Oud smells a lot like incense to me, with a hint of a medicinal smell and sour cherries. Even though oud (a/k/a agarwood) oil is a raw material, it's complex and smells almost like a self-contained fragrance. The same goes for incense.
Because of this quality, I'm usually not too impressed with oud fragrances. The way I look at it, adding big doses of oud to a perfume is kind of a cop-out for lazy perfumers. I know this won't make me popular with fans of oud or niche fragrances. Too bad. That's how I feel.
I feel the same way with Incense Oud. Just because a perfume contains allegedly rare or hyper-expensive oils doesn't mean it's a good fragrance. A quality fragrance is a composition, where different smells are skillfully combined in such a way that they balance and work together to create a new smell.
Incense Oud does not smell like a composition, but rather simply two perfume oils, oud and incense, put into a vial and shaken up. Because the two ingredients smell so similar, they clash, and result in poor blending. Because they are poorly blended, I get intermittent whiffs of oud and incense, one after the other, making for an annoying wear.
Does Incense Oud smell bad? Well, no. The incense is of very good quality, and smells a lot like incense burned during a Catholic Church funeral. It's a scent that I've always liked, but that doesn't mean I want to wear that smell. The oud, well, smells dark, medicinal and has that sweet/sour cherry smell in the periphery. I'm not an oud fan, so it doesn't light my fire. Incense Oud would make a good room fragrance, but who the hell is going to pay $395 for that?
M7 by Yves Saint Laurent is a composition featuring oud, as is Montale's Black Oud. Likewise, Balenciaga Pour Homme and Gucci Pour Homme are compositions featuring incense. Incense Oud, on the other hand, is an amateurish, poorly blended mixture of perfume oils. I cannot imagine anyone paying $395 for this perfume equivalent of a homemade salad dressing.
MY RATING: 5.5/10
Fragrance House: By Kilian