This is initially a little smoky, then resinous, woody, delicious rose. Yes to rose, yes to oud, yes to frighteningly well balanced warm and rich supporting notes, none of which rudely grab attention. gimmegreen is wearing the same stuff I am, I think, but I'm familiar with Perles de Lalique, and this is not it, so I'm really not sure what JackTwist is wearing. Not to say that Perles isn't praiseworthy, it's just different. Comparisons are odious, of course, but this is woodier (oudier?) and mellower, for a start. More cello. I like it a great deal.
This, for all its fancy ingredients is a direct copy of Lalique's 2006 masterpiece, Perles. The scent is identical - rose, pepper, patchouli. Where Caron's expensive ingredients: saffron, jatamansi, oud, jasmine, atlas, musk, cedar wood, etc. are to be located by nose is a mystery to me. Perhaps they were lined up on the counter while Perles was being analyzed for stealing.
I am giving it a neutral, because it is as good as the original, but who needs it. SECRET OUD is selling for $250 per 50 ml, while PERLES can be had for as little as $35 for 100 ml.
It's no contest.
Underappreciated on the perfume forums, Secret Oud carries on a Caron tradition of perfumery marvels that stay off the mainstream radar.
If you like your oud packing a mighty (synthetic) wallop, this isn’t for you. If you can’t bear something going by the name of oud which doesn’t touch the (rather squidgy) bases of faeces and stilton, this is so not for you.
Some have complained of this perfume vanishing after a couple of hours; I get a full day’s wear, no problem.
The opening of this beauty rings a perfect oudy note, a hypnotic sweet woodiness that unfurls around the wearer with swirls and eddies – an olfactory fractal. There is a hint of turpentine, a touch of saffron, but mainly this is the wood of dreams – warm, comforting, a cupboard I’d happily get locked in. The evolution is towards greater roundness and gentleness, with the resinous aspects relaxing and receding and a diffuse rosiness spreading like a faint blush.
Does this do something radical and unexpected with oud? No. Secret Oud takes the mesmerizing lure of its main accord and showcases it calmly against sympathetic supporting tones with a breath-taking sophistication. It is reminiscent of Middle Eastern attars, but remains a ‘Western’ perfume in its balance and light touch. It is old money through and through, polished and elegant, with no desire to raise its voice. It stands naked because it quite without flaw.
This is a rose fragrance, through and through. Where is the oud? Taken as a unisex rose with spicy undertones it's not bad at all, but I came for the oud and was left wanting.