The mystical and mesmerizing allure of oud oil, the musky, evocative scent of Arabia has gone mainstream. Premier oud oil producer and supplier, Treedom, has experienced a surge of interest from Europe and the Western world for its trademark woody, intoxicating aroma. Now big-name fragrance brands are infusing their perfumes and colognes with the heady Oud notes, redefining the scent market and reaching new fragrance consumers who are falling for the luxurious quality of Oud.
Oud oil has been desirable in the Middle East and the Orient for thousands of years, but is a relative newcomer to markets in the West. Its popularity is due to its enticingly deep layers of complex scents which are rich and pungent. With so many fragrances introduced each year, Oud Oil is a key ingredient in creating innovative products that really have a standout quality. In turn, this appeals to consumers who welcome the tantalising individuality and unique characteristics of oud oil.
Oud has become synonymous with luxury and niche, although high-profile brands are certainly introducing this so-called ‘liquid gold’ to a wider market. The oud oil trend began in the West when fashion perfumers such as Versace, Tom Ford and Calvin Klein developed an interest in oud oil, following some of the most renowned scent makers who were already developing oud oil concoctions and experimenting with different scents. From the catwalk fashionistas, the potential of oud oil has been realized with new scents that combine the highly fragrant oil with other ingredients to create an entirely new and exciting range of products.
Oud Oil, once considered rare and sought-after by Arabs visiting the West, has been adopted by perfume houses with gusto. Harrods in London launched H – The Exclusive Oud, a fragrance designed just for them only. Amouroud fragrances, born out of the Perfumer’s Workshop in the US, are penetrating Europe with their Dark Orchid fragrance a bestseller at Stockholm NK with Safran Rare, which was launched in 2016, selling out too.
The big brands are definitely marketing oud oil as an upscale fragrance choice, reaching out to the mainstream in luxuriant style. The combinations are exotic, with an air of off-beat mystery. Noted perfumes and colognes include, Jo Malone’s Velvet Rose & Oud Cologne, Gucci’s Gucci Intense Oud, L’Occitane Oud & Rose eau de parfum, Tom Ford’s Oud Wood, Armani’s Oud Royal, Honey Oud by Floris, with many other well-known brands too.
One reason why big brands are falling in love with oud is its versatility. Several years ago unisex fragrances hit the market with great success and oud oil lends itself to fragrances for men and women and scents suitable for both. The rise of the metrosexual and blurred gender definitions undoubtedly has some impact on how the fashion and fragrance industries develop.
The brand-name oud oil scents may be far different than the rich aromas of Oud Oil’s Middle Eastern heritage, but they still retain the essence of what is a wonderfully enchanting ingredient.