By no means is this review intended as a negative, it's just that M7 Oud Absolu is a little too sweet for my liking.
The original M7 was a little drier, perhaps more bitter scent that had a perfect balance of all notes. M7 Oud Absolu has a lot of myrrh and vanilla in the base, making this smell a bit like candied fruits. I also get a strong mandarin note in the opening which adds fuel to the above association.
As to whether this is a good introduction to oud, that's another story. The oud here is drowned-out by the other notes and instead of being "Oud Absolu" this makes the current M7 smell more like "Oud Support". I have tried the original M7 and the similarities are immense, but the general sweetness is just too overpowering to be worthy of a thumbs up. That said, its predecessor was awesome.
There's nothing wrong with the latest iteration of M7, but it's definitely not what it once was, and there's definitely nothing "absolu" about it. It smells like someone split oud into 100 pieces and kept 10 of them. There's also a peculiar soapy quality in the drydown that's completely out of place.
All-in-all, it's dull at best and a poor representation of oud.
It starts promising but ends up a bit too onedimentional, shy and honeyed. The beginning, namely the best part of the olfactory fatigue, is delicious with a cool/aromatic blast of creamy aoud, smooth amber and sheer watery orange. The latter is in my opinion present almost throughout but finally fades a bit. The dark patchouli is notable but becomes soon highly resinous and melted in a sink of balsams (honeyed and resinous myrrh and labdanum). I had liked a more earthy/bold work from the patchouli. In this phase the juice loses the aromatic/prickly and mineral initial vibe becoming too honeyed and vaguely rosey/ambery. Really delicious but in my opinion not enough elegant and bold. I see the association with Cruel Intentions Kilian and agree that this is a more syrupy/resinous M7 version lacking anyway the initial original formula's cherry vibe and its impressive creamy aoud mark.
06th March, 2013 (last edited: 13th June, 2014)
Advertisement — Reviews continue below
First of all let me say this is not M7 but more like a tribute to it. While the polishing and modernizing work they've done may be considered for several aspects commendable, on the other hand the current fragrance lacks the uniqueness of the original. The oud is there but not enough to justify the use of "absolu", while two new elements have been added in the note list (mhyrr and labdanum) providing a remarkable resinous vibe that was completely inexistent in the original formula.
Overall the fragrance is still head and shoulders above the average quality of today's masculines but IMO nowhere close to the uniqueness of the original M7 (and I'm not particularly fond of the vintage. Go figure).