Oud Revisited

In 2016, I got a letter from The Art and Olfaction Awards informing me that I was nominated for a prestigious award for my first edition of Oud. Blown away with excitement, I found out a day later that, no, it wasn’t nominated since we had released it during the last week of 2014 and not 2015.

Given such encouragement, it would seem obvious that we should keep producing the first edition of Oud. But again, no, each edition of Oud is based on different ouds, ouds so rare that they must be snatched up immediately before collectors buy them out. We could, of course, acquire so much of the stuff that it would take years and years to run out. This, however, would mean laying out a serious investment in inventory—resources that poor little BPC isn’t, at least at this point, capable of handling.

 Because of all this, I have begun to work on the fourth edition of Oud while the third is still on the market.

 Composing an oud perfume involves a seemingly infinite number of details. I work with tiny oud samples until I find one oud, or a combination of ouds, that has the impact I need, before I invest the scary funds necessary to make a blend. Some ouds are too delicate, or too aggressive, or too expensive, or too funky. I must be careful not to obscure any facets of the natural oud, including that particular ethereal quality that hits one deep, well behind the sinuses.

 Once I’ve established an oud base, I build on it, amplifying each of its aspects with naturals and aroma compounds until it comes into focus in an intense combination more powerful and long-lasting than the original oud itself. Next, the perfume must rest for several months. Only then do I smell what I’ve composed—for better or for worse.