By Kilian Pure Oud – Perfume Review

Let’s don’t mince any words – By Kilian Pure Oud, I love you.  I adore it, need it, must have it.  Yes, yes, this is what oud perfumes should be, so everyone else that isn’t By Kilian Pure Oud should pay attention.  Now, the price has me shuddering – about 400 for 50 mls, though the refills once you go through the first 50 mls should be much less spendy.  Since you’ll only buy this if you love it, you should plow through 50 mls in a hurry.  This is one of the rare times when I will say it’s worth every last cent.  Sure, I’d like it to be cheaper, but I have no qualms about the price.

Grain de Musc reviews it here, and Octavian by kilian perfume - pure oud, garden of good and evilreviews it here.  Leathery, tobacco, dark, civety, saffron, Immortelle.  What’s not to love? Well, if you like your perfumes bright, cheerful and flowery, please don’t go near this, you’ll hate it because it’s none of those things.  By Kilian Pure Oud is moody and difficult, warm and embracing.  So many oud perfumes are muscled by the oud and get all sharp and shrill and make my head hurt. This has the oud, but it’s a base, a complement to the other notes.  Denyse and Octavian mention an inkiness, and that’s exactly it.  Dry ink, dusty, slightly musty, nestled into leather.  This is the melancholy letter you write at the end of the affair with the person you wrongly thought was the love of your life.   This is the first By Kilian perfume I’ve smelled that belongs absolutely in that cunning little enameled black box with the black ribbon and the key, and the addition of the gold plate on top with a big K on it.  The juice inside it matches all of the externals – it is the darkness that you covet.

This shit rocks.

I’ve got a couple of other things I’ll talk about next week that have made me scream “Oh, God” a couple of times in a frenzy like this one has.  It’s been a pretty great perfme summer for me so far.  How about you?

Oh, yeah, yeah, of course I’ll give away a couple of samples of The Preeeecioussss.  Drop a comment and you’ll be entered in the drawing.


  1. Oh my. Would this be a good introduction to oud, then? I sniffed some oud at the local attar shop and phew!

    Please enter me for the drawing. 🙂

  2. We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious!!!!! 🙂

  3. Did someone say “moody and difficult”? Sounds like my kinda ‘fume! (Actually, it sounds like ME, but I digress…) Would love to be entered in the drawing — thank you so much.

  4. Sounds ravishing! Please count me in for the drawing.

  5. Oh, I’m all about the oud! Is it already in regular retail channels? Please enter me in the drawing as well.

    • It was at harvey Nichols in London, and I got a thing from Luckyscent that you can get it if you call them to order. So, yeah, it should be in normal channels!

  6. “This shit rocks” would have sufficed.
    Hat me! :-*

  7. Wow, this sounds fantastic. Does anyone know if oud is the same thing as aloeswood (aloe wood)?

    Please enter me in the drawing — I would love to try this! Thank you!

    • Yes, Joanne, aloeswood is oud, as is agarwood. Isn’t there also another name?

  8. Yeah, yeah I whine all the time about how Kilian’s are too pricey to even sniff. *tells self to shaddup* Please put me in the drawing! 🙂

  9. This sounds absolutely beguiling~ please enter me in the drawing. 🙂

  10. I would love to try this. Please include me in the drawing!

  11. Hey put me in for that drawing! I’ve been working my way through the Montale line, but this take on oud sounds fantastic! I’ve written that love letter before- I’d love the olfactory equivalent! 🙂

  12. Oh Patty! I love me some oud! I have been wearing my Montale’s and Amouage’s like crazy lately, but the pure oud I have gives me a headache. I plan to add some to my homemade rose/sandalwood/etc. blends. Maybe I have to work my way up to pure oud? Or maybe I will remain quite happy in my little oud blend world? Do you know if this one will be added to the Luckyscent By Killian lineup? Also, does anyone know if the new refill By Killian bottles need proof of prior bottle purchase to buy, as in the past? Please enter me in the draw.

    • Hmm, well, Octavian says reports only 12 bottles in 5 stores…drat!

        • I think there’s more than 12! I saw that many at Harvey Nichols, and I know Luckyscent is selling it too. So, you know. [email protected]?! Pretty sure I don’t have 1 of 12 bottles. If there were 12, they’d be selling for a lot more. It may have been limited at first, but it seems to be in wider distribution.

    • The Montale ouds give me a headache. This is much smoother. We smelled different ouds in the Al Quarashi shop, and there are big differences in ouds and how sharp they smell. This isn’t sharp, it’s musty and dark, like a slightly revolting caress that you learn to love.

      • Yes Patty, there certainly is a difference in oud oils. Musty and dark without too much sharpness sounds appealing. Thanks for all the information!

  13. Uh-oh, I smell trouble. As Dusan says, hat me, please. No, wait, don’t. Yes, DO. Seriously, do.

    • I had blocked Denyse’s review, which also includes a rave for Back to Black, but now this is too much and I give up.

  14. Patty,
    I am so thrilled that you found an orgasmic perfume. It’s fun to lemming….just being honest here. I smelled this monster in Vegas, and though I love, love, love skank, I just can’t do Oud. In fact, I loathe it….even if it’s miniscule, I abhor the stuff. I have tried and tried and tried so many different oud renderings, but alas, no way, no how. My Killian is Beyond Love, but I agree, it doesn’t “belong” in the box….but that’s ok, I can pretend.

    On another note, I bought Arabian wood, by Tom Ford PC. I don’t know if there is oud in it, but if there is, it’s in name only. I can actually wear it when I want to butch things up….though I confess, I layer it with some fracas….Mwahahahahahahahahaha

  15. Sounds very interesting. Please enter me in the draw. As for my summer ‘fumes, I’ve been re-discovering Samsara.

  16. Wow.


    this may be a deal-breaker for me. Ouds give me a headache but the way you describe this….well…

    please enter me in the (incredibly generous – don’t know if I could part with something like that) draw, as this one sounds like one to try!


  17. A friend’s mother brought me a piece of agarwood from Mecca. It has made me a better person and I would love to enter the drawing and try a sample of the Killian

    • Hi there, other Kathryn. Glad to hear that you are becoming a better person. What do you say about following Patty’s suggestion of using a last initial so our posts don’t get confused?

  18. Pls enter me in the drawing for “the Precious”, many thanks

  19. Hey Patty, I agree, this is the way oud should be done. It may be dark, but it’s smooth — by contrast, I cannot do the Montales at all. The By Kilians often have materials of outstanding quality, though I’m still a little traumatized by the packaging, which I really don’t like to be made to pay for… That box sure takes up a lot of place. I do love the purse sprays though, but sadly, Pure Oud doesn’t offer them.

    One thing I could add is that Pure Oud stays extremely close to the skin: this is no sillage monster, just a dark, personal secret.

    No need to enter me in the draw, I have access to a couple of BK counters and I know both SAs!

    • Completely agree. But if you were to pay for one of the By Kilian packaging things, this would be the one to get, it just seems to work. I can’t wait to sniff the Back to Black thingie. When is that coming out, September?

    • What is the deal with sales for this? Neither Oud nor BtoB is available on the Killian website, not to mention LS, Aedes, et al.

      Being pretty much your scent twin, when you reviewed these two I squeezed my eyes shut, stuck my fingers in my ears and went la-la-la- la, but Patty has managed to seep in through a crack and if I can’t find these babies here in NYC I may be imploring you to sweet talk your SAs into shipping it to me, otherwise I will be forced to abandon all scruples and put you on the spot to make yet another dreaded trip to the post office. You has the Paypal, no? I’m kidding, but I’m perilously close to not kidding 😉

      • I got a sample from Luckyscent while I was gone, nd they said it’s only available to order by phone. Not sure why. Harvey Nicholes just got it last week, so I assume it will be coming to Bergdorf, etc., as well. But call LS, it sounds like they have some or will be getting it!

      • Back to Black will be out in September (that’s the tobacco one), which is why it’s not up yet on the website. I’ve only smelled it because the SA at Le Bon Marché pulled it out from under a counter for a sneak preview.
        As for Pure Oud, there are *definitely* more than 12 bottles for sale, Octavian just reported the advance buzz from the SA at Le Printemps. But there can’t be too many bottles at that price — I know they wouldn’t even let Franco at Luckyscent have a preview sample!

        • Well, it appears Franco has some in stock, or will have. If this thing doesn’t have refills and the bottles run out, someone will have to die, you know. 🙂

  20. Please enter me in the draw. If you say that it’s worth all that money, well, I guess I have to try it!

  21. And I thought I was only jonesing for Back to Black… And I can’t stand the Montales… I thought I was safe from this one. Drats.

    Please enter me in the draw, I’m dyin’ here! 😉

  22. Probably the only way I will ever smell this is if I win a sample from you. So let’s go! I loves me some inky oud! 😀

    Then again, I’m pretty sure both Red and Black Aoud by Montale have made me scream, “Oh, God!”, so I might not be as particular as some sniffers…

  23. Me, please! The only serious oud scent I have is M7, and it’s time I branched out, I think.

  24. ‘dark and moody’ – i would love to try this. can i enter the draw? thank you.

  25. I must say I like all the Kilian’s but as of yet none of them made me buy it. I do wonder how this smells like, it sounds terribly interesting. 🙂

  26. Oud! Moody, inkiness… makes me want to just roll around in it, like a cat in catnip. Please enter me in the drawing!

  27. Ooooh! I’m so scared to try it! But please put me in the draw too. Thanks x

  28. Oud tart here would LOVE to try this, please put my name in the hat. The darkness that you covet… such a line induces instant lemmings !

  29. I looooove By Kilian scents (Straight to Heaven is a dream on me and nothing like the notes). I would absolutely love to try the Oud and am really, really looking forward to the fall release of Black to Black.

    With a price like that, I’m guessing that winning a sample will be my only chance for trying it. They won’t be selling a $4 sample on LS, I assume.

  30. Never smelled oud. Sounds like this is the one to start with…and never go back! Thanks for the draw, Patty.

  31. Oooo….crossing fingers for travel atomizer refills :-). Would love to sample to compare to Montale and the Arabian ouds. Can’t wait to hear about your other winners either!!

  32. LOL, this is why I love perfume fanatics. Inky dark, moody, and weird make them drool! I just sampled Le Labo’s Oud and found it quite interesting, but didn’t grab my heart like it sounds this one did for you. How would you compare them? I’d love to be in on the sample draw!

    • You know, I liked the Le labo Oud, but it just really didn’t register for me. I’d wear it happily. This one snuck up on me. At first, I just wasn’t sure, but as it dried down, it just melted on me. In a good way!

      • I LOVE Le Labo Oud (though it doesn’t smell like oud to me, natch)! I wear it a lot, and I get more compliments than I have ever gotten from a perfume before. This sounds quite different (and more oudy).

        • Now see, for me, that Le Labo was one nasty Oud (and not nasty in a good way), but I may need to pull out the sample again; maybe my sniffer was off.

          • Nah, it does smell a bit weird at first, but it’s GREAT on my skin, so I have come to love that!

  33. OMG, sounds…what can I say, to die for. Inky is such an interesting element in a frag. Plus the oud. Please enter me!

  34. Well I *do* love my Montales, and the Arabian ouds I’ve tried so far, no headaches or complaints for me so clearly this smidge needs to come home to the mother ship…

    Come home, darkness! Here where you belong!

    (Yes, darling Patty, please put me in the draw.)

  35. The fact that the price tag didn’t even make me blink worries me a little. Or not. Please, please enter me in the drawing. I think that I will wear Arabian Oud Prestige today for good luck.

  36. Would love to try this one, I usually like shrill screamy ouds but I’m always open to trying others. I just popped my swiss arabian cherry on an oud recently and I’m dying to try everything I can get my hands on 😉

  37. You make it sound like the perfume equivalent of hearing really good blues. Please enter me in the draw.

  38. Something about this actually frightens me, which is why I think I need to try it. Please enter me in the drawing.

    I admire the fact you’re willing to part with something you love this much. Not sure I could or would!

  39. Now you have me really interested! Please toss my name in the hat, would love to take that baby on a test drive.

  40. You have me fully intrigued. Please enter me in the draw.

  41. I would love to be included in the draw, please, Patty. We love ouds in our house. One bottle is usually fun for the whole family.

  42. Oh my, it’s so good to know such things are still being made:)
    It sounds like my kind of guy and I need to try it. Please count me in.

  43. For me to get near this one, it would have to be a giveaway. Killian is a case of, “if you have to ask, you can’t buy it anyway.”

  44. Are we really gonna get you out of the room you are sharing with that oud so you’ll come back and tell about others? Hmmm???? 😉 Glad to hear you are having such a successful scented summer. I think I might be like Tiara, holding back at the edge of the pool…but I’m willing to jump. Count me in!

    • No, i’m not coming out. 🙂 I’ve been keeping the box by my at all times. I’m going on a trip today and can’t take it with, but I’m taking some of it with!!!!

  45. I’d like to be entered, please! I’ve never tried oud. This sounds like a tasty one.:)

    I bought Fracas, thinking it was going to be the ultimate summer floral, but the heat kills it. Unfortunately it is so deliciously, sweetly crave-inducing that I’ll have the whole thing used up before the cooler weather sets in! So I’m still searching for a knock-my-socks-off summer scent. I think that’ll be next year’s project. This year has been all about exploration. 🙂

  46. Oh why didn’t I include this in my Perfumed Court order during the anniversary sale? I swore that was the last order for awhile due to budget . . . so please enter me in the drawing and maybe I’ll get lucky!

  47. “Dry ink, dusty, slightly musty, nestled into leather.” Why must you tempt me with such provocative phrases? My heart was beating a little faster just reading this 🙂

  48. Oh, please throw my name in! Like smy above, I just did my big TPC order during the sale, and am trying to be “better” about the perfume spending 🙂

  49. Is it the perfume? Or your evocative writing? Anyway, you make it sound irresistible. So I’d love to put my name in the draw. And I’m also dying to hear about the other perfumes you’ve fallen in love with–can’t wait.

  50. Oh, my! (fans self) You’ve described one burnin’ hunk of perfume! I’ve tried a bit of Black Aoud and have the tiniest sample of Amouage Homage – I’m ready to try Pure Aoud. Please enter me in the draw.

  51. Please enter me in the drawing. I feel as if I am opening Pandora’s Box and this will lead me down a dark, inky road to oud. Just what I need– another, different scented landscape.

  52. Sounds like a Kilian I could dig!! Please enter me in the drawing! Thanks:)

  53. Oh, do please enter me in the drawing! I’m too cheap to shell out to try it, but have been entranced by reviews. (And you are Part of the Problem!)

    Congrats on finding a HG. It’s been a while for me…

  54. Oh wow!! That sounds right up my alley! It would be worth saving up for. Thanks for your review.

  55. Whoa! You are generally enthusiastic, but I don’t think I have seen you gush like this in ages, Patty.

    Please count me in the drawing.


    • Well, yeah! I mean, I like/love a lot of things, but you have to really hit a new place for me to gush. I think they did that, and it’s tough to surprise me anymore.

  56. “Dry ink, dusty, slightly musty, nestled into leather.”

    That actually made my heart speed up – it makes me think of the pleasures of spending hours lost in the British National Library, surrounded be lovely old books.

    I would love to be entered in the drawing – although I’m terrified that it will make me lose my head and actually buy a full bottle.

  57. You sure know how to get a girl’s attention; I believe there’s some eyelash-fluttering and bosom-heaving going around! Please enter me in the draw.

  58. WOW! I haven’t seen this much perfume love in a long time. I am only familiar with the Montale ouds. I would so love to try this one. Thanks. Loved your review.


  59. That sounds amazing. Like Judith above, I love Le Labo Oud, but I haven’t been able to commit to a full-bottle purchase–I feel like I can’t until I’ve had a chance to smell some of the other swooned-over ouds out there. Please enter me in the drawing!

  60. SQUEEE!!! I love, love, LOVE oud based perfumes! And this sounds so far up my alley in terms of notes that I swear I could almost smell it from your description.

    So please, pretty please, enter me in this draw! 😀


  61. I’ve been loving my ouds from TPC so I’m really curious about trying this one. Please enter me!

  62. Ohhhhh yessssss…a mean n’ moody oud sounds right up my street. PLEASE enter me in the drawing!

  63. Sounds excellent; I love oud perfumes. Please enter me too.

  64. Me too! Me too. Thought I loved the one by Trish McEvoy, but this sounds like the real deal.

  65. Wearing Golden Oud right now…I also loved Trish McEvoy Precious Oud, but it’s too pricey, as is this one! I sitll want to try it, though. Please enter me!!

  66. Please enter me in the drawing. Would love to try a non-Montale oud! Thanks!

  67. Wow. Totally fascinating to watch all you oud-and-leather freaks, I mean Sophisticated Perfumistas, come out of the woodwork. I don’t do Moody and Difficult, myself, and am a wee bit jealous of those of you who do. Dark and Mysterious I like, but not Moody. (The only ouds I’ve tried have been Montale’s Oud Queen Roses and Aoud Roses Petals, which were pretty much big “get me out of the doghouse”-size bouquets of roses, following a ten-minute opening of Permanent Marker and Bandaids. Not what I was expecting, but nice… and like I said, difficult perfume just makes me cranky, so no need to enter me in the drawing.

    Maybe I’ll just *aspire* to Moody and Difficult.

  68. Oud is amazing, done well. Please enter me in the drawing.

  69. I would love to be in the drawing. I have only tried Montale Ouds, so this would be a nice (and very pricey) comparison. Thanks.

  70. I would love to be in the drawing. With a review like yours how could one resist? Bring it on! I’m looking for an earth-shaking sniff. Speaking of earth shaking, last Monday there were 4 small earthquakes in the span of 10 minutes here in San Francisco. Such a spooky thrilling feeling. Hopefully, this Oud will do similar things….

  71. I’m gonna have to find me a sample!

    Drawing, please.

  72. Pleeeeze let us have some of The Preciousss…Please?

  73. I own Straight to Heaven and have been singing its praises for two years. I’d love to sample Pure Oud. Please enter me in the drawing, Patty. I hope I’m not too late 🙂

  74. Sounds like a perfumista must-try although the price does give one pause…. My By Kilian choice to date has been Taste of Heaven, the lavender one.

  75. I bought Czech & Speake Dark Rose and it smells like a slightly lighter version of Montale’s Black Aoud – hmm, wish I had ordered C&S “Cuba” instead!

  76. I have a fairly large sample of this scent and it is really nice. Its smooth and dusty and has an amazing warmth to it. For those people scared to purchase it with that price. I highly recommend Montales Original Aoud. It is exactly the same scent but lasts waaaay longer than Kilian’s Pure Oud and has a smoother dry-down because it doesn’t have that sharp saffron note in it that a lot of people do not like. I highly recommend people getting a sample of it from TPC and see what they think. Its ingredient list is only Pure Cambodian Oud and I think this is one of Montales sleeper scents. You honestly cannot tell the difference between the two scent with the exception of the saffron note in Kilians version which I am not the biggest fan of.

  77. Goodness, now I MUST try this! For this Arab boy, it simply sounds too good! If the draw is still open, PLEASE count me in!!!

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