Oud (in Arabic oudh) is valued strongly by perfumers for its warm sweetness mixed with woody and balsamic notes. It's an aromatic and complex scent. It is used in the form of oud oil (dehn al oud) or a resin (oud mubakhar). When used in a perfume composition, oud is most often a base note.
The olfactory profile of the Oud seduces immediately. Its woody smell is rich in nuances, ranging from sweet to earthy, with some notes of leather and spices. It depends on the species of the tree that produces the resin and on the technique used for extraction.
Oud is fabled as a healing, magical oil, yet to many, it smells nasty. Some people say Indian Oud smells “fecal,” while others say Oud perfumes smell “animalic” and dirty. Interestingly, this chemical which gives jasmine it's “aphrodisiac” and “animalic” smell, called indole, is also present in human feces.
Research has proven that not only does it make you feel more attractive, it also acts as a carnal catalyst. Oud is one such intoxicating scent that has caught the fancy of perfumers around the world. And its arousing powers have been the subject of many a study.
A rich, fragrant and woody ingredient, oud is produced by a tropical tree of the genus Aquilaria when infected by a certain type of fungus called Phialophora parasitica. The infected tree reacts by producing a rare and valuable resin, oud wood, also known as agarwood, agar oud, or aloe wood.
Infected trees with phialophora parasitica in the wild account for one in ten, according to estimates. That amounts to around 2% of trees, making oud a relatively pricey product. These trees are sought after by skilled perfumers to produce the finished product.
It's true that a huge chunk of oud products are tailored towards the male population, but it can be a unisex fragrance.
Well, a team of scientists from the University of Oxford think they've worked out the best and worst smells in the world. According to their study, the best smell is vanilla and the worst smell is sweaty feet. The results show that people share favourite smells regardless of where they come from in the world.
A Scent Unlike Any Other
One of the major reasons for its popularity is that the scent of oud is one unlike any other. Though it varies from its precise point of origin as well as its age, it is noted for being pungent, containing a musky, animalic quality that has made its way into many perfumeries.
Both agarwood and its resin distillate/extracts are known as oud (عود) in Arabic (literally "rod/stick") and used to describe agarwood in Arab countries. Western perfumers also often use agarwood essential oil under the name "oud" or "oudh".
The Scent Itself
When used in a perfume composition, oud is most often a base note. Essential in every perfume, unlike top notes and middle notes, base notes tend to stay on the skin long after the others dissipate. In a perfume with an oud base, it's likely you'll catch a whiff of it alone hours after applying it.
Oud is usually applied in places with a pulse. On the wrists, sides of the neck, and behind the ears. These places are warm and the heat activates the scent to last longer.
Oud versus sandalwood? Oud comes from the wood of the tropical Agar (Aquilaria) tree and has a strong musky scent whereas sandalwood is a class of woods from trees in the genus Santalum that generates a warm en woody smell. Unlike many other aromatic woods, sandalwood retains its fragrance for decades.
It can be definitely said that oud, as most oriental aromas, unfolds itself more vividly in the heat. The fragrance is not for everyone, but it is worth trying.
Oud by Armaf is a Amber Fougere fragrance for women and men.
“The most preferred oud is from India, known locally as oud Hindi and followed by those from Cambodia and Malaysia,” Layana Mohammed, an oud salesperson in Dubai, told Al Arabiya English.
The Arabic: العود (al-ʿūd or oud) literally denotes a thin piece of wood similar to the shape of a straw.
Oud in Islam
Agarwood/Oud is mentioned several times in the book called “The Hadith Collection of Prophecies and Teachings” by The Prophet Muhammad. Oud is not only the scent that The Prophet Muhammad was known to love and used daily in rituals of Islam but also a valuable remedy treatment for many diseases.
Floral: No surprises here, as floral tops the charts when it comes to the most seductive fragrances a woman can give off. Some 85% of men (out of nearly 4,000 surveyed) ranked it as their favourite scent on a woman.
A new scientific study claims to have confirmed the most universally-loved smell… and it's a bit vanilla. The research also found that people tend to love and loathe the same odours, with sweaty feet and cheese being among the least-liked scents.
From a list of ten unique scents, survey respondents from a variety of cultural backgrounds all ranked vanilla the most pleasant, reports Peter Dockrill for Science Alert. Researchers suggest there may be an evolutionary basis for the universal aroma preference, reports Peter Dockrill for Science Alert.
To test, place it in a spoon and burn. While burning, the tree extracted resin should start bubbling. The more bubbles it produces, the better is the quality of Oudh.
Arabic fragrances are usually more intense and stronger, due to the culture and also due to the heat. Currently, trends in Eastern market include some new ingredients like honey, chocolate or vanilla. But also Europe is now pursuing Arabic perfumes as they are symbol of quality, intensity and sensuality.