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.
BEAUTIFUL stuff, and something of a quintessential oud fragrance. Its loaded with enough oud to not gross you out, and it has been marketed and sold very well, in the West, because the oud's been watered down enough to not just be limited to one sex...but its sold in places like Barneys because its bought in heaps by the jet set among us, both male and female.
a very versatile scent, albeit not so casual that you can or should wear it with beach shorts and flip flops. Works best for me in cooler weather, and its fundamentally a chic skin scent. The civet, fused with the dry fruits, juts makes my mouth water.
On me, Al Oudh is largely a mix of that really dusty oak note that L'Artisan uses a lot, with a bunch of sweaty cumin. There's also that classic attar fusion that happens when rose, sandalwood, patchouli, and oud mix. That smell runs in the background as well. I kind of like the way the attar elements mix with the oak, but I just don't like scents that use really strong cumin - I just don't want my perfume to smell like "interesting" sweat. That being said, if you can wear Declaration, you can easily pull this off. But, I'm afraid the best I can rate this is a neutral...
For me, this is the missing link between Malle’s Musc Ravageur and Amouage’s Jubilation XXV. It combines the half-doughnut, half-perineum aspects that I like so much in the first with the uplifting fruit and incense/oud combo I like in the latter.
It opens on a note of sugary sweet dates, cumin, and cinnamon, with a powdery musk underneath, and reminds me strongly of the gourmandish properties of both Musc Ravageur and its cheaper cousin, Meharees by L’Erbolario. I really like Musc Ravageur. I know that many in the perfume community turn their noses up at it, saying that it’s vulgar and flashy. But that’s part of its appeal for me. It’s the olfactory equivalent of a massive neon sign flashing the words “FOOD” and “SEX” in hot pink above a lonely highway at night. I like that it smells partly like a massive pile of vanilla-glazed doughnuts and partly like a hot, naked man who hasn’t washed in days. Al Oudh does this but in a sheer, light manner that seems like it would be easier to wear during the day.
The cumin note is quite strong, recalling both the flat breadiness of doughnut dough and male armpits, a kind of spicy and stale smell that I find quite alluring. Anyone who likes the hot cumin note in Puredistance M and Bel Ami would find the treatment of the spice in Al Oudh to be along similar lines – a bit dry and brutal at first, but ending up as an attractive warm skin note.
The oud note is subtle, and reminds me a little bit of how the oud in Jubilation XXV stays in the background as one woody note among many others. Al Oudh is predominantly a spicy, woody fragrance rather than an oud-focused one. It is lightly musky and animalic, I would say, rather than heavily so – and certainly I can’t detect much of the civet or castoreum that’s supposed to be in this. But there is a gauzy, sweet animalic tone to this that I like very much, and the typical L’Artisan transparency makes it an attractive daytime option for when my heavier, skankier scents are just not appropriate. I could see myself wearing this one with abandon in summer even!
Projection and longevity are terrible. But this is a problem with most L’Artisan Parfumeur scents (although I am sure they see it as a feature rather than a problem). I also have to say that the higher-than-average LAP price for a bottle of this is not justified. I wouldn’t buy a full bottle of this unless I found it at half-off, but I am certainly thinking about getting a decant and playing around with it for a while.
Velvety, sweet, slightly soapy woody notes (sandalwood, maybe cashmere wood), mellow aromatic herbs (sage?), a rose breeze, a whiff of incense and a subtle rubbery-medicinal whiff on the base – the agar wood – which smells really discreet, also somehow sugary, blended with a leather note which is “tiny” but rich, somehow like in Dzing! by the same house. Basically Al Oudh smells like a sort of transparent, “clean” rewriting of many Western oud scents, particularly those on the sweet-woody side, just much more tamed down and with a more discreet, posh, light appearance as per style of L’Artisan Parfumeur (for me it’s just a consistently repeated flaw more than a style mark, but to each his own). I appreciate in particular the refined complexity of the texture, which smells initially thin but solid, and the nice bright counterpart of powdery notes which perfectly balances the cozy woodiness. So what’s the issue? The evolution. Not because of its persistence, but because in a matter of minutes it all becomes in my opinion a close-to-skin, completely negligible synthetic woody incense with a vague spicy feel (tonka above all). Somehow oudish, but yawn. Something fades away, something just becomes duller, it all lands on a “woody designer from the 2000s” territory. I am even a moderate fan of the genre actually, but they cost a third of this - for a reason. The opening phase is nice, but then, meh...