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The Perfumery

Oud – A fragrance with ancient significance and modern appeal

Wed 13th March 2019

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What is Oud and where does it come from?  

The rich and intriguing fragrance of is prized across the world and has recently grown in popularity in the west. Oud has complex notes of oriental wood and smoke with spicy floral undertones. It is unusually long-lasting on the skin and it is this intensity and the rarity of Oud in its raw state that make it so highly prized. Oud only develops in a unique set of conditions. There are nine varieties of Aquilar tree that grow in South-East Asia, India and Bangladesh which develop the aromatic dark resin known as agar or oud. It is said to be one of the most expensive of all natural raw ingredients.   

  

The spiritual significance of Oud  

Oud held significance for many ancient civilisations and is mentioned in some of the world’s oldest written texts including the Sanskrit Vedas from India and historic manuscripts from China, Vietnam and Japan. It has a long history of use in the East and Middle East. Buddhist monks used it for meditation in the belief that it helps transform ignorance while Tibetan monks believe it calms the mind and spirit. In China it is thought to have psychoactive properties and the Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs used Oud in their embalming process. The Prophet Mohammed mentioned Oud in the Koran and in the Middle East men and women burn Oud wood chips to fragrance their houses and clothes. The fragrance is said to create a connection with the transcendent by stimulating the psyche and the body.   

  

Modern Oud Perfumes  

Oud is used by both men and women and is believed to calm the nervous system. It is often blended with other fragrances to highlight its floral, spicy and sweet notes. For example Amber Oud Ahad Fragrance Concentrée is neroli blended with iris, rose and rich amber to create a soft and multilayered oud blend. The more robust OudAlif combines fine oud with rich chocolate, saffron and dark patchouli notes to create an opulent richness. There is no other fragrance ingredient like Oud. It captures the imagination with its rich history and captures the senses with its distinctive intensity.