Reviews of Oud Wood by Tom Ford

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    impdaddee's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Strange, that after avoiding virtually all skin-scents for over twenty years (save for the tiniest dabs of baker's vanilla extract), I should choose Tom Ford Private Blend Oud Wood to reacquaint myself with the fragrance world, especially on a hot, humid summer's day! I wanted something sensual, complex, warm, masculine, maybe even dark and mystical, but with a "huggable", sweet heart. Various reviews led me to Oud Wood. I was not disappointed, I was overwhelmed.

    My first experience at a fragrance counter in two decades was slightly intimidating, but Madame Sales Assistant took me seriously after I tossed out a few key words and offered me a spritz of the Oud Wood. SPRITZ!!! up the inside of my forearm, and another SPRITZ!!! down the same. "Whoa lady!" I thought, retaining the extreme caution (revulsion?) regarding over-application I had developed during the almost nightmarish days of Ralph Lauren's original Polo...then it hit.

    The first half-minute reminded me of the resinous edge Polo had, but was more familiar to me from my own kitchen. Mapo tofu requires powdered Szechuan pepper, a source of numbing-heat. The initial blast was nearly identical to the piney-resin scent released from the spice grinder after grinding a batch of hua-jiao. It was like a trumpet blast waking my nose from slumber, blaring, “YOU JUST PUT PERFUME ON!! YOU REALIZE THAT, DON'T YOU?!”. The penetrating sharpness seemed to clear the olfactory stage, providing not only an expectant space for what came next, but also a contrast for the following woodsy, spicy sweetnesses.

    Hot on the heels of the Szechuan pepper, saffron blazed sharp, strong, and quick, with—as in many Indian desserts—a yummy cardamon backdrop. The slightly medicinal saffron soon departed, leaving me craving more, yet thankful that it was over.

    The oud which followed did not overpower—it was almost well-behaved, “almost” because it was shameless, brazenly seducing me with its light faecal-animal sweetness. Now, there are ouds, ouds, and more ouds, some yummy like fruit and flowers and licorice, some medicinal, others woody, mystical, or even rutty. This was rutty oud, not too dark (likely artificial), and soon evened out, receding to let the sweeter woods—sandalwood and rosewood, and vanilla to continue the seduction.

    I simply could not stop sniffing at my forearm, shamelessly and brazenly.

    The dry-out was relatively uneventful, with a gradual fading of spiced woods to sweet amber over the next few hours. The amber lingered on well into the next day, but was detectable only close to my skin.

    A couple of tries over the next few days amounted to much the same, although lower temperatures and decreased humidity increased its longevity. Thankfully, I didn't fill entire rooms with Oud Wood gas, but those entering my personal space certainly noticed it with pleasure.

    On me it is like “sex in a bottle” (as some others have also commented), but there is nothing tame about the erotic jinn that is released from this little brown bottle. Wearing it is like an initiation into a rutty world of ancient sexual practices by a smiling Lebanese bodybuilder, who appears dressed up in a black tuxedo, shirt undone to the sternum (ooo, look, a hairy chest!), three days dark scruff on his rivetingly handsome face, and thick gold chains swinging to the rhythm of his too-confident strut. But, despite all his attempts at worldly sophistication, he still needs to pay the bills by plying the world's oldest profession. Gosh, who am I to curl my lip and say no? The effortless masculinity of his presence overwhelms all objections, and I reach down and, trembling with desire, hand over a wad of cash. Am I his for the night, or is he mine?

    For me, a one trick pony, but that's just fine.

    Of course, mileage varies. On my husband it's all sweetness and purity, like a drawer of freshly laundered underwear. (Good. I wouldn't let him out of the house if it smelled on him like it does on me.)

    12th July, 2012 (Last Edited: 14th July, 2012)

    CaliDude's avatar

    United States United States

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    This is my favorite Oud scent, and one of my favorite from the Tom Ford Private Blend line. A very classy & sophisticated scent.

    Not sure where all the hate is coming from. If you've smelled M7, this is basically a clone of that but more powerful. Consider this to be M7 Extreme.

    23rd June, 2012 (Last Edited: 11th February, 2013)

    missylee's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    I love this juice. Rich, warm and heavy. As a women, perhaps a little too masculine on it's own, so I've layered it with SL Daim Blond. This combo is my 'special occasion' scent and it's hard to resist applying more regularly.

    Oud Wood is deep, dark, smokey and sexy. I find the soft sweetness of Daim Blond adds a different dimension and is easier to wear that way. On its own I feel a little too 'naughty' - when layered, good girl with a 'naughty secret'.

    19th May, 2012

    OverLord's avatar



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    Definetely one of my fav fragrance available on the market.
    Very intense and sexy, better to be used in fall-winter or to party late night.
    Nobody I met from Milan to Paris to London has been indifferent to its notes.

    05th May, 2012 (Last Edited: 09th May, 2012)

    DanWano's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    At first you know its Tom Ford fragrance, you smell a high quality fragrance, well blend, very sexy. It's start like Grey Vetiver, very dry, then you'll get some vanilla to bring some sweetness and after slowly but surely you get a really nice amber coming. The best dry down amber i ever smelled.

    09th March, 2012

    Lobster2010's avatar

    England England

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    When people think "Tom Ford Private Blend", they often picture the price tag first and desperately try and find substitutes, to be honest most us do including me, in order to nullify the desire to purchase one of his PB scents.

    On the other hand, let us appreciate independently and carefully what we smell.

    Oud Wood is no gimmick. It is a careful fusion of oud with what people in the west can tolerate in terms of smell level and intensity.

    It is a mildly sweet scent with a heavier woody undertone. Somewhat unisex but perhaps better for men who desire something a little different from mainstream.

    It has a friendly projection and on me lasts at least a full day at good capacity. I only need two sprays to accomplish this.

    I can see why people smell M7, but that is a combination of having Tom Ford inspiring both but also because we want Oud Wood to have a cheaper uncle.

    Personally, I truly appreciate the power of Oud Wood. It is unique in my collection and I can count on it a 100%. This is by far one of the safer niche buys in the PB range.

    07th January, 2012

    daoud62's avatar

    Oman Oman

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    I had very high hopes for this one. The top notes are very medicinal, and though the scent is quite strong at the beginning, it fades much too quickly. I barely got an hour or two out of it, and at this price, that is not acceptable.
    I was careful not to use too much because oud can cause olfactory fatigue.
    I have also tried layering it with Tobacco Vanille but I find no appreciable change.
    Because I have tried only from a sample, and I do still have an unopened bottle, I may have to try out the bottle to see whether there is a difference.

    05th January, 2012

    Jack Hunter's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    It is fresh and spicy with woody notes that does smell good. I have some Borneo 3000 pure Oud oil and I believe this scent was trying to capture that fragrance in a synthetic way. Where as the real deal has a lot of depth and dimensions to it Oud Wood seems to be a snapshot of a aspect of the Borneo pure oud oil.

    The only thing with Tom Fords offering is that I detected a synthetic latex glove smell within the composition which I could not live with. Apart from that it is a good fragrance.

    10th December, 2011

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    I like high-end fragrances when they have an artistic aspect to them and my problem with many of the Tom Ford's compositions is that they often luck all of this. I get them as a sort of completion of the brand. Clothes, leather goods, shoes, sunglasses and fragrances for the upper market. They all smell pretty good but they very rarely add something on the table to justify their otrageous prices.

    Said that I don't see any reasons to spend big money on Oud Wood when you can have M7 (because this is basically what Oud Wood is all about) for less than 1/3 the price. Fresh woody.

    Gimmick anyone?

    25th October, 2011

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    A lighter combination of rose and oud that is not so obscure, chocolatey or claustrophobic as the one in Noir the Noir despite being Oud Wood a dark-woody fragrance. Here you can inhale a sort of spicy and smokey woody scent that is averagely dry and mild and not resinous or caramellous. There are some barely perceivable citrus in composition.  The addition of vanilla is moderate in order to balance the medicinal effect of resin. The aoud is subdued and the starring role is played by rosewood and sandalwood. The final outcome is a bit gassy/rubbery and smoky with a decidedly masculine temperament created by the earthy  link of vetiver, amber and tonka. Some musk closes the round. A very sexy and mature chypre.

    18th August, 2011 (Last Edited: 10th October, 2012)

    stefftaylor's avatar

    United States United States

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    I grew up in the middle east, so oud is a very familiar scent to me. However, the "authentic" versions smell extremely dirty to me. Tom Ford's however, is a clean and wood, a bit sharp and mellow at the same time, and lasts many hours. I was once wearing it and a French friend told me I smelled like her "grandfather's cigar box....sans cigars". Most people would be offended - I was overjoyed. It's a non-perfumey comfort fragrance.

    However, nothing tops Amber Absolute from that line....

    31st July, 2011

    pimiento's avatar

    United States United States

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    Even if I don't agree with other reviews I normally understand their gripes but the negatives for this one I really don't get. I tried this on today and find it to be one of my favorites both from the Tom Ford line and out of all oud scented fragrances.

    31st July, 2011

    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    I'll register a neutral on this -- but there really is nothing wrong with it, aside from being a bit sweet at times. There are attractive spicy notes, and even when it gets somewhat powdery it isn't oppressive. The oud is very restrained (non-medicinal), and modulates into a nice rose note at the end. In fact, the scent is quite rose-y as it dries down.

    10th April, 2011

    QWERTYOP's avatar

    England England

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    Absolutely bleeping gorgeous. I'll write a better review when I can tear myself away from sniffing this thing. Manly, rich, quality, and obviously.. woody. Gorgeous. Please God, make it last all day?

    10th April, 2011

    kauinca's avatar

    United States United States

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    I have forced Oud Wood on my husband and son, and have found it to be an extremely pleasant scent on both of them. It starts off a little sharp but warms up beautifully to a soft wood that sits close on the skin and is very appealing. My husband loves it, my son likes it, but found it headache inducing for the first hour or so. Unfortunately for both of them, it's highly unlikely they'll be using it once this sample is gone, as it's extremely pricey. I've yet to try Oud Wood on myself, but really like it on men. I can also imagine this would be lovely layered.

    Update: Love Oud Wood on myself too! Nice layered as well. Very unisex. Beautiful fragrance - wish it wasn't so pricey.

    19th February, 2011 (Last Edited: 10th March, 2011)

    Castrensis's avatar

    United States United States

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    This is M7 lite. Equally offensive to my nose, but somehow ends up smelling like berries rather than cherries. Horrifying what this stuff costs.

    16th February, 2011

    surge's avatar

    United States United States

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    Terrible longevity and smells very synthetic...Don't like this one very much at all.

    08th December, 2010

    Francop's avatar

    Spain Spain

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    Nice bottle and scent but nothing special to bring home.

    Poor longevity and very overpriced ? ... Yes !

    Sorry Tom, perfumerie is an art not a past time...

    21st August, 2010

    scentsitivity's avatar

    United States United States

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    While I like many aoud scents in the Montale line, I find this one to be repulsive. It smells plasticky/rubbery to me. I also get a pickling spice vibe to it. It sickens me and I can't imagine enjoying this on anyone.

    24th June, 2010

    merzbild71's avatar

    United States United States

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    Not bad, but not oud. Anyone who has smelled true, undiluted agarwood will probably find this a bit synthetic and one dimensional.

    Terrible name too. "Oud" means "wood" so the wood in the title is superfluous. Makes as much sense as "chai tea" and "nan bread."

    12th June, 2010

    The_Cologneist's avatar

    United States United States

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    Updating my previous review of this.. it is definitely more synthetic smelling than other Tom Ford offerings. To my nose, its opening and middle smells very similar to B*Men, only lighter and no sweet notes. I get that same sort of rubber, plastic, watery and coconut smell that I get from B*Men; add a little rosewood though. As it dries down is where I kind of want to scrub it off, as it becomes a very dry and spicy wood, smells slightly animalic in the base as well. Not a personal favorite, but an interesting collaboration nevertheless. Sillage and longevity are just mediocre.

    18th April, 2010 (Last Edited: 31st August, 2010)

    BayKAT's avatar

    United States United States

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    Dollar per mL htis is one of hte most expensive fragrances I own, so obviously something caught my attention.

    It's Rosewood, which is a trill, raspy wood note that I find oddly alluring. Oud Wood is not a typical scent that I go for (that would be the dark, luscious oriental florals and chypres). But I couldn't resist this beauty.

    Strangely, I don't enjoy Oud Wood in my every day setting. i only seem to like it when I'm 'on the move' or traveling. It's what i reach for when I'm flying, heading to the beach or taking a road trip. This is my favorite from the Tom Ford exclusive line, and one of the very few I felt were unisex.

    28th March, 2010

    Orgoglio italianO's avatar

    United States United States

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    Smells ok... I have smelled better Oud frags,with way better longevity.... Over priced in my opinion for what it is...

    21st March, 2010

    holyzoo's avatar

    United States United States

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    I was intrigued by the description of Oud, and tried a sample of Kilian's Pure Oud which turned out to be a big disappointment in its band-aid chemical blast open down to smokey wood.

    A week later I was sampling at Nordstrom and caught a whiff of Tom Ford's Oud Wood and instantly fell in love with it. It's a masterful creation to behold from it's silky smooth and delicious start, to its various stages drying down to a warm earthy woods.

    I find some similarity in Oak mossiness with Cumming, the fragrance, but Oud Wood is dramatically more refined and luxurious.

    Longevity wise, the opening begins dispersing after an hour and starts resonating into its cozy warmth and woods for the next couple of hours. I can still sense its trace 12-18 hours and ends up a distinctive skin scent.

    While I am blown away by Oud Wood on its own, I also find it to be an awesome base layer that welcomes infinite possibilities for layering. This final point really makes this a stellar addition to the collection. Unique, refined, sexy, dark, warm, luxurious, and versatile.

    15th March, 2010

    mrclmind's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tom Ford Oud Wood handles the synthetic agarwood note rather deftly IMO. I don't mind good synthetics in perfumes if they are utilized in a prodigious manner, especially when their use helps to keep some important natural resources from becoming more endangered. The rosewood top and coumarin base make for a type of fougere effect while highlighting the oud heart rather transparently. The notes of red pepper and cardomon give it an ever so slightly spicy edge. The amber, vanilla, tonka, sandlewood, vetiver base stays quite woody and not very sweet. The overall experience is rather stately and elegant. The longevity is very moderate at best and sillage is moderate. My first impression of this fragrance was that it smelled like scouring powder, but after giving it a full wearing, I was happy to realize that first impressions can be very misleading.

    No, this is not a Montale Aoud fragrance. It is synthetic whereas the Montale scents utilize some natural agarwood; but I believe Tom Ford Oud Wood has its place too. Whether its worth the price is really up to the consumer. We don't only pay for materials, we pay for the composition. Paint and canvas themselves don't cost as much as the painting does. Beauty is in the nose of the beholder. I like many of the Tom Ford line, and this one is no exception.

    07th March, 2010

    JaimeB's avatar

    United States United States

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    The advent of a decent synthetic version of the oud note has made for a proliferation of scents featuring this note. This could be a good thing, or not. Not all ouds are created equal. There is no doubt in my mind that oud fragrances based on Western perfume traditions are best done by Pierre Montale; but now that the oud vibe can be done more economically, the competition is getting fierce, and the new competition is still charging as though they were using the real thing. When the general public catches on, I wouldn't be surprised if they were pissed off about the price issue for the synthetic-based fragrances. Still, I'm not reviewing perfume prices; I'm reviewing perfumes. On that score, the Tom Ford version is fairly imaginative and sufficiently distinctive to merit a good rating. The oriental base is a good support for the whole, and in particular, the tonka bean seems to give the overall fragrance a bit of a fougère-style cast. The rosewood and gentle spices in the top lend the kind of freshness one associates with a fresh aromatic fougère as well. The heart note, of course, is the oud and wood part, justifying the name. The scent has a fairly short top note, but that part of it blends into the heart well, and the base helps with persistence overall. There isn't a lot of development, but there is some, and the structure is good enough for the whole to stand on its own. I'll give this a thumbs up.

    20th January, 2010

    L'Aventurier's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    A fresh oud fragrance? Who would have thought?

    Oud Wood by Tom Ford smells to me like a hybrid of a fresh fragrance like Bulgari pour Homme and some sort of peppery, oriental vanilla-sandalwood-oud fragrance. I don't really get any those raspberry notes that others have mentioned, but I do smell a huge dollop of some sort of unique musk cocktail that smells simultaneously like clean laundry, sweat and erhhh semen..... In fact, that's where I smell the similarities between Bulgari PH and Oud Wood.

    Those who like M7 might also enjoy Oud Wood, however the two fragrances are worlds apart if you take away the synthetic oud note that they both share. While the price is definitely inflated (I don't smell any natural oud/agarwood), the final result is just right.

    9.5/10

    03rd December, 2009 (Last Edited: 10th July, 2010)

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tom Ford Oud Wood

    My first exposure to oud as a note came through a sampling of a number of Montale scents. Those scents are beautiful but they have to be worn with care as they are all powerhouses. The thing that stands out in those scents is what a versatile note oud can be. The mix of slightly sweet, the woody character, and the hint of an almost medicinal edge make it something that perfumers can use to enhance one of or all of those characteristics to design their perfume. Most people's introduction to oud came in Yves St. Laurent's M7 which was designed by Tom Ford. Tom Ford has gone on to his own signature line and part of that is his Private Blend Collection. In 2007 he released his first 12 Private Blends and among them was one called Oud Wood. As the man responsible for most colognoisseur's exposure to oud I was expecting a scent that would rival the Montales in intensity. Instead I got, perhaps, the most easily wearable oud-based scent out there. Oud Wood begins with a light woodiness of rosewood and paired with it is the softness of cardamom. This is a beautifully light beginning as the choice to go with a lighter wood like rosewood which also contains some sweet facets to it makes an excellent lead-in to the heart which is where the oud comes out. The oud appears and it has more intensity than M7 but somehow it is less "loud" than M7 or the Montale ouds. This is probably due to a healthy dose of sandalwood, which is also present. The sandalwood becomes an almost equal partner to the oud and particularly the interplay of the sweeter aspects of both woods intersect amazingly on my skin. The base is a mix of vetiver and vanilla. The vanilla again enhances the sweeter qualities of the woods but the vetiver brings out the medicinal edge of the oud and makes the base have a little more of an edge than the scent has had previously in its development. Oud Wood is a long-lasting scent with modest sillage. It is that modest sillage that I think makes Oud Wood a much more versatile oud-based scent than many of the others out there. I own Oud Wood for precisely that reason because there are some days I want a full-on oud experience without feeling like my cologne is preceding me into the room by five minutes. Oud Wood feels like M7 after its left the club and is getting ready for work in the morning.

    19th September, 2009

    fennec's avatar

    United States United States

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    Not bad at all, but not great. Unimpressed. I know it's not supposed to be a scent for oud afficionados/purists but I think it could have been formulated a little better. The vetiver takes away from the potential oud drydown but this could be a result of the aromachemical used in the formula, Givaudans oud, which is nice but dries down into vetyver like Tom Ford's scent.

    28th August, 2009

    Neurotic Scientist's avatar

    United States United States

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    Oud is Arabic for "wood" but it specifically refers to agarwood, also referred to as aloeswood. Real quality agarwood extracts can cost upwards of $1,000 an ounce and are very difficult to blend, because they have a high terpene content that can very easily come off smelling like turpentine if one is not careful.

    Tom Ford's "Oud," on the other hand, smells very much like Firmenich's synthetic agarwood product ("Oud Blend"), which is almost surely used in this fragrance.

    All in all a very nice fragrance, but probably not worth the price.

    20th August, 2009

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