Al Oudh is a spicy, musky, warm oriental fragrance. Despite the name there's no oud - at least oud oil. It might give the merest hint of oud wood - however that's by a long stretch.
Al Oudh is primarily an assortment of spices over a musky base with woody notes, and with a slight edginess. Cumin is the leading spice, together with cinnamon and cardamom. This is amply supported by a musky accord of civet, castoreum, and honey. The florals are there in the background, with rose being discernible. This lends a good balance to the composition.
At first there is a striking accord driven by cumin, and supported by animalic notes of civet and castoreum. The honey immediately comes through. Once this calms down, one can pick out the floral elements. The final dry down is more musky, with hints of wood, and a balanced spicy sweetness. The fragrance is not too dry, and only very slightly smoky initially. There are leathery (mid phase) and resinous (dry down) elements in the composition, but to me musk is the dominant theme.
This would be in the same group of fragrances as Absolue Pour Le Soir, Salome, MAAI, Kouros, and by a stretch Arabie (because of the warm spices).
Sillage is average, and longevity is good at around 8 hours on skin (based on a generous application). The other notable point is that despite the notes and the structure, this is more of a middleweight composition. This makes it an ideal everyday scent, more so in cooler weather. The great aspect of Al Oudh is the harmony and balance, and how the different elements interact without dominating one another - typical of Duchafour's compositions, though the interplay is not as dynamic as in, say, Dzongkha. This only adds to the abstraction of the composition.
I own a decant of this thanks to the kindness of DuNezDeBuzier, who completely understands my love of rough, leathery, woodsy, sweaty cumin scents. And this one promised everything I crave: cardamom, leather, woods, pepper, moss, castoreum, et al. And yet... I'm baffled by it.
Am I the only person to whom this smells exactly like the amyl nitrate poppers that were popular as club drugs and sex enhancers in the '80s? So much so, in fact, that seconds after applying it my heart began to pound and my face started flushing. (And not in a good way!) I felt as though an anesthesiologist was prepping me for surgery.
But since Bavard also found the top "punishing", I tried to tough it out for the promised carnal base. And two hours later I did get a bit of the hoped-for sweaty skin scent -- just nowhere near enough of it to justify the torture that preceded it.
A Vintage 2011 sample of this charmer.
Notice the capture of a Mentholated top note of Cardamom.
This stuff smells like I've eaten a Curry made for a Monarch, Cardamom Yeast Donuts continuously for days, without bathing.
30th September, 2016 (last edited: 07th January, 2017)
There is an interesting carnal aspect to the base of this, but the top is punishing.
03rd August, 2016 (last edited: 09th August, 2016)
For all who spray then immediately storm the spot with their beak... good grief and good luck doing THAT with THIS!
Intensely cumin. Dates & dried fruit, pungent yet not candy sweet. A little castoreum and the slightest rose. There it is.
Low level sillage and it doesn't project much, certainly not under clothing which is how I wear everything. Longevity, however, as a skin-scent is 12hr+.
About as edgy as it gets, especially on the open. Exactly what I'm after in a rough, masculine scent.
One of the few I've ever paid full retail and consider <$1/ml, a steal.
Although I'm sure I'd happily wear this myself, this is the scent of a man I know. I'm not a fan of the ubiquitous 'clean' scents often targeted at men, much preferring someone to smell warm and human rather than like a pile of clean washing. Spicy, warm and sexy and not obvious from 10 feet away. I have the opportunity to lean in close and say 'Hmmm, you smell good'. Never a bad thing.