Sexy, Show-Stopping Oud Fragrances to Try This Winter
Rich, luxurious, positively intoxicating–these are the terms that are often used to describe oud in the fragrance world. Because of its distinctive character, though, oud also has a reputation for being quite the heavy and intense fragrance note.
This intensity, however, is also one of its strengths: oud perfumes are excellent for winter weather, cocooning the wearer in warmth and spice that bring the desert heat of the Middle East to mind–where it happens to have been used for centuries. Read on below to learn more about this mystical ingredient, and some oud-forward perfumes available here on Scent Split that you should consider trying this winter:
What is Oud?
Also referred to as agarwood, oud is a dark, resinous, fragrant wood that is often used in incense and perfume. The process of creating oud happens when the Acquilara (or aquilaria) tree is infected by a specific type of mold called phialophora parasitica. The tree then secretes a dark and aromatic resin as a defensive mechanism, thus creating oud.
What Does Oud Smell Like?
In its raw form, the smell of oud is said to be pleasant, complex, and completely unique–it bears no resemblance to anything else. In its perfume state, it is often described as an “oriental woody” note, or sometimes as a “soft fruity-floral”. The scent of oud also depends on where it’s sourced from–it has been described as warm, sweet, woodsy, earthy, and smoky, all at once.
One thing is for sure, though. The addition of oud to any fragrance gives it a distinctive sensuality that simply can’t be replicated; wearing an oud perfume is guaranteed to make heads turn. These are the scents you want to put on when you want to stand out and be noticed–they’re the ones that will make the people around you ask, “What are you wearing?” Here at Scent Split, we offer several niche perfumes that feature this accord prominently. Below are some of our favorites.
Oud for Greatness – Initio Parfums Privés
Natural oud is relatively rare and commands a high price. Initio Parfums Privés distinguishes Oud for Greatness from other oud-forward perfumes by insisting on using only raw and natural ingredients in their blend, creating a bottle that is pure and elemental from the get-go.
Introduced in 2018, Oud for Greatness is described as a warm spicy fragrance that opens with floral saffron, spicy nutmeg, and soothing lavender before revealing a heart composed of natural oud wood and agarwood oil in its most unadulterated forms. At the base of this scent are fresh patchouli and musk. The combination of these accords create a deeply layered, bold, and unapologetically intense fragrance that is a force of nature unto itself.
Oud Immortel – Byredo
Oud Immortel is Byredo’s tribute to and celebration of oud, paying homage to its deep cultural significance as an ingredient that has been used for centuries in incense and perfumes. It was launched in 2010.
Oud Immortel seduces slowly, but surely–top notes of zingy limoncello, intoxicating incense, and warm cardamom dance lightly upon its heart of Brazilian rosewood, patchouli, and papyrus. The oud can be found holding these accords together from beneath, mixed with earthy moss and smoky tobacco leaves. This is a dark and elegant fragrance, one that speaks softly but impactfully.
Oud Wood – Tom Ford
Oud Wood is part of the widely acclaimed Tom Ford Private Blend collection, the same family of fragrances that such hits as Fucking Fabulous, Eau de Soleil Blanc, and Rose Prick belongs to. Vogue named it one of their Best Colognes for Men to Try in 2022.
It takes its inspiration from the incense-soaked temples of the Middle East and envelops you in warm, exotic spices, evoking images of a mysterious faraway land. Oud Wood draws you in gently with exotic Brazilian rosewood and sweet cardamom before introducing the oud, blended here with clean vetiver, creamy sandalwood, and a fiery dash of Chinese pepper. The foundation of this fragrance is a rich, decadent combination of tonka bean, vanilla, and amber. Unlike other perfumes from Tom Ford that tend to open strong, Oud Wood draws you in softly and wraps around you gently, making it a comforting scent to wear when it’s cold outside.
Oud 27 – Le Labo
On their website, Le Labo claims that Oud 27 isn’t just pure oud–it’s more. The niche perfume house blends 27 different ingredients, including oud, in this amber fragrance that is inspired by the Arabian tale of One Thousand and One Nights.
Here, oud is at the forefront of the scent, followed closely by distinct yet delicate notes of saffron that is backed up by sweet cedar Atlas. Incense, patchouli, black pepper and gaïac add further warmth and complexity to the mix. Le Labo isn’t shy about saying that this perfume is powerful and overwhelming–they use those very words to describe the scent on their website. One thing is for certain, though. Oud 27 is unforgettable, and you’ll have an unforgettable time wearing it.
All of the scents listed above are available in decant sample sizes here on Scent Split. It’s the best way to try them out before committing to a full bottle. Don’t risk your money on a blind buy–get a genuine decant of these oud perfumes from us now.