A fascinating opening to this one ó a smoky, almost hay-like accord with some sweet notes and idolic florals. There a stemmy sourness to it, but whatís driving it really is the smoky effect of the ďoudĒ (smells like an ashtray) merged with sweet animalics. Itís has a bit of a castoreum thing going on ó that sort of overripe, animalic leather that castoreum delivers, but itís the smoky oud that really makes this work. I donít know if theyíre using any actual oud (for as pricey as Xerjoff is, their stuff is still mass factory after all), but I personally donít care as the overall effect is very good ó a dry, throat-catching smoke effect thatís rendered most apparent against the fruitier notes. Overall, itís a clever blend with a distinctly Eastern feel, but quite bodied and oppressive, so itís not going to be for everyone. One of the better Xerjoffs Iíve smelled, but thatís not saying much.
"Ten thousand cows..."
By the time I was finally able to stop laughing, I was convinced that the guys at Xerjoff's must be wizards or something! There's no other way to explain how they managed to fit a whole stable in a bottle. Especially when it's filled with all the cows who previously ate the jasmine fields that were surrounding it. It surely delivers in spades, but there's a little problem here, about what these spades actually deliver. And it's neither oud nor jasmine... It's something much-much more horrible, that no one would ever want to happen under his feet...
Belongs to the mercifully small category of jasmines drowned in syrup, the point of which somewhat escapes me. All vitality is sucked out of the floral scent in order to squash it under the weighty backside of something unrelentingly sweet. The lino glue tones of the opening didnít do much to help either. Why this is an Oud Star is a bit of a mystery, anything resembling oud is submerged.
Al-Khatt, together with Zafar, have been my favorite composition in the Oud Stars series for some time but, lately, it bores me.
The fragrance opens with an extremely interesting fecal oud note paried to some indolic Jasmine. During the initial phases Al-Khatt is quite a wower if you like challenging stuff. Strongly fecal and dirty, extremely exotic but somewhat fascinating in its carnal iteration of this neglected accord. Unfortunately the jasmine takes brutally over in no time and drives the fragrance towards a more conventional territory. What I'm left with, is a bombastic and overly sweet musky-jasmine base that's not so distant from Mugler's Alien. Quite linear, extremely long lasting (almost exasperating), potentially cloying and, in the end, a bit boring too. Mild thumbs up more leaning to neutral
Al Khatt opens with a sugary sweet slightly orange-like cotton candy accord primarily made up of bergamot and jasmine, with a musky undertone from cashmeran present nearly from the get-go. The Oud completely presents itself in the early heart notes, coming off as quite animallic smelling with an odor of a petting zoo, farm or circus. This animallic nature couples with the still ever-present musky cotton candy from the earlier notes to form a not entirely bizarre, but certainly abnormal combination. The animallic nature of the Oud dies down a bit but never completely dissipates, leaving the sweetness and muskiness remaining until vanilla from the base further sweetens the scent as the last of the animallic accord completely dissipates. Projection and longevity are both excellent.
Al Khatt, like most of the Xerjoff range is a bit of a disappointment. It is *way* too sweet and the animallic early heart notes are quite off-putting. The overall scent reminds me of being a spectator under the big top of a traveling circus with its animal stench and cotton candy wafting smells from the crowd. This all sounds much worse than it really is, but the end result is Al Khatt is not what I would ever want to smell like, nor smell on others. Adding to the case to pass on Al Khatt is its relatively high price of $315 per 50 ml bottle. The scent has some merit so I award it a below average to average rating of 2 to 2.5 stars out of 5 for the smell, but if you want to experience what a traveling circus smells like, go to the real thing and save some money over this mediocre offering from Xerjoff.