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May 20, 2018 4 min read

Source: Basenotes


Oudh perfume. Is there any real Oud?

Do you ask this question yourself?

We do, we ask ourselves many times if there is any oud in the perfume.

Because, oud (Oudh) oil itself has many versions, and types, depending on where it is from, its grade (cultivated or wild, the infected level: light, medium, or heavy, sometimes good quality one is known as incense grade or sinking grade wood)  the apparatus (distillation method), the craftsmanship,  All matters

Besides, there are some synthetic ouds in the market which did an impressive job in mimicking the dry down note of Oud. Honestly, we tried them and were surprised by the effect of them in a perfume.

Recently, the below article from Makeupvalley contains a link to us.

As expected, there are several descriptions, and most of them reflect accurately in some way as each of the users experienced different types of Oud.

Each of oud oils has its oil characteristics, and some note may be appalling to someone maybe pleasant to others. However, with cosmetics, and perfume, consumers tend to love the brighter notes and leaving out the "dirty", "whiff of decay" one behind. This is when synthetic Oud is the crucial ingredient; it only contains the classic ouddy woody dry down note.

However, it also depends on the culture they grow up with, which has a significant impact on the scent they are after. Some niche house caters this trend, perfume with mouldy, barnyard, strong animalic smell. If you have no experience in Oud (agarwood or Oudh), the oud oil samples set is an excellent education tool:


The below perfume is a good example. The initial reaction of someone not having Middle Easterner background would be "Oh my God, it was unbearable,... smell like poo poo.." but after a few minutes, the "not so pleasant" smell vaporised and turned into something more acceptable. This perfume oil contains real Oud, but the real question is: "what type of oud smell are you after?"

We also found some interesting discussion here on basenotes.net.

An experienced user, "heperd"   had pointed that out nicely:

Companies claim all kinds of notes, though, and notes do not equal ingredients. 
No one is going to put in even 0.01% real oud and not tell you about it.
Perfumer companies are trying to make money, so they will SPECIFICALLY TELL YOU THAT THE FRAGRANCE CONTAINS REAL OUD. It would be the main selling point. The MFK rep is a salesperson, and SAs will lie to your face for sale. None of the MFK marketing says that there is real Oud in the frags because there is none. 
If Amouage or Montale had real Oud, then everyone would know. They would also cost at least twice as much. 

The frags that contain real Oud probably only "technically" contain a dropper gigantic batch. All the commercial frags already listed it are likely the only ones with real Oud."  

When you get some real oud, you will realise what the same, it would be to mix it with other ingredients. A drop of real Oud already smells like 100 different things." 

Another constructive point from "exotic scents"  : 

" Very interesting question. I have spent a lot of time with real oud oils, oud chips, Oud based Colognes. I would love to help everyone here with scientifically valid points.

1. Oud Testing is a REAL challenge. The only proper method to test it is to get a gas analysis, but you need an expert to decode the array of aroma molecules present in the agar oil structure. But that is the only method.

2. Agarwood (Aquilaria tree and all its species) is an endangered resource. There is a strict regulation or complete ban on its usage just like Sandalwood.

3. Wild Agarwood oil is a very expensive and a rare commodity. It is good to assume Naturally Infected wild trees are nearly gone and it's only once in a while an oud expert finds it and then depending on the resin content he distils oil from it (very limited quantity for the whole world) or sells it as incense wood which usually would fetch above 10,000 USD/Kg for the top grade. YES.

4. Oud Oil distilled aesthetically has beautiful aromas, and depending on the region it can vary from a fruity perfume to a really leathery/barnyard one. Usually, Cambodian/Thai/Trat oils are sweet and fruity. And Indian is strictly smoky and leathery. It has a proper opening, heart and dries down all phases smelling differently. A perfumer cannot afford to risk it as a linear ingredient like sandal/cedar.

5. Cultivated/Organic agarwood farms are coming up like APC, Singapore/Malaysia, which is the artificially cultured wood for usage in perfumery due to high demands. One such company using it is Fragrance du Bois, and their scents are very costly. They declare real oud usage confidently.

Considering all these factors and also taking into perspective the huge demand and production of Oud perfumes, you can choose to believe the version of the story that comes with your bottle :-). I, on the other use my nose to judge. I love exploring fragrances as a hobby. I hope my experiences will help the ones reading it. Thank you all." 

You can read all, as there were many opinions on sound evidence. 

In short, it requires:

  • a trained nose
  • years of experience smelling of Oud
  • company background
  • information about the products
  • Or simply bring it to the lab test to tell. Even then, you need to know the chemical compound of Oud.

Such pain and there are so many uncertainties. Why going through that part?

So what if an oud perfume which 

  • contains genuine Oud (Oudh) oil which can be verified easily
  • come from a trusted GROWER (not just seller, we are talking about running an agarwood plantation business, YES, A PROPER GROWER)
  • crafted by a Master of Perfumery Jonathon Midgley

No more guessing, questioning. No more mucking around. We want to introduce you: our own Oud Perfume: Oud Spirit- Glory of the Pain. 






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