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  1. #1

    Default A Random Comparison of Curated Oud Perfumes

    I used the word curated to make myself feel fancy, and partly because I've acquired these fragrances through a variety of platforms from lucky scent, to eBay, to swapping on the forums, to emailing the creators directly for samples. Post inspired by wanting to find an oud or any natural-esque fragrance for me to get excited about like i did when I first smelled Russian Oud and Bonheur.

    Quick background on me. I’m not a blogger, i’m not a youtuber, i have no fragrance training other than a year and a half of constant niche perfume sampling. Some months back I went as far as ordering raw oud oil samples from Feel Oud and Ensar Oud where I was abruptly chased back to Oud Perfumes/Blends where I belong. I’m just an enthusiast from “the west”.

    Stéphane Humbert 777 - Oud 777:
    Little to zero rubberiness in the opening which i like however if you’re one that dislikes barnyard/fecal notes in oud then you can pass this one ALL the way up. There’s just no getting beyond that in the opening. However that fecal note backs off within 5 minutes and you’re left with a “light” (by oud standards) fragrance that is very earthy. Oud connoiseurs would love this fragrance. This definitely has true oud aromas as opposed to dressed oud. To be honest it goes down to be leather dominant with only a touch of oud and that’s as far as the development goes.. So while there may not be 3, or 4 phases to sit through, what you do have is an enjoyable rich oud/leather combo. The only barrier to entry is the opening barnyard notes that will certainly frighten away those that have not yet been baptized in the olfactory experience of oud oils. The irony here is that after the first 10minutes, it is a very wearable oud fragrance. In fact, I feel compelled to say spray it at home, and by the time you’ve reached the office it will have burned off everything preventing it from being office safe. Unfortunately for me though the final scent seems to sit heavily on leather and tonka bean rather than the oud, albeit a wonderfully blended leather and tonka bean.

    Fragrance du Bois - Oud Noir Intense:
    Best way I can describe the opening is as a spicy black licorice. It’s not “cheap” quality but my nose tells me there’s a fair bit more synthetics in this FdB creation than there are in Oud 777. I’m somewhat annoyed because the highlight here seems to be more of the synthetic spices rather than any sort of true oud. It has rose, jasmine, and patchouli listed in the notes but in the dry down i’m only smelling the musk, amber, and patchouli accord. Little to zero oud. It doesn’t smell bad, it doesn’t smell simple and boring but I can’t smell what the price tag is asking.

    Di Ser - Kyara:
    So after I sprayed this i immediately ran to collect my Areej Malik Al Taif sample. This opens with a very authentic rich rose but after smelling them head to head. This one is more of a crisp rose mint. Whereas Malik Al Taif gives me a warm rose-strawberry. After the rose slowly fades off it takes you down a cool temp journey that is a cold rosy agarwood and it’s beautiful. The notes in this are Kyara grade agarwood (best in the world apparently?), cedarwood, rose otto, patchouli, sandalwood so again it’s not going to take you through a rollercoaster of twists and turns as you try to pickup a kitchen sink of ingredient nuances. Rather this is like a slow walk through an agarwood rose heaven. Something you have to experience to really get. I would say I like this 2X more than Malik Al Taif but i don’t 5X (the price difference) like it. I’m thankful for the experience though, holy smokes. Just stunning

    Areej Le Dore - Oud Zen: In one of Areej’s youtube interviews with nikhil he mentioned that performance was lacking in his 3rd collection a bit because he used less synthetics. Yeah well, I wish he’d go back to using synthetics. This is just a perfectly struck balance of natural oud aroma amplified by what i’m assuming are the synthetics. It’s crazy because this still smells infinitely more authentic and enjoyable to an oud head than anything by MFK or Roja Dove yet he decided to pull back the synthetics. As for the aroma itself it is ALMOST gourmand to my nose. It is calming and relaxing but i cant help put shake this tiny resemblance to peanut butter lol. I probably just made this fragrance sound like it’d be nauseating but i promise it’s not. This is quite lovely in my opinion

    Areej Le Dore - Oud Picante:
    Okay so to me Russian Adam was walking around his lovely home when the mail man arrives with a bottle of Tauer’s L’air Du Desert Morocain. Instead of spraying it on paper, Russian Adam decided to unscrep the atomizer completely and sniff straight from the bottle. In doing so, he tripped over his table and dumped the entire bottle of LDDM in his remaining batch of Oud Zen and renamed it Oud Picante. Oud Zen has a spicy warmth too it but this is X10. Also has this really blatant cumin/paprika note that makes me think i’m sitting in a Thai Restaurant. Is it enjoyable? Absolutely but it seems to be a bit too “L’Air du Restaurant Thai” for my liking and very little oud aroma to speak of. As a standalone fragrance, it’s great though.

    Roja Dove - Aoud:
    I bought this decant because I tried Amber Aoud and wanted to see if this had any of the true oud stank/dirt smell of real oud when the amber was removed. It does not. It smells lightly fruity and lightly woody. It's sweeter than MFK Oud but not as ridiculous as MFK Oud Satin Mood. It's somewhere in the middle, but yeah when I sprayed it I did a double take on the sprayer to make sure it wasn't actually Amber Aoud because the opening is very similar. Main difference is that the sweet fruity note doesn't stay and it eventually dries down to be more "wood-like". The scent itself is topnotch but like fragrance du bois you can just tell theres minimal if any real oud in the composition.

    Ensar - EO #1 EdP:
    Initial spray the opening isn’t entirely unlike oud Maximus with the cheesy character but then quickly morphs into a scent that has an “oily” character rather than “resiny”. Again the scent’s character not the juice itself. Deep, rich, and complex. Bortnikoff’s Mysterious Oud I didn’t care for because it seemed to dry down into a rubber tire note that I didn’t care for. It also seemed to have a first phase, a second phase, and that was it. Not that more phases makes a scent “better” it just seemed a bit simple. This Ensar is very authentic, and very enjoyable. I’m hesitant to use the word “sweet” for any oud from Ensar but this one seems to be dressed in such a way where the oud note does come off sweet from the rose all the while retaining some funky barnyard for the true oudheads. What ultimately makes this unique in my opinion is that it’s not just an oud rose, but the addition of a subtle tea note that somewhat darkens the overall composition so you’re not left with some jammy overly syrupy rose note. I’m not exactly sure how office/publicly wearable this is but it’s easily one of the top 3 oud perfumes available right now.

    Ensar - EO #1 Parfum:
    WOW. First spray and you get a firm kick in the nose of an amazing (green? Black?) Tea and maybe even some rosemary. Now it’s very slowly dialing back the tea and seemingly bringing on the oud. But that first spray is a very “cool temp” crisp rich tea note. Gorgeous. Oud is coming in but unfortunately I’m not enough of an oud connoisseur to know exactly the region or what characteristic here I’m smelling. This is heavenly. No barnyard, no fecal smell. This is a very strange composition. Nearly all oud perfumes I’ve tried are warm in character. This is extremely crisp and resinous whereas I got “oily” from the EdP. A bit of a laugh, I smelled my other wrist with EO #1 EdP sprayed on it, then came back to the EO Parfum and I got the slightest resemblance to Creation-E lulz. Must’ve been the tea/oud resembling the tobacco/booze in creation-E. I will have to sit with this fragrance a few more times but in all seriousness this just MIGHT be the Russian Oud killer. I was a huge hater of EO #2 EdP. I never tried the Parfum but I was extremely underwhelmed with his musk EdP and ripped on it a good deal for it. I always though EO #1 EdP was a nice creation, but this… this justifies the “elitist” air I can’t help but perceive in his blog posts and interviews.

    Bortnikoff - Oud Maximus
    I wrote about this already but i’m revisiting it again for the sake of a raw perspective. As stated in my first review Dmitry planned to either gather a cult following or scare people away from his scents forever with this opening. It is just so abstract. The initial blast is like Bergamot mixed with Butter. Yes butter. It then dries a little bit to a honey/cheese type odor. It’s as unique as it sounds but it’s so freaking amazing. The dry down is a sultry aroma of butter, honey, and rich resinous oud. The butter/honey part makes this a little too trippy for me to want to wear it in public but it honestly is such an impressive, fun, and enjoyable composition.

    Areej Le Dore - Russian Oud:
    Opens with a delicious gourmandy chocolate/caramel like aroma. After a few moments the heart comes through which is slightly reminiscent of Oud Zen but this composition remains strongly leveraged in a dark chocolate scent. The character is very thick and the oud that comes through seems very “raw”. At night when I spray this fragrance on my chest sometimes i just reactively grunt, or briefly screw my face up like i just did a shot of Jack Daniels because it’s really “Brutish” in character. I think that’s why i fell in love with this fragrance so much, as well as Inverno Russo from his 2nd collection. They elicit emotions of brute masculinity that i’ve never experienced from a fragrance. There may be better composed ouds in the future but I will treasure this one forever just based on the raw reaction I have to it. This is what is missing from the entire 4th collection unfortunately.

    Areej Le Dore - Oud Luwak: I know the feed back on this initially was Luke warm, but I think it had to following in the profound steps of Russian Oud. Also most were from tiny spritzes of the sample aromatizer. After a stronger application, and after comparing it to the rest of these "oud of ouds" I think the opening of Oud Luwak is actually in the top 4. In my humble opinion it certainly ranks above Oud Picante and Oud Zen. The one thing that kills it is the performance. It sits even closer to skin than Russian Oud and that is just a shame because if this had Oud Zen's projection it would rank next to Ensar's EO1 Parfum as most crowd pleasing.

    ***Space held for Regime des Fleurs' Fauna. Currently in the mail***

    I couldn't possibly rank these from best to worst but there are definitely tiers in where these will sit in my personal "Oud Perfume Hierarchy"

    Tier 1: Ensar EO.1 Parfum, Russian Oud, Oud Maximus, Di Ser Kyara

    Tier 2: Oud Zen, Stéphane Oud 777, EO.1 EdP, Oud Luwak

    Tier 3: Oud Picante, Roja Dove Aoud, Frangrance Du Bois Oud Noir Intense
    Last edited by wood&leather; 10th November 2018 at 09:26 AM.
    Don't stank.
    Currently wearing: Kuwait by Roja Dove

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Phoenix, AZ

    Default Re: A Random Comparison of Curated Oud Perfumes

    Nice reviews. I have only tried a few of the perfumes listed. Once I discovered pure oud that was my main focus for a few years. I mostly only wear pure oud oils and attars now. I Just recently I started getting back into some perfume brand like Areej, Slumberhouse, Bogue, etc. I will order samples of the new Areej and Bortnikoff perfumes soon. Russian Oud is awesome. Hoping I will love Oud Luwak as oud and coffee are two of my favorite things.

  3. #3

    Default Re: A Random Comparison of Curated Oud Perfumes

    Quote Originally Posted by AZsmells View Post
    Nice reviews. I have only tried a few of the perfumes listed. Once I discovered pure oud that was my main focus for a few years. I mostly only wear pure oud oils and attars now.
    I do pretty good with the attars but I can't swing oud oils. Like I said I've tried samplers from Ensar and FeelOud. It's just too much. I did enjoy one called "Borneo Zen" but apparently that was more of a blend and not a true oud oil. I'm actually happy though because most oud oils are insanely expensive.

    As for Oud Luwak, I love it as an artisanal creation but as a functional "perfume", it's just really weak on sillage and projection.
    Don't stank.
    Currently wearing: Kuwait by Roja Dove

  4. #4
    Basenotes Junkie
    SkiDawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2018

    Default Re: A Random Comparison of Curated Oud Perfumes

    Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with the world of oud. I'll definitely be revisiting this post for when my nose points me toward exploring more oud type frags.

    Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Super Member oudaddict's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Manchester, England

    Default Re: A Random Comparison of Curated Oud Perfumes

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