Perfume Directory

Russian Oud (2018)
by Areej le Doré

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Russian Oud information

Year of Launch2018
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production / Limited Edition
Average Rating
(based on 31 votes)

People and companies

HouseAreej le Doré

About Russian Oud

The company say:

Russian Oud is a gourmand oud perfume, built around high quality agarwood oil distilled by Russian Adam, according to an old traditional way… yet with a unique twist.

Reviews of Russian Oud

I had a brief stint as a copywriter for a major scent subscription company in the United States, which ended only when every last scrap of confidence in my own writing had been whittled down to a nubbin by an over-zealous editor. One of the things he would constantly remind me not to do was to compare fragrances to food. Ew, he would write in one of his ten-point comments on a 300-word product description – nobody wants to think their perfume smells like food, that’s gross.

My whole being rebels against that. It’s been my experience that not only do plenty of people want to smell like chocolate, or caramel, but that people reading a review for, say, Tom Ford’s Orchid Soleil, generally find it more useful when it says that it smells like tortilla chips than if it says something overly technical about tuberose.

But then again, you can’t write something like that when you’re trying to sell perfume, because even if it does smell like masa, the brand will take that as a negative reference and automatically black-marker it. Oh, I understand it, but I’m on the side of the reader/buyer here. If something smells like food – and food that you, the reader, can immediately identify with, then you better believe I’m going to mention it. My language is impoverished enough with someone taking my food references away from me.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because it’s impossible to describe Russian Oud without bringing food into the conversation. If Oud Piccante is a piece of raw steak covered in peppercorns, slapped down into a pan sizzling with lamb fat, then Russian Oud is a dainty piece of chocolate cake laid out on a doily, tendrils of caramel drizzled on top. For something so delicious, it is remarkably spacious and fine-boned. Even in color, Russian Oud distinguishes itself as finer than her rugged big brothers, being clear in color, while Oud Zen and Oud Piccante leave great big yellow-brown oil stains all over the skin.

Russian Oud is clearly a gourmand take on oud. It is very chocolatey, with a sweet, incensey woodsmoke note giving it a nicely dusty texture, and labdanum later lending a toffee chewiness that, in turn, jives perfectly with the smoky chocolate. The papery dryness in the heart gives the structure room to breathe. Actually, in terms of texture, Russian Oud has a surprising trajectory, from dusty to papery to chewy.

At first, Russian Oud reminds me very much of several chocolate-woody-ambery fragrances I’ve been loving recently, including Ummagumma (Bruno Fazzolari), Dark Moon (DSH Parfums), and meltmyheart (Strangelove NYC), but later on, when the resiny, leathery – almost coffee-ish – tone of the oud asserts its dominance, it reminds me more of the woody gourmands of Parfumerie Generale. In other words, it becomes less edible as time goes on, and more woody-resinous.

The drydown is where the castoreum and labdanum really begin to take over, and to my nose, it is this phase that is most similar to that of Oud Piccante. The castoreum gives the oud and amber a slightly sour, musky undertone that suits the hot, bilious oud. Kafkaesque mentions Ambre Loup (Rania J) in her review, and yes, that’s spot on – the drydown of both Russian Oud and Oud Piccante is extremely similar to that of Ambre Loup.

Full disclosure; I sold my bottle of Ambre Loup because I found it to be a mess of contradictions: sweet but sour, delicious but super-heavy, like too much of a good thing, a faintly greasy mixture of animal fat and chocolate and sugar and freshly-tanned leather all melted down together. I liked it, but never wanted to wear it. It felt like the 24th course in a 25-course tasting menu – tasty, I’m sure, but might I save it for tomorrow instead? This is a feature of the oud or castoreum-tobacco accord that Rania uses in both Ambre Loup and Oud Assam. Both excellent scents, but stifling in their heavy, breathy, brocaded sweet-n-sourness. The Ambre Loup effect is much, much softer in Russian Oud than in Oud Piccante, though, and it’s one of the reasons why I prefer Russian Oud.

All in all, Russian Oud is a soft, smoky chocolate take on oud, and the refined sister scent to Oud Piccante’s brash, big brother. Oud Piccante and Russian Oud are definitely first cousins; Oud Zen, by comparison, is a very distant progenitor, a Romanov offshoot who found peace in obscurity, living a simple but hearty life in a country dacha.
17th August, 2020
Purring velvet oud

Russian oud is a dense and chewy fragrance with an unmistakably feral opening, even with a light dab on the wrist. This softens into a smouldering leathery oud that plumbs deep with the bitter depth of cocoa while maintaining a medicinal "band-aid" edge up top.

What I like about Russian oud is that it has an oily, resinous character that gives the fragrance a voluptuous richness compared to many woody oud fragrances that can impart a harsh or scratchy sensation. Even the animalistic opening has a lushness to it.
24th July, 2019
Areej le Doré is an enigmatic single-pefumer artisinal brand run by "Russian Adam" in... well Thailand (but he's of Russian origin). The label uses mostly all-natural ingredients achieved through maceration and tincture techniques, like the old royally-appointed perfumers of antiquity, with a high price that's very much appropriate given the amount of labor utilized and ingredient cost. The kind of back-to-basics artisinal work houses like Areej le Doré do is a reset button of sorts on the niche boom, since the definition of niche has gotten out of hand with kitsch brands like Lush and Diptyque, Arabian and Arabian-by-proxy houses like Amouage or Montale, the exclusive lines of designers like Tom Ford or Chanel, the prestige brands like Creed or Frédéric Malle, and the classist one-percenter labels like Roja Dove or Clive Christian all being labelled niche. This wouldn't be such a big deal if many of them didn't use the same mass-market strategies and demographic-led creations as designers. Well, if you truly want a a NICHE experience, this is pretty much the way to do it, as all Areej le Doré scents are limited batch and hand-made, with no guarantee of reproduction once they're gone due to the scarcity of the ingredients used. I mean, come on, this stuff has real deer musk pods in it so you know it's gotta be some "real shit" as they say in the streets back home. Russian Oud (2018) is a fundamentalist oud scent with gourmand qualities, and as of this review, is already sold out. It might be available again by the time you read this, or it might have passed into history as an obscure anecdote. Fans of cocoa in fragrance should perk their ears at this one, and people who don't like the funkier aspects of oud following them all the way through the dry down may also find a saviour in Russian Adam's take on Oud here.

The fragrance is indeed very scary with the opening spray, since this stuff has real oud, castoreum, and musk, which comes from animal nether regions and rotted wood, but like all classically-composed fragrances, top notes are almost to be ignored, for the point of this is it's development on skin, not the way it hits you when testing like in a modern designer. You have to actually swallow your revulsion and get to the dry down to appreciate Russian Oud, and once you do, this is what follows: the revolting animal-crotch oud and castoreum blend settles in about five minutes, with the barnyard giving way to a chocolate factory. Cocoa mixes with a composite of various oud distillations and the castoreum to create a heady but sweet open, challenging like a head shop Egyptian musk, but with less of a sweaty edge, thanks to the cocoa. A few more minutes and the castoreum tags out, with the deer musk coming in. This is not a soft cK One (1994) kind of white musk like most people are used to, but an earthy, round, almost confectionary kind of musk not duplicable by chemistry. The oud keeps thrumming away but is mellowed further with cocoa and musk, finally resting on a bed of birch tar, guggul (Mukul Myrrh), standard myrrh, labadanum, sandalwood, and cedar. The sandalwood and labadanum keep the finish creamy, while the tar and myrrh continue the virile earthiness of the top, and the whole thing just finishes as a dessert-quality parfait of oud, musk, sandalwood, cocoa, and myrrh that literally lasts hours and hours. Russian Oud is not a sillage monster like other ouds, there's no petrol leather or synthetic rose compound to contrast the oud, just over a day's worth of creamy sweet chocolate agarwood and musk that keeps you feeling delicious all day, making that bordello bedsheet smell of the first 5 minutes worth enduring.

Due to the entirely natural composition, and likely hand-measured compounding of ingredients, if this comes back and is around for sale by the time you read my review, your intial impressions may be different. Batch variation might be seen as a marketing gimmick for some houses, but it's a very real phenomenon when it's just one guy making perfume using obsolete methods like maceration to extract his oils. I like Russian Oud a lot, and can't fault the price, but I do admit it's hard to fall in love with something so inherently precious from the get-go that my anxiety would never let me properly wear the stuff even if I did get a bottle, but as a one-off experience from the provided review sample, it is a sheer joy. Perfumes like this put into perspective where we've come from and where we've gone in this art form, and should be experienced by hobbyists of all walks, even if owning them is off the table. If you have a bottle this, cherish it, and if you don't, that's okay, since perfume like this is more of an experience than a trophy prize (if any perfume should ever be considered the latter). A fundamental oud with a gourmand twist that places the ever-popular agarwood at the center of the stage, Russian Oud won't appeal to the hardcore oud attar users or the commercial oud florals and leathers out there, but is a nice history lesson with a modern flavor streak which I sure am happy I got to sniff. There's no context or suggested time of year where this is best. Something this artisinal is going to stand out no matter where you wear it, so you either do or don't, and doesn't need a reason to exist like a sport flanker or seasonal release. Very interesting stuff indeed!
01st September, 2018 (last edited: 12th October, 2018)
Genre: Woody Oriental

There’s a lot of talk of chocolate when describing Russian Oud, but that’s not primarily what I’m getting. What I smell here is a big, complicated animalic oud (real, for a change,) wed to a deep, sweet, warm amber with a huge labdanum (or is that guggul?) note that persists through the long and lovely drydown. And when I say “long,” I mean LOOOOOOONG. This stuff hangs on as a skin scent for as much as 24 hours after application, for those to whom it matters.

Russian Adam appears to be a master at extracting marvelous raw materials, and when he sets them in relatively straightforward compositions, such as this one, they can glow in a most gratifying manner. This fragrance feels awfully nice in contrast to the tidal wave of predictable rose and synthetic “oud” compositions that have swamped the current market.
03rd July, 2018
Stardate 20180626:

Nice inoffensive long lasting oud-musk fragrance.
It starts with blast of good cacao and oud.
Leather and musk make appearance after 30 mins.
The labdanum appear after 10 hours as the oud fades.The musk is the dominant accord at later stages.
I cannot find any fault with this except that I was expecting more from Russian Adam.
I have smelled similar stuff from other houses (Al Harmain - Obsessive Oud and to some extent Rania's Oud Assam) and was hoping this to be at next level. It is not.

Good fragrance but for hype and price - a pass.

Disclaimer: Not an Oudh expert or a good nose so might be missing nuances others are getting.
26th June, 2018 (last edited: 29th June, 2018)
Unisex!? Maybe. I would say this is pretty, certainly, however, in a way that matches to the Masculine skin. It starts with a rude barnyard and transitions like an Oud Oil to the body of the story. I hoover and identify a great wack of Labdanum, wrapped in a Honeyed Dark Chocolate Smoke-iness that is, well, Leather. The Myrrh adds it's sharp vaguely bitter angle and then is softened by the.... Oh ya, give me that Castoreum. Musk certainly, however the Star is the Chocolate and Leather.
Full bottle, for me.
My wife is likely to shake her head, unless she catches the whiff of the Chocolate.
I don't really identify the Sandal, however the Cedar offers it's sharp edged stroke.
It's all vaguely, gourmand, caramel, edible, similar to PG Aomassai, however, this, is Truffled and buttered, by the Animalics.

Later, as my wife lays her head on my chest in a cuddle.

She says "You smell like an Ottoman Sultan"

I ask "Is it the Myrrh"

She says, in a purr "Yes, it's the Myrrh"

In any case this stuff dries down similar to Fumerie Turque, but better.

Of course, I am, a Sucker for a well placed Castoreum.
24th April, 2018 (last edited: 25th July, 2018)

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