Yup - oud, oud and oud are the three main notes I am getting in the beginning. Oh, there is a fourth one: oud! Based on a pleasant saffron carpet, the drydown turns on a deeper and smokier woodsy cypriol undertone - reminiscences of Knize Ten broudeness is felt in the leather - and later on a darkish and fittingly harsh patchouli leads into the base note phase.
Throughout all this, the dominating oud thus undergoes various permutations and variations, but stubbornly remains in the foreground, exuding its raw aroma that is given and even sharper edge by the accompanying patchouli. No soft stuff here. This oud is utterly direct, with oud-derly brute force. This is sheer goudness.
The forcefulness is reflected in its performance, with strong sillage, superb projection and an incredible fifteen hours of longevity on my skin. Now that's what I call top performance.
A great scent for winter. In the current torrent of oud products that had washed over the perfume market for the last few years, many oud scents were launched to follow the fad. This Xerjoff, however, is the good stuff, with some natural high-quasi ingredients, even if the lab has contributed too. Not for the faint-hearted, but for the oud-o-phile. And I don't score popularity, only quality. 3.75/5.
i grew to appreciate Zafar immensely, but this one is just too much - the blue cheese is heavily suffocated by a fresh strong furniture lacquer over the poor wood. i personally see no sense of trying to wear this. overly synthetic.
This one's difficult to review, not because it's gross or unpleasant (it's not!) but because it's radically different than the other fragrances this particular American nose has smelled before. I haven't smelled authentic oud oil so I can't say whether this smells like the real thing; but if this IS what oud really smells like, then every other niche oud fragrance I've tried (and I've tried a whole lot) fails miserably to replicate it. The first impression of Gao is total confusion: a powerful blast of turpentine, sour woods, and saffron. The complexity here is really something else - I have no referents for this, no other fragrances I can list that smell like this. What I can say is that I've grappled with Gao for a while now and have found it to be an immensely addictive scent, perhaps because it's so mysterious and hard to parse, and because it's obviously made with very good quality materials. Also, this stuff is POTENT. Like, nuclear power levels of potency.
Gao is full-throttle excess, and should probably carry a health and safety warning for those of a weak disposition. A crazed, almost unhinged, composition of earth, smoke and wood tones, it offers the wearer the power and still focus that is at the core of the whirlwind.
Opening with the most intense saffron as yet encountered in perfumery combined with a strong dry and warm oud, this is the genuine article alright, completely Arabic in inflexion, heady, hypnotic and rich, paying full respect to its precious components. As the saffron becomes milder over time, the smoky resinous aspects of nagarmotha (cypriol) complement the oud wonderfully, assisting the opening up of a wide spectrum of rich and dry woody tones that rise singing from the skin.
Whereas the dry woody category is getting a bit crowded of late, this perfume is way ahead of the rest of the class – for one, it doesn’t seem to have the nostril scraping aspect of many of these perfumes, it’s pure, rugged, pleasure all the way.
Of all the Oud Stars this is the one that delivers something novel, edgy and thrillingly wearable – if one sprays sparingly.
This really resinous and strong. One spray and you're done for at least 1 day. The oud is sharp and medicinal, with saffran added to make it drier. A must have for oud lovers.