Get to know the luxurious fragrance ingredient that everyone’s talking about.
Oud is having a moment. While it’s been in the perfume world for thousands of years, this insanely premium ingredient—known as “liquid gold” because it’s so precious—has been popping up in a noteworthy number of new fragrance launches.
So, where does it come from? An ingredient this lusted-over must come with an interesting origin story—and it’s strange, but true: When mold infects a rare kind of tree known as agarwood, the tree reacts by producing a dark resin, which (along with the oil distilled from it) is oud. However, only a very small percentage of this type of tree actually has this reaction, hence its powerful desirability. Oud is an acquired taste, like wine or certain kinds of cheese. While the dark, sensual scent is a favorite of perfume aficionados and worldly sophisticates, it’s avoided the mainstream spotlight—until now.
The truth is, many new fragrances have concocted perfect introductions—they feature rich oud undertones paired with lighter notes to create uplifting aromas. To start, take a clue from the master of modern luxury himself—Tom Ford—and try his Oud Wood scent, which features the ingredient along with an exotic, smoky blend of cardamom, amber, and vetiver.
It all started with this fragrance, created in 1916 in a small perfumer’s laboratory in the heart of Parma. Master perfumers devised an unusually fresh and light composition compared to the perfumes of the day: Acqua di Parma Colonia, the first true Italian eau de cologne.
Every man should have his core fragrances, no matter what these are, they should be versatile and elegant. I have about 4 which I alternate depending on the occasion, this also means I don’t get bored of a particular fragrance. So what do I use I hear you ask! Well, let me tell you all…
Acqua Di Parma Colonia Essenzathis is one of my newer selections, found whilst aimlessly wandering around department stores trying to replace some of my more summer favourites.
This was one of the first I tried and could still smell the base notes later that evening. It’s a bold fragrance, but I like it, elegant and sophisticated, I will often use this for important functions and occasions. It can stand the test of a day and effortlessly move from day to night, developing into a smooth and shady scent.