Hot on the heels of moroccan impressions and no sooner had a review of the newest Havana Vanilla been posted on our pages (a scent in the Travel series from L'Artisan and inspired by the tobacco and vanilla of old Cuba) that we find out positive info on another new L'Artisan Parfumeur coming out: Al Oudh, simply meaning "the oud". Composed by in-house perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour and centered on the noble scent of the patholigical secretion of Aquillaria trees, oud or aloeswood, the new oriental fragrance is hypnotically beckoning us into a Middle-Eastern dervish dance, an hypnotic sight from which we can't draw our eyes off. The smoky, nutty complex smell of oud wood with its resemblanc to Band-Aids is definitely the dominating trend in niche releases in the last few seasons, having gained a momentum like there was no tomorrow (Montale was on to something when he burst into the scene with his ouds!). The oud bandwagon has everyone on it from Micalef's Aoud Homme to Tom Ford Oud Wood and more mainstream releases such as YSL M7, which begs the question what will happen if the guy and the gal next to you on the subway will start wearing tons of oud scents on the daily commute. But I digress.
Bertrand is taking the inspiration from the Arabian peninsula and the Spice Route (much like we had reported on Amouage and their new Epic, it's an always popular theme anyway) along with his familiar, honed skills on incense (myrrh, frankincense) to compose a spicy, woody and animalic composition with leathery notes which is reported to be "incredibly strong" as per the perfumer's own words.
The oudh/oud/aoud note is much harped on for being ultra-expensive (and indeed its production is so labour-intensive as to require exorbitant prices), yet new synthetics which mimic its medicinal and smoky scent have lately become available, starting with M7 by Yves Saint Laurent a few years ago (thus bringing the fad all the way downscale to Bath & Body Works recently). This justifies the claim of oud "notes" across the market at every price point. I trust that L'Artisan and Bertrand, with their usual finesse and care for marrying the best of both worlds, will instill a little of the real deal, extended with suave aromachemicals which will support it.
Notes* for L'Artisan Al Oudh:
Top: Cumin, cardamom, pink pepper
Heart: Neroli, rose, castoreum, civet, leather, musk
Base: Oud, sandalwood, Atlas cedar, patchouli, myrrh, incense, vanilla, tonka bean
*please note this is the sequence quotted, although it appears mid notes are comprised of heavier molecules
L'Artisan Al Oudh will be available as Eau de Parfum in 100ml/3.4oz bottles with Arabesque edges and a box that is scalloped with mosque-like decorations. It does look beautiful! (and Lutensian I might add in mischief) It will launch in winter 2009-2010.
info & pic via extrait.it