Oud, Rich Oud

Sorry this is late today, I forgot to set it to Publish! 

I had planned on talking about DKNY Men today, but, bleah.  Typical men’s cologne, and I don’t really have anything bad to say about it, but I don’t have anything good either.  It just smells like everything else.

Is anyone else a Geek Girl like me and has their tickets for The Watchmen on opening day, March 6?  If so, you can share your showtime with me in comments – major love for anyone that’s doing a midnight showing.  It’s my most anticipated movie this year, along with The Soloist, with yummy Robert Downey Jr who seems to get ridiculously more good looking every time I see him, and Sunshine Cleaning Company.

Instead of DKNY Men, I’m plunging into the more difficult area of perfume to describe, and that’s ouds.  Ouds tend to smell somewhat the same. They’re oudish and usually have some rose or vanilla or jasmine or all of the above.  Calling them dark and exotic is the starting point for all oud reviews.  If you like ouds, you can almost not go wrong with any of them.  If you only like a few ouds, then I have the one for you.

Arabian Oud Shah Gold is the women’s side of a dual perfume experience, and my favorite of the two.  The set is ridiculously expensive, but like most oud oils, you really do need just a drop to perfume you mightily. so on a cost per drop basis, it’s only very slightly less costly.  Now, Shah Gold is the one I briefly mentioned in our Paris adventures that Shirley put on, and we all kept burying our noses in her neck.  It has notes of 1,000 flowers, jasmine, myrrh, white musk, cardamon, sandalwood, cedarwood.  I’ve never been quite sure what 1,000 flowers is exactly, but I suspect it’s the perky floral note you get on the open that’s very bright and lends a sunny aura to all those other notes.  The incense, woods and spices are really perfectly balance in this so your nose can smell all those aspects, but none of them overpower the other.  Mahmoud told us when we were there that traditionally they way you are supposed to perfume yourself is you start with incense and you hold your robes over it and let the incense smoke permeate your clothes.  Then you use several different oud oils so when people smell you, you will never smell like just one thing, you will always smell unique and richly fragrant.  I can tell you absolutely that when we came out of Arabian Oud, we must have stunk to high heaven, but in a good way.  Shah Gold is the best single oud oil that captures that profusion of smells.  The drydown is so mellow and slightly florally sweet, with just enough oud sharpness so you remember it’s an oud, I’d love to have this smell all over my pillow every night. It’s become my favorite oud oil ever, and I guard jealouslyl the teensy drops of it that I have.  For those of you who want that very sharp, distinct oud scent, this one isn’t the one for you.

  • Miami Mark says:

    Saw Watchmen last night at midnight.
    I liked it a lot and think Zach Snyder did an incredible job at getting a lot of the graphic novel up there on the screen.
    My only slight complaint is there is one critical scene towards the end of the movie that fell very flat for me and took a lot of the air out of the movie before picking back up to the end.
    It is definitely worth seeing on an IMAX screen as there is so much stuff to see in the background it is going to take at least one more viewing to pick up most of it.

  • Elle says:

    That oud sounds fantastic! High on my list of things to do post imaginary lottery win is to hit Arabian Aoud and satisfy all of my oud cravings. Love the stuff!
    I am tragically out of it when it comes to movies. 🙁 Hadn’t even heard of The Watchmen, but I have heard of The Soloist and if I *ever* get my derriere out to a movie again, that will be the one I am going to go see. Have the *hugest* crush on Robert Downey Jr.

  • Tania says:

    I haven’t spent much time in the Arabian Oud shop – I’ve never been there when I had much money to spend, and I’d feel bad if they wasted their hospitality on a broke person. So I’ve never actually gotten to the oils. (But I was there last time they had a sale on, and got a bottle of Woody. Silly name, nice perfume! Apparently the block of wood it comes in is agarwood).

    Anyway, Shah Gold sounds lovely. I must go back some time when I’m feeling flush! So, when you say it’s expensive, what kind of number are we talking? /:) And it’s part of a set, so you have to buy both oils, I guess? What’s the other one like?

    As for Watchmen, I don’t have tickets yet, but I’m definitely going! I only hope they did it proud. The trailers look good, so, fingers crossed.
    And on a shallower note, have you seen Jeffrey Dean Morgan in his Comedian costume? Damn….. Denny looks gooood in leather…. 😉

  • Vasily says:

    I have tried about a dozen pure oud oils (from Oriscent) at this time. Although they do indeed smell “somewhat the same”, so do fine brandies or tequilas … as one gains more experience with them, one comes to appreciate the differences (just as with fine liquors).

    Some ouds – particularly the Assams and some Chinese – smell strongly of the barnyard, and I find those repulsive and unwearable. Others are strongly medicinal, at least in the top notes, but mellow down nicely over time. I find I’m partial to the ouds of Borneo, New Guinea, and Malaysia. Notes I’ve found in ouds include: cedar, beeswax, nutty, tomato, plums, caramel, hay, cinnamon, sandalwood, rose. At present I own some samples, and a single 3ml flacon of a great Borneo oud. There are a couple of other Borneo/Malaysian ouds I have my eye on, at present.

    They’re challenging and outrageously expensive, but well worth the effort. I certainly wouldn’t invest hundreds of dollars in an oud without knowing something about ouds in general and that specific oud first.

  • Pantera Lilly says:

    So this oud is only available in London? I have a friend at work that has been to the Arabian Oud store in London and visited, I am so jealous, if she goes to London again, which she does, I will ask for a sample! This just sounds lovely.

  • March says:

    Duh. I got all worried, all I needed to do was go look in the post management. :”>

  • violetnoir says:

    Hello there! I hope I made it on this time.

    Patty, the Oud Shah Gold you described sounds delicious! Enjoy your remaining drops!


  • Disteza says:

    Real oudhs…le sigh. If only they were easier to ways to sample them, I’m sure I’d have enough to layer them with abandon like you’re *supposed* to. I finally caved last year and started burning agar chips–now THERE’S some potent stuff. I can totally make my clothes, my cat, my cell phone completely smell like burning resinous wood, and love every minute of it as long as it doesn’t set off the fire alarms.

  • Lee says:

    Real oud is awesome. A little too awesome for little old me.

    Funnily enough, I’ve just spent 3 days working in the hometown of Alan Moore, creator of Watchmen, though I didn’t spot his bearded presence wandering round that run-down, post-industrially bleak, town / city / conurbation. I’m psyched for the film too. You and me :Patty – we have our geek going on!

  • Olfacta says:

    Sounds up my alley…next time I’m in Paris…

    I tried the less expensive ouds and hated their medicinal aspect. Then someone quite expert told me that they are synthetic, and smell nothing like real aoud oils. It sounds like you got the authentic kind. Someday…(sighs)

    When it comes to things like scent and hospitality, the Arabs have got it going on!

    • Louise says:

      The Paris and London stores are owned by the same company; they also have a website with great CS!

  • Louise says:

    I innocently walked into the Arabian Oud shop in London a summer ago, and ended up spending most of an afternoon.

    The hospitality was amazing, replete with strong coffee and stuffed dates. The manager introduced me to many blends and pure oud oils, as well as the scent of various buring oud chips.

    I walked out with two rose/saffron/floral/oud blends, and have since ordered 2 more.

    This fragrance sounds delightful. Watch out summer 2009-I’m up for more @};-