From the start of the year, I switch out my winter fragrance choices for much crisper, fresher fragrances – citruses, fougeres.. . This trend continues up until June when the skies turn a bit overcast and I like to feel cosy. So what do I do? I start digging out the Ouds.

My journey into Oud fragrances started around four years ago when a Youtube fragrance influencer suggested Ragbha Wood Intense as a great autumn fragrance. It was so cheap at the time, I ordered it blind, and once I got it… well, I never looked back. I’d never smelled a fragrance like it, but something underneath it all smelled so familiar and comforting.

I continued to explore the world of oud fragrance, trying Ameer Al Oud, Ameer Al Oud Intense Oud, Just Oud, Just Oud Boulevard, and loved them. For winter nights and the festive season, I feel they’re the perfect fit.

Many people who enjoy fragrance run at the mention of oud. It’s known for having an animalic, barnyardy, fecal smell which many wouldn’t want to smell like. But for me, this animalic, barnyardy smell is extremely comforting. I love picking up a thick, winter jumper and still smelling the oud I last wore in it.

I enjoy fragrance from Lattafa, Ard Al Zaafaran and Khalis. But picking which fragrances are authentic middle-eastern ouds and which are copies of designer fragrances is tough having no more to go on a lot of the time than the name. These houses often hide their dupes in bottles that look about as far removed from the designer version you can get. Oud Hindi by Khalis sounded interesting, but it turned out to be a clone of Dior Homme Intense (a nice one at that, but not what I expected).

So I was pleasantly satisfied with Khashab Al Oud by Ard Al Zafaaran when it arrived in the post. Don’t even get me started on the notes – my nose just isn’t good enough to pick them out. One website says:

  • Top notes: Oudh, sandalwood, rose wood
  • Middle notes: cardamom, pink pepper
  • Base notes: vanilla, Tonka, amber

I get the cardamom, sandalwood, rosewood and obviously the oudh, but the rest are lost on my nose.

Now Khahab Al Oud doesn’t have the sweetness you’d find in Ameer Al Oud, or Raghba, but it does have that lovely, gungy, earhy oud running underneath that I find so comforting. So if you’re looking for a great value oud that isn’t super sweet, but still has that comforting edge, I’d recommend you give it a try. Also, there are some wood shavings in the base of the bottle which is a nice touch!


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