Today I want to share another review with you. This time I tried a more exclusive release from Bond No. 9, called: Harrods Oud Patchouli. This fragrance was launched in 2012 and is only available at Harrods in London and the flagship Bond boutique on 9 Bond Street in New York. Bond has been releasing fragrances in collaboration with Harrods since 2009. 8 Fragrances have been launched: Harrods for Him, Harrods for Her, Harrods Oud, Harrods Rose, Harrods Amber, Harrods Jubilee, Harrods Oud Patchouli and Harrods Agarwood. You can see that the Oud is quite a big theme in the Harrods fragrances, maybe because the comapny who owns Harrods is from Qatar? Anyway, here are my thoughts on Harrods Oud Patchouli:
Harrods Oud Patchouli is not a shy fragrance, it opens with a huge "BOOM"! I can smell the Oud instantly, it's not the medicinal type Montale uses, but also not the balsamic woody type you can smell in Kilians Arabien Nights collection. This one is somewhere between these both. It got a medicinal edge, but also a very deep and almost burnt quality. Together with the burnt Oud note, I can smell a very rough leather mixed with the smell of hot tires. Or is it hot leather? Maybe the burnt Oud smell mixes with the leather and creates this illusion? I can't quite grasp this smell, it's strong but at the same time I don't seem to figure it out. This fragrance is not easy, nor is it a crowdpleaser. After this enigmatic opening of burnt woods and hot leather, a rather strange thing happens on my wrist: An exotic sweetness emerges from the depth of the fragrance. It's a sweetness unlike any other I've ever smelled: Syrupy, thick, not at all gourmand, even animalic! It COULD be honey in a symbiosis with a hefty dose of myrrh, yes I am sure that could be it, there is definitely the typical herbal coolness from the myrrh in this fragrance. One thing is for sure, this sweet note melts together with the Oud, they become one like they belong together. Can you imagine this: A syrupy sweet and burnt smelling Oud with hot leather? I never thought something like this actually exists, it is a one of a kind thing for sure! Now where is the Patchouli, some might ask. The Patchouli is rather a supporting act, than a hero in this play of fragrance notes. To my nose, it lurks in the background, slightly earthy, but never really makes it through the strong players of the composition. In the later development, the myrrh stands out even more, becoming sort of balmy and also a bit smoky. Harrods Oud Patchouli gets softer over time, but never becomes a safe or easy to wear fragrance. The edginess stays throughout the whole development, making it a challenging eau de parfum. You either like this kind accords that are heavily influenced by arabian perfume tradition, or you don't like them. I can assure you, Bond No. 9 never did anything more bold than this creation. Fans of fragrances that are different and somewhat hard to figure out will love this little eccentric.
The longevity is very good, I get about 10 hours out of it, but after that it's very faint. The sillage is strong at the beginning, but gets subtle after about one hour, sitting close to the skin.
The Clash of the Notes
I enjoyed this fragrance because it is very unique and has amazing performance. Something I've never noticed in a fragrance that I do with this one is there are a couple of notes that "fight" each other for supremacy and neither one ever accomplishes the dominance. One of the notes is definitely oud but the other one was too difficult for me to identify (not patchouli although I do notice it in the background).
The other big problem with this fragrance is it will probably offend people because of its performance and uniqueness. What's great about its uniqueness is that I think both men and women can wear it comfortably. I hope I didn't scare people about the offensive aspect of it because I tend to receive a nice amount of compliments. If you can find a good deal on eBay, snag it up but I recommend a try first.
Pros: 1. Unbelievable performance (projection, longevity, sillage) 2. Very unisex 3. Unlike most Bond fragrances, this is very unique
Cons: 1. I would never pay retail for this 2. Not very versatile 3. Bound to offend half the people you come encounter with
I was lucky enough to have a friend traveling through London and she was kind enough to visit Harrods and bring a sample back to the USA for me (although a very generous friend int the UK also offered to send me a sample ;-).)
My nose is so different so I can only chime in on my perception of this. I had no idea what to expect, but I was definitely in LOVE at first whiff. I get a burst or sharp, exotic smelling floral right away. Then smokey incense notes that take me back to my days as an altar boy at St Clements School in Florida. Maybe that's the myrrh. There is a lovely sweetness that connects with what smells like amber to me next. The oud is there too, but not as "in your face" as TF Oud Wood or Bonds Harrods Swarovski Limited Edition.
I can't really find the patchouli, which is the only thing that I am disappointed about. Maybe it's in there, and I am just so used to the street grade patchouli oil that people I work with wear every day.
I spayed on probably 10-12 spritzes from the sample on Thursday and it lasted over 12 hours on me. The next day it was still there close to the skin, and the oud was very nice at that time too. I give it a big thumbs up. I actually splurged for the 100 ml bottle, since my partner loved it too, so want to have plenty.
This latest Bond is also a nice original scent!
It starts with a bright medicinal oud note (a la montale) that is followed by sweet fruity notes with hints of leather which last for a long time; the drydown is musky ambery and woody with hints of light patchouli.
Refined, sophisticated and pricy.
Good longevity and sillage.
02nd August, 2012 (last edited: 25th November, 2012)
You will smell like the three wise men, but will pay your bag of gold to get it!
I want to put it out there that I love agarwood and I also like patchouli as well, and that this review does not in any way reflect their entire catalog, but this has got to be some of the worst smelling stuff out there. I went into Bond No. 9 in New York really excited to have an olfactory spree as I was not entirely familiar with the brand and was surprised at all of the oud options they had. This was the first one the service woman sprayed on my arm. At first you get a slightly sweet, dirty, musky oud. The oud they use has some of the more fecal qualities you can sometimes get from Cambodian agarwood (I’m assuming its usage here) so this one may not for those who don’t like a more “rural” smell in a fragrance. As the evening went on things took a turn for the worse as this started to smell more and more like body odor. Just to make sure it wasn't just me, my friend who had accompanied me there was (forced into) smelling my arm every time I did. I would assume that these more "human" aspects here are coming from the leather that is mentioned in the notes list as well as the earthy myrrh, but both can’t be detected individually. By the end of the evening my arm smelled as if I had aggressively rubbed it under someone’s funky armpit that for whatever reason had sprayed it with Aquanet hairspray. The silage on this one is thankfully low and the longevity is mediocre. Sorry Bond No. 9.