AMBER OUD
oud caravan 1 - Amber Oud - Kafkaesque blog review

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Amber Oud via the La Via del Profumo website Amber Oud is an eau de parfum that was released last year along with Amber Rose and Amber Chocolate as part of The Private Collection. (There is also an Amber Jasmine.) AbdesSalaam always gives mere nutshell synopses for his note lists, but is even less detailed in this case. He says only that it is a blend of sweet ambers with wild Laotian oud.

Amber Oud opens on my skin with the multi-faceted refrains of genuine agarwood. The oud smells earthy, mushroomy, woody, vegetal, and cheesy (mostly creamy goat cheese with a drop of Gorgonzola or Stilton). A thick layer of warm, musky fur lies on top, smelling softly animalic, but it’s not truly, properly, or heavily dirty or raunchy in feel and it’s certainly not fecal. Under it are layers of creamy, spicy sandalwood, then even thinner ones of leather, smoke, and a honeyed, resinous, dark sweetness. The whole thing is then enveloped within a cloud of genuine ambergris that smells musky, faintly salty, sweet, faintly vegetal, and faintly earthy. Agarwood.

Everything is seamlessly blended and integrated, but the oud stands as the centerpiece, the altar around which everything else swirls. It’s a very smooth agarwood whose animalic, smoky, and earthy aromas have been filtered, polished, and refined into their most elegant aspects without losing sight of the characteristics which make oud stand out and appealing in the first place. It’s definitely not the rawer, more hardcore, camel breath oud that you find in Profumo‘s Oud Caravan No. 3. Nor is it the feral, intensely goaty sort that dominates the opening hours of Dusita‘s lovely new Oudh Infini. Compared to those fragrances, this is quite tame and, yet, it’s still unquestionably got a bit of funk underlying its intensely creamy, lush, mushroomy, and cheesy bouquet.

That bouquet turns even smoother after 25 minutes, once the sandalwood kicks in, and the result is fantastic. The sandalwood wafts an almost satiny butteriness that turns the oud into pure agarwood cream and velvet, although it still bears its earthy, cheesy, white mushroom aromas laced with an even more restrained, moderated whiff of soft, golden, animal fur. The suggestion of leather in the base vanishes, replaced by a plush suede-like texture, while the ambergris melts into liquid gold touched by the merely lick of musky saltiness. It’s a pure delight to wear.

Amber Oud changes in only small ways and mostly in terms of its balance of notes. At the end of the first hour and the start of the second, the oud’s smokiness grows, weakening the oud’s cheesiness as well as the buttery sandalwood and ambergris. The animalic furriness basically disappear into the background. The result is a smokier, slightly drier oud with much milder quantities of its supporting notes. During the drydown, however, the roles reverse as the ambergris asserts itself, becoming the central note and enveloping the oud within layers of its soft, sweet, faintly caramelized aromas. The drydown typically begins on my skin about 5.5 to 6 hours into Amber Oud’s development and, from that point forth, the oud becomes a subsumed layer that gradually faded away more and more. In its final hours, Amber Oud is pure ambergris, and little else.

The projection, sillage, and longevity numbers were good for an all-natural fragrance, more so than naturals from other brands, many of which typically don’t last long on my skin or project in any significant way. Amber Oud is stronger and richer than the norm. For the first half of its life, the sillage was average, starting about 4-5 inches, then slowly dropping after that. The initial projection was low. Amber Oud was almost a skin scent at 4.75 hours, became a full skin scent when the drydown began around the 6th hour, and clung to the skin softly after that. However, it was a tenacious scent that lasted just short of 11 hours on my skin with several smears equal to 2 good sprays from a bottle.

I haven’t found any reviews of Amber Oud to share with you, and the fragrance has no entry page on either Basenotes or Fragrantica, so let’s move on since we have a lot to cover.