Didn’t see that one Coming

armpits-smellI’ve been staring at the sweaty armpit that’s on my finger for the last 30 minutes trying to figure out what the hell happened and will it ever turn into something besides a body builder’s hair armpit fresh from the gym and how did I miss seeing that.

Okay, Sven just backed up a little bit.  This from?  L’Artisan?  When I heard they were doing an oud, I sorta skipped over the “Duchafour is going to do it” part because, you know, it’s L’Artisan. I love a lot of their concoctions, but they tend not to ever get near the locker room.  Dzing may be elephant butts, but they’re like cartoon elephant butts that only seem like they smell bad, but only in that wierd squiggly line way in the word bubble by their heads. This in my head was going to be an oud that was more in the Candy Ass variety – â„¢ via March – like Micallefs, which I love, but really have no bite to them.  No way was I expecting a cumin-fest on the open.  And we can’t talk about what I went through image googling for sweaty armpit.  Who actually puts a picture of their butt with writing across it on the internet to be indexed by Google Images?

Let’s examine the evidence that Patty ignored about L’Artisan Al Oudh.  Notes are Cumin, cardamom, pink pepper, date, rose, neroli, incense, saffron, leather note, oud, Atlas cedar, castoreum, civet, sandalwood, patchouli, myrrh, vanilla and tonka bean.

This is a cumin factory Serge would be proud of.  Do I have anything else to say about it? Nope!  I have no idea if I like it or not.  Sweating Sven only backed away so I could breathe, but he’s still filling all my airspace with the results of his 20-mile run. At this point, I think it’s me.  My nose is getting some other notes, but I can’t even concentrate on them at all, and I’m going to just label it shock and take another stab at it another day.  I wish I were a little more coherent on this, but that’s all I’m getting.

Winners of the Teensy amouage Tribute Attar samples:  zeezee and Maha.  Just click on the contact us on the left, remind me what I’m sending you, and include your address!

  • anis says:

    Hmmmm… I need to retry this. To me it smelled rather too much like MKK (unwashed hair and body) with a dash of Dzing thrown in the mix — can’t remember smelling any cumin. Which I love, by the way, in food AND in fragrance 🙂

  • hongkongmom says:

    congrats zeezee and maha:)
    the armpit hasn’t arrived here, but i smelled mkk for the 1st time and woah..there is lots of armpitskank there…it is cumin?
    hong kong asian market is barely there..or fruity floral…its possible the vietnamese/thai market could be differentr!!

    • Amongst the Al Oudh fans, I had: one Vietnamese girl, two young Chinese women (both from mainland China), and a Thai man. One of the young Chinese women also fell in love with Amaranthine, Le Parfum de Thérèse and vintage Shocking. This is leading me to reconsider all my preconceptions about the Asian market: they might be more forward (after all, they came to a perfumery course), but they may also be the trendsetters…

  • I thought the Asian market liked barely-there fragrances?
    A while ago I complained about the popularity of fruity-florals. Now we are squashed beneath the Sven/elephant butt while our noses are rubbed in cumin. I’m sorry, fruity-florals, you got even and won. I give up. I never thought perfume Should make me smell like the D.C. Metro at rush hour. In July. With the air conditioning off.

  • carmencanada says:

    This is really flying off the shelves at L’Artisan’s Paris flagship store… In fact, they’ve literally run out of bottles. And in my London College of Fashion perfume class, a Frenchman and a Thai man said they were getting it, as well as two young Chinese women and one Vietnamese girl, for their boyfriends. They were quite frisky about it!
    So clearly, al Oudh’s cumin and civet fest is seducing the Middle-east and Asia. I don’t think it was ever really intended for Americans… I love it.

  • Tara C says:

    Al Oudh was only slightly less dire than Serge Noire on me… way, way too much cumin for my taste.

  • tmp00 says:

    Can’t wait to try this one…

  • Musette says:

    I think LydiaoLydia chatted about this yesterday @ Barn’s but I wasn’t really listening, as I was trying to figure out the Stephen Jones (man, that stuff is weird). Had I known we would be discussing gorgeous armpits and elephant butts I would’ve paid more attention!

    That’s a lovely armpit up there, btw.

    xoxoxo >-)

  • Jared says:

    I tried this one a few days ago and was likewise surprised at what I smelled. I definitely didn’t expect something like that coming out of a L’Artisan bottle. But, all the same, I was delighted since this is my kind of thing anyway. The combination of oud and leather still gives me a bit of trouble, and I can smell it in this one, too. I believe I smelled the same sort of oud-leather-spice combo in Amouage’s Epic Man. Al Aoud is at least bearable, and that doesn’t come until the drywdown anyway. What this reminds me a lot of, too, is The Different Company’s Rose Poivree (even in its current cleaned-up incarnation). The rose-cumin-cedar combo has that sweaty aura about it in both! I can’t decide if I want this yet, but hey, it certainly has my nose to my wrist constantly in a combination of shock and curiosity.

  • Lee says:

    Mentioning Sven reminds of of when Stephen Fry guest-hosted venerable British radio institution ‘I’m Sorry I haven’t a Clue’. Normally, the handy helper is Samantha and there is always innuendo about why she is leaving the ‘game’ before its end – a la

    “Samantha has to nip out now with her new gentleman friend. Apparently, they’ve been working on the restoration of an old chest of drawers. Samantha is in charge of polishing, while he scrapes the varnish and wax off next to her.”

    “Samantha nearly made it – she’s been detained at the last minute in the city’s Latin quarter. An Italian gentleman friend has promised to take her out for an ice-cream, and she likes nothing better than to spend an evening licking the nuts off a large Neapolitan.”

    The Sven jokes were equally laden with salacious innuendo. – He had the builders in; asking if they wanted anything: “But no matter how many times they ask for cheese and gourmet chutney, he always palms them off with relish.”

    If Al Aoud lives up to this level of smut, I’m in!

  • March says:

    Hi, please enter me in the draw for Sven. I have a position for him to fill.

  • Graham says:

    I got as far as “Dzing may be elephant butts, but they’re like cartoon elephant butts that only seem like they smell bad” and was just “no more good”, as they say…. Samp of this one on the way… I tend to dig the cumin-y, sweaty ‘fumes, so I’m curious to see what this turns out to be like!=))

  • Disteza says:

    Yup, this one and the Daphne Guiness thing AT THE SAME TIME will be my next perfume trial. Have already ordered the samps, now I just need some innocent bystanders upon which I can inflict this #-o .

  • KristaJ says:

    I sniffed it on paper the other day but couldn’t bring myself to put it on skin. I was really looking forward to it too, the notes sounds so amazing. But when I lifted the paper to my nose, all I could think was “OH STRONG! Strong! Still Strong!” It was like 50 different very masculine fragrances all blended together and fighting for control. I just thought “No, that’s for a big manly guy.” Apparently his name is Sven.

    I’d be interested to hear if the dry-down calms it down a bit.

  • perfumegeek says:

    LOL! I think I just ordered a free sample of Sweaty Sven with my FB purchase, along with Juliette Has A Gun Midnight Oud for comparison. I’ll make sure to lock the doors and put the cat away before sniffing it.

  • Fiordiligi says:

    Crikey! You were brave to try and Google that photo. I am sure you found scarier things that the perfume you were testing!

    It sounds quite unpleasant, I must say, even though I like skank as much as the next person. I just think that these days cumin is over-used to try and achieve the effect originally achieved by the use of proper musk, civet, castoreum etc. It just doesn’t work (I give you modern Femme which I don’t like at all, whereas I adore the vintage).

    Thank you for the giggles!

  • Louise says:

    Huh. I didn’t see that coming either. The notes sound very nice, and I like cumin as much as the next sweat-hog, but this may be too much even for me. I wonder if the whole thing is as fleeting as most L’Artisans…that might be a good thing in this case.

    I do like my ouds, though, and think I’ll need to sample this one myself:d/

    Oh, and any word on the CSP ouds Nava reviewed a few months back? I remember one that she dabbed me with, very nice indeed 🙂

    Happy Monday ! Gurumph b-(

  • Vasily says:

    Oddly enough, I just tried today the sample of L’Artisan Al Oudh that arrived the other day. I found the oudh they’re using is a moderately medicinal variety, not pure barnyard like some of the funky Assams I’ve tried. My notes from last year on one Assam read: “strong barnyard top – foul – can’t wear this”. P.U.! By comparison, the L’Artisan variety seemed positively tame. Kind of like downing a shot of Johnny Walker Red after a shot of Laphroaig, I suppose. I got more oudh than cumin, but I agree it’s going to take a few wearings for me to pick it apart.