my own taste!