A good hard Oud and light rose that preserves some of its weirdness despite being softened up for the western market. Incense liquorice and amber decorate what is otherwise a linear progression.
At four hours longevity is not so good.
For €220 Oud Royal is competing with less synthetic niche offerings, and the only reason to choose it would be its wider availability.
Oud Royal is a beautiful fragrance centred around a note of oud with a generous touch of incense. Initially the oud-saffron conjugate comes to the fore; the oud note is neither soft nor harsh, and quite captivating. Now and then there is a vague hint of an animalic character. I personally detect some similarities with the oud note in Epic Man. The rose is discernible, and helps to round out the composition. The incense lends a mild smoky vibe to the composition. There is not much transition in the fragrance as it wears on skin. The sandalwood is more prominent during the dry down as the oud remains and the incense subsides. The oud-sandalwood base is soft and sensuous.
Oud Royal is recommended if one is looking for a stripped down oud fragrance without too many other distracting notes. The fragrance is never particularly sweet, which I personally enjoy in this case. Projection is good at first and then subsides; longevity is good. A very good oud fragrance for wearing in fall and spring when it's cool but not cold.
How I wish I owned this!
Through my varied trials of oud-centric fragrances, this is probably my favourite. As to its legitimacy of any actual oud content, I cannot say, but it doesn't matter, it's so dark and smooth that it goes beyond ingredient quality/quantity.
Beautifully orchestrated, but too expensive, especially since Armani did away with the beautiful wooden bottles.
Update - broke down and bought a bottle. Couldn't resist.
07th April, 2015 (last edited: 27th April, 2015)
I wanted to be floored by this fragrance! I own many oud-based scents, and don't get me wrong, this is a wonderful oud, but just not anything special or different. It's magnificently crafted. No sharp edges. Others have pointed out co-star scents like amber, musk and vanilla, but this showpieces oud front and center from beginning to end. If you like oud, this warrants a place in your collection and a sample by everyone else. Well done, and a 7/10 from this oud guy!
An excellent scent. Oud-centric, to be sure. But everything is well blended, the oud is distinctive but not problematic. Sure, there is the rubbery band-aid and medicinal aspect, but that is the charm of oud. It is quite addictive when you get used to it.
The opening is charming and aromatic. The hint of licorice is a brilliant combination with the soapy-sweet myrrh. Here, it reminds me of Fou D'Absinthe by L'Artisan Parfumer.
The scent is dry -- a welcome feature. Good hints of wood appear from time to time.
The dry-down has amber, musk and vanilla but these are softening background agents rather than prominent features.
Oud fans should check this out, and those curious or new to oud could find this an acceptable introduction to the genre.