Perfume Reviews

Positive Reviews of M7 Oud Absolu by Yves Saint Laurent

Total Reviews: 34
Back in 2002 I can still remember the fuss about the M7 release: Tom Ford's involvement, the naked advertisement, the unusual oud smell... I remember testing the perfume back then, when it was first released, I can hardly recall its smell but I remember thinking that the smell was weird and quite nothing like I had smelled before! It was hard to appreciate M7 back then though, I was just 22 and on the ride of Le Male, Givenchy Pi and Moschino Uomo perfume trend.

So it's quite hard to compare the smell of the old M7 with the one of Oud Absolu. All I can say is that Oud Absolu is an amazing, unusual and very masculine perfume. I really get hints of cherry syrup smell in it and I love it, I still don't get the Oud Wood similarity that many have mentioned here, it smells completely different to me. Oud Absolu has a great longevity but a quite moderate sillage. I also have to mention that quite weirdly enough, even though I adore this perfume, I have never got any compliments for it.

So, if you think about owning this one, all I have to say is go for it! It is not a perfume for everybody, it is quite weird and maybe a love it or hate it kind of perfume, but after all there is so much history here!

PS: I still don't get why they changed the bottle. No more black sides and silver letters on it, just a clear bottle, which is quite boring and uninteresting. Still the same juice in it though.

*This review was written after several full wearings of the perfume and not just after smelling this on paper or on wrist.
04th June, 2018
I really enjoy wearing M7 Oud Absolu for the last couple of days. Nice opening with a patchouli and orange, later on becomes a bit sweeter like all ysl fragrances I've tried but I do not mind it here. I do not know how much oud is inside (similar like in creed royal oud, another one that I really like). Who cares, I always look at blend as unique story and this one is good.

Projection is moderate but ok. It's a shame that does not last longer on the skin (3-4hours).
07th January, 2018
M7 Oud Absolu is more formal and less pungent version of the old M7. The original M7 is all about showing strength and willpower, determination, moving around the town in the evening. M7 Oud Absolu on the other hand is a bit more toned down, calmer, for closed quarters. However it doesn't mean that it's weaker. The medicinal note here is less pronounced.

All in all, this version is a bit more calm, pleasant and chic without being less potent. I lasts and projects rather well.

If I had to choose, of course the original is original and that's that. However I'm very happy and pleased with this version. It's not that significantly far from the original in character and spirit. There are a few differences from up close. From the distance however, even avid fans will simply recognise it as M7 and not this or that version.

Conclusion: may he stay here even in this bottle. Spirit, character and signature are here. Longevity and projection are adequate. That's good enough for me.

Originality 7/10 high because old M7 is gone
Scent 9/10
Longevity 9/10
Projection 7/10
16th September, 2017
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I'd heard a lot of good things about M7, and wanted to try the current equivalent. It was cheap enough to warrant a blind buy, and I fell in love with it at first wear!

There are notes that remind me of Pure Malt, which I also love on me. A gourmand opening that settles into lots of spice and wood. Strong, but not overpowering. I put it on in the evening, and still caught whiffs on my arm the next morning, so I'm impressed with the performance. I'll definitely be wearing this one a lot.
01st September, 2017
Only ever tried this iteration of M7 so i have no refernce re original.
This is one of the best smelling oud-dominant designers on the market. I especially love how the citrus-sweetish, chinotto opening develops into a patchouli/oud cooling middle. The trick is that it opens warm and develops to almost a cool minty patch within the first hour.
This i think makes it not just a cold weather scent, but wearable in most spring weather.
Eventually it transitions to a lovely syrupy, myrhh and oud combination.
It is a beautifully composed scent given the minimal accords used.
The one let down on my skin, is that i am luck to get 6 hours maximum longevity. Thus sits close to skin from the outset, and i find myself craving to get wafts of it as the day progresses.
At this point, i'll keep it in my colection because it lasts long enough for evening wear, and reasonably priced enough that i am not going to be stingy with sprays.

Scent: 8.5/10
Performance: 5/10
03rd July, 2017
A beautiful manly sweet oud.

Sophisticated & different from the norm. Will surely make an impact. Longevity is decent especially on clothes. Not a massive difference between this and the original M7. In fact I prefer this current version which goes to show just how highly I rate it. I find it more sophisticated and classy than the original.

02nd May, 2017 (last edited: 22nd May, 2018)
M7 oud absolu was a nice take on original M7: a distinct less medicinal and less sweet version. Myrrh was the composition's main star. The new reformulated version (with no black plastic cover) is like a junior version of both preview fragrances. Myrrh was muted. It's even less medicinal. Still nice, but seems shallow. There's something too trivial about its sweetness.
It should have been named as 'M7 oud absolu to the masses'.
10th March, 2017
Having been a detractor of the original M7, I must say that M7 Oud Absolu for me is a more satisfying, pleasant version of the loud original.

From the very start, M7 Oud Absolu broadcasts its M7 dna, which is unmistakably present. It seems like a tamed down version, like an "M7 light" vs. a dark, oud-heavy scent that the name would suggest. I did detect the cola quality that some reviewers had mentioned, a factor that I don't mind really (i.e., check out Calvin Klein's Dark Obsession, which I would call wearable cola. ;^>).

A safe, oud-ish rethink of the original that I wouldn't mind owning, along like the lines of some of Atelier Cologne's oud formulations; though I am so in love with my bottle of Versace pour Homme Oud Noir, which gives me my dose of oud in a more exotic and memorable way...I will hold off for now on such a purchase.
05th March, 2017 (last edited: 06th March, 2017)
Truth in advertising – this is not an “Absolu” version of M7. I have the original (vintage!) M7 and have done a side-by-side comparison. Absolu is much tamer and weaker than the original. Both have the fleeting Bergamot/Mandarin topnotes immediately followed by the prickly Oud note. Where they deviate is in the drydown. The original had a gorgeous musk/amber drydown that lasted for days. Absolu’s drydown has no musk and the amber is weaker, lasting only 3-4 hours. That said, Absolu is a highly satisfying excursion and is recommended.

20th October, 2016
I love this fragrance!

I should point out I am female and I bought as a scent for myself. I've never worn a "male" scent before but to be honest, I don't see this as strictly a masculine scent. I think it is more unisex.

I also don't know the original so I can't compare it. But again I love.

Normally it takes me ages to find a fragrance I like, with me going backwards and forwards for ages. Not with this scent. It was recommended to me and I bought it straight away. And I've worn it every day since.

It's middle of winter here and to me this is the perfect sophisticated, winter scent. I love the way it makes me feel. I must be honest I do love the fact that it doesn't smell like a typical female fragrance. But then I'm not a big fan of girly, sweet fragrances.

This is probably my all time favourite fragrance!

17th June, 2016
This is great! I have a little dabber that I've been trying a few times now and today it hit me in a completely different manner than it usually does. It smells very similar to Creed's Aberdeen Lavender or Tom Ford's Noir (men). There's a somewhat sweet cocoa-leathery vibe in addition to the carbonated beverage note that other reviews have mentioned.

I don't smell one bit of oud in this one and that's honestly fine. With the sweeter than normal notes I'm picking up I'm not certain if a dry-woody note would be a good thing. It has yet to become powdery in the few times I've sampled it.
10th March, 2016
YSL M7 Oud Absolu is a citrus/powder/incense mix that works as an oddly refined winter scent, probably for both men and women. It opens with a blast of mandarin and ends up smelling like a mix of labdanum and myrrh. Definitely a powder bomb, at least to me, though not with the rubbery or leather element of, say, Midnight in Paris, but with an earthy aspect. Definitely an easily wearable incense fragrance. It doesn't involve a ton of development, but the projection and longevity are strong for an EDT. At under $60 for 80ml, its value is decent, as well, given the refinement, as this can certainly be dressed up for winter nights.

7 out of 10
09th February, 2016
Great scent that as Speedracer mentioned has a "dr pepper/cola" vibe. I would also throw in a little root beer vibe as well. Well constructed from Top to Bottom. I do wish it was a little stronger in the dry down. For myself a top 10 in my collection. Enjoy
03rd February, 2016 (last edited: 10th February, 2016)
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I really enjoyed this one from start to finish. Had a cool, refined, Dr Pepper/cola vibe going on all day. Wife leaned in a couple extra times while wearing, gave me a nod....huge compliment in my book! A future purchase for sure, might even consider as a signature scent.
08th January, 2016
A nice and different oud fragrance, that begins with a somewhat barbershop note that is probably the combination of citrus and oud supported by the patchouli. As it dries down the myrrh and amber are present and make it an interesting, if not darker fragrance. The latter stages are by far the best part of the scent, but I found the sillage somewhat fleeting.

I've never smelled the original M7, so I can't make any comparison, but this is pretty nice. However, as an oud scent it doesn't really wow me like a Tom Ford or AdP does. Thumbs up all the same.
30th October, 2015
I'm not rushing out to buy a bottle, but this is a relatively nice fragrance from one of my sample orders.

It creates a broad smell, familiar, yet with some light oud. I get something like a chewing gum element in the mix of smells.

I like the smells dancing around the oud more than the oud.

This is a fairly easy thumbs up!
03rd June, 2015 (last edited: 20th June, 2015)
Such a fabulous fragrance! I could literally lock myself in a small room so that I am surrounded by it. At my local John Lewis it's almost been hidden to prevent everyone from discovering it. The previous reviews hinting at a cherry aroma from the start are spot on IMO, the Oud is warm and deep. I love this stuff, a connoisseurs fragrance!
11th February, 2015
M7 Oud Absolu is a great fragrance. Perfect for night time wear, it is elegant and sophisticated. Patchouli and Oud give it a sweet, woody feel. I wore it for the first time to a family dinner around Christmas time (2014). My Mom was the first one to compliment me. After that, the compliments just came pouring in. Needless to say I was very happy.

My rating: 10/10
06th January, 2015
My favorite fragrance. The manderine patchuli oud are in the opening and the manderine stays throughout the mid as more of a bitter orange vib. Makes it the most fresh of the three M7 formulations. So the softer elements make the oud and pachuli less sharp, but there is a nice tangyness to the exotic eastern oud woodsy scent. The fragrance beutifully transforms into a softer ending as the base notes come through of labdanum and myrhh. Labdanum can be found in the book of Exodus ch. 30 as God gave Moses the ingredients for the incense used for worship. M7 oud absolu is right between the original M7 and M7 fresh in a way. Labdanum is also called the rose of Sharon in the Bible, in the basenotes pyramid it's called rock rose. I dont get amber in the base notes or dry down, the dry down is beutifull as many have said, a moving sensual experience, as in (senses). The M7 fresh, is what got me into fragrances a year ago. I was the winning bidder on a large bottle recently. It has an amber and musk drydown, I noticed today, similar to what I like in Kouros fragrance.
22nd November, 2014
jumpfrog Show all reviews
United Kingdom
I have been wearing one version or another everyday, no matter what occasion, since 2008. It has never let me down. It is charming, refined, calm, and collected. There has been much debate between this and the previous version. To me, Oud Absolu is a little more "ambery" and little less "woody" than its predecessor. Which is a bit of a shame. However, it is still a legendary performer.

It opens with mandarin but this soon gives way to amber. The woodenness we all know and love joins the party after an hour or so. It lasts on me for 3-4 hours max. I wish it would last more.

It is a fantastic fragrance, however it's not for boys. Not for your Hollister/waxed type. It's for the confident professional - young or old - who appreciates the finer things in life and is comfortable to stand out from the crowd. It's for those comfortable in their own skin.

People say these oud fragrances are for winter or autumn only - I disagree. Indeed, it is perhaps in warmer climes where oud notes truly come into their own. Which is why they are so popular in the Middle East.
03rd August, 2014 (last edited: 04th August, 2014)
A lot can change in 5 years.

This is the first review I have been compelled to leave here for a very long time. Through my years I have tried the original M7, owned a bottle of the reproduction, and, most recently have purchased a bottle of the Oud Absolu reissue.

My review of the original M7 was based on a sample I had which was great. I then went and bought myself a bottle to find it was a newer, reformulated (colourless glass with brown sticker), version. It was nice but too sweet and cloying.

I had the opportunity recently to try the Oud Absolu version which supposedly stayed truer to the original formulation. I can't remember the original sample I had but what I will say is that I feel that all the cloying sweetness if the reissue is gone in the Oud Absolu version but it holds the value of the original fragrance. Once again upon trying a sample this turned heads and this time I genuinely love everything about it too.

Warm and sensual without any overbearing synthetic notes. This lead to a full purchase.

Tastes can change over 5 years but YSL did a great job on this and have allowed me to say that I finally "get it".
25th July, 2014
First of all, this review is for both M7 Oud Absolu and original M7, as I think the two are very close. Oud Absolu is maybe a little bit more complex, and original M7 a bit darker, but they are so close to each other that i dont think necessary to write one review for each.

This, i think, is absolutely magnificent, i loved it at first whiff. This perfume is what drew me into fragrances. i remembered testing it for the first time at Sephora, and right from the start, i was struck by this medicinal, intoxicating, top note. This first note was a highlight for me, it said 'i'm not your usual fragrance, i'm something different, i'm something really special".

It IS something special, right from the begining you know it's gonna blow your mind. I'm not saying everone is going to like it, it has this medicinal top note that is strange in a way, that some people may find harsh (i personnaly love it), but wait for the dry down!!!

The drydown of this fragrance is something i would call heavenly, no other perfume can come close to what this does, it's woody, but deliciously woody, with a narcotic feel to it, it's probably the oud, mixed with labdanum, that makes this blend so addictive. Like someone said below, it has the strange ability to put me in a contemplative mood, and it's absolutely addictive in a deep, oriental, intoxicating way.

The longevity is 7-8 hours with this jewel, at the end of the drydown, the scent becomes more leathery and amberish. At this stage it doesn't project much but it will give you pleasant whiffs of leather and amber. The evolution of this perfume is like a dream, a wonderful one, and i've never smelled anything quite like it, it's a living thing, from the first intoxicating blast to the last whiff of amber.

It's my signature scent for the cold days, i noticed that the colder it is, the better, winter is when this fragrance shines in all its glory. You could wear it in the summer, but then the oud is a bit stronger, making it a little harsh, i personnaly love it anytime of the year.

20/20 Perfect/Masterpiece, thanks Alberto Morillas/Jacques Cavallier
21st April, 2014
I love M7 – the original version. I own two bottles. I wasn’t expecting much from M7 Oud Absolu, but I do appreciate it. I enjoy the fact that the opening cherry cough syrup note is toned down. The opening of M7 Oud Absolu is better balanced, smoother, more sophisticated, and, because of the mineral note / rockrose, more complex than the opening of its ancestor… The cherry cough syrup shock has become a cherry / short-lasting mineral / oud-rockrose accord that is wearable, oddly rich, and oddly captivating.

I’m not sure that the fragrance actually has a middle or heart accord. The opening seems to last into the drydown due to the presence of oud and the oud-supporting rockrose. In one sense, M7 Oud Absolu is quite linear – the cherry / oud continues for into the drydown, which is very prompt. Some hour after the beginning the aromatics of the oud and rockrose has settled enough that the patchouli becomes noticeable, which results in a smoother-but-less-edgy accord. These accords do not have the projection of the vintage – that I do not mind: The truly unfortunate characteristic of M7 Oud Absolu is that it does not have adequate longevity. I have a difficult time detecting more than a soft skin scent after two hours but the skin scent lasts adequately.

M7 Oud Absolu is a somewhat-edgy, somewhat-oud fragrance that is nicely, but not inspiredly, put together. It is likely not to offend and it’s an easy wear. It has somewhat poor longevity. I think it has its place in the vast scheme of things and I have purchased a bottle and wear it when I’m looking for an interesting but “non-threatening” fragrance. I appreciate it and I'm very comfortable with it… I find I wear it much more often than I wear my vintage M7.
01st March, 2014
Really like this one. This is oud for beginners. Not too harsh like a lot of other oud fragrances. Patchouli with a touch of amber balances this out just right. Just the right amount of incense. Kind of reminds me of GPH I. 8/10
23rd February, 2014
Love M7 OA...never tried the original one but this one is superb!

Spray it one and immediately the smell of mandarins tickles the nose...a few mins later the patchouli and oud starts wafting and continues for a time...and finally the myrhh and incense...

One of the longest lasting frags ever...can smell it lightly on the skin after 20+ hrs!

love the middle patchouli, oud notes and absolutely love the base notes of myrh

Very warm fragrance for me...makes me feel nice and meditative...a special one this M7 OA
13th January, 2014
This is a very non-threatening oud fragrance. The oud is more of a guest star than being front and center. My wife generally doesn't like assertive or edgy perfumes, but she really liked this one, so it's pretty easy to wear. Highly recommended. My only little complaint about this is the performance could be better. Projection is modest, and it's pretty hard to detect after 5 or 6 hours. But this isn't a $200+ niche fragrance, it's available for $65 if you look around, so it's hard to complain too much.
24th December, 2013
I'm an expert at M7.

Over the years, I've owned original-formulation M7 (two bottles), a decant of the late, lamented M7 Fresh, and the new M7 Oud Absolu version. Together, it's my favorite fragrance line from YSL (sorry, Kouros, Rive Gauche, and L'Homme fans).

I know that M7 Oud Absolu gets a lot of bad press from reviewers, with most of the complaints being over strength compared to the original formulation. But personally, I think it's true to the original in smell - it smells like the M7 that was my guiding light through tough times. And yes, it is slightly lighter than the original. IMO, this immensely helps, not hurts its versatility. The original was about as potent as Thierry Mugler's A*Men; this new version tones it down - it's still strong, but not "please be careful in how you use it" strong.

I also get a megaton of compliments on M7 Oud Absolu - it's one of my three most-complimented fragrances. (Oddly enough, it's also the most polarizing fragrance in my collection.)

Overall, this is an example of a great fragrance becoming even more wearable.
14th November, 2013
Finally FINALLY got my hands on this yesterday at Bergdorf in NYC. To my understanding they're the exclusive carriers of this scent 9at least insofar as retail sales go) in the U.S. I've never experienced the original so my review is of this scent and how it works as a scent in its own right. Basically, it's really nice. Opens nice and fresh, but still with some of the dirt of a good oud fragrance. Some good potent oud in the middle and base notes but it's well balanced with the myrrh and amber to create a very smooth scent that, while oud dominate, is far less likely to offend than most other oud scents. I went home and ordered it online ($60 there vs the $100 asking price at Bergdorf) and I'm pretty sure that while this isn't my favorite oud (it falls behind Dior Leather Oud and Black Aoud) it'll wind up being my most commonly worn oud, both because of its low price, and how well blended it is. For someone who is new to ouds and want's to test the waters, this is a great place to start. For someone who loves oud scents but wants something a little more wearable (like myself) there's no reason not to pick up a bottle of M7 Oud Absolu
12th May, 2013
Wonderful designer fragrance. It's in the same level or even better than other oud fragrances that are "niche".

But i have to say actually this is not a main oud based fragrance. It's a well composed one that plays with patchouli, incense and oud, and also this has a nice resinous smell when dries down.

Sometimes i smell a cherry syrup that's not comfortable to my nose.

Sillage, lasting power and projection are medium-high.
10th May, 2013
vawallpa Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Smelling both the original and oud absolu on each wrist I find they are indeed very similar. The original is more harsh and in-your-face, whereas this is a slightly more toned-down version. Gone is the cherry cough syrup note and is replaced with oud and myrrh notes. Both are nice and would give them both a thumbs up but they probably aren't different enough to warrant having both in a collection.
20th April, 2013