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    Default Arabian nights, again

    So I order some Arabian perfume oils off a store in Berlin. They arrived today and I had to try them immediately.
    They are in the lower price range 3-5 euros for 3ml, except for the attrar, which was 7.50 per ml. Quick first impressions:

    Bakhoor al Madni: Patchouli, indian Agarwood (Oud), Jasmine, Sandalwood, Saffron, Rose.
    Sounds perfectly oriental. Unfortunately it smells 100% of artificially flavoured grape soda – an American childhood memory. The floral oils must either be cheap synthetics or really inferior naturals. The woods and spices don’t even get a chance here. Ghastly.

    Mukhallat al Oud by Al Haramain: Indian Oud, Musk: a boring synthetic oud on a synthetic skin-scent musk base.

    Mukhallat (=Blend) El Emirates by Al Haramain. No notes given. Rose and Oud. Dimitri loves this one and prefered it over Montale's offerings. The rose is rather candied-sweet and the oud is probably synthetic – it is extremely mild and nearly more woody than typically pungent. It proceeds to move into a slightly soapy direction. Not bad at all considering the price – Montale’s rose is often similarly sweet, e.g. in Black & Royal Oud, but there is not enough interesting oud here to check the rose. To make a fairer comparison price-wise, this is better than most recent designer scents I've tried, oriental or not. It's nice to smell something low-price that does not consist of 85% Dihydromyrcenol, Calone or Iso-e-super.

    Misk Hindi: Patchouli, Castoreum, Rose, Indian Agarwood(Oodh). This one spontaneously reminded me of Creed’s Royal English Leather, as well as of the typical smell in Indian convenience stores that sell spices, cosmetics, soaps and incense. Leathery-sweet aspects of castoreum, restrained florals, no explicit oudh note. In direct comparison, REL is brighter, drier in the top, more leathery, and generally fuller, while there’s more herbal patchouli and muskiness to Hindi. The winner among this collection, the only keeper for me and, logically, my SotD.

    Attar: no details on anything. The only one with a distinct oud note – pungent freshly chopped wood in a saw-mill, dry leather notes like in a cramped shoestore, drying lacquer paint on a boat in drydock with faint whiff of smoky-petroleum lubricant. Very solvent/chemical like. No obvious sweetness of florals, just some resinous balsamic note tucked way at the bottom somewhere. This may be natural or not, it certainly reminds me more of the natural ouds I have tried – which often smell so decidedly unnatural to a Western nose. Interesting rather than beautiful.

    I'll certainly be revisiting these, but next I'll be ordering some samples of Madini oils. working my way up
    Last edited by the_good_life; 12th December 2008 at 06:13 PM.
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