Sorry about the shitty birthday, Nsamadi. At least you smell good!
Anyway, my SOTE is a two arm test:Montale Attar
vs. Black Aoud
They smelled VERY similar in the top notes (rose + crazy medicinal oud), so wanted to try them together to catch the similarities.
I'd always chalked up Black Aoud to a pretty simple mix of oud and rose, but, reading more and sniffing deeper. there's a lot more. I've gotten woods and incense and effervescence and given oud the credit for all of them, but there's actually patchouli and citrus and lots of other stuff coming and going and keeping things interesting.
This is my first time trying Attar, which supposedly actually is the simple rose + oud mix I thought Black Oud was (confused yet?), but with a sandalwood base.
Able to compare them, it seems like a lot of Black Aoud's strength and longevity are actually coming from the patchouli, because Attar is fading fast. That being said, Attar is much more wearable than BA, which I could really only wear out to a club. The sandalwood, while never really center-stage, does a lot to soften the craziness. It comes off as a bit more feminine, and almost work-wearable. The band-aid smell is still there, but just providing texture, as opposed to shrieking at the top of its lungs like it does in BA.
I'm a bit torn as to which I prefer. Attar is eminently more wearable, but the rough edges are what makes Black Aoud so fun. That being said, it would take me 10 lifetimes to use up a 100 ml bottle of either of these, so maybe I should just be content without either one... Oh well, these are strong enough that a drop or two lasts all day, so my tiny samples should last me a while.