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While everybody else is busy grafting oudh onto huge, potent rose accords in imitation of Arabian perfume styles, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz dispenses with the rose entirely. Instead, Oude Arabique focuses exclusively on the medicinal and balsamic qualities of oudh. The other listed ingredients, all woods and resins, are bent to the purpose of highlighting and reinforcing the star player. Because the resins, woods, and balsams involved are all heavy, tenacious notes, Oude Arabique is at once lasting and linear.
In fact, the first component to bow out is the oudh. What remains in its wake is a dense, sweet amber composition that lies somewhere on the axis between Opium and Serge Lutensís Arabie. On the one hand, I applaud Hurwitz for composing an oudh scent that departs from the now commonplace oudh+rose formula. On the other hand, the drydown, once the oudh disperses, is neither very distinctive nor stimulating. Itís certainly not among this perfumerís best work. Hurwitz puts oudh to better use in her more complex and ambitious Minuit, Prince, and Dirty Rose.
14th April, 2012