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. It is that link, that bridge between the eastern and western perfume industries 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. Indian Vedas reference the potency of this scent, which is supposed to have a magical ability to attract fresh love and repel evil.

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 an extremely aromatic and complex character. The sweet, balsamic-woody scent is reminiscent of vetiver or styrax, while some compare it to sandalwood.

Fragrance notes Oud

In the 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 it 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 it 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.

Perfumes known for their oud scent are:

  • Yves Saint Laurent M7,
  • Amouage Homage Attar and Jubilation,
  • Creed Royal Oud.
  • Christian Dior Leather O.
  • Jo Malone Oud and Bergamot,
  • Le Labo Oud 27,
  • Tom Ford Oud Wood and Noir de Noir,
  • Trussardi Amber O.
  • Gucci O. and many others.

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