Oud is one of the most expensive but also most used fragrant ingredients in today’s perfume industry. Also called oudh, aoud or agarwood, with its heavy, intoxicating and rich smell that combines wood, incense, and ambergris, it is a synonym for East where it comes from. Oud is that link, that bridge between eastern and western perfume industry that are seemingly complete opposites. That can explain its popularity in the West lately. In the East, it has been used for ages, through time and history as an aphrodisiac. It is said it has a magical way of attracting new loves and pushing away evil forces and its potency is mentioned in Indian Vedas.
Oud is resin from the Aquilaria Agallocha tree that appears when the tree is attacked by a fungus that eats away the skin of the tree. This tree grows in northeastern India and southern parts of China. A healthy tree doesn’t have an odor but older trees with fungus have a resin inside that produces oud through maceration as well as through steam distillation. The color of the oil varies from light yellow to brown. It has viscosity and extremely aromatic and complex character. Sweet, balsamic-woody scent is reminiscent of vetiver or styrax, while some compare it to sandalwood.
In perfume industry, oud is used in oriental and chypre bases as well as woody-aldehyde and fougere compositions. It goes well with vetiver, sandalwood, rose, geranium and carnation and sometimes with citruses like bergamot.
The first perfume house in the West that began using oud in perfumes was niche house M.Micallef during the 1990s. One of their best known and often copied perfumes is Rose Aoud. Other brands that use oud in large quantities are Roja Dove, Amouage and especially Montale. Very strong and lasting interpretations of oud place it in the spotlight while other notes, floral, hesperidic and balsamic are just backup singers. Montale, Amouage, and M.Micallef can be tried in L’Atelier perfume shop in downtown Belgrade.
Perfumes known for its oud scent are: Yves Saint Laurent M7, Amouage Homage Attar and Jubilation, Creed Royal Oud. Christian Dior Leather Oud, Jo Malone Oud and Bergamot, Le Labo Oud 27, Tom Ford Oud Wood and Noir de Noir, Trussardi Amber Oud, Gucci Oud and many others.
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