eyeliner on a cat

eyeliner on a cat
beauty, scent & style scrutinized for pleasure

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Animal Magic: By Kilian Amber Oud

Ah, Kilian Hennessy. His fragrances range from good to great, but in general, I consider them to be a bit too pricey for what they are (which is the only reason I haven't purchased a full bottle as of yet). The newest launch, Amber Oud, may be the one to inspire me to take the plunge.

Calice Becker created Amber Oud, and it's the second fragrance as of late to boast an overdose of benzoin and vanilla. Compared to last year's Prada Candy (created by Daniela Andrier), Amber Oud has a distinct heft and it smells very expensive. It's not nearly as sweet as Candy, yet still possesses the addictive warmth of it. Amber Oud is thoroughly genderless, and has a powerful but quiet animalic presence. It reminds me of a panther in relaxation mode.

I CAN HAZ A OUD??

Notes: amber, oud, bay leaf, cedarwood, vanilla. Sillage: average. Longevity: excellent


Amber Oud starts out with a sexy bang. Right away I am reminded of Mona di Orio Oud Intense, but the spiciness of Oud Intense is replaced by Amber Oud's impossibly rich, incense-laden woodiness. After a few minutes, the intensity of the benzoin and vanilla really grows roots in the composition. It's here that the fragrance's potential to broadcast a message from the skin is at its highest. In my case, that message is: "I eat your favorite bands for breakfast".




As it wears on, the benzoin and amber slow dance to The Sundays' version of "Wild Horses". The powdery nature of several of the notes and the delicate but multi-layered underpinnings of oud make this the perfect perfume to wear when smoking *whatever* out of a hookah in Morocco. Barring that, it's got to be one of the best statement fragrances for evening I've come across in eons. It would work with a black leather jacket and pastel cashmere sweater, or head-to-toe Haider Ackermann in shiny teals and greens, or a Ralph Lauren tuxedo suit with no camisole beneath the jacket. I can also imagine Amber Oud wafting towards me from a confident man with all his ducks in a row (actually, they'd be peacocks, not ducks). Amber Oud is personal, and it feels very new and very old all at once.

[photo: amberworkshop.com]

The oud component of the fragrance has that slight sourness that I really love in oud compositions. The drydown brings with it an enhanced dry, woody aspect with cedar staking its claim in a very late stage, and here it stays for hours. It's an extremely well-balanced composition and invokes that favorite query of mine; "How'd she do that?". Amber Oud is a  sophisticated and heartbreakingly beautiful incense perfume best worn by those with natural magnetism. As long as you don't mind the extra attention you'll garner, this is your fragrance. Trust me.

[Available at Luckyscent.com among others, 50ml for $395. Luckyscent is now taking preorders, and it's expected to ship on March 1st]

[sample sent to me by the company for signing up for it on By Kilian's Facebook page]

18 comments:

  1. $395 for 50ml? Oud is so hard for me to get. Though I'm desperately trying each time I visit The Scent Bar, though this sample wasn't available. Cannot wait to try.

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    1. I know. Sadly, very expensive. This may be your oud, because it's amber and incense first, then woods, then oud- with a dash of aromatic herbs. Maybe you're turned off by that bit of sourness in oud that I love so much? So many people these days are over the oud trend (the influx of below average launches helped that along), and since it's so rare and expensive, I think its popularity with perfumers is tapering off in favor of finding the next big thing.

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  2. I'm really looking forward to getting my sample of this. I love the way you describe it and I love The Sundays' Wild Horses too!

    I fell in love with Incense OUd and bought some. If you want to get By Kilian a little more reasonably, do like I did and biy the refill bottles. It's so much cheaper and it comes with a handy little funnel that I used to decant into my own, plain glass spray bottle.

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    1. That's a great idea, Krista. I mean, sure, I'd like to have the pretty bottle too, but that's not what really matters to me when it comes down to it.

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  3. I just got my sample a couple of days ago and its STUNNING. I kept my wrist glued to my nose for most of the time I wore it :) For anyone who's skeptical about oud, this is a very good fragrance to try!

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    1. I agree! I don't think the oud is strong enough that it would bother people who aren't fans of oud in general.

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  4. My sample of this arrived today so I've just sprayed it in order to sniff along with your review. I love the incense note and it's depth. Sure, it's expensive but at least you can tell a lot of the money is in the juice. Totally agree about it's "addictive warmth" and it being a statement perfume. As a matter of fact, it does feel like nuzzling panther fur too!

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    1. Hi Tara! I'm glad to hear you get a lot of what I do from Amber Oud. The incense aspect of the fragrance is what I think I'm most drawn to.

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  5. "I can also imagine Amber Oud wafting towards me from a confident man with all his ducks in a row (actually, they'd be peacocks, not ducks)."

    Totally one of the best sentences I've read in a long time. Really made me smile!

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  6. Oh, Carrie, what a beautiful review!!

    My sample hasn't arrived yet, but I await it on the edge of my metaphorical seat! :)

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    1. Thank you Dee! I think you're going to like or even love this one! Can't wait to read what you think of it!

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    2. It came yesterday! It's: Love, love, love. You are so right. FBW!!!! ;)

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  7. This is a beautiful fragrance,alongside pure oud my favourite in their oud range,in the uae by kilian produce a fragrance called extreme oud,twice the price of anything else in their oud range.I don't think they have a single duff fragrance in their entire range and i cannot wait to try their asian tales.










    This is a beautiful fragrance,alongside pure oud this is my favourite from their oud range,in the uae by kilian produce a fragrance called extreme oud,it's twice the price of anything in their oud range.I don't think they have a single duff fragrance in their lineup and i can't wait to try the asian tales series.

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    1. Hi Chris! I LOVE Pure Oud. I would definitely like to have a bottle of that, and a bottle of Sweet Redemption for my orange blossom fix. I think Amber Oud trumps them all, though. It combines SO many things I love together, and the composition makes perfect sense all the way around.

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  8. I've only worn this once and wasn't thrilled. I've read so many positive reviews though that I'll give it another go. Maybe I'm missing something. Or maybe I just didn't pay close enough attention to it. Either way I won't decide after just one wear. I'll give it more time. I really do like oud. :)

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    1. I find Kilian fragrances to be funny that way- I won't necessarily love them immediately, but by the 3rd or 4th wear, I'm thinking "full bottle!".

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  9. Interesting to own this perfume. This is a perfect gift for my brother on his birthday. :)

    pheromones attract women

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