Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Le Labo Oud 27

I married a man who doesn't like oud very much. He's Ok with it in Tom Ford Private Blend Oud Wood (which I suspect is rather low on real oud).  He begrudgingly admits that By Kilian Arabian Nights Oud perfumes are really really good, but I don't foresee him ever coming home with a Montale bottle. His dearest wish is that vetiver becomes the next big thing in the perfume universe. Considering the way these two notes, oud and vetiver, behave on his skin, I can't say I blame him.

The many faces of Le Labo Oud 27 (a 2009 release from their regular line) are evident in the many reviews of this fragrance. I've heard everything: whiskey, skank, Bandit-like civet... the more reviews you read the more confused you can get. Naturally, my scent twin has the closet interpretation to my own saffron and leather experience. But it seems that the rose-gone-south that happens on the poor Blond's skin is a somewhat unique experience. Personally, I don't think he smells vile in it, but he begs to differ.

I consider Le Labo's oud to be quite sexy. I like a good saffron-rose note and I enjoy dirty peaty wood. There's a damp black earth and roots to Oud 27 that is a touch medieval and very raw. There's also a lacquered wood and varnish thinner note that's surprisingly pleasant. I absolutely adore the dry-dow, especially the very late one (I'm talking 8-12 hours and counting. This stuff is more tenacious than Betty White). Sweet orientalized rose, animalic leather and golden ambered woods- what's not to like? After a few hours even the husband is willing to sniff my neck.

Notes: Agarwood, Aldehydes, Atlas Cedar, Incense, Patchouli, Black Pepper, Saffron, Vetyver, Gaiac, Civet, Musk, Rose Bulgare, Amber, Ambergris.

Oud 27 ($58, 15ml larger sizes available) is part of the regular Le Labo collection. It's available through their stores around the world and also from Barneys, Colette (Paris), Luckyscent and I highly recommend the 3x5ml discovery sets ($58) that allow you to test several perfumes and really get to know them before ordering a bigger size.

Image: a detail on a Japanese wooden box from online catalog.


  1. Well, you know I love this and it's nice to have the twin-ness reaffirmed. It was sexy enough for me to buy a bottle that wasn't the baby-sized one. And yes, it lasts forever..

    I wouldn't be exactly bereft if vetiver became the new fruitchouli..

  2. I love LL and have not tried this one yet. Now that I'm aware of the skank/Bandit civet story, I'm intrigued. Oud and pepper are two scent notes that are getting a lot of love this season. My question is, are Montales the so-called gold standard of oud scents? I hear a lot of buzz about Montale and like several of their scents (Red Oud, Black Oud, Patchouli Leaves and Red Vetiver).
    Wouldn't it be nice if vetiver was next season's 'it' note?

  3. I just tried Le Labo's Oud 27 and I'm so glad I did. It's an absolute stunner of a fragrance. Deep rich and smokey.

  4. This is the first Le Labo fragrance I have actively hated... I have a love hate relationship with Oud in general, but several perfumes that sit on my dresser are oud focused... this perfume however is nothing but raunchy civet on my skin, and it gets foul fairly quickly... I can smell the oud struggling in the background to break through past the cloud of very stanky civet but it fails to really sing on my skin... I'm not someone who hates civet either, but this didn't work for me... I had to wash this one off after my boyfriend said he thought it smelled like a port-a-potty in the dead of summer and I had to agree with him... sweaty crotch is not the look I'm going for, sadly this sample will sit unused


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