The Top OUD Perfumes
Before we get into the Top Oud Perfumes list, honorable mention needs to go to the starter oud: TIMBRE by CHRIS RUSAK. As an oud, it is too soft to make this list officially, but it will allow you to get familiar with the precious oil and what it can be. If you are not familiar with oud, you will be able to pick up the scent here. The best description of this I have heard is that it smells like a clean man’s armpit. What a brilliant description; of course, there is a lot more to this scent, but if the smell here is too much for you, stay away from the rest of this list.
Now let’s get into an important point here: oud versus synthetic oud. This is why I have an attitude and my defense systems go into overdrive. The fragrances without any real oud in them need to take it out of their name, period. This is a plea to every marketing mogul or brand manager about BS marketing. Have some respect for the customer. And to other reviewers: many of the “oud” perfumes you review probably do not contain real oud.
DUSITA - OUDH INFINI
You have been warned; this is an advanced oud here, the kind your Western perfumers warned you about. The mid is pretty funky. I don’t mind it, but others I think would. I don’t see that this would get you any compliments in the big city on this one, and I hope you’re not in the train or bus on the way home. This oud here has a fecal the fecal quality. It is blended well and has its purpose, but this is for advanced oud lovers only.
ENSAR OUD - EO1 This is one oud that will change your world. Once you smell it, there is absolutely no going back. It is something you will have to own. You’ve been warned. The top is an oriental floral oud affair. No one note is trying to out-shout the others for attention. Rather, each note is giving compliments to the others, lifting them up to be a beautiful song to the nose. The notes are admiring each of their strengths and pulling together to enhance the atmosphere, continually giving an uplifting experience.
I like to layer this on top of a dry down of one of my favorite ouds. You definitely don't need to layer this with something else, but it lets the fragrance shout that much more due to the oil on top of your skin.
AREEJ LA DORE - FLUX DE FLEUR
This one I have mentioned in earlier reviews. I get memory flashes whenever I smell this. I have specific memories of each time I put this on. I pick it for special times that my life gets changed, and this is an opportunity to remember those special occasions and to look forward to those times to come. If there is such a thing as heaven on earth, this is close. It is a very spiritual experience for me. I don’t expect everyone to understand that, but that’s what it is for me—a very personal and powerful experience.
BORTNIKOFF - L’HUERE EXQUIS This is both sweet and sweaty. Pretty floral and burnt woods make an appearance in this thing. There are a lot of different vibes happening during the wearing, and it attracts people to it for this reason.
This dries out with a sweet, clean, one-to-two-foot sillage trail and an animalic, dirty vibe when smelled close to the skin. If you’re a hugger like me, people will get both of these effects. For me, it’s perfect because I like having a transformer as a perfume. Unfortunately, a lot of people have no clue what to do with animalic scents.
Overall, this is chocolate on the skin, and heaven in the scent bubble.
AREEJ LE DORE - RUSSIAN OUD Dark chocolate fans, rejoice. It comes out singing. A true cacao note opens the composition, which comes off like an Ecuadorian dark chocolate with fruity top notes. I’m talking about the fruity notes you can smell in dark chocolate, if you’re into that sort of thing.
This perfume is drenched in oud, from top to bottom, and well deserving of the name. Hint, hint, designers; it’s an incense composition that is very royal. Notice my high scores; I can’t help but call them royal.
This is the most royal kind of dirty there is.
Overall, this is what you call luxury perfume. This is made for royalty, drenching you in rich chocolate notes coated in real oud on top of leather, creating an incense for those around you.
AUPHORIE - MUSC OUD MAHARAJA The wearing of this fragrance is exactly like my experiences of wearing pure oud. The oud here changes and offers different aromatic whiffs throughout the entire wearing. Sometimes you get more floral qualities, sometimes you get a sweet air, and sometimes you get a straight-up medicinal dark, animalic oud. The entire wearing has an emotional quality that fits me perfectly, and its mood will change in a whiff. The ambergris note is carried the whole wearing, and provides a clean airiness that adds to the composition and prevents this musk-and-oud combo from getting too dark and dirty. It is a mood lifter and a fear killer.
This is a majestic wearing, so put on your shoes and get ready to run, because we were made for imagination like this.
REGIME DE FLEURS - GILDED AGE Gilded Age is an oud that has added depth and interest from the variety of added aromatics. Truffle is an earthy aromatic; saffron is an aromatic that heightens everything and adds a drop of sweetness; cedarwood is an aromatic that adds richness; ambergris adds some aquatic notes and slight oceanimalics; and clove and cedarwood give an aromatic lift. Oud smoke rises from your skin during the entire wearing.
The leather is a heavy base for most of the wearing that smells just like a brown leather work glove. Osmanthus is the perfect accompanying note for the oud smoke incense. This is an amazing wearing that will take you on a journey—truly a decadent acquisition.
HOUSE OF MATRIARCH - EAGLEWOOD The oud is well chosen—whether it has multiple varietals, I can’t tell. I can tell, however, that it smells really good. It is soft and funky. The funk here is in the form of a lovely medicinal note that is softened by incense. This is like having an oud incense burning on your arm. It’s got a slight touch of ambergris, but if it were real ambergris, I’m positive the perfumer would list it as a note. My guess is that this is a synthetic ambergris. That makes this around 98 percent natural.
I get a sweet floral bouquet in the top that smells like frangipani. This is the kind of floral note that comes from natural oud.
FORT AND MANLE - FATIH SULTAN MEHMED The accord to me is fresh: ocean fresh, fruit fresh, flower fresh. It is a new accord that I have never smelled before.
Yes, this doesn’t last long, but I am so OK with it. After all of this testing and wearing, I really don’t want him to pour in Ambroxan, ISO E, or any other synthetic musk to make it last. I hate having it on my skin for hours after all of the good stuff has worn off. This is a house that I could own everything from.
Keep doing what you do, Rasei.
This is a maestro giving us a masterpiece to enjoy and wear.
Slumberhouse Sixes and Sevens
The fragrance features leather, cumin, natural musk, sandalwood, agarwood (oud), opoponax, castoreum, walnut, benzoin, olibanum, civet, iris, rue and fir resin.
Tabacora Anarkali Attar
Sultan Pasha Al Hareem
One of the big things with heavy oud concentrations is that most likely they are so decisive that these will never make it into mainstream masterpieces. The oud that’s used in these cannot be replicated. Even the same chips being distilled again will bring forth different nuances because of distillation variables. It can be close but every distillation of the same marketed oud needs to be dated and batched and judged upon batch. Because of how complex this oil it it is one of the hardest to be consistent on. On it’s own it can have over a hundred aroma chemicals in the oil.
Two synthetic compositions that I love the note in.
Guerlain Oud Essential
Creed Royal Oud
When smoking cigars or in a casino like enviroment I weirdly love
Tom Ford Tobacco Oud - if not in the environment I have to get it off my skin As soon as possible.