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The first spray of Arabian Wood is neither woody nor ‘Arabian’ but something imperceptibly fougère-like, herbal and slightly nose tickling (angelica?) combined with a sharp varnish / nail polish remover accord. It took a couple of wearings for my nose to become accustomed to it and then only when it’s warmed on skin for at least 20 – 30 minutes do you start to perceive a warm, ashy gentle frankincense accord.
I’m familiar with a handful of pure aoud oils, which to me vary greatly in overall smell and complexity. A few of the high quality oils are just gorgeous. Arabian Wood conveys this same accord not as an oil, but as a fragrance (not easy to do) while avoiding the typical medicinal (Band-Aid like) sharpness. It reminds me of the dry down of aoud fragrances (the Montales and Amouages) after a couple hours – almost as if 5 to 10 hours of sharp, medicinal notes are fast forwarded and skipped and you instantly arrive at the plush, velvety floral/wood aroma. I love it! The frankincense blends seamlessly with the taif style rose and then a gentle white floral note finishes it off in a luxurious and sensual style.
Arabian Wood by Tom Ford is exclusive to the city of Kuwait (one of the richest countries in the world) and this scent feels appropriately decadent. However, unlike genuine Middle Eastern attars, Arabian Wood diffuses and doesn’t wear thick or heavy – its incense and complexity aren’t trapped close to the body of the wearer. I wish it lasted longer – it is gone in 3-4 hours. I also wish it was more affordable – but compared to pure Arabian attars prices, Arabian Wood is lower priced (for once). Imagine that?
Notes for Tom Ford Arabian Wood: Patchouli, Lavander, Galbanum, Bergamot, Gardenia, Jasmine, Rose, Oakmoss, Orris and Sandalwood
26th May, 2009