Indonesian Oud by Zegna Essenze is different from any other oud I've tried. When applied lightly it is a very pleasant one. It has character, sings its own tune, imparts a difference to whoever might wear it. There is a tartness that I haven't seen in other oud fragrances, but the fragrance is excellent nonetheless. The notes listed are limited to: bergamot, amber, oud, patchouli, rose. I think I smell all of these notes. The aroma is sharp and medicinal with a warm leather note in the base. The bergamot - a Zegna trademark, adds a sangria tartness to the amber oud character while a hint of rose gives some warmth to the patchouli / oud leather aroma in the base of this fragrance. This is enjoyable but the intensity is either too strong at first, or too short lasting depending on the spray volume. If you spray less due to its strength, you lose some longevity. Best to go easy on the throttle with this bad boy and then refresh later if needed. My rating for Indonesian Oud is 3 / 5 stars and comes with a solid recommendation.
True to the house aesthetics, this oud bandwagon cruises along the same clean linear path taken by the rest of the Essenze line. Which could easily be disappointing for anyone whose preferred oud style is on the more animalic end of the spectrum. Luckily I'm not one of them, favoring casual wearability over the intensely meditative facets of certain oud blends.
Rose-oud-patchouli combination is probably as cliched as they get. But what makes this version wonderful is the sophisticated aura it creates, with barely-there hints of rose amidst the animalic purr of the oud. If Armani Prive Rose d'Arabie is sung in beautiful soprano, Zegna Indonesian Oud is a seductive hum in baritone.
Indonesian Oud opens with just an extremely brief hint of near-transparent unidentifiable citrus before quickly transitioning to its early heart. As the composition enters its heart the citrus completely disappears as the starring Oud enters the picture. The Oud is slightly peppery and very medicinal with traces of supporting earthy patchouli and airy light rose never overshadowing it. During the late dry-down the development stays quite linear with the Oud and rose remaining. As time passes the rose gains strength reaching near-parity with the Oud that eschews its earlier potency and medicinal qualities, with relatively dry supporting amber joining the effective co-stars through the finish. Projection is excellent to outstanding, as is longevity at well over 12 hours on skin.
Indonesian Oud was another one of the Zegna private Essenze collection winners sniffed on my recent vacation in Las Vegas at their boutique, taking the "runner up" slot to the masterpiece caliber Javanese Patchouli. During its brief trial on skin there I thought the rose played a more prominent role early, but now having worn the composition a few times the Oud is definitely much more the star than I initially thought and in fact is the focal note for most of the composition's highly linear development. Only relatively late in the dry-down does the rose become more assertive (or maybe its the Oud quieting down, allowing it a more prominent role) with only dry amber adding a new dimension towards the finish. The Oud is near-certainly synthetic, but this classic Oud/Rose/Patch composition is quite well put-together by perfumer Jacques Cavallier, distinguishing itself by keeping the Oud at the fore. One minor item of interest is Zegna mentions in all its literature surrounding the Essenze collection that the compositions all feature Italian bergamot. I suppose the opening citrus could indeed be bergamot derived, but quite frankly it was so brief and transparent that it really was forgettable and superfluous. If this was the same bergamot that played such a major role in the stellar Javanese Patchouli I am dumbfounded... I guess it will have to remain one of the great mysteries... The bottom line is the $195 per 125ml bottle Indonesian Oud represents nothing new, is quite linear and likely features synthetic Oud, but the overall presentation is nicely done with some really amazing performance metrics, earning it a "very good" to "excellent" 3.5 to 4 stars out of 5 and a solid recommendation to all.
This is a really challenging scent and difficult to love.
The opening is like a punch in the face, with a very strong medicinal and stinky Oud note accelerated on the Bergamot opening. The Bergamot dies down after a short while and leaves the Oud and dark red roses in a strong but nicely balanced embrace that does not change too much during the dry down.
The first time i tried this I thought ugh! that's rank! However something made me go back to it.
The next time I sprayed some on a test card and put it in the inside pocket of my suit and forgot about it. However throughout the day I started getting a wafts of something that was transforming from a bit of rough into something strangely sophisticated. The lasting memory was a brutal man in well tailored and expensive suit. Despite the roses this is a chest thumping masculine fragrance for the man who takes what we wants.
I have a small sample and on the couple of occasions I have worn it it has had a big effect on my attitude (both nights were memorable but for very different reasons!). This is a scent that surrounds you and announces its presence with an arrogance that cares little for its impact on others. Projection, silage and longevity and all monstrous. One squirt from a 1.5ml sample vile on one wrist, this wrist dabbed on other wrist and both dabbed to neck will give 6+ hours of potency. You need to apply this with extreme caution.
I have grown to love this fragrance but I'm not sure I can carry it off. Its like being with a wild and exciting women, you might enjoy the ride but deep down you know you shouldn't be here.
It is certainly not for the office or a first date. If you are going to wear this you need to wear it with pride and to hell with the consequences. At first sniff my wife hated it and made a pig face! However so did I at first so maybe its needs more time with her too.
The other issue is with the bottle size, 125ml is the only size and its given its potency its just too much. If they did a 50ml or even 30ml I think I would buy it for those nights when you go out on a high looking for excitement.
I think they will struggle to sell it in such as large size.
Pros: Smells expensive and extravagant, high quality ingredients, challenging.
Cons: Offensive, expensive and a bit too potent.
Having returned from a trip abroad, I remember seeing this fragrance gem at the airport. I didn't purchase it right away as I like to let fragrances develop on me first before buying.
Oud is a fragrance note that it seems everyone is doing now. But few manage to blend it appropriately. Zegna's interpretation mixes this with bergamot, rose and incense - the two latter are among my favourite notes, so this one was a crowd pleaser for me. It doesn't develop too much, perhaps the bergamot dies down a bit over time, but the rose and oud remain at the forefront throughout. This is a long lasting scent that really reminds me of the orient. The bottle looks sleek - simplistic, yet classy - and the magnetic top is genius!