Monday, November 14, 2011

Incense Oud

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


  1. Oh please, do u even know what the hell you're writing about ?? From the reviews I've read so far I'm seriously starting to doubt it. And yes, I'm aware that 'perfume' is highly subjective & perfume reviewing/criticism basically only opinion based. BUT still, I really think if someone's going to actually 'publish' about something, they should at very least actually KNOW about what they're writing. Lest lead a whole load of readers (who know even less) astray with the supposed "knowledge" they've deemed to impart.

    Firstly, incense (or frankincense) & oud smell absolutely nothing alike, not even remotely (if they do to u, I suggest your nose needs further development). And if oud smells mostly 'medicinal & cherry-like' to your nose, then that's probably only because u're using M7 as your only reference point, a rather poor one for oud (tho' an excellent frag otherwise) or else just rehashing inaccurate drivel read on BN !?
    And as for 'oud as a cop-out', that's just ridiculous. It's certainly no more so than any other note, just another in the perfumers pallet (which just happens to be newly synthesised & so in fashion at the moment, but destined to fade to the same level as the others soon enough.)

    But on to my specific gripe with this particular review. And first stressing that 'Incense Oud' is not even a frag I particularly rate either way, lest u think I'm only here to jump to the defence of a personal fave.
    The frankincense used is great quality, and tho' the oud accord leaves allot to be desired, still, on the whole it's a pleasant enough frag for it's subject.) However, regardless, basically trashing a fragrance that's named 'Incense Oud' for being only or mostly all about incense + oud is just plain wrong, totally unfair and ludicrous even ! - I mean what the hell did u expect from a frag named thus !?? Of course those are going to be the main notes prominent, it's only logic and to be expected. If u disliked it otherwise, that's fine, but certainly not for the reasons u've denigrated it. And, of course it's a perfectly fine COMPOSITION, calling it 'poorly blended & amateurish' only further betrays your ignorance on the subject. ... As for it's price, yes it's certainly not cheap, but pretty much on par with other fine fragrances when purchased in the refill bottles. The price u quoted is mostly due to the luxury packaging, so it's not like the frag itself is outrageously expensive. (Even cheaper than some others of less quality). ... But then, going by most of the examples disclosed in your wardrobe so far, it seems u have a predilection for the cheaper 'lower-rung' frags, so seemingly increasingly doubtful u'd even know a fine-quality composition if it thrashed u about the nose !? ...
    When writing about this subject I'd suggest it essential that one embrace and explore/learn from the entire fragrance spectrum, not just dismiss part of it as merely "nich-y artsy fartsy", as seems your attitude. -> (And no, just for the record, I'm not a frag snob - if I like a scent I wear it regardless of price. (Tho' have certainly noticed the differences in quality.)

    Plus, if u seriously think 'Je suis une Homme' a "carbon copy" (CARBON COPY !?) of 'Neroli Sauvage' (just because they share a few notes ??) I shant be reading here any further, as it obviously betrays u don't know what the hell u're talking about ... OR ... that your nose is in a serious need of an upgrade. ...
    So, basically (well, apart from Kouros & A*Men) I've disagreed just about 100% with the majority of your reviews read so far, so to anyone else reading here please take note -> I strongly advise exploring further elsewhere too before making your mind up on a scent, it will be strongly to your advantage !

    Sorry, just thought this needed saying' ...

    1. Hi Kilian,

      While I go and develop my "pallet", maybe you should go and develop some class.

      I could list all the niche fragrances I own, but I know you'd find fault in those too. Sorry, but your criticizing me for my "lower-rung" tastes in perfume proves that you are indeed a niche snob.

      Grow up.