At first sniff Incense Oud appears to be one of those love-at-first-sniff fragrancesÖ how could anything smell this good? Incense Oud presents firm, remarkably refined accords Öimpressively smooth, elegantly resinous, impeccably balanced. The opening / heart presents a delicate but impossibly complex accord that is lightly aromatic, softly resinous, richly and broadly wood /spice centered. Of the long list of notes, I can definitely identify oud, rose, geranium, cardamom, pepper, cedar. I can believe musk, patchouli, and labdanum. Once or twice Iíve thought that I smelled a hint of papyrus. Iím sure I donít smell frankincense. The other notesÖ who knows?
Although the opening carries a beautiful elemental force, the remainder of the scent is simply a not-so-gradual reduction of the intensity of the original accordÖ or slight variations thereof. Incense Oud is incredibly beautiful in a gentle, refined sort of way - as opposed to the more dramatic, more rustic ways of several of the other rose-oud-resin offerings.
It ends its fleeting existence as a vague skin scent, leaving me quite unsatisfied because of its teasing coyness and lack of longevity. Yet Iím voting a thumbs-up for its contemplative, other-worldly quality.
The opening blast is mainly a cardamom-cedar combination, which fairly soon is paired with an incense impression. This olfactoric cluster is the main longitudinal determinant of this composition, and it is a successful stew: elegant, mildly cedary and just enough incense to balance it out.
One thing is clear: this is never a heavy scent. The incense is light years away from heavy Interlude-style incense monsters, and it lacks the elegant creamy richness of Messe a Minuit, and the quality of ingredients is a million miles below the divine Angelique Encens. Still, this is a respectable incense creation.
Oh, the oud! Well, somewhere it shows after the opening blast, more present than in this House's Amber Oud but quite in the background, and not in any way your face as in BK's Rose Oud.
Other components come and go, with occasional whiffs of a meek rose noticeable, as well as a soft light patchouli, which provides this creation with a mildly crispy edge at times in the middle phase. Overall, though, this is quite linear on my skin.
I get moderate silage, good projection and an excellent ten hours of longevity on me.
Quite well executed overall, nothing exciting but solid and with very good performance. 3.25/5
The opening is bold with a slap in the face of patchouli fueled frankincense dark woods with a serious attitude of tar stained wood aroma that is a bit too bold for me to enjoy. I like this opening smell but I wouldn't want to live with for too long as it has a very stern and serious tone that reminds me of black freshly polished boots and an "at arms!" command. This assertive dark incense passes on quickly into an entirely different register of fragrance. One that is warm spice sandalwood with a slight incense note spritzed with cardamom, pink pepper and holding a radiant form powered by a gentle rose and geranium civility. Incense Oud, at the one hour stage smells quite similar to TDC Oud Shamash at this point and is my favorite part of the fragrance. There are several things I don't smell in this "oud" and the first is oud. Unlike Oud Shamash where the oud note is noticeable, Incense Oud never reveals its oud namesake. I also do not detect a leading rose note even though it is listed, rose is definitely not a star player here. This fragrance settles into a smooth warm spice, sandalwood and incense woods fragrance. It softens considerably from its opening but lingers in the background for hours. This is a very nice fragrance. I can not think of it as an oud scent but it definitely fits into the Incense category and smells very similar to a fine quality sandalwood incense stick. Thumbs up! 3.5 / 5 rating!
Kilian Hennessy does Montale. Seriously. With its bold, simple arrangement of medicinal oudh, frankincense, and heavy, heady rose, Incense Oud inhabits the same territory that Montale has covered for decades. Iíll let more sophisticated noses judge the relative quality of By Kilianís and Montaleís oudhs, but in terms of style, Incense Oud isnít far removed from Black Aoud, Royal Aoud, or Aoud Damascus. Thatís perhaps because the incense that might otherwise distinguish the By Kilian takes a back seat to the potent oudh-and-rose accord. As oudh and rose in league so often do, Incense Oud projects potently and with very little change for quite a few hours before breaking off into a labdanum-heavy animalic amber drydown. The wearing experience is very pleasant, and I have no trouble recommending Incense Oud to anyone in search of an uninhibited unisex oudh and rose fragrance, except perhaps for one caveat: through its pricing policy, By Kilian achieves the impossible by making Montaleís oudhs look like bargains. Try this, but try Black Aoud or Royal Aoud too while youíre at it.
Beautiful. With a few caveats:
1. It is quite similar to Tauer's Incense Extreme (with perhaps a smidge of Incense Rose), at least to my nose. Given that I have a 10ml bottle of Incense Rose and a 2ml sample of Incense Extreme, I am feeling a bit relieved that I don't feel the need to rush out and pay ridiculous money for this (the price, yikes...)
2. I sprayed it onto the back on my hand liberally, and half an hour later, I have to push my nose right into my skin to perceive it at all. It could be that I am projecting it like mad and am simply not aware of it, so I will test it again in the office and ask if anyone can smell me.
3. For the glorious half hour that I could smell this perfume, I did get the impression that the oud here is a particularly delicate and smooth thing, not something too rough and loud like some ouds can be. That may be a plus or a minus, depending on your preferences. But I must point out that in smoothing down and refining the oud like this, it not only demonstrates the skill and taste of the perfumer himself but also necessarily takes out a bit of the complexity of real oud, and its unpredictability.
But caveats aside, a lovely, lovely thing, and I would have no problem wearing this every day were someone to give me a bottle of it!
It does what its name suggests. Oud and incense. A bed of resin, spices, smoke, flowers, even a note of tea to me, but finally it all comes to oud and incense. Clear, clever, pleasant and really well-balanced. It would be a better scent if it had some more projection and persistency.
28th January, 2014 (last edited: 05th April, 2014)