Ex Idolo 33

The road into the village flooded yet again. I think that was number 20. Then, we had gales for three days running early last week (and we’re due gales again tomorrow). There are two huge potholes on the crossroads into the village which I reported to the highway department (which responded that they are too big to simply fill and will require that part of the road to be completely redone – which will happen … at some point in the future). I know I talk endlessly about the weather but it is such a big deal here – it’s hard to get away from it.

The T and D keys on my MacBook have both come loose. Anyone who uses Apple products had this experience? If yes, what should I do? The machine is seven years old and works fine otherwise. A new keyboard is around £300 and I can’t yet get my head round doing that.


We’re doing Ex Idolo 33 today.

This is a sort-of-but-not-really new-to-me house. Not really because it has popped up over and over fairly frequently in the past few years and I just haven’t paid attention.

Why now? You ask. Well, after faffing with the Dior recently, for unknown reasons my brain returned to contemplating an oud fragrance that could be mine.

This brain blip has popped up on and off over probably the past five years and I have not yet encountered an oud I totally love.

I actually really like the Band-Aid aspect that some people dislike regarding oud, so I was looking for something where that was reasonably prominent. Other than that, I didn’t have particular needs – ie, it could be a floral oud, a stanky oud, etc – you get the picture.

I have tried a fair number of things and dismissed all of them. I can’t even remember which ones they made such meh impressions.

I can’t now recall how I ended up putting 33 on the sample list – maybe simply from a google search of oud fragrances.

But one of my usual sample haunts offers it so there you go.

I don’t generally check The Guide any more to see if there’s a review but did for this and boy, is Luca Turin fulsome. He’s snarky, but totally down with this.

Ex Idolo is weird. I need to say this. The website is basically useless. You can’t buy perfume or samples from it (unless I’m really missing something) – ie, it’s something of a place holder, I guess, telling you about the perfumes.

It does offer a list of places that do sell the perfumes … but, it is out of date. Who knows when someone actually last looked at it and thought about updating.

Thankfully, at least one of the places in the UK was still accurate.

So, my sample arrived … and because I’ve tried a lot of ouds over the years that simply didn’t do it for me my expectations were quite low.

Mistake. Big mistake (like the Julia Roberts character says in the film Pretty Woman during her shopping spree – I love that scene).

All in, this is as gorgeous as LT makes it out to be.

Released in 2013, notes include caoutchouc (‘natural rubber that has not been vulcanized*’), black pepper, mandarin, rose, Taif Rose, metallic notes, white tea, Iris, agarwood (oud), patchouli and heliotrope (I wasn’t sure what heliotrope smelled like so looked it up – per the Society of Scent, it’s “a warm delicate powdery floral with vanilla and marzipan notes and a trove of spicy licorice” … ok).

It opens smelling of wine lees on me – ie, the stuff left in the oak barrels after the wine is bottled – and develops into a lees/rose smell: a jammy, slightly sour (the oud?), slightly metallic rose. Clearly, there’s no grape in the notes list so is this the caoutchouc, I wonder…

As things heat up, we’re into tea and oud but not my Band-Aid oud. Rather, that slightly sour but not unpleasant wood fragrance. Maybe a bit of powdery iris as well.

This is long-lasting on me (like hours and hours) and on one of the days I wore it, just as I was on the edge of sleep, I caught a whiff of this gorgeous, clear, jammy rose – a smell so perfect I came wide awake. I think this is rose/patchouli maybe modified a bit by the heliotrope? In any case it’s glorious.

33 comes in 50 and 30ml sizes and here I found those for £145 and £115, respectively.

The house offers three other fragrances which I will buy in samples when they come back into stock (why not open a bottle for samples – I don’t get it). Two of the other perfumes are worth trying just for the names, IMHO: Love and Crime and Lucid Dream.

Will this go on the buy list? No. It’s beautiful but it doesn’t make my heart go pitter-pat – and as we know, particularly given current perfume prices, I need some serious pitter-pat to get out the credit card.

Anyone done the Ex Idolos? It seems to be quite widely available for a house which chooses to be rather obscure.

*vulcanized means hardened by a process

Pics: Pexels and mine

  • Portia says:

    OOOHHHH! This sounds really good Cinnamon. I do love oud. Especially if its done without too much confrontationalism (yes, I invented a word)
    I also love that Pretty Woman scene.
    Portia xx

    • cinnamon says:

      It is well worth a look, Portia (nice new word). The others sound interesting too. And, as ever, I appreciate the smaller bottle size.

  • March says:

    This sounds wonderful although not “me” — but everything doesn’t have to be me, that’s the joy of fragrance. Sorry about your weather struggles! The pollen is fierce here right now but if the wind settles down I’ll be outside more, enjoying the flowering trees.

    • cinnamon says:

      I wonder if one of the others might suit you better. As soon as they come back into stock as samples I’ll be there with the CC. Yeah, pollen. And the wind. We’re in sort of March hybrid weather rather than mid-April. I need to ask one of my neighbours if I can cut a lilac bloom from his tree out front for the kitchen.

  • Dina C. says:

    First off, so sorry about the gales and the potholes. They both sound miserable. I hope the potholes get repaired quickly. Ex Idolo 33 sounds like a real winner for you! I haven’t sniffed any of their offerings. Oud is a note that I can’t really tolerate, so I feel like I’m missing out on something good. Enjoy the rest of your sample!

    • cinnamon says:

      Thank you. The council/highway department seems to fix small, deep holes but not broad shallow ones, like we have at the crossroads. Maybe have a look at the other Ex Idolos… If 33 is any indication the non-oud ones might be good.

  • Tom says:

    I seem to remember trying this at ScentBar back in the day and liking it. But I think it was one of the many times I was at sixes and sevens and never purchased. I see LuckyScent lists it still so maybe I’ll give it a whirl.

    Are the keys popping off? 300 pounds for a new keyboard is ludicrous- Push comes to shove I’d spend $15 on a USB keyboard and mouse and live with it until I could justify a new computer.

    Weather is what weather is. But when it’s making potholes that could swallow your car (or even just your ankle) it’s an issue worth discussion. Heck, we’ve only gotten a modicum of rain compared to the rest of the world and trees are toppling over and buildings sliding down hills. Cross fingers not in my neighborhood..

    • cinnamon says:

      Definitely worth a go. The opening and the dry-down are stellar — the rest is pretty good too 🙂

      Tom, you are a star! Why did I not think of that keyboard work-around??? Silly me.

      • Tom says:

        For a hundred I’d bet you could get a USB hub and a 22″ monitor as well and just use the laptop as a base station.

  • Tati says:

    Ex Idolo 33 is one of my all time favorites. It is for nights when you want to feel special. I wore it for dates with my now-husband. Six months later we were married. Not saying it was the perfume, but….