Couple two of the most objectionable (to me) materials, the tired by now oud perfumery base and the often stuffy, stifled rose note, and you can bet you have me checking my watch every 2 seconds like I last did when dragged to watch Star Wars episode 2 (I finally zonked out). Yet there are certain roses and certain ouds that manage to hold my interest (and there are many fragrances combing the two, so it's a demanding exercise!). Without being ecstatic, I can vouchsafe that Rose Oud by Patricia de Nicolai is among the better ouds and simultaneously among the better roses in the market today and if you like any of those materials or the woody floral genre in general you should check it out for yourself: it's perfectly pretty with a side of fog for interest.
Rose Oud does not differ in approach from the other winter 2013-2014 "oud" release by the niche French brand, Amber Oud, in taking into stride the oudh trend and mastering it in a way that it becomes putty in dear Patricia's tender paws. The rose is woodied-up, boxed, polished, with the familiar backdrop of two standbys: patchouli and sandalwood (an Indian dream), like a beautiful blossom in a waxy sealed wooden cigar box in a land where tigers lurk and monkeys leap from beneath Bangalore ancient temples.
Delicate fruity aspects emerge out of this rose, with the underpinning of nagarmotha providing a smoky, oily facet the way oil paintings put a thick consistency even to baby pink. Nagarmotha/Cypriol is an interesting material in itself, at once earthy, grassy and smoky, with its own deep aspect that can put dusk on the daintiest girly girl stuff. Rose capitulates; what else can she do? And it's all for the better. There is no retro or potpourri vibe anywhere.
Perfectly able to be shared between the sexes, Rose Oud is another faceted briolette in the jewelry box of de Nicolai's vault, a notch less interesting than Amber Oud (which surprises with its herbal lavender character). Without breaking waves Rose Oud is perfectly nice and attractive and one can't knock that.
Notes for Patricia de Nicolai's Rose Oud:
Top: raspberry, artemisia, osmanthus
Heart: rose, lily of the valley
Base: patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla, musk, castoreum, amber, oud.