Originally Posted by Sasuke
Some people here are saying, that they can't detect any Oud in most of the Oud Stars. I tried all six and I can assure you: There IS Oud in them. But natural Oud smells quite different from what we are used to know as Oud. Most Oud fragrances contain only synthetic agarwood and thus smell not even close to some of the real Oud oils I have tried. Another fact is: Every Oud Stars fragrance contains Oud from a different growing area, for example Zafar has laotian Oud in it and Mamluk features indian Oud. Every country's agarwood smells different. Some are very sweet and sticky, others are animalic and some even smell a little bit of coffee. So I think this is the reason, why some of you might not notice the Oud in these XerJoff creations, because you may not know, what real Oud smells like. Let me tell you this: It's nothing like the Montale's (that's my impression!).
Now I want to say a few words to the Oud Stars. I have had the opportunity to talk with the german distributor of XerJoff. He told me, that Zafar contains the most Oud, followed by Gao, Najaf, Al-Khatt and Mamluk. Fars contains the least amount of Oud.
FARS - This is a very charming floral fragrance, a dark velvety rose mixed with a light lavender note. It has a kind of soft feeling and reminds me of Black Tie by Washington Tremlett. But Fars features this beautiful Oud note, wich is very light and kind of woody/floral. It runs through the whole composition and lifts it up. The base notes are focused on grassy/smoky notes, like vetiver and nagarmotha, mixed with a touch of patchouli and sandalwood. Fars is a tame fragrance, but a very interesting one. Still waters run deep!
MAMLUK - Is my favorite of the Oud Stars. It starts out very sweet and almost fruity, due to the strong osmanthus note. The honey is like a golden glow and softens the whole composition, wich is getting a really animalic note from the indian oud. It's like an oriental dessert, drenched in caramel and decorated with candied flowers. The benzoin note is strong and intensifies the caramel notes, but the jasmine cuts through the sweetness. Mamluk is a floral/gourmand Oud, definitely unisex and very sexy!
AL-KHATT - This is the one I really dislike. It is just too animalic for me. The Oud and the strong jasmine note... it's just too much for my nose. I really recoiled after I sprayed it on. It's like the essence of every barnyard on this planet bottled in a beautiful flacon. This is so strong, it even kills Jicky extrait and makes Muscs Koublai Khän look like a sweet purring kitty. At the same time, it reminds me of Alien by Thierry Mugler (maybe it's the combination of cashmeran an jasmine that both of them have in common?). If I compare those to, I would say that Al-Khatt is the big predator sister of Alien. Just - too- much. I'm sorry. But it's a very interesting fragrance nonetheless.
NAJAF - The first 5 seconds smell like burning spices. It's really interesting! I expected something entirely different. After these 5 seconds, it develops a smooth leather note. A smooth, but spicy leather. Thus it reminds me of Cuir Mauresque by Serge Lutens. This is kind of strange, isn't it? Because they don't have many notes in common. But both of them smell of spicy leather with tobacco. The only difference is, that Najaf has some really nice Oud, that lifts up the the leather and grants it with a nice woody quality.
GAO - This is pure saffron in the top notes. It's STRONG stuff, so be carefull with this little gem. Every saffron lover will sell his house and family for Gao. This is quality stuff. It reminds me very much of Pure Oud by Kilian, but Gao is stronger and smells more natural. The Oud note is a mixture of Oud from Thailand and Laos. It has a very dark and woody quality and fits perfectly in the patchouli drydown, wich still has some of the smoky and grassy nagarmotha and cade notes.
ZAFAR - Zafar is a masterpiece! The top note is OUD, OUD, OUD. Strong stuff, very animalic and woody, earthy and dark. This is the real deal for everyone who wants to know, what precious and aged oud from Laos smells like. Zafar is a celebration of arabic perfumery. A strong incense note emerges and lightens the composition a little and lends it a very bright feeling. The white florals are almost non-existent, but the rich base of vetiver, cedarwood and musk combines nicely with the Oud and together with the incense, Zafar is just breathtaking. BUT: I can not wear it. It's just not my kind of fragrance. It's like an Haute Couture dress by Thierry Mugler: You admire it for it's luminous beauty, but you would never wear it yourself.
These are just short impressions, I have written full reviews in german. But I thought it wouldn't be very benefiting, if I would post them here, because most of you would not understand a word of what I have written