By Kilian doesn't grab me, but Incense Oud is inoffensively wearable. It smells like rose with a modern, dark mix of incense, wood, and/or oud-like accords.
Incense Oud is a quality composition with incense as the main focus. The other most prominent notes are cardamom and rose, with oud somewhere there in the background. It is refined, polished and even a bit sophisticated. Any animalic element has been removed and instead it is quite elegant. Unfortunately it is only elegant, rather than being opulent - which would have been a perfect fit in this case. It stops singing on skin and performs a disappearing act in about four hours.
The second member of the Arabian Nights collection By Kilian, Incense Oud, like Amber Oud, is a fine composition, but performs significantly better on my skin.
Frankincense dominates this, with oud and some other notes being subservient to the eponymous note. The notes listed is immense but the mix of peppers and indistinct florals cited by one online reviewer ring true to me. There's a slight peppery aspect to this in concert with the oud, though at their meeting it becomes a little difficult to distinguish between the two.
The result is a scent that is not sharp or abrasive but still bold. In conclusion, Incense Oud is one of the most refined incense-based fragrances that doesn't use sweet notes. Still, a tough sell at $395 for 50ml, but there's always the 50ml refill route that in this case is half the price at $195.
8 out of 10
At first sniff Incense Oud appears to be one of those love-at-first-sniff fragrances… how could anything smell this good? Incense Oud presents firm, remarkably refined accords …impressively 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 I’ve thought that I smelled a hint of papyrus. I’m sure I don’t smell frankincense. The other notes… 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 accord… 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 I’m voting a thumbs-up for its contemplative, other-worldly quality.
Coming from a person who is kind of tired of the rose - oud combos, I really liked this one. For it to have so many notes, it's pretty tamed. Looks like a future purchase. 8/10