Friday, January 10, 2014

Patricia de Nicolai Rose Oud: fragrance review

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.

jenny packham/

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.


  1. I'm a big fan of Parfums de Nicolai and consider all Patricia's offerings worth trying but the word raspberry scares me a little. Love to eat them but they don't work for perfume for me, generally speaking.

  2. R,

    don't worry: I purposefully didn't mention it in the review itself. It's negligible. The whole is a dusky, subtly thorny rose. Very nice and pretty actually and not at all "fruity" in the teen pop sense. ;-)

    Do try it!

  3. Anonymous10:25

    Thanks for the review on these two perfumes. I've been interested to try this and the Amber Oud but had not read many reviews on them yet and like the waters tested before finding samples. It seems like the Amber one may be the more interesting one of the two with the lavender.

  4. To my surprise I also liked the Amber Oud a bit better than the Rose Oud. Amber Oud touched my imagination more. Both are very good, it's just a matter of nuances.
    Amber Oud
    Rose Oud

  5. Doesn't Nicolai Rose Oud smell a little bit like a better, richer and more comples (and less expensive) version of Rose Oud from Kilian?

  6. Lucas, I don't think so to my nose the Kilian is more of a regular rose-oud combo, the Nicolaï to me is more of a woody-rose perfume with a deeper facet from the oud, the oud is just one among the ingredients, it doesn't take one of the center roles as in regular oud-rose combos of different qualities.

  7. This is my intended next purchase. I'm very interested.

  8. Anon,

    I think so, so you might get a kick out of testing yourself in actual sample form. Glad the reviews are useful for you and thanks for stopping by!

  9. Parfumista,

    I'm glad we're in agreement. PdN scents are not trailblazing but they're polished and you can't knock that. :-)

  10. Lucas,

    hmmm, I found it has a bit more patchouli which brings it closer to things like Portrait of a Lady and all the woody floral roses that are so popular right now.
    The patchouli is actually in the forefront for me.

  11. Parfumista,

    I was about to say the same, this is where this differs, the oud is really subdued and the woody notes are more prominent. Usually the bitterish musty oud base is pronounced in rose-ouds but not here.

  12. Lean,

    it's not a bad one at all! I think it will prove popular and wearable. Do report back when you get your bottle.

  13. Yves Rocher is launching a Rose Oud january 2016, perhaps we will get an inexpensive Oud experience. ;)


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