Whilst in the West perfumes may be dabbed onto pulse points such as the wrists, the art of applying fragrance in the Middle East is far more layered and all encompassing. Oud Oil, with its musky scent is not only used in perfumes and colognes for the skin but the hair and even beards are infused with the aroma. In many ways, this is similar to a body mist that is often sprayed and then ‘walked into’ covering the whole body, including the hair.
Bakhoor for the body and hair
Agarwood incense chips are often burnt so that the smoky aroma permeates the whole body, from head to toe. This so-called ‘bakhoor’ is a cultural ritual and perfume is then added to the body too. Scents on the hair and also the clothes may not be as heavy or as heavily applied as on the body. The idea is that the aromas complement rather than battle against each other.
Oud Oil perfumes, colognes and spa products
Oud Oil is fast-becoming popular with mainstream perfumers to add an exotic, complex note to men’s, women’s and unisex scents. It is also becoming more widely used in spa products such as Australian brand Sodashi and this extends to toiletries such as haircare ranges.
Agadir MEN brought out their first line for men incorporating the heady notes of oud wood to, “emit and aura of attraction and success”, which reflects the powerful, masculine aroma of the oil. It is based in a hair wash and a beard oil that aims to moisturize and soften whiskers. Other brands of beard oil containing oud include Tom Ford and Hamilton Jackson.
PHILIP B Forever Shine Shampoo and Forever Shine Conditioner also contain the, “light, seductive scent of pure Oud”, as do curl-enhancer, styling and heat-protection products. The warm notes of Oud Oil really add an element of exotic luxury to any product and with smooth, glossy locks it seems natural that hair should be scented too.
Holistic scent for hair and mind
Fragrances are not only about creating a scent for others but also for yourself. The calming, anti-stress qualities of Oud Oil can be soothing and whilst the aroma is powerful it can also be incredibly soft on the senses too rather than overpowering.
Oud Oil is also used therapeutically and in Traditional Chinese Medicine with one of its properties being its antiseptic quality. This makes it an ideal ingredient in cosmetics and haircare products, especially those that use organic or natural ingredients and not alcohol and lots of chemicals. The antiseptic is beneficial to the health of the scalp and can also help clean the hair that inevitably gets full of pollutant and irritants from the modern world.
Oud Oil is long lasting and hydrates the hair as well as acting like a serum to inspire soft, velvety tresses rather than frizzy, dried out hair that can not only look bad but can be incredibly aging too.