Le Labo Oud 27 and …

(Pic from Wiki)

A few weeks ago, I thought “I need to sample some oud fragrances”. I don’t own any and oud had come up somewhere and vaguely in something I had sampled. I find I like that odd, band-aid aspect. Looked up some stuff and somehow ended up ordering samples of Le Labo Oud 27 off eBay. I think I chose that because I was actually able to find some samples fairly easily.

In any case, it’s not ‘my’ oud. Let’s just say that straight off. It does not have that band-aid thing. In fact, it reminds me of those boxes I used to buy from tourist shops on family holidays down south in the US which I think were made of cedar that had carved tops and a weird, slightly musty odour inside. That’s what I get with Oud 27: a bit metallic, something slightly damp smelling, new cut wood. Notes include agarwood, Atlas cedar, incense, patchouli, black pepper, saffron and gaiac (plus 20 more, given Le Labo tell you how many notes you are getting).

As it opened up I got musky metallic woods. Slightly synthetic as in laundry detergent, which I find odd because I’ve never gotten something like that from a Le Labo.

I like Le Labo as a house. I own Patchouli 24 and Ylang 49 in the 15 ml bottles (I love that you can buy smaller sized bottles). Alas, like the iris and tea scents, Oud 27 doesn’t do it for me. So, onward in looking for ‘my’ oud perfume. Any suggestions for really oud smelling ouds would be much appreciated.

Change of focus to what music YouTube decided I should be listening to.

I like YouTube mostly for music videos. If I don’t feel like going the way of a whole album, YouTube helps.

But I noticed a month or so ago that YouTube’s algorithm was offering me some surprising (to me, given what I tended to search for) music that has actually really caught my fancy.

Mostly, YouTube thinks I should be listening to the band Chicago (originally Chicago Transit Authority), but only early stuff. It tosses up videos from the 1970s.

Let me start by saying that when Chicago was at its musical apex I wasn’t interested in them. You don’t want to know what I was listening to in the ‘70s.

But, thanks to the algorithm I now get to appreciate how good they were (maybe they still are, but my interest focuses on the short period of Terry Kath on vocals and guitar – ie, 1967-78). I love that they have a horn section and had three different lead singers with very different voices.

I now cycle through a concert at Tanglewood in Massachusetts – Make Me Smile, I’m a Man and 25 or 6 to 4. They were a rock band that wasn’t really a rock band, offering good songs but more great vocals and nuanced, interesting arrangements.

So, was Chicago ever a band you listened to? If yes, favourite songs? If no, anything you love from that period?

  • Sylvia says:

    I’ve had to look them up. Turns out I know and like Chicago’s songs, even tough I never really sought them out.

    As for oud, I’m not into oud heavy fragrances at all. I like it as a note in Oudh Osmanthus, Oud for Love, Oud Shamash and Ottoman Empire III. I have a sample of Oud 27 somewhere, but wasn’t tempted to try it. The metallic note you describe worries me.

  • Dina C. says:

    I don’t like oud so far in any scents, so I’m no help to you there, I’m afraid. It’s too pungent to me. Something about that smell is a “no” at least up till now. However, my husband and I love Chicago’s music! A lot of their music was arranged for school bands to play, and since Tim was a drummer & percussionist and I was a flautist, we each had experience playing some of those songs. I specifically remember “25 or 6 to 4.” I also remember once going to an amusement park where a cover band performed a whole set of Chicago numbers. I think that was the best part of the day. We just kept smiling and singing along.

    • cinnamon says:

      I loved going to rural carnivals in the ’70s. The music on the rides was awesome and the vibe was just so good.

  • AnnieA says:

    The only ouds I actually bought were Jo Malone Velvet Rose and Oud and Yves Rocher Rose Oud. I usually find rose a bit sour on me but Oud sorts that out

    In high school our band played Chicago and I got to be part of the beefy horn section. Chicagovitch made me laugh! Will have to listen

    • cinnamon says:

      Oh, I can imagine it being great to be in a high school band horn section and playing Chicago songs. I played flute. We never got to do the fun stuff.

  • March says:

    Hm, oud I appreciate as a note, but it’s never really been my thing … I remember years ago when oud appeared to be having “a moment” and was headed for a less niche audience and I thought, ain’t gonna happen, oud is too weird! And I was wrong lol. Chicago I appreciate on the radio (they’re on all the time on oldies stations) and their talents, but I think they still register as mostly ambient/car radio music to me, which is how I first heard them.

    • cinnamon says:

      Yes, I wonder if back then I thought they were too mellow. But now some of the early songs really do it for me.

  • Portia says:

    Hey Cinnamon,
    Jin’s car is tuned to an easy listening radio station so all that stuff comes up regularly. It washes over me.
    Oudh though! I love it. The great last base note hope of the 21st century after everything else has been regulated out of the bottle. My faves are L’Artisan Al Oudh, Dior Leather Oud and Oud Ispahan, Montale Aoud Cuir d’Arabie, JHaG Midnight Oud, Abdes Salaam Attars: Oud Caravan No 3, and Mancera The Aoud. I’m sure there are more bottles here but they are the ones I can think of.
    Portia xx

    • cinnamon says:

      Ok. I think to try any/all of those I’m going to need that visit to London — to Harrods, Liberty, etc, to find things in one place. All kinds of weird and wonderful songs used to pop up on my car radio when I drove back from work in the early noughties. it would particularly make my night when Richard Ashcroft’s Check the Meaning would come on.

  • JB says:

    I am a huge Chicago fan and discovered this Russian cover band called “Leonid and Friends” that I have to say, “out-Chicagos” Chicago. They have managed to not only capture the technical perfection but also the amazing spirit and energy of the band. They even call their albums “Chicagovich” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kQ1llzPiB4&list=PL4OuH6yaVahQYGk32Xzq2PBj1N3ulNjXi&index=15

  • ElizaC says:

    “Does anybody really know what time it is?” Definitely part of the 70s soundtrack :). There is a video of Casey and the Sunshine Band playing live in Holland – the bedazzled suits and the amazing horn section gives me great joy! I also love, love, love the Isley Brothers and their cover of Summer Breeze. About ten years ago, I first heard Gil Scott-Heron – very political and very beautiful songs that were also part of the 70s.

    • cinnamon says:

      Agree that song was ubiquitous. It’s not one of the ones that YouTube thinks I should listen to and I appreciate its discernment as I find it a bit maudlin. Gil Scott-Heron — there is so much from that time period I need to revisit.

  • Alityke says:

    Chicago weren’t on my radar in the 70 but I bet my bottom dollar if I heard some tracks from back then I’d know the words! No idea why I last went in the kitchen but EVERY DAMN TRACK I hear from the 70s & 80s I know all the lyrics!

    Oud? Not my note I’m afraid. Medicinal notes make me smile but that’s more to do with my former career than wanting to smell of them voluntarily

  • Tara C says:

    I loved Chicago and saw them in concert in the San Francisco Bay Area years ago. Fun times!

    Oud, on the other hand, is not my friend. If there is a small amount and it’s well hidden okay, but major oud scents are a no.

    • cinnamon says:

      I would imagine they must have been great live back then. I love looking at what they all wear in the videos. Memories …