Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tom Ford Private Blend- Oud Wood

Today's theme is serenity, and nothing promotes it better than a serious wood scent. Oud Wood from Tom Ford's Private Blend has the familiar dark, astringent punch of oud without being too thick or difficult. It's still quite cerebral, but the perfume's demands from the wearer are minimal before it yields to one's body chemistry. The result, after the first refreshing blast of peppery top notes, is much smoother than many other oud scents, for better and for worse.

I'm not a big Montale fan, because too many of their ouds are lost to me in a sour rose. Tom Ford's creamier interpretation is a better match for my skin, and I admit to fantasize about a full line of Oud Wood body products. Sliding into a hot bath scented with an Oud Wood oil would have been heavenly, though it might just be my weariness speaking. In any case, there's something very satisfying in Oud Wood's drydown, which has far less to do with the actual oud note and a lot more with a somewhat sweetened wood-tonka bean blend.

Oud Wood is generally considered a masculine fragrance, as are many oud scents. The sharpness is, indeed, the opposite of what's normally accepted as feminine. Not that I've ever let these ideas stop me from wearing a perfume. However, to my nose, this is such a mellow and friendly oud that I'd recommend it to any woman trying to figure out her relationship with this note. It's a good introductory oud before one moves on to try the truly magnificent ones, like By Killian's Pure Oud.

Oud Wood and the rest of the Tom Ford Private Blend perfumes ($180, 1.7 oz) are available from Bergdorf, Neiman Marcus, some Nordstrom locations and Saks NYC store, as well as from Tom Ford boutiques. I bought the limited edition box set of the original 12 scents in mini roll-on bottles.

Photo of agarwood (oud) trees from somewhere on the 'net. I forgot to save the source.

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