Sublime Indonesian oud with a worldwide perspective. Formulated in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn with North African papyrus, Afghani saffron, and Bulgarian rose.
Oud is the most notorious ingredient in perfume. Everyone seems to have an opinion about it. Real oud oil is the most expensive perfume ingredient on the planet. Rare logs from the jungles of South East Asia are guarded by the government–theft penalized by death! Whole logs of Aquilaria that have been infected with the black resin can sell for millions. Oud is the stuff of fables—now endangered from overharvesting.
Aromatically, oud is among the most varied and complex oils on the planet. Depending on location, age, and method of extraction oud can display countless shimmering effects that appear at once woody, spicy, floral, smoky, rooty, musky, fine, fecal, and animalic. The hunt for rare ouds to be prized and worn directly on the skin is a little different than the making oud perfumes.
Oud perfume, like most modern perfumes, seek to take inspiration from studies of oils that could never be mass produced (for regulatory, environmental, artistic and economic considerations). The magic of the perfumer’s touch is his or her ability to reconstruct specific aromas with other materials.
Notorious Oud is me sitting in Brooklyn, thinking about a rare Indonesian Oud that I procured.
Thinking what would make its essence sing and grow from a single oil into a transcendent perfume. I took fine materials from all over the world–Bulgarian Rose, French Lavender, Egyptian Papyrus, and Afghani saffron—and built a support structure around this wonderfully complex oud accord. Oud that wears easy and beautiful.-D.S.
Alcohol denat., parfum (fragrance), aqua (water), benzyl alcohol, benzyl benzoate, cinnamal, cinnamyl alcohol, citral, citronellol, coumarin, eugenol, farnesol, geraniol, limonene, linalool
When our fume master David creates our fragrances, he sees them in color. The throw of a particular aroma can be described in the colors it implies in the mind of one with synethesia. Vetyer can smell straw like yellow, patchouli, deep red, and so on. David is very enthusiastic about translating an idea from one discipline to another—so music, words, and ultimately color become aromas to wear on skin and in sanctuary.
Oud is a resin that is formed in the aquilaria species when the tree is infected with a specific kind of mold. Very little real oud is produced and it can go for staggering sums of money (as much as $100,000 USD per kilogram). As such, many things labeled “oud” are recreated—not such a bad thing for a perfumer, as it highlights one the core purposes of our industry —to copy, redesign, and expand upon a natural material. Using a raw material (“musk,” “amber,” “oud”) as a starting point for a fragrance is probably the most basic inspiration to a perfumer. Oud is a complex scent that does not have too many analogues in other natural materials. It smells of aged wood, camphor-mint, and not-quite-rotten milk, with nuances of flowers, spices and fruit. It has an underlying richness that is musky, woody, and penetrating; a folksong from the East that we continue to rework.
I only use synthetic reconstitutions for ethical reasons. The real stuff is scraped from a tortured mongoose’s nether regions. Our reconstructions have all the fecal power that lend richness and beauty to flowers, amber, ouds and the like. Disgusting in small doses but has its own beauty.
A beguiling spice that smells like nothing else. Woody and loud and recalls the lands from whence it came—India and the Middle East. Wonderful in rose and oud, but sneaky in modern fumes as well.