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Al Oudh - Midnight at the oasis


Oud is really the note du jour right now in the niche world of scent and why not – it’s been used for centuries in the east and middle-east as temple oil and in incense and has an air of exotic romance about it. Still, I’d never really smelled it, till, on a slow day in Paris this past February, Kay and I visited an oud shop.

This place on the Champs Elysée was unreal. Shelves and shelves of OTT gold and gilt decorated flaçons, the heady smell of oud in the air, and an accommodating SA – it was oud overload. Thank God I wasn’t hungover!

Oud has a unique, dry, medicinal, almost harsh, woody smell that really benefits from being tempered with other scents. Traditionally, that role has fallen to rose.

Pure oud is too thick to spray, so oud oil is dabbed on the skin. Smelling and experiencing all this oud was great, but oil-based scents weren’t doing it for me and oud and rose combos weren’t either. It was all great fun and I was intrigued by oud, but it wasn’t love – yet.  

No, I fell in love with oud when I smelled Al Oudh by L’Artisan. What a beauty! This EDP is a heady, mystical scent that evokes images of a cool desert night - caravans, camels, dates, dunes and romance.

Midnight at the oasis
Send your camel to bed
Shadows paintin' our faces
Traces of romance in our heads
Sung by Maria Muldaur, Lyrics by David Nichtern

Here, aggressive oud is made lighter, elegant and beautiful. It starts out spicy with notes of caraway, cardamom and pepper sweetened by dried Medjool dates and softened by rose. Then the oud shows up, backed up with leather, while castoreum and civet bring camels to the tent. Incense, patchouli and vanilla at the drydown round it all out.

This fragrance won’t knock you over, it will seduce you. Belly dancing is optional.

Al Oudh is listed in our decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.