I had a different review written up for today, a tongue-in-cheek piece spoofing Serge Lutens, which I’ve now decided is stupid and wrong and not funny at all, like reading the Tiger Mother try to explain (as she did in a local reading) that to some degree she was just funnin’ about her parenting creed. You know, sorta like reading David Sedaris. Heh heh. And no, the local audience of peasant-liberals, wielding their hand-knit, locally sourced, eco-friendly pitchforks weren’t buying her line of defense any more than I am.
Which brings us to the scent of the week, and today’s review, L’Artisan Al Oudh, which thanks to Lee I never fail to think of as “‘You Can Call Me Al’ Oudh,” complete with Paul Simon’s voice and that nose-flute-thingy tootling along in the background. (Damn you, Lee! I miss you.) Notes via LuckyScent are cumin, cardamom, pink pepper, date, rose, neroli, incense, saffron, leather note, oud, Atlas cedar, castoreum, civet, sandalwood, patchouli, myrrh, vanilla and tonka bean.
My recollection of the arrival of Al Oudh among the perfumistas was: a big, fat yawn, as hardcore oudh fans aren’t going to find what they’re looking for here. And also, that as it dries down, it’s a kinda generic man-scent smell. Also, oudh is apparently the new lychee/pink pepper/martini – Robin pronounced 2009 as the “year of oudh” in her review of this thing a year ago, and I’d say 2010 continued the trend, and 2011 … isn’t every third review on a perfume blog now stocked with the word “oudh?” Personally I find that odd, as (personally) I find oudh’s somewhat medicinal smell, and its frequent pairing with a shovelful of rose, not exactly universally appealing.
The weather’s crummy and we continue Blahfest 2011, The Boxed Set in 3-D over here at my house – a deadly concoction of snow-days off from school, too many rugrats (who had all these children?!) and the usual work/life drama… it’s the perfect time to continue March the Maleficent’s current theme of Scents With Too Much Cumin, in no small part because it keeps the other inmates far, far away from me.
How did I miss all that cumin in Call Me Al Oudh? I have no idea. I also have no idea how I’ve managed to fall in love, or at least serious like, with yet another scent by my faithful nemesis Bertrand Duchaufour – to the extent that I am concerned I have dropped into an alternate universe, or sustained some sort of nasal damage. How can people not love this thing? I get spicy, peppery incense, a truckload of cumin, saffron (! love love love!), some leathery vanilla, and a nice dollop of …. uh, wow, whut is that — ahahahahahaha the civet, and it goes on that way all day without either getting boring or starting to work my last nerve, the way, say, Navigateur does sometimes. Al Oudh is to oudh as Traversee du Bosphore is to Turkish delight, and I’m fine with that. Also, those two smell great side by side (not precisely layered – I put one on the left arm and the other on the right.) The creamy sweetness of Bosphore and the animalic funk of Al Oudh suit each other perfectly, a match made in perfumista heaven, at least for me, this week.
sample source: private sample; bottle image from L’Artisan website. The bottle’s gorgeous, but I still miss their old-style caps. I think those big bolt-looking caps are so inelegant.