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.
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]