Sunday, May 27, 2012

Dior La Collection Privee Oud Ispahan: new fragrance

Dior took siege of the oud bandwagon it seems: Besides their established Leather Oud, they're issuing a second "oud" fragrance in their Collection Privee line-up, this time combinging two exotic references in one in its name: Oud Ispahan.

The oud craze has taken almost every single perfume house on the planet vying for a perfume with the exotic-sounding prized Eastern material in the name to the point of boring perfume fanatics to tears. Largely this is just a trend that will eventually pass, relying on brain manipulation: mention a posh, exotic sounding material (oud/aoudh/agarwood) and let the audience dream about something different than what actually goes into the bottles. But we can't blame companies for wanting to produce what has proven successful commercially last time...can we?

Not only oud, not only Damascus Rose, but also amber, all rolled into one this time. Mysterious, grown-up hippy for women (and men, the fragrance is presented as a unisex offering) who want to smell sophisticated and orientalised, exotic and fascinating, Oud Ispahan is a fragrance release that will create some talk.
Of course the more seasoned perfumephiles among us will find that oud and rose is a classic combination that has been already explored, but Dior rather aims at consolidating a seeming Arabian authenticity than presenting a novel accord.

According to the official blurb, the notes are varied: “Oud Ispahan recreates Mr. Dior’s dreams of the Orient* through a striking Rose-Oud-Amber accord. Created by Dior Perfumer-Creator Francois Demachy, this universal scent features top notes of Labdanum Absolute, middle notes of Patchouli Essence from Indonesia and bottom notes of Oud Essence from Laos, Rose Essence from Turkey and Sandalwood Essence from New-Caledonia for a warm, spicy reinterpretation of Eastern locales.” According to perfumer Demachy it's "an immediate impression, an instant local snapshot of the Orient"

There's a bit of discrepancy here which I'd love to point out for our readers, just for history's sake: Christian Dior has been known to say, "As for the bazaars of Trebizond, on entering I felt as though I was heading into Ali Baba's magical cave." Trebizond, to be factual, is actually on the border of the Caucasus region and the Black Sea and bears the heritage of the Byzantine empire and its Greek populaces, and has nothing to do with what is commonly referenced as "Arabia", but let's allow this lumping of the Middle East into one exotic amalgam continue for Western tastes... The fragrance might prove to be spectacular regardless, so historical consideration might end up meaning nothing.

Oud Ispahan is going to be released in summer 2012 through Dior boutiques worldwide and will be available from 28th May in Selfridges Maison des Parfums on Oxford Street, London.
125ml of Dior's Oud Ispahan will set you back 125GBP, 250ml of juice go for 185GBP and 450ml cost 285GBP.


  1. Miss Heliotrope01:52

    So less oriental, more orientalist...

  2. This one is available at the Champs-Elysees Sephora and I tried it saturday evening.

    First sniff impression, very good Oud-Rose combo, fruity/leathery if that makes sense, refined but, insanely powerful. It projects like mad and clings to everything it touches. Longevity ... well don't get me started, some landed on the leather wrist band of my watch (the SA was gleefully trigger happy).

    I detect a small lack of balance by mid-developement and the drydown is another beast entirely. I will have to wear it properly for me to have a clear opinion.

  3. Ursula12:20

    Until I smell a sample, I cannot truly comment on it. The extra note of amber to the usual rose/oud may make for some fullness ... I don't know.
    What I really want to compare is whether this new scent - although alcohol based - smells as good as the authentic Arabic perfume oil blends which I sampled from Zahra's Boutique, namely AL HARAMAIN - Attar Al Kaaba, Haneen and Marwah. Those are very friendly to the Western nose and bloom beautifully on my skin. I am so lucky to have an opportunity to sniff these. No advertising was done with these 3 samples, just word of mouth. Ultimately, the nose decides, after all this advertising hype is peeled off, so - I must obtain a sample of Dior's new oud rendition !!

  4. MH,

    sums it up perfectly ;-)

  5. AB,

    still, very useful info and thanks so much for bringing it here! :-)

  6. U,

    the Al Haramain scents have a cult following. I'm not surprised, they're suited to western sensibilities.
    It's a rather double-sword situation with French brands such as Dior (and Guerlain with their Deserts d'Orient new trio) deserting their Frenchness in lieu of Arabian-laced exoticism. It could backfire.


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