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in Zafar, the Oud does not play second fiddle, setting it on a shelf above the other Xerjoff "Oud Stars". And with an Oud note this silky, why would it? No need to decorate and perfume the star player to death. The black pepper note is quite natural and subtle, and the sweetness afforded by light floral elements is so delicate that you cannot classify this as a rose-oud perfume. In fact, it hardly feels like a perfume; Zafar projects an aura as a piece of dry fragrant wood might. I don't know much about pure oud oils, but when they laud the fact that this particular our component is aged, you can feel the legitimacy - like you do tasting a 30-year port next to the 10-year-old. The deep pungent qualities in the wood here are hypnotic, and I disagree with those claiming that there is nothing new to be found here: yes, this IS a WOW fragrance in the Oud genre. There is nothing overtly barnyard (or camel´s ass :-) about Zafar yet it projects a smoother and more legitimate oud character than the other westernized oud-prominent blends I have experienced in recent years. (Read: it is borderline skanky) The sensual resins of the Omani incense and pepper at the base play on and on for days (especially on clothing) even after the glow of the woody elements has faded. Zafar is absolutely one of my favorite two in the series (Gao is the other), and the one that should survive on its own should the series become, indeed, limited (as the boxes decree).
08th July, 2012