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Underappreciated on the perfume forums, Secret Oud carries on a Caron tradition of perfumery marvels that stay off the mainstream radar.
If you like your oud packing a mighty (synthetic) wallop, this isn’t for you. If you can’t bear something going by the name of oud which doesn’t touch the (rather squidgy) bases of faeces and stilton, this is so not for you.
Some have complained of this perfume vanishing after a couple of hours; I get a full day’s wear, no problem.
The opening of this beauty rings a perfect oudy note, a hypnotic sweet woodiness that unfurls around the wearer with swirls and eddies – an olfactory fractal. There is a hint of turpentine, a touch of saffron, but mainly this is the wood of dreams – warm, comforting, a cupboard I’d happily get locked in. The evolution is towards greater roundness and gentleness, with the resinous aspects relaxing and receding and a diffuse rosiness spreading like a faint blush.
Does this do something radical and unexpected with oud? No. Secret Oud takes the mesmerizing lure of its main accord and showcases it calmly against sympathetic supporting tones with a breath-taking sophistication. It is reminiscent of Middle Eastern attars, but remains a ‘Western’ perfume in its balance and light touch. It is old money through and through, polished and elegant, with no desire to raise its voice. It stands naked because it quite without flaw.
26th December, 2012