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Gao was my immediate and clear-cut favorite among the four Xerjoff Oud Stars I tested. A commanding healthy oud leavened with a bit of amber et al. It reminded me on first application of By Kilian's Pure Oud and while they do have some ingredients in common, notably amber and saffron, testing them side by side brought me back to reality. They differ in significant ways. The oud note in Gao is much bigger, a little harsher,and slightly rubberbandy. It's powerful, clean and quite capable of standing on it's own. Pure Oud is all delicacy and that touch of warm perfumed sweetness done to perfection. Gao is a wonderful oud fragrance. I prefer Pure Oud. But then I prefer Pure Oud to almost anything these days. It's one of the prettiest fragrances around.
10th May, 2012