Perfume Directory

Oud Zen (2017)
by Areej le Doré

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Oud Zen information

Year of Launch2017
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production / Limited Edition
Average Rating
(based on 15 votes)

People and companies

HouseAreej le Doré

About Oud Zen

The company say:

Raw, wild, naked… the true OUD experience. An intense, yet gentle, balsamic and silky smooth oud volcano, majestically smoking, slowly releasing the concoction of pure Sri Lankan and Indian ouds. In spectacular volcanic fashion, rare, untamed royal oud has been pulled up from the base through the heart of this Olfactory Composition to ultimately reside at the top, giving one the unmatchable zen (true) experience that genuine oud creates: a royal aura that calms the nerves and brings peace, balance and harmony to one’s soul. Swift creamy waves of fragrant Indian and Indonesian sandalwood, spiced up with hints of smooth, highly aged saffron, culminating to fulfill one’s wildest olfactory desires… This scent will suit those mature, sophisticated persons who never fear challenges and who want to be covered in a truly mysterious, luxurious aura. Each level of this aromatic poem has been carefully blended with the utmost care, respect and love, over a long period of time, through a process consisting of multiple stages.

Reviews of Oud Zen

I fall somewhere between ClaireV's and Darvant's astute impressions of Oud Zen.

The opening is quite a ride: richly sour, smoked, vividly and sharply animalic, and medicinal all at once. I do not know enough about the nuances of different oud varieties and preparations to comment on which specific ouds are present here, but suffice it to say the oud smells sharp, tangy, a tiny bit fruity and in the initial stages of decomposition - moldy is a good word for the effect. This opening roar is both heightened and smoothed by a sharp civet and a bass chord of castoreum and woodsmoke. It's a fascinating smell, and my nose keeps returning to it. In the opening stages, I identify with Mr. Darvant. It's challenging, but rewarding.

The evolution is a slow burn, but Oud Zen does gradually dry out and become a more approachable spiced woody oud, a la ClaireV. But the animal backbone is always very present. It's *just* tame enough to be approachable, but it's right on the border, and you get the sense the beast could easily go rabid and escape. But it stays contained. When it does perk up - which has a tendency to do - the richer, sweeter nuances of the leathery, balsamic, civet profile come to the fore in a pleasant fragrant bloom. But at its core, it remains primarily a woody, smoky oud.

As always with Areej le Dore scents, the materials are absolutely top notch, and from a personal perspective, this is among my favorite of the Russian Adam compositions I've smelled.

25th May, 2018
This arcane smoky/balsamic sandalwood's rendition (finally slightly civilized and rouded by soft balsams and stout leather) represents my first approach with the infamous Areej le Dore's "rocky" siberian alchemies. A first greasy Oud Zen's fist on my decrepit skin from the southern provinces and I'm immediately connected with the most obscure and extreme Abdul Samad Al Qurashi-oudhs straight outta dark caves, with the Calice Becker By Kilian Pure Oud's boot polish-like cypriol oil/cistus labdanum/smoky woods/saffron/tolu balsams/myrrh-founded animalic connections and definitely with my appalling bottle of pure castoreum-oil from Abdes Salam Attar Profumo. Castoreum (supported by acid civet) is indeed aggressive along this first stage and the animalic strength is in addition "extremized" by hints of (mezcal like) worm-rotted/mould, by secular dust, bonfire woodiness a la Sonoma Scent Studio Winter Woods or Fireside Intense, boisterous smoked leather a la Omer Ipekci Pekji Cuir6 and by (civet-nuanced) medicinal syrup. I substantially disagree with the excellent and super qualified ClaireV since I don't see any credible wearability in this straightforward combination of agarwood-pure oils, rancid resins, smoked woods and animalics (neither in the final barely tamed phase). I detect saffron which is a perfect dry companion for the authoritarian licoricey/salty/leathery/woody starkness but I catch as well a richer musky/green balsamic vibe (at same time vegetal and animalic a la ASAQ Royal Oud Gazelle or Deer Musk) from the ancient woods of the siberian mountain. A feral potion? Oh yes baby, at least (for three/quarter of its run) on my skin of moonshiny "suburban" pseudo-perfumista and till when a barely perceptible touch of softer balmy presence gets soothing the general "burnt sense of stale prehistoric antiquity". Exotic facets from Papuan Oud? Naaa. A faint floral presence? Probably, in a subtle final way perceptible as spark (minimal) of amberish/floral sophistication. Complexity is not proper to these types of musky/mouldy alchemic experiments to me and frankly (sorry again dear Claire) vintage Habanita (seriously powdery) or Onda Voile d'Extrait (eminently hesperidic) are completely different stuffs imo. The general structure turns out to be lacking. The final wake is lighter but still smokey, mouldy and leathery, an arcane feel which could by no means be introduced as "luxurious".The Oud Zen'wearer is definitely a saturnine fellow out of this standardized time and with a poetic sense of life. I appreciate in any case the hard "opera" of general balancing appointed by the artist creator. A status of mind (projected back to ancient centuries) more than a fully accomplished fragrance imo. 7,5/10.
P. S: the great surprise is that along the final stage, nearly 10 hours over the "application" on skin, the note of civet (a synthetic amberish/musky civet a la Zoologist Civet) unveils all its "suggestions" providing due to its "organic acidity" (and on a certain extent) the illusion of an old school animalic classic massive chypree a la Tabù Dana (or neo classic a la Zoologist Civet) under the vest of a still dominant (but reduced in intensity) musty smokiness and overall represents a great work of civilization appointed by perfumer imo.
22nd November, 2017
People who are a bit wary about the oud note need not worry about Oud Zen. Although the Indian oud oil is authentic (and smells authentic) but it is not nearly as animalic or as feral as uncut Hindi oils can be, when worn neat on the skin.

Instead, right from the start, the leathery, sourish smoke of the Indian oud is folded into sweet, smoky woods and vetiver that together smell rather like the saltwater taffy of labdanum. The Hindi oud oil is also moderated by the fresher, more sparkling aspects of a Papuan oud, a variety that often displays surprisingly hints of green tea, mango, and flowers.

The main impression is woody, smoky, and leathery, with the Hindi elements of fermentation slowly fading away in the heart, leaving a trail of cool, ashy woods. I suppose it is a traditionally masculine perfume, but I think any woman who wants to could certainly rock it.

Interestingly, just as I think the perfume has given up its last breath, it revives and puffs out its chest in a death display of feral honey, vetiver, and dry leather, a combination very much in the vein of Vero Profumo’s Onda Voile d’Extrait or the far reaches of vintage Habanita when the powdery florals have burned off. An extraordinary finish, and one that gets me spraying again and again, just to arrive at the same destination.

29th August, 2017
Oud Zen is a smokey woods fragrance that is raw and resinous at opening and very spicy with a sandpaper textured saffron attar that takes complete control of the woods aroma and is aggressive in its boldness. As the fragrance evolves, subtleties of sandalwood and slight hints of agarwood emerge softening and carving down the hard edges of the dangerous smoked wild side of this resinous wood. Castoreum more than Civet (don't smell civet) adds a salty dryness to the base and so the woods receive a sueded leathery surface, but still it is all wood here. After hours on skin the resins of the woods loose their pinene character and become more a soft easy Indian oudh still with strong mixed wood and light sandalwood character. When I think of Zen I envision a gentle surrendered, "no mind" or zen mind quality, peaceful gardens; but I really don't see those qualities in this perfume so I object to the name a bit. Oud Zen reminds me more of an out of control jaunt careening down a wild mountain forest pathway threatening disaster at every turn but slowly leveling out onto a dry dusty plane. The zen outcome of this rough ride signals good fortune awaiting the wearer of Oud Zen.
21st August, 2017

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