Ethereal | Grapefruit
Funky | Leather
Animalic | Vanilla
Deep | Rich
Osmanthus | Soft
The oud used in Brooklyn Perfume Company’s OUD is cultivated in Assam, in northeast India and is completely sustainable. It has a complex wood aroma reminiscent of fruits, musk and honey. It also has a tiny bit of funk that might remind you of cheese, but the most delicious cheese you’ve ever tasted.
When I ordered a sample of oud, I thought there was some kind of mistake because so little was in the vial. But once I opened it, I was struck by an ethereal yet animal scent that smelled of a barnyard crossed with the most pronounced and complex wood aroma I had ever smelled. After acquiring more samples – each one was different – I set out to make an oud perfume.
Despite the popularity of oud perfumes, few people know what oud is. Oud oil is distilled from agarwood trees found in India and southeast Asia. To produce oud, the trees must be mature and ideally rather old. They must be attacked by a particular fungus that turns the wood black and makes it so heavy that it sinks in water. A single tree may be worth well into the six figures and will have its own special character.
Describing the fragrance of a sample of oud is not unlike describing the qualities of fine wines. One of oud’s miraculous characteristics is its immediately accessible complexity. The same kind of complexity in wine (think Burgundy, Barolo, Brunello, Bordeaux, Mosel, Reingau or Champagne) can offer a gentle euphoria that produces a calming effect. Similarly, the scent of oud washes over you, its aroma of wood with nuances of licorice, tangerine, pine, gravel and earth draw one’s attention away from the travails of the world.
I know that there are plenty of oud perfumes available, but frankly they rarely smell of true oud. They may contain facets of the fragrance but rarely the whole picture. After much experimentation, including working with ingredients such as nagarmotha that emulate oud’s aroma, I’ve discovered that the only way to make an OUD perfume is by putting a frightening amount of oud in it.
Enjoy OUD in the day or evening. When you first apply it, those around you will smell it. As OUD evaporates, only you and your lover will smell it. It’s a powerful aphrodisiac.