onsdag 30 december 2009
L'Artisan Parfumeur - Al Oudh
A lot of other perfume blogger state that 2009 have been the year of aoud/oudh. And yes, there is a lot of perfume houses that have made an oudh scent this year. Oudh is a very popular ingredient in arabic perfumes and oudh of highest quality is very expensive, and also, very rare. Oudh of highest class is the result of a tree naturally affected by a fungus causing noble rot, but now it is common to affect the trees with the fungus on purpose, giving a little less expensive oudh, but also not the highest grade oudh. for a western nose, oudh can be a challenge since it has a kind of sharp, strange, medical, smoky and hard scent.
Especially Montale is known for their arabian influensed perfumes and their use of oudh in perfumes. Montale´s Red Aoud become a favourite for me, but only after a short training period. Black Aoud is still not agreeable for me, I find it to sharp and watery at the same time (on me). So, even if oudh isn´t a spot on favourite note of mine, I still find it adventurous and interesting. One thing I hope to try next year is the so called attars, an arabic/oriental kind of perfume, often with oudh among the notes.
When trying perfumes with oudh for the first time, I felt a little lost. Oudh can be quite an overwhelming new acquaintance, like listening to music with a strange scale and foreign language, like being lost in the bazaar quarters of an ancient arabic city or like being in the middle of an eastern festival without having a clue of what they are celebrating.
With L'Artisan´s Al Oudh it feels like I´ve found a guide, a key, an attendant. But at first, I am a bit skeptical, and think they could as well have called it Al Cumin instead, because the top notes are overwhelmingly filled with cumin. It is nothing but cumin for the first minutes, and I got a little dissapointed.
After a while, the cumin wears off, and I welcome some sweetness, warmth and complexity. The oudh-note is also there, but kind of subdued. This is a much toned down oudh in compare with the oudh you can find in Montale´s perfumes. And after that cumin dominated top note, the oudh all of a sudden feels soft and comfy, but still with some oriental mystic. I think of Al Oudh as an excellent introduction to oudh, since it is so easy to like. But, the cumin is a turn off for me, thankfully it is shortlived.
For an L'Artisan scent I think Al Oudh has decent staying power, the base note melts down in my skin in a wonderful, soft and very comfy way, but also without any traces of adventures, mystery or oriental enigma. the base note is easy to like and very comfy, but unfortunatly also with lack of strong personality. A little like being guided to the well organised and beautiful hotel far away from the crowded, strange and totally mesmerizing bazaar. Do you want to get lost? Try another oudh scent. Do you like a a comfy introduction? Al Oudh is a great start!