How To Wear Oud: The Most Intoxicating Scent Ever


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If you’ve been born, raised, or are from the Middle East, you’ll be familiar with the intoxicating scent of oud. It’s one of the most addictive and luxurious fragrance notes in history and is actually referred to as “liquid gold” in the fragrance industry, as it smells THAT good… And is hella $$$. If you’re unfamiliar, get ready for the ultimate oud 101, plus our fave oud perfumes.

What is Oud?

Oud actually translates as wood in Arabic and it comes from the agarwood tree found in areas of South-East Asia, India, and Bangladesh. However, not all agarwood trees create oud: when a tree is attacked by a specific funghi, the tree reacts by releasing a resin to protect itself, this then creates a resinous heartwood inside the tree, aka oud. This is then distilled several times, however, the first extraction will always be the most potent. In the Middle East, it’s also often burnt in people’s homes during special occasions.

What Does Oud Smell Like?

The unisex fragrance is, as you’d expect, warm, woody, smokey, and sometimes sweet. It’s one of the most potent fragrance notes in existence, so be warned, a little goes a long way. Many oud retailers say that a 3-gram bottle should last with average daily use up to one year, hence why it’s so expensive. The stand-alone scent is very intense, however, it’s often paired with floral notes like rose, jasmine, and orange blossom for a more wearable, everyday fragrance.

Oud is also known to have one of the most powerful sillages, which is the trail that a fragrance leaves behind. For example, if you walk into a room and instantly smell someone’s perfume without being close to them physically, that’s the sillage.

For more juicy details about oud, check out Mona’s YouTube video: 

Our Fave Oud Scents:

Valentino Valentina Oud Assoluto Eau de Parfum, $162

1-Valentino-Valentina-Oud-AssolutoSource: Valentino

Notes: Oud, orange blossom, cardamom, Bulgarian rose, leather, saffron, and vanilla

Why we love it: This sweet gourmand fragrance is rich, complex, and takes you on a fragrance journey. With notes of orange blossom and saffron, it’ll awaken your senses while the notes of vanilla add warmth.

Tom Ford Tobacco Oud Eau de Parfum, $205

2-Tom-Ford-Tobacco-OudSource: Tom Ford

Notes: Oud wood resin, tobacco

Why we love it: Spicy and addictive, this Oud fragrance is inspired by the Arabic tobacco, ‘Dokha,’ which is traditionally a mix of herbs, flowers, and spices. For a feminine edge, layer this fragrance with floral notes like white flower, jasmine, and rose.

Byredo Oud Immortel Eau De Parfum, $144

3-Byredo-Oud-Immortel-Eau-De-ParfumSource: Byredo

Notes: Tobacco leaves, oud, limoncello, incense, cardamom, patchouli, papyrus, Brazilian rosewood

Why we love it: Byredo is known for its intoxicating scents, and this is no exception. With citrus notes, rose, and patchouli, it’s decadent, warm, and invigorating, making it a great date-night scent.

M Micallef Royal Rose Oud, $110

4-M-Micelles-Royal-Rose-OudSource: M. Micallef

Notes: Oud, rose oud, vanilla, white chocolate

Why we love it: This oud fragrance is lighter than other options on this list making it a great introduction to oud. The delicious blend of oud, rose, vanilla, and white chocolate lends a gourmand note to the perfume – it smells so good you’ll want to eat it.

Carolina Herrara Burning Rose Eau de Parfum, $259

Carolina-Herrara-Burning-Rose-Oud-CoutureSource: Burning Rose

Notes: Rose Damascena, Indonesian patchouli, royal cinnamon, and ginger

Why we love it: As soon as we smelt this scent, we fell in love with its strong, empowering sensual vibe. Unlike other rose fragrances, it’s multi-dimensional and has a very sexy, exotic twist. #Obsessed

For more amazing fragrances, check out five affordable fragrances that smell so luxurious.