What is Oudh?
Oudh is one of the most luxurious and exclusive fragrance notes in the perfume industry. It is even nicknamed "liquid gold" because it is estimated to be 1.5 times more expensive than gold. This exotic resin comes from the thin trunked Agar Aquilaria tree. The typical aroma of this wood has been loved in the Middle East for centuries, becoming increasingly popular in Western perfumeries for many years. Oudh perfumes are famed for their sweet, woody, aromatic and complex scent.
What does Oudh smell like?
For people who grew up in Western countries and cultures, Oudh probably smells unfamiliar and special. If you were born, or have lived in Middle Eastern cultures, you will likely experience it as familiar and comfortable. The scent of Oudh can be described as full, complex and warm. In addition, it also smells marginally balsamic, but especially, woody and aromatic. It has a slightly smoky character and reminds some people of dusty books and old cellars. Oudh gives perfumes a mysterious, complex and seductive nature. But all that is a little abstract, and we didn't come here for that, did we? To properly picture Oudh in its most earthly form, allow me to paint a picture. You are in Istanbul for the first time, and you entire a Turkish spa. As you take those first steps, that bold aromatic incense smell combines with the hot wood of the sauna to invite you in with open arms. That is Oudh. Okay, that's still a little abstract, but you understand what I'm getting at.
How is Oudh made into a fragrance note?
Oudh is extracted from the tropical Agar Aquilaria tree. When this tree is infected with a specific type of fungus called Phialophora, its core forms a rare, dark and strong-smelling resin. The tree does this to protect itself from the fungal infection. We know this resin formation as Oudh. The resin is distilled and converted to oil to be used as a fragrance note in perfumes. The Agar Aquilaria tree is rare, which is why you probably haven't come across one in your local garden centre. In addition, the process of resin formation and harvesting of Oudh is very complex. This is what makes Oudh one of the most precious raw materials in the world. Which is why perfumes with Oudh regularly get the perfume industry excited, because who doesn't like to smell extraordinary? 1.5 times more extraordinary than gold, to be exact.