Finding a composition that manages to bypass the ennui of too many generic "ouds" on the market is a relief (for a small sample of just how many oud fragrances have launched in the last few years -1 in every 8 they say!- please consult the link). This I found in Jacoglu's Oud Prestige, a new entry, art directed in 2013 by the young and charismatic Jacques Jacoglu, by Parfums Jacoglu, based in Paris on the Champs Elysées.
The story of the inspiration behind Oud Prestige reads like something different from the usual flowery prose which garlands press releases with the asphyxiating tentacles of pretense. Rather Jacoglu was a valet in his early days in the Champs Elysées spot, where mysteriously scented Middle Eastern women went by, trailing behind them a tale of "A Thousand and One Nights" which beguiled him. Honest, eh? Jacques Jacoglu himself, judging by the last name, must derive lineage from the Eastern Mediterranean, which places his olfactory perception and acuity on a high level. Oud Prestige was something waiting to happen and indeed it is Parfums Jacoglu's first fragrance, so I'm looking forward to the next.
The jarring introduction fuses citric elements (grapefruit to be exact) with blackcurrant, followed by a sustained woody heart of oud. The familiarity with the oud bases thankfully didn't detract me from the fact that the treatment here is mysteriously woven into a seductive trail rather than a sledgehammer of bitterness hitting you on the head like a ton of Band Aids for an hypothetically polytraumatized kid where that sort of thing would do any difference. Don't get me wrong: Oud Prestige is not an apologetic "I'm wearing nothing scented" kind of fragrance for when you are having that job interview or hanging out with the girlfriend "with allergies."
The oud woodiness is noticeable and long-lasting. If you're pooh-poohing heavy hitters and only opt for fruity florals or sweetish stuff, you should probably stay away, but women with a penchant for woody and oriental scents as well as men with an adventurous streak who won't be sidetracked by the marketing towards women will recognize that Oud Prestige is worth testing out by both oud lovers and those who have been having problems with oud scentss; a revelation of benzoin-laced goodness awaits.
The salty skin effect of ambergris chord in the base and the musky aura on the whole contribute to mollify and smoothe out any rough edges, creating a sostenuto which trails along, making people want to lean closer to catch a whiff and think about what they're smelling: is it you, is it something on your clothes, your exotic aura which bewitches?