Launched in 2013 by London-based perfume house Ex Idolo, Thirty-three is what all oud perfumes should be: the perfect Arabian oud experience.
It opens with soft, spicy black pepper balanced with candied mandarin and a fetid note from caoutchouc, which is natural rubber. If the top notes sound strong, well, they don’t smell that way. They are handled in such a way that they create a gorgeous velvet opening that leads to heart of Chinese rose and Taif rose, full, lush and cooled by orris. Then, there’s a slight metallic note, very subtle from Damascus steel, which Matthew says is a “reference the blades that are used by those who carve the fragrant oud out of the fallen Aquilaria timber”. It’s at the base that the vintage oud and patchouli show up and when they do you’ll understand what all the excitement is about. The oud and rose are perfectly paired bringing out and highlighting the best in each other so that it isn’t too oud-y or too rosy and creating the best new, if not the best oud fragrance I’ve smelled in years.
The drydown is rich, dry, woody and deliriously gorgeous.
I could go on about it, but really Persolaise said it best: The agar wood is inky and animalic, the florals are torrid and nocturnal, the woods glisten with haughty elegance and the musks complement the wearer's skin rather than dominating it.
The perfumes gods are speaking to you – pay attention!
Notes: black pepper, candied mandarin, caoutchouc, Chinese white tea, Chinese rose, Taif rose, orris, Damascus steel, vintage Ouds, aged Patchouli, heliotropin.