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  1. #1
    Dependent saminlondon's Avatar
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    Default Arabian ouds, attars and mukhallats - beginner needs help!

    Dear respected noses

    Having developed a recent craving for Arabian-style perfumes, I've dug out my meagre and fast-diminishing stash of Amouage attars and am wearing them to death. Tribute and Badr al Badour are as wonderful as everyone says they are, and I'm particularly drawn to the latter, with its fantastic oud/rose/sandalwood combo. Problem is, they're not going to last for ever, and I feel that I should be broadening my horizons.

    Is there anything in Arabian perfumery that might approximate to either of these - especially Badr al Badour - in terms of quality and overall feel? I'm happy to pay for well-made products (though perhaps not as much as current Amouage asking prices) and would also like to avoid the cheap and obviously synthetic. Oils (not edps) with the classic notes of rose, oud, saffron, sandalwood, musk, amber, etc would be great, but nothing too syrupy or cloying. Lightly woody/smoky would be a plus.

    Here are a few I've been reading up about:

    - Ajmal Mukhallat Dahn al Oudh Moattaq (but not much rose going on?)
    - Arabian Oud Mukhallat Al Siraj (apparently d/c'd but some still available online)
    - Swiss Arabian Mukhallat Malaki
    - ASAQ, Jewel Blend, Al Noukhba Elite Blend (d/c'd?), Rouh al Aoud, Al Ghar

    Any other suggestions? I can visit branches of Arabian Oud and ASAQ if need be. Also happy to get (small) samples online for testing.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Arabian ouds, attars and mukhallats - beginner needs help!

    I have not tried some of the oils you mentioned, but the ones I listed below are really nice.
    Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Sultan Pasha attars on ebay (A+ attars)
    Abdul Karim Al Faransi (some are syrupy BUT are amazing! Dont judge until you smell them. Also nicely priced).
    Royal Blend by Abdul Samad Al Qurashi (safron, amber, oud, rose). This is my favorite.
    Jewel Blend by Abdul Samad Al Qurashi (a little barnyard but very nice)
    Rouh al Aoud by Abdul Samad Al Qurasi (a nice and inoffensive oud blend - great for people new to oud)
    Black Afghano by Al Haramain (lots better than the one made by Nasomatto)
    Last edited by Vmaster; 17th August 2017 at 06:44 PM. Reason: a word
    Veni, Vidi, Ego Emit.
    ( I came, I saw, I purchased. )


    Top 10 for Autumn 2018
    01. Gyan by Bvlgari
    02. Ottoman Empire by Areej le Doré
    03. Safari Extreme by Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
    04. Baque by Slumberhouse
    05. Arabian Legend by Arabian Oud
    06. Au Coeur du Désert by Tauer
    07. Body Kouros (vintage) by Yves Saint Laurent
    08. Sycomore (EdP) by Chanel
    09. Derby by Guerlain
    10. L'Envol de Cartier EdP by Cartier

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Arabian ouds, attars and mukhallats - beginner needs help!

    Not an expert here, but just to give my two cents.
    In ASAQ, I bought a Cambodi oud aged and smoked (I think it was called qadeem) that's quite nice and with a touch of smoke. No rose though.
    In Arabian Oud, I have something called Al Azerya or the like, a great oud-rose-sandalwood combo (I've tried badr al badour only once, this one smells more luminous and cleaner). But it has been discontinued. Perhaps there's something else like that in the house. I also have a Syoufi oud that's quite nice and dirty, but no rose.

    Mukhallat Malaki is in a different category, it's not a real oud and it is much cheaper. Very enjoyable for what it is, a mineralic, woody oud reconstruction - but it's clearly not what you are looking for. I also have another cheap mukhallat from the house called mukhallat al shahamah, which is more ambery, perhaps closer to what you seem to be looking for-but again, these are reconstructions that you should consider in the same way you consider, say, Montale

    cacio

  4. #4

    Default Re: Arabian ouds, attars and mukhallats - beginner needs help!

    Not necessarily arabian in nature, but Agar Aura has great oud oils and some attars at the moment. There is also Agarscentsbazaar.

  5. #5
    Dependent saminlondon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arabian ouds, attars and mukhallats - beginner needs help!

    Thanks for the suggestions, folks. And please keep them coming

    Forgot to ask: Are Asrar or Al Mas at all in the same vein as Badr al Badour? I know I'm trying to broaden my horizons, but I also know that the best Amouage attars are unlikely to disappoint.
    Last edited by saminlondon; 18th August 2017 at 11:53 AM.

  6. #6
    Dependent saminlondon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arabian ouds, attars and mukhallats - beginner needs help!

    Anyone?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Arabian ouds, attars and mukhallats - beginner needs help!

    I've only ever owned Amouage Attars. I have tried Tribute and own only Homage (which I love), but my bottle is getting less and less. Probably that's why I'm wearing it so little these days.

    In terms of Badr Al Badour though, I am intrigued. I wonder if it's better than Homage and whether I should hunt some down (though I'm guessing that will be impossible).

    I think a trip to the Middle East might be the solution for me. Would also like to hear of any other suggestions.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Arabian ouds, attars and mukhallats - beginner needs help!

    I suggest getting Sultan Pasha's sample pack.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Arabian ouds, attars and mukhallats - beginner needs help!

    Hi Sam,

    Asrar and Al Mas, although excellent in their own right, are not adequate stand ins for Badr al Badour, which is, in my opinion, the best Amouage attar. Asrar and Al Mas both play with the saffron theme, but Al Mas replaces the sugary sweet orange blossoms of Asrar with sandalwood and rose, a combination I greatly prefer. If your choice were between Al Mas and Asrar, I'd easily choose Al Mas. But Badarun is passionate about Asrar so I know he would disagree vehemently!

    If you are looking specifically for other attars that approach the richness of BaB, or explore the same theme of rose, oud, and ambergris, I agree with Camorr's suggestion to explore the Sultan Pasha range, especially Al Hareem. Other suggestions might include:

    Mukhallat Dahn al Oud Moattaq by Ajmal (aged oud + Ta'if rose)
    Mukhallat al Manara al Makkeah by Majid Iterji (once made exclusively for Saudi Arabian airlines, a spicy, musky amber oud with significant saffron undertones)
    Tohfa by Arabian Oud (perfect balance of ambergris, rose, and oud - slightly animalic)
    Mukhallat Najdi Maliki (officially discontinued - the London office won't admit they ever made it, for some weird reason - but available on eBay UK. Gorgeous, fierce saffron, amber, oud, and Ta'if rose. I love this one)
    Royal Private Blend by Arabian Oud (many differently priced versions of this one exist, but the higher the price, the greater the content load of expensive naturals - rose, oud, kind of austere)
    Baghdad by Abdul Karim Al Faransi (very reasonably-priced attars, mixed bag in terms of quality and a bit commercial-smelling, but this one is great, an austere, rich rose oud)
    Sheikh al Faransi by Al Faransi (similar to Baghdad but with ambergris)
    Sajaro Classic by Mellifluence / The Most Beautiful Scents on eBay (archetypal rose-oud-saffron, very bright, tart, and romantically Arabian in feel)
    Mehndi Oud Imperial by Mellifluence (excellent oudy mukhallat, very natural in feel, more earthy-smoky but has champaca also)
    Mukhallat Malaki by Swiss Arabian - cheap thrill, very nice woods and saffron attar, dusty/aged in feel. Very nice for the price.
    Ghaliyah 85 by Rising Phoenix Perfumery - wonderful, natural rose, oud, and ambergris attar, expensive but really worth it
    Attar al Kaaba and Ghilaf-e-Kaaba by Rising Phoenix - one is a variation on the other with very different results, but essential pure rose and oud blends
    Al Ghar by ASAQ (creamy rose-oud-amber)
    Al Noukhba Elite by ASAQ (austere rose oud ambergris mix, very potent)
    Jewel Blend by ASAQ (beautiful ambergris + rose + aged oud)
    Royal Amber Spirit by ASAQ (ambergris + oud)
    Sweet Amber Blue by ASAQ (just ambergris, but useful for layering)
    Rouh al Aoud by ASAQ (perfect entry point to rose-oud blends, very soft and pleasing)

    Keep in mind that all the ASAQs were reformulated in 2014/2015 and many report them not to be of the same quality or concentration now.

  10. #10
    Dependent saminlondon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arabian ouds, attars and mukhallats - beginner needs help!

    Hi Claire,

    Thank you so much for a wonderfully detailed and helpful reply. I was secretly hoping you might chime in Delighted to know that you also rate Badr al Badour highly: I love it, though find it vanishes from the skin relatively quickly (perhaps a formulation issue with my version). From your description Al Mas sounds much more to my taste and will go on the test list, alongside the possible Al Shomoukh.

    I now feel fully prepared to go and bother some SAs at Arabian Oud and ASAQ, and will hunt down samples of the others pronto. There are a few samples of the Sultan Pasha attars on their way, and I can't wait to get my nose on them.

    The world of attars, mukhallats etc is so daunting for those taking their first hesitant steps, so I really am very grateful to you and others for the advice in this thread.

  11. #11
    Dependent saminlondon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arabian ouds, attars and mukhallats - beginner needs help!

    PS What a shame the oud forum disappeared, seemingly never to return. It must have contained a wealth of information.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Arabian ouds, attars and mukhallats - beginner needs help!

    Hope it helps, Sam! Yes, I was about 20 pages into the oud thread when it disappeared, but apparently it was a nightmare for the mods to moderate. There was a request by a member a while back to restore the thread and its contents, but make it read-only so as to avoid piling on to the moderators' burden, so that could be a workable compromise. But even that's probably a lot of work for the mods so I shouldn't comment. I will say that I would be most grateful to have the contents of that thread available again - it was a great resource for us oud/mukhallat learners. You can still access a good bit of info from the Ouddict and Gaharu forums.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Arabian ouds, attars and mukhallats - beginner needs help!

    Quote Originally Posted by ClaireV View Post
    Hi Sam,

    Asrar and Al Mas, although excellent in their own right, are not adequate stand ins for Badr al Badour, which is, in my opinion, the best Amouage attar. Asrar and Al Mas both play with the saffron theme, but Al Mas replaces the sugary sweet orange blossoms of Asrar with sandalwood and rose, a combination I greatly prefer. If your choice were between Al Mas and Asrar, I'd easily choose Al Mas. But Badarun is passionate about Asrar so I know he would disagree vehemently!

    If you are looking specifically for other attars that approach the richness of BaB, or explore the same theme of rose, oud, and ambergris, I agree with Camorr's suggestion to explore the Sultan Pasha range, especially Al Hareem. Other suggestions might include:

    Mukhallat Dahn al Oud Moattaq by Ajmal (aged oud + Ta'if rose)
    Mukhallat al Manara al Makkeah by Majid Iterji (once made exclusively for Saudi Arabian airlines, a spicy, musky amber oud with significant saffron undertones)
    Tohfa by Arabian Oud (perfect balance of ambergris, rose, and oud - slightly animalic)
    Mukhallat Najdi Maliki (officially discontinued - the London office won't admit they ever made it, for some weird reason - but available on eBay UK. Gorgeous, fierce saffron, amber, oud, and Ta'if rose. I love this one)
    Royal Private Blend by Arabian Oud (many differently priced versions of this one exist, but the higher the price, the greater the content load of expensive naturals - rose, oud, kind of austere)
    Baghdad by Abdul Karim Al Faransi (very reasonably-priced attars, mixed bag in terms of quality and a bit commercial-smelling, but this one is great, an austere, rich rose oud)
    Sheikh al Faransi by Al Faransi (similar to Baghdad but with ambergris)
    Sajaro Classic by Mellifluence / The Most Beautiful Scents on eBay (archetypal rose-oud-saffron, very bright, tart, and romantically Arabian in feel)
    Mehndi Oud Imperial by Mellifluence (excellent oudy mukhallat, very natural in feel, more earthy-smoky but has champaca also)
    Mukhallat Malaki by Swiss Arabian - cheap thrill, very nice woods and saffron attar, dusty/aged in feel. Very nice for the price.
    Ghaliyah 85 by Rising Phoenix Perfumery - wonderful, natural rose, oud, and ambergris attar, expensive but really worth it
    Attar al Kaaba and Ghilaf-e-Kaaba by Rising Phoenix - one is a variation on the other with very different results, but essential pure rose and oud blends
    Al Ghar by ASAQ (creamy rose-oud-amber)
    Al Noukhba Elite by ASAQ (austere rose oud ambergris mix, very potent)
    Jewel Blend by ASAQ (beautiful ambergris + rose + aged oud)
    Royal Amber Spirit by ASAQ (ambergris + oud)
    Sweet Amber Blue by ASAQ (just ambergris, but useful for layering)
    Rouh al Aoud by ASAQ (perfect entry point to rose-oud blends, very soft and pleasing)

    Keep in mind that all the ASAQs were reformulated in 2014/2015 and many report them not to be of the same quality or concentration now.
    Thank you for this Claire!
    1. Epic Man by Amouage (33 wears)
    2. Leather Oud by Christian Dior (31 wears)
    3. M7 by Yves Saint Laurent (27 wears)
    4. Oud Imperial (black) by Perris Monte Carlo (22 wears)
    5. Russian Tea Ritual by Masque (20 wears)
    6. Fate Man by Amouage (19 wears)

    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
    Currently wearing: H.M. by Hanae Mori

  14. #14

    Default Re: Arabian ouds, attars and mukhallats - beginner needs help!

    You're very welcome, Akahina! I am working on top ten sampling lists for attars or mukhallats in each category or theme, like oudy ones, rose-ouds, ambergris-focused attars, best musky ones, etc. I know there are so many oils out there and it is difficult to know where to focus one's search.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Arabian ouds, attars and mukhallats - beginner needs help!

    Quote Originally Posted by ClaireV View Post
    You're very welcome, Akahina! I am working on top ten sampling lists for attars or mukhallats in each category or theme, like oudy ones, rose-ouds, ambergris-focused attars, best musky ones, etc. I know there are so many oils out there and it is difficult to know where to focus one's search.
    That would be a very interesting and appreciated read, as I'm dangerously looking to delve deeper into this world of oils. Since I simply don't have the means to order some of everything and go from there, have info to guide me in the right direction would be invaluable.

    As a side note, I've also become very interested in the fragrance history of Turkey. (Long story). Unfortunately, the info I've found on BN has been more along the lines of where to go shopping. I've become a bit mental about (1) researching the long fragrant culture of Turkey, including the basic and common eau de colognes, perfumes, and oils; (2) What Turkish houses offer today? Or perhaps even 'mom and pop' houses that blend jewels of their own. I'm sure this could potentially be its own beautiful thread, but I also realize how closely linked Turkey is to this thread. So I'm watching.

    I look forward to reading your sample list(s) when available!


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  16. #16

    Default Re: Arabian ouds, attars and mukhallats - beginner needs help!

    Quote Originally Posted by ClaireV View Post
    You're very welcome, Akahina! I am working on top ten sampling lists for attars or mukhallats in each category or theme, like oudy ones, rose-ouds, ambergris-focused attars, best musky ones, etc. I know there are so many oils out there and it is difficult to know where to focus one's search.
    I'm curious- how are you accounting for the ASAQ dilutions/reformulations in your work? I wouldn't expect you to go find and try all those products again...

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Arabian ouds, attars and mukhallats - beginner needs help!

    Quote Originally Posted by ClaireV View Post
    You're very welcome, Akahina! I am working on top ten sampling lists for attars or mukhallats in each category or theme, like oudy ones, rose-ouds, ambergris-focused attars, best musky ones, etc. I know there are so many oils out there and it is difficult to know where to focus one's search.
    Claire, I for one can't wait! Big fan of your reviews and articles. Here's to the next jasmine award!

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Arabian ouds, attars and mukhallats - beginner needs help!

    Quote Originally Posted by ClaireV View Post
    I am working on top ten sampling lists for attars or mukhallats in each category or theme, like oudy ones, rose-ouds, ambergris-focused attars, best musky ones, etc. I know there are so many oils out there and it is difficult to know where to focus one's search.
    I look forward to reading your top ten lists!
    I have always enjoyed your writing style, as you have a great way with words.
    Last edited by Vmaster; 25th August 2017 at 02:50 PM.
    Veni, Vidi, Ego Emit.
    ( I came, I saw, I purchased. )


    Top 10 for Autumn 2018
    01. Gyan by Bvlgari
    02. Ottoman Empire by Areej le Doré
    03. Safari Extreme by Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
    04. Baque by Slumberhouse
    05. Arabian Legend by Arabian Oud
    06. Au Coeur du Désert by Tauer
    07. Body Kouros (vintage) by Yves Saint Laurent
    08. Sycomore (EdP) by Chanel
    09. Derby by Guerlain
    10. L'Envol de Cartier EdP by Cartier

  19. #19

    Default Re: Arabian ouds, attars and mukhallats - beginner needs help!

    A top 10 would be greatly appreciated ClaireV!

  20. #20

    Default Re: Arabian ouds, attars and mukhallats - beginner needs help!

    Quote Originally Posted by ClaireV View Post
    You're very welcome, Akahina! I am working on top ten sampling lists for attars or mukhallats in each category or theme, like oudy ones, rose-ouds, ambergris-focused attars, best musky ones, etc. I know there are so many oils out there and it is difficult to know where to focus one's search.
    Something to look forward to. Thank you for your informative articles Claire!

  21. #21

    Default Re: Arabian ouds, attars and mukhallats - beginner needs help!

    Wow, thanks everyone! I had better get my behind into action then....

    To answer your question about ASAQ, adg1034 - my strategy will have to be to simply to put a qualifying sentence above my reviews of any ASAQ attars. As you said, I can't go back and get samples of all the ASAQ stuff I've sampled/reviewed pre-2015, so the disclaimer will have to do. By the way, if anyone is looking for a specific ASAQ attar, I'd advise you get in touch with Mark at The World in Scents, who may have a few tolas of the older, pre-reform attars in stock. Interestingly, Mark from TWIS was so frustrated at the ASAQ reforms (which weren't announced to retailers) that he commissioned a re-do of one of ASAQ's most revered attars from JK DeLapp of Rising Phoenix Perfumery - Al Molouk, which means the King in Arabic. JK then produced a series of 3 takes on the original Al Molouk attar, one with Cambodi oud (Al Molouk Cambodi), one with musk - a hina/vegetal musk (Al Molouk Musk) and one with Trat oud, a very sweet, berried oud (Al Molouk Trat). They are really worth seeking out - they are made using all-natural materials, in comparison to the post-2015 ASAQ Al Molouk (according to TWIS). The original Al Molouk was a blend of aged oud, amber, rose. The RRP versions all have a fantastic creamy-sparkly incense amber in the base that make them a treat to wear.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Arabian ouds, attars and mukhallats - beginner needs help!

    I just saw this thread. Some great info on it. I will post some of my impressions later on...
    "When you become comfortable with uncertainty. infinite possibilities open up in your life"

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