Tuesday, December 04, 2012

My Top Ten Oud Perfumes

I'm not the biggest fan of oud perfumes and wasn't planning on doing a "Best Of" list for this category, but a reader requested it through Twitter and I realized that there are enough oud perfumes I actually love to justify  talking about them. Now, whenever I do a top ten or a favorite list around a certain theme I get quite a few responses from readers who are surprised that I didn't include this or that (usually their favorite). In the case of oud my omissions are going to to be even more glaring: I'm quite indifferent to most Montale "Aouds" and actively dislike several, including fan favorite Black Aoud. I've been revisiting that one lately to confirm that it still smells sour on me, and it does; therefore, this is my very personal and super subjective top ten oud perfumes.
  • Memo-Shams. This lush oriental oud is probably my favorite from this group. It offers a larger than life fantasy and a matching longevity.
  • Maison Francis Kurkdjian- Oud. A close second and probably the most elegant of the bunch. Solid gold.
  • Mona di Orio- Les Nombres d’Or Oud. Incredibly complex and layered. An emotional entanglement.
  • La Via del Profumo- Oud Caravan 1-3. Camel included.
  • Soivohle (Liz Zorn)- Oudh Lacquer. Difficult, rich, and bitter at first sniff, a wonderful love story on skin.
  • Aftelier-Oud Louban. Both the soild and the newly launched extrait have a depth and a soft heart that plays well with skin and layers wonderfully with Aftel's other creations.
  • YSL-M7 (vintage). Years before every perfumer under the sun started blending oud, Tom Ford commissioned this sex bomb. Sadly, it's been significantly neutered since.
  • Montale- Aoud Ambre. Not as popular as many other Montale fragrances; I love the crazy incense-animalic leather.
  • Byerdo Oud Immortel. Sweet, smoky, and larger than life.
  • By Kilian- Pure Oud. The most refined in the Arabian Nights series. I'd love to see the faces of innocent Saks shoppers as they get a first whiff of this one. 
Honorable Mention: Agar Musk by Ramon Monegal (soft and inviting), Le Labo Oud 27 (a weird one, but glorious on skin), L'Artisan Al Oudh (for those not married to a cumin hater), and Tom Ford Private Blend Oud Wood (as friendly and wearable as oud can get).

Art by Ronnie Hicks via Flickr.


  1. So glad you did this list. been waiting to hear what you think of MOna's oud. :)

  2. Roja Dove Amber Oud
    Ormond Jayne Oudh

  3. I am over Oud. I was really mad about it :-) I gave 3 perfumes away. The only one i left for myself is Ford´s Oud Wood. Did you ever heard about J.F. Schwarzlose ? I am very in love with "Treffpunkt 8 Uhr". Its a old german brand, that was recently relauncht.

  4. I greatly appreciate your blog. I am a babe in the woods when it comes to scent but I did an advent calender of scent with my new husband and we really enjoyed it. Your blog has inspired me, and helped me with many a great purchase in the last year!

    Oud, old news for many, a new (albeit mini) frontier for me.

    Great Gratitude abounds for all you are and all you share.

  5. How about Tom Fords Black orchid? How does it stack up?

  6. I love oud percumes but can be overpowering sometimes. My all time fav is Bond No. 9 its so seductive .
    Pure parfum for men. Its for sophisticated nostrils..lol
    Loooooooove it.

  7. Love all your honorable mentions. I am a man, and love so many perfumes in the oud genre, but my secret favorite is a now hard to find scent called Halston Man Amber. It is actually similar to Monegal's Agar Musk, but is a bit stronger with a subtle chocolate vibe and perfect longevity.

  8. Roja Dove Amber Oud


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