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Mancera - The Aoud

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Freshly on, WOW, what a rose. Syrupy and just a hint tannic. Gives me a mental image of a huge, blowsy, thousand-petalled damask rose in full bloom, saturating the air with fragrance on a hot still summer day. I can tell there's a whole structure of other, more bitter notes underneath it, but they're holding up the rose, not cutting through it. This is a glorious fragrance experience.

For once I'm actually pleased when a hint of wood comes out to temper the sheer bombast of the opening. Unfortunately it's closely followed by geranium, which has never been a favourite of mine, but even so the overall effect is to make me feel rather less like Eustace from the Narnia books after he'd eaten too much Turkish delight. The powderiness that starts to come in in the midstage is the dusty inside of an exotic wooden chest, scattered with desiccated rose petals.

I'm still figuring out my relationship with oud itself, and this was a freebie with one of my Scentsamples orders, but the smell of the sample vial was so intriguing I needed to try it out. BN reviews (well, review) suggest that it's simultaneously Eastern and Western; to me it reads as a Western idea of what the East is. Not crass, but not completely authentic, either. A lovely smell but not a fragrance I want to wear.



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