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Fragrance Friday: 3 Best Smelling Oud Perfumes For Men
— Updated on 5 July 2023

Fragrance Friday: 3 Best Smelling Oud Perfumes For Men

— Updated on 5 July 2023
Chris Singh
Chris Singh

Welcome to Fragrance Friday, where each week we’ll be keeping you abreast of the newest and most iconic releases in the dynamic world of men’s fragrances. Born out of the desire to showcase one of the most overlooked, yet versatile, elements of any discerning man’s style this weekly column will help you finesse your own signature scent.

Oud is the apparent “wood of the gods” and possibly the most on-trend ingredient in perfumery – both niche and designer – over the last few years. While your European summers may waft with scents of neroli and bergamot, over in Middle Eastern destinations like Dubai and Abu Dhabi – where expressions of power and influence are inescapable – you can’t through any street without at least passing by someone emanating oud. I know because I just spend a day in Abu Dhabi last year, which is what has driven me to show some love to oud. Because as oversaturated as it may be, this ingredient is ridiculously popular for good reason.

A few weeks ago I wrote about some oud alternatives, so consider this the flipside. I’ve rounded up three of what I feel are some oud perfumes that bring new and interesting angles to the agar tree extract, teasing out that natural warmth and playing with balsamic and woody notes by pairing them up with other ingredients in smart ways.

Turn your attention to these three men’s perfumes and you’d more than likely see what all the fuss is about. And for those familiar with oud, they may just convince you that this expensive perfume ingredient can also be quite dynamic and adaptable, bringing a lot to the table when it comes to fitting into complex profiles to bring a sensual, smokey and sweet character to a perfume (usually in the base notes).

Of course, you’ve got the obvious ones like the incredibly popular Tom Ford ‘Oud Wood’ – which arguably made oud famous in the first place – and high-end showstoppers like Creed ‘Royal Oud.’ These are some lesser-known ones, mixed in with a few popular expressions that really showcase the diversity of oud.

Best Oud Perfumes For Men

Frederic Malle ‘The Night’

Perhaps one of the finest examples of an oud perfume worked to perfection, with the price tag to match. Famed perfumer Dominique Ropion, who is behind some of modern perfumery’s greatest hits, created this one for Frederic Malle’s Editions De Parfums portfolio, formulating The Night as a very expensive, super high-end bubble of Turkish rose, saffron, frankincense and sandalwood, with what is a very large level of oud used to mirror scenes of sunset in the Middle East. While the amount of oud used doesn’t really bode well for balance, Ropion has worked this in a way that’s incredibly animalistic and sensual, presenting something that’s grand and ostentatious while still soft and subtle. Guess that’s why the man is often referred to as modern perfumery’s top gun.

Top Notes: Turkish rose
Middle Notes: Saffron, Indian oud
Base Notes: Frankincense, sandalwood, amber

Juliette Has A Gun ‘In The Mood For Oud’

Oud and citrus define the profile for this gorgeous perfume, which is easily one of my favourites from Juliette Has A Gun. The oud comes through almost immediately and smells very deep, dark and masculine but is eventually restrained a bit and balanced out with the fresher ingredients. It’s a smart way to hit you in the face with this show of force from the agarwood and then very slowly start to bring through those notes of bergamot, saffron, papyrus, raspberry and vanilla, each centred around the middle note of oud.

Like a few other Juliette Has A Gun perfumes, you can also get In The Mood For Oud as a scented candle which I highly recommend if you’re looking for something different for your bedroom.

Top Notes: Bergamot
Middle Notes: Oud, saffron, papyrus, raspberry
Base Notes: Tonka bean, vanilla

Acqua Di Parma ‘Oud & Spice’

Oud & Spice is an interesting one from this Italian luxury brand, which is perhaps much better known for those really fresh, citrus-heavy perfumes that are synonymous with European summer holidays. And yet this is one of the finest from Acqua di Parma, really teasing out the dynamism of oud and throwing in plenty of complex spice notes that dance around the heavy, woody note. Yet this is Aqua di Parma, after all, so you’d also get those really vibrant, airy notes of citrus that help keep the profile interesting.

Top Notes: Bergamot, raspberry, rose
Middle Notes: Cinnamon, pink pepper, cloves
Base Notes: Agarwood oil (oud), patchouli, cisto labdanum

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Chris Singh
Chris is a freelance Travel, Food, and Technology writer. He has had work published by The AU Review, Junkee Media and Australian Traveller Media and holds tertiary qualifications in Psychology and Sociology.


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