Amouroud Mini Reviews

Perhaps now is the time to accept that oud isn’t just a passing trend in western perfumery but here to stay. New brand Amouroud has recently launched at Harrods with an initial collection of 6 fragrances. The people behind it are Perfumer’s Workshop, whose most well known scent is the 70s classic, Tea Rose.

Oud features in the note lists for all of the fragrances but only Oud du Jour is overtly oud-y . Agarwood seems to add a degree of oriental smoothness to the other five. At £145 for 100ml of Eau de Parfum they’re pretty fairly priced for luxury niche fragrances containing oud, whether natural or synthetic.

 

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Midnight Rose

Top notes are litchi, pomelo and mate; middle notes are lily, red rose and iris; base notes are amber, labdanum and agarwood (oud).

Midnight Rose isn’t anywhere near as dark as the name suggests. It’s actually a sweet and bright fruity rose with a lot of depth. The effervescent lychee opening passes but the fruitiness lingers through the lavish amber drydown. I prefer rose perfumes that have gone over to the dark side like Rose de Nuit or that are retro like Fille de Berlin, but Midnight Rose is very full-bodied which makes it a satisfying wear.

 

Safran Rare

Top notes are freesia, bergamot, incense and geranium; middle notes are cedar, saffron, rose de mai and jasmine; base notes are benzoin, agarwood (oud), vetiver, sandalwood and vanilla.

Safran Rare folds saffron up in almost plasticky leather and it’s an arresting combination. It smells wonderfully sleek and expensive; the height of modern luxury. I appreciate the fact that it’s savoury rather than sweet, although the saffron goes a little sour on me after a while. I find it sexy in a rather strict, leather-clad kind of way.  It’s quite compelling and the one I’ve enjoyed wearing the most.

 

Santal des Indes

Top notes are absinthe and incense; middle notes are curry tree, narcissus, Turkish rose and Chinese cedar; base notes are sandalwood, leather, musk and vetiver.

Aaah, this smells like sandalwood perfumes should smell; creamy to an almost coconutty extent.   The pale, lactonic sandalwood effect lasts for hours and it has great projection without feeling overwhelming. I’m not generally a fan of orientals but I think Santal des Indes will be the stand-out from the collection for many.

 

Dark Orchid

Top notes are mandarin orange, citruses, black gardenia and Sicilian bergamot; middle notes are jasmine, ylang-ylang, lotus and black orchid; base notes are sandalwood, Indonesian patchouli leaf, incense and vanilla.

Dark Orchid has a super strange opening which smells to me like a mixture of caramel and cough drops, undercut by citrus.  It mellows out somewhat as the gardenia  comes through and starts to remind me more of Black Orchid Voile de Fleur than the Tom Ford original. It’s a very distinctive, syrupy gourmand floral so a little goes a long way. Dark Orchid is quite the dramatic attention-seeker. A fragrance for nights out when you want to leave a lasting impression.

 

Oud du Jour

Top notes are pink pepper, raspberry and saffron; middle notes are incense, rose, lily-of-the-valley and dried plum; base notes are agarwood (oud), black amber, patchouli and guaiac wood.

The amusingly titled Oud du Jour showcases oud front and centre, although it’s liberally accented with berry fruitiness. This surprising combination of playful fruit with deeply resinous oud actually works. It is very plush and has that “One Thousand And One Nights” vibe, as ouds tend to, but it’s not overly-spiced. The addition of sweet red fruit means Oud du Jour melds Middle East with West and for this reason it would make a good beginner’s oud. It has amazing longevity and sillage.

 

Miel Sauvage

Top notes are bergamot, honey and red pepper; middle notes are agarwood (oud), jasmine and sandalwood; base notes are patchouli, tonka bean and incense.

The name “Wild Honey” made me rather nervous, but I needn’t have been worried. This doesn’t have the urinous skank of some honey perfumes. To start with, we get a floral honey scent made up of a slightly soapy jasmine paired with clean honey.  It’s rather on the sweet side for my tastes but completely wearable. The jasmine recedes as Miel Sauvage develops, leaving a  base of very gentle honey on a velvety oriental base.

 

 

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Do you think oud is now a fragrance category in its own right?

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21 Comments

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21 responses to “Amouroud Mini Reviews

  1. They sound fun actually, and you’re right Santal des Indes sounds like the standout. I like the thought of absinthe and oud.
    At the moment I’m very surprised how difficult it is to spot a ‘winner’. I just ordered some samples, quite a few of which had had loads of love in Perfumeland, which I would give ‘just above meh’, on the other hand a random sample might turn out great, oud or no oud 🙂
    Miel Sauvage is an excellent name.

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    • You’re right, they are kind of fun. They mix it up and don’t take oud too seriously.

      I know exactly what you mean about finding winners. That’s why I’m very reluctant to order samples these days. I still get lemmings but it’s easier to resist thanks to past experience.

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      • Yes, I should have learned too, but that lemming list was getting longer and longer.
        I did like the new Boheme-one from Mona di Orio, but again it was just on the light side, sillage-wise. I need to wear it more as it was lovely smoky tea, and still a perfume.
        It seems most good perfume surprises come from friends. I think my only ‘real’ oud perfume is Songe d’un Bois d’ete, but I do love that one. Some in the Xerjoff oud series are excellent too but the $£$€ 😱

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        • Okay, now I really want a sample of Boheme! The Monas aren’t usually that quiet so maybe you’ll find it okay with more wear.
          Yes, I have a much better strike rate with friends too.
          I think if I ever went for an oud it would be the predictable, traditional rose pairing.
          I’m not surprised your only oud is a Guerlain 🙂

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  2. Lady Jane Grey

    Oud is a very distinctive note, so yes, it could be a separate category. You know about my “high acceptance level” of the oud note, but even I was overwhelmed earlier this week, when testing the new Frederic Malle perfume…

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  3. Anka

    Yes, I thik that oud could be a category in its own right, it’s as multifacetted as for example frankincense – but incense falls under the category of woody, doesn’t it? Well, to me it would make sense to have an oud category.
    I’ve only started to really appreciate oud with Xerjoff’s Fars being my favorite so far. Amouroud sounds interesting!

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    • Hi Anka,
      Ah, another vote for a Xerjoff oud, interesting. I do have a couple of samples of their fragrances but the bling puts me off as much as the price! I should get over myself.
      Pretty much every brand seems to have an oud in their collection these days so it seems here to stay. I guess time will tell.

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  4. Hey Tara,
    Recently I saw Pia and Nick reviewing these too and you all make them sound fabulous. LEMMINGS! Midnight Rose sounds like the winner for me but is it a lot like Midnight Oud by JHaG?
    Is oudh a category? I’m not sure. Is jasmine or pink pepper? Are bergamot or civet? I suppose people go to the counter and ask for jasmine or vetiver fragrances but I think Oriental, Cologne, Chypre, Gourmand and FruitChouli are categories and oudh is an accord or note.
    Portia xxx

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    • I haven’t tried Midnight Oud i’m afraid, Portia but I have heard good things about it. There isn’t much noticeable oud in Midnight Rose. It’s a sweet, and fruity, bright red rose with an oriental oud-ish drydown.
      I thought it was interesting when Nick and Pia pronounced oud a new fragrance family but I think on balance, I’m with you. It is just one material rather than an umbrella category or style.

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  5. I thoroughly enjoyed your mini-reviews, and I must say that is quite a respectable strike rate for you to like as many as you did. I feel I have a good sense of how they all smell and am most drawn to the first three and the last one. I might have baulked at the sandalwood scent for fear of the absinthe in it, but I trust your take implicitly, ditto on the rather weird sounding Safran Rare.

    And not untypically for me these days, I hadn’t even heard of the range(!), but I agree that they are not bad value for the size of bottle.

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    • HI V,
      They’re too sweet for my tastes apart from Safran Rare and Santal des Indes but they are very well done and great quality. They were a lot of fun to try too as they’re all quite distinctive yet accessible. They’ve only just launched in Harrods so it’s no wonder you haven’t heard of them.

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  6. Agarwood almost never works for me. By Kilian’s Amber Oud is the only agarwood perfume that I love and wear. I like and wear Amouage Epic, Jul et Mad’s Amour de Palazzo and NVC’s Trayee. And I do not mind 2-3 more (for which I have just samples) – but other than that, I dislike agarwood. Tom Ford’s Tobacco Oud and Oud Wood smell great on my vSO though. So maybe in my mind agarwood is a more masculine than feminine ingredient.

    I do not refuse trying new perfumes just because they have this note (usually I do not even check notes before trying) but I think my success rate with this note is worse than my average.

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    • Amber Oud is pretty great but yes, it’s the same for me. I know I won’t ever own an oud-heavy fragrance. Not because I dislike the a note but because I’ve recently resigned myself to the fact that although I fall in love with some orientals, I never end up wearing them if I buy a bottle.

      Interesting to read that you might have the masculine association at the back of your mind. That can be very powerful, even if you’re not consciously aware of it. Though, I don’t know if you’d agree, but your taste does seem to be generally pretty traditionally feminine.

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  7. Hi Tara, I do like oud! Portia got me into them as a matter of fact. I only recently tried Fille de Berlin so it was funny that you referred to it in your mini review. The reviews are enough to whet my appetite for more oud. I am loving Terryfic Oud by Terry at the moment.

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    • It’s great that Portia is on hand to broaden your perfumed horizons. I can’t think of anyone better. I hope you liked Fille de Berlin. It’s not as show-stopping as a lot of roses but I love it and wear it a lot. Those Terry de Gunzburg scents seem to be really good quality, from the brief sniff I’ve had.

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