Mancera Aoud Cafe seems to be one of the best-reputed fragrances from the line, and one I'd especially aspired to try, since I love coffee-dominant scents, and it's not bad. In fact, it's quite good, though it's simply not among the best coffee-dominant fragrances out there.
First off, it's a bit biting in the coffee and wood combination that really tells most of the story. The florals don't add much enjoyment. Overall, though, the biggest complaint is the acerbic quality of it, and the comparatively poor quality of the coffee in the blend. It's a bit cumbersome to classify, as the coffee smell isn't specifically burnt, or too dark, or too light. Rather, it's very heady and acidic, and not rich enough, at least not along the lines of the coffee-dominant fragrances I love and own, in no particular order:
Piotr Czarnecki - Sensei (now Shihan)
Sebastiane - Espresso Royale
Kerosene - Follow
Dua Fragrances - Cafe Oud
Thierry Mugler - A*Men Pure Coffee
I'd recommend all of them, and most I've rated at 8 (out of 10), and frankly, a couple might be a 9 if I reevaluate it, and I'd say Mancera Aoud Cafe is a 7, so there's much conceptually separating them in the overall scheme of things except for the quality of the coffee component.
Performance, at least, seems outstanding, so this could be a winter staple if it's your cup of tea (or coffee). I see this as leaning toward the masculine but certainly isn't restrictively masculine as with the very slight sweetness and florals, it has some stereotypically feminine aspects as well.
7 out of 10
Great fragrance. Aoud Café reminds me of Spigo of the Bois 1920 line from its sweet edge; This opens with a syrupy, almost smoky sweet aroma; A gourmand fragrance that smells gorgeous. I do get the fruits, coffee, and oud in the opening. As this fragrance mellows you are left with this beautiful combination of a sweet coffee peachy spice(s) that is very unisex, perhaps even more masculine. I would also say there is a powdery feel to this, not to the extent that it is somehow leaning towards the feminine sides of things. I think this powdery spice edge balances out the Oud, the Fruits, the Coffee and others; I personally don't want to smell like a coffee shop, however, the way the coffee, flowers and spices are infused in this are artfully done.
This fragrance is a beast in terms of sillage and projection; I sprayed one spritz on the back of my hand and it has been projecting immensely, again with only one spray....WOW!!!!!
You don't need much of this; I would say 2 sprays at the most in the summer as the heat will cause this to be cloying for you and possibly those around you if more than that. For those who've expressed the Pure Malt or Havana reference, yes I can see that to be accurate. However, for the few who mentioned celery...I am not detecting that anywhere in this juice (every nose is different-I'm just not getting it).
Unisex or Masculine
I'm reading different takes on this and another website, about the coffee note. Some are satisfied, some are not.
I am not impressed with the opening because the coffee just seems to be lacking in authenticity, at least to me.
Other fragrances do a lot better job with coffee, I felt like I had to wait about three hours for this to soften up and allow the sweeter notes to take stage and blend well with the musk.
Not until about the third hour does the harshness of the coffee/wood notes settle down and turn into a great aroma that makes me happy.
I did not notice the peach and currant notes listed until I got this scent in the mail. Those notes had me wondering whether this would end up syrupy and too feminine.
No, not feminine and the peach is not in the forefront, just in case your wondering.
Maybe spring but I'm not sure about summer.......autumn and winter? Yes.
Seems to have good projection.
I don’t get much coffee in here honestly, but I do appreciate the fact Aoud Cafè is not a sweetish, cloying Starbucks-like artificial coffee bomb like most of (allegedly) coffee-based scents. I smell something vaguely reminiscent of dry, roasted coffee beans, actually a more generic sort of earthy-roasted note quite salty, synthetic and musky, somehow ambery and somehow woody, with a hint of dark and sweet licorice feel (I guess the blackcurrant with something else creates that feeling), and a load of Iso E. Overall, this accord feels like an attempt to build that coffee note: it doesn’t really succeed in my opinion, but it smells nice. The same for oud, which I don’t really get, not even the usual Montale’s “synthetic oud”: just a dry, artificial woody note closer to birch wood. Anyway despite being quite far from its name, I can’t say Aoud Cafè smells bad: oddly enough, and perhaps involuntarily, it shows an unexpected and pleasant sort of “contemporary synthetic blackness”, this meaning a kind of “urban-modern” refinement à la Comme des Garçons Black and that type of scents; the notes are a bit different (more salt here, and also something more flowery), but somehow I thought of that. It has a nice, clean, solid and polished smoky-dark gloominess with a nice hint of colorful grace (the floral note), which is quite pleasant to wear. I bet that re-labeled with some nonsense name under one of those whatever trendy-avantgarde brands (like nu_be’s and that segment of niche) it would be more appreciated.
Pretty good gourmand. If you like the coffee vibe, then this is pefect for you. I'm not big on coffee vibe fragrances, so I gave this a neutral rating. 7/10
Definitely smells of a coffee shop. A truly unique fragrance :)