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  1. #1
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    omalley's Avatar
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    Default Best affordable introduction to oud oils

    I have seen various posts of this type but a lot of them are old and refer to discontinued products or defunct manufacturers and a lot of the recommendations are for products that I cannot seem to get shipped to the USA.

    So, can you recommend a single oud oil or sampler pack at an affordable rate? I'm looking to spend under $100 and have some semblance of an idea of what everyone is talking about in this subforum. My only exposure so far is through oud chips, which I've burned before, and various perfumes with oud notes of dubious authenticity.

    Thank you for your help!

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Best affordable introduction to oud oils

    Arabian oud is expanding in the US and has stores in nyc and dc. They are neither cheap nor the best but if you ever find yourself in either place you can dab yourself there.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Best affordable introduction to oud oils

    This is an interesting question. You will discover that agarwood falls into a few distinct categories that are quite different from one another. So I can lead you to an appropriate source more effectively if I know what it is you’re looking to experience are you seeking out this material. Specifically in some traditions is extracted in such a way as to emphasize rugged animal like musky fermented notes. The same material when prepared and extracted differently may yield something that is kind of floral over a rich resinous woody heart. Some regions have aspects that are peppery, some like cola; some have sweetness like carrot seed...

    With agarwood, if you want to get a sense for why this material is so revered, you are going to have to put down some cash. I can think of phenomenally beautiful agarwoods at a price of $250 or so per 3 ml. This is not easy to stomach for most.

    You can get acceptable agarwood with some complexity for maybe $75 per 3ml but you will find some challenging or unbalanced notes for sure at this price. You will get a sense for why people like it, but not sense of why people go bananas for it.

    What are you comfortable paying for a tiny sample like 0.2ml? These are often about $15-$500 depending on the grade and vendor. You could get four good ouds for $100 but just a tiny bit of each What is your expectation as far as the type of oud you might like? Classic oud notes can be barny, musky, evergreen, earthy, floral, honey, cola, tobacco, peppery

    One well reviewed budget oil (multiple good reviews in a blind sniff test at ouddict.com) is from www.pureoudh.com. It’s less than $100 for a 2.5ml bottle. This oil has some challenging notes so only get this if you’re willing to spend time acquiring a taste. I can easily see someone used to Western perfumes getting a bottle of this and just hating it.. It has a good oud heart, and should really improve as it ages. It is called “sweet trat” and is from Thailand. Lots of cheap Thai oud out there if you know where to buy from.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Best affordable introduction to oud oils

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.P View Post
    This is an interesting question. You will discover that agarwood falls into a few distinct categories that are quite different from one another. So I can lead you to an appropriate source more effectively if I know what it is youíre looking to experience are you seeking out this material. Specifically in some traditions is extracted in such a way as to emphasize rugged animal like musky fermented notes. The same material when prepared and extracted differently may yield something that is kind of floral over a rich resinous woody heart. Some regions have aspects that are peppery, some like cola; some have sweetness like carrot seed...

    With agarwood, if you want to get a sense for why this material is so revered, you are going to have to put down some cash. I can think of phenomenally beautiful agarwoods at a price of $250 or so per 3 ml. This is not easy to stomach for most.

    You can get acceptable agarwood with some complexity for maybe $75 per 3ml but you will find some challenging or unbalanced notes for sure at this price. You will get a sense for why people like it, but not sense of why people go bananas for it.

    What are you comfortable paying for a tiny sample like 0.2ml? These are often about $15-$500 depending on the grade and vendor. You could get four good ouds for $100 but just a tiny bit of each What is your expectation as far as the type of oud you might like? Classic oud notes can be barny, musky, evergreen, earthy, floral, honey, cola, tobacco, peppery

    One well reviewed budget oil (multiple good reviews in a blind sniff test at ouddict.com) is from www.pureoudh.com. Itís less than $100 for a 2.5ml bottle. This oil has some challenging notes so only get this if youíre willing to spend time acquiring a taste. I can easily see someone used to Western perfumes getting a bottle of this and just hating it.. It has a good oud heart, and should really improve as it ages. It is called ďsweet tratĒ and is from Thailand. Lots of cheap Thai oud out there if you know where to buy from.
    What great information! Thank you. Iím interested in the spectrum of oud fragrances but if Iím being honest Iím attracted to the idea of a floral and resinous oud. Iím not looking for serious quantities so much as a survey of introductory oud fragrances. Honestly Iím so green on the matter that Iíd rather an expert steer me to a handful of ouds that can be acquired adorably and that will enrich my understanding of the material. So .2 mL samples are totally fine as long as they are beautiful and pure.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Best affordable introduction to oud oils

    I second the pureoudh recommendation. Also try their Green Malay.

    I'd recommend you try La Maison Khenata. For a floral oud Mandalay Signature will be hard to surpass. Gyrinops 0 is one of the finest ouds I've tried in recent times. It is a completely different oud style, think plush forest.
    Finally, Guldasta represents yet another style, in the old school tradition of robust hindi ouds, but without the superfunk, more refined leather.

    https://www.etsy.com/shop/LaMaisonKhenata

    As another suggestion, Ensaroud Yusuf is often praised as the most floral oud. Personally it does not resonate with me, but it has worked for many, and might fit your required profile.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Best affordable introduction to oud oils

    Affordable oils in real sense are being offered by individual sellers, who are not running a brand. Many people have access to the distillers nowadays. So, their cost is less; resultantly, the prices are low.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Best affordable introduction to oud oils

    I've bought a sample set from the following vendor:

    https://www.oudh.co.uk/en/perfume-sa...re-oud-samples

    More specifically:

    https://www.oudh.co.uk/en/perfume-sa...dh-sample-pack

    Very challenging to wear. Not sure whether that is due to the low price point / implied quality or due to the origin (Hindi tends to be more animalic from what I've read). I still rate it highly as a first dip into oud though.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Best affordable introduction to oud oils

    I don’t know how well anyone knows anyone else around here but for what it’s worth I will vouch for powedernose’s nose

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Best affordable introduction to oud oils

    Hello,

    Iím testing 3 ouds from Agar Aura, if I remember well, the entire purchase and shipping was around $120, something like that.
    Shoot an email to them, explain what you want to get out of oud, and they will guide you. Iím not affiliated with them in any shape or manner, just happen to like their product after testing.
    Their Oud does not have barnyarn notes, the distillation process does not involve the processes used for Assam Oud, or Indian Oud. So, their product to me smells like pure wood resin, precious resins with different, very subjective nuances, itís about what you sniff in them, and how it makes you feel.
    I also have Oud from a few Indian suppliers, products I purchased to blend in my creations, not so much for my personal use. In general, Indian Oud will have what are variously defined as barnyarn, animalic, musky, hay, civet and other seemingly sour notes, but that does not mean they are bad oils, often those stronger notes help support a variety of other notes in a blend.
    Some of those Indian Ouds I received have those sour notes, but I like them a lot, and even though I destined them to be used in blends, I found myself dabbing a few of them in my wrists, their smell develops as time goes by, they are truly complex oils.
    Iíd have to agree with the previous replies that you have to shell out some $$$ if you want to get good testers. But the oils tend to last a long time on your skin, and you can get a sense of how rare these products really are. Generally speaking, Oud as well as other resins should impart a feeling of wellbeing, but itís a very personal experience.
    Just be wary that there is a generalized custom of cutting oils, so if you see something with a much lower price tag than the common denominator, itís probably adulterated. Again, it all depends on what you are fine with. A cut oil wonít necessarily smell bad, but it may not be completely natural, or it may have been diluted into a carrier oil. These things are not bad, they are just meant for different types of customers.
    Another option is to test Agarwood Oil from Essential Oil & Aromatherapy companies, also with different price points.
    Generally speaking, an artisanal producer spends a lot of capital and personal effort into distilling Oud, their product will rank above others by sheer virtue of the dedication put into it. Similarly, big online retailers have entire chains put in place to market their products, with a lot of people in place supervising QC and customer service.
    I donít think there is a wrong way to go about this, but once you start to smell and use good Oud oil, you wonít want to use branded perfumes with Oud accords, youíll want to use Oud by itself, or blended with something else of similar cache. Or at the very least, youíll develop a different appreciation for it. Some high end and niche perfume companies are able to create spectacular renditions of Oud blends, but it is not the same as the pure oil. Your olfactive experience will change once you start testing artisanal Oud, they are very complex oils, a world away from commercial perfumery.
    Hope this helps.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Best affordable introduction to oud oils

    Quote Originally Posted by Nastka View Post
    Challenging indeed. All of those are super charged with superfunk.
    there is payoff in the drydown of the better ones.

    I can recommend the Sweet Hindi Sultan from Oudh.co.uk


    Quote Originally Posted by Rai Munir View Post
    Affordable oils in real sense are being offered by individual sellers, who are not running a brand. Many people have access to the distillers nowadays. So, their cost is less; resultantly, the prices are low.
    Indeed,
    but they are not the best starting point, because you often have to deal with buying minimums, and there is greater risk in such purchases.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.P View Post
    I don’t know how well anyone knows anyone else around here but for what it’s worth I will vouch for powedernose’s nose
    Thank you!
    And I can say that Mr.P has great experience with oud, being part of this agarwood group/subforum from its beginnings.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Best affordable introduction to oud oils

    Great subject matter for a nose hungry for an oud experience.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Best affordable introduction to oud oils

    Quote Originally Posted by powdernose View Post
    Challenging indeed. All of those are super charged with superfunk.
    there is payoff in the drydown of the better ones.

    I can recommend the Sweet Hindi Sultan from Oudh.co.uk
    Hehe, 'super charged with superfunk' hits it right on the head. I'll make note of your suggestion

  13. #13
    Basenotes Junkie oudaddict's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best affordable introduction to oud oils

    Quote Originally Posted by Nastka View Post
    I've bought a sample set from the following vendor:

    https://www.oudh.co.uk/en/perfume-sa...re-oud-samples

    More specifically:

    https://www.oudh.co.uk/en/perfume-sa...dh-sample-pack

    Very challenging to wear. Not sure whether that is due to the low price point / implied quality or due to the origin (Hindi tends to be more animalic from what I've read). I still rate it highly as a first dip into oud though.
    I think this is an affordable introduction to oud. Any higher quality will be at a higher price. It should give you an idea of what authentic oud is like. If you ever visit Arabia or the Far East, then you can test different ouds in the stores.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Best affordable introduction to oud oils

    Habzoud has a sample pack for $75




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