Fragrance Reviews

Ex Idolo Thirty Three Fragrance Review

* Starts off with a nose-itching peppery citrus. 

* It feels very old school masculine – like a ’70s powerhouse for active guys with money.

* Up next is manly florals – subdued violets and rose.  They are definitely present but not screaming, with a hint of earthy patchouli grounding them.

* It is this point that a hint of oud comes in – not skank or animalic, but woody and aged.

* The base is woods and fruity patchouli.

Summary:  Ex Idolo Thirty Three is a fragrance you have to skin test for yourself.  Every review I read is a bit different and it wears on me a bit differently each time.   My writeup is like the average experience – sometimes it’s very fruity rose, and at other times it’s bone dry.  It really lives on your skin and amps up your natural chemistry.  One common touch is that it is never “oud in your face.” There is oud in the base, but it is a supporting ingredient rather than the main focus.  Some might classify this as a classic rose oud blend but I strongly disagree.  It is overtly masculine and powerful, yet also classic and refined.  Longevity is good – lasting more than 8 hours – and the base will need to be washed off for it to go away.  It is also a scent that is affordably priced for what you are getting.  If this was sold by Tom Ford or Kurkdjian, it would cost three times more.  If you are looking for a non-aggressive oud, this is definitely worth testing.

Other opinions:

Olfactoria’s Travels
Ca Fleure Bon
The Perfume Chronicles
1000 Fragrances
The Spa Man

Ex Idolo is available from Twisted Lily and Lucky Scent.

No disclaimer needed – purchased a full bottle. Image courtesy of Twisted Lily.

Fragrance Reviews

By Kilian Black Oud Fragrance Review

* Starts off viciously, with an aggressive oud in your face mixed with animalic skank and dirty musk.

* Wow, this stuff is strong and definitely not for the faint of heart.

* Leather comes into the picture in almost a violent way – again, it’s dirty and animalic.

* At this point, the scent goes completely linear – leather, oud, sweat, animalic, and dirty.

Summary:  Etat Libre D’Orange did a fragrance for Tom of Finland which was a pretty weak and safe leather scent.  They got it completely wrong.  By Killian Black Oud is the scent that should have been for Tom of Finland.  Smelling it,  I picture hot, sweaty, hairy musclemen dancing in leather gear for hours.  And hours is the optimal word, as this scent doesn’t go away – it lingers, for more than 24 hours and through a shower or two .  Black Oud was previously exclusive to the Middle Eastern markets and it’s easy to see (and smell) why – this is some strong stuff.  Clearly not office-friendly and you would definitely need to have cojones to wear this out in public.  It projects massively and everyone around you will notice it. 

By Kilian Black Oud is only available by Kilian boutiques.

Sample purchased by me. Image from By Kilian website.

Fragrance Reviews

Jacoglu Oud Prestige Fragrance Review

oud-prestige-jacoglu* Stoic citrus are at the top. The fruits stand out, but they aren’t sweet and juicy, they are more sharpened and direct. Grapefruit and strawberry with earl grey tea and some cedar behind it.

* The opening feels very distinguished – in a gentlemanly kind of way.

* What comes next is a bit strange – a mix of motor oil, pine, and dirty jasmine.

* It smells a bit strange but softens a bit and gets a bit sweeter and woodier.

* A bit of oud seeps in as a supporting note behind a musky amber in the base.

Summary: There is a lot to like about this scent – it is interesting and a bit strange without being so weird that it is scary. Oud Prestige is an Oud 2.0 fragrance, so it isn’t an ‘oud in your face’ bomb, but rather the oud acts as a supporting player and blends well into the composition. The label on the scent says for women, but I completely disagree. While a woman could wear this, on me it reads very rich gentleman. The strangeness I describe in the middle sounds kind of leftfield and it does remind me of Smellbent Accident – but a much more refined and dignified version. Longevity is excellent, at more than 10 hours, and after the first hour, the projection is light enough to make it an office-friendly scent. I would recommend this scent to anyone looking for a nonaggressive oud scent that has a bit of personality and is a bit out of the ordinary.

Jacoglu Oud Prestige is available from LuckyScent.

Disclaimer: Sample received from publicist. Image courtesy of Luckyscent.

Fragrance Reviews

Tom Ford Private Blends Oud Fleur Fragrance Review

* Sweet yet subtle flowers – not really muted but not as vivaciously strong as you would expect

* Then after 5 minutes – it blooms – a lush garden of dirty jasmine and spicy carnations.

* Next comes a sweet rose that is both powdery sweet and fruity/jammy.    

* At one point it seemed to have morphed into a fruity floral with a bit of a kick.

* During this portion, if you sniff really closely there is a hint of oud behind the rose.  Not overbearing, it kind of just levels out the sweetness.

* The flowers fade away for a base that is a soft mix of light leather, woods, and amber.

Summary:   Fleur oud is confusing.  It makes me think again of the infamous “chess for girls” sketch from Saturday Night Live, but it goes both ways.  A few times when I wore this, it felt like it could be a safe “non-oud” oud for women who didn’t want a skanky, dirty oud scent. Other times I wore it, it seemed like a floral fragrance that a guy could wear without feeling too girly.  Either way, this is one that definitely needs to be skin-tested several times to get the full story of how it works on your skin.   Projection is strong for the first hour, but after it calms down it would be safe for office wear.  Longevity is excellent for an EDP, lasting over ten hours.   Together with Tobacco Oud, these two scents restore my faith in the Tom Ford Private Blend line.  This is the line that first got me into niche perfumes a few years back.  The past few collections (Musks, Atelier D’Orient, and Jardin Noir) made me feel like the brand had lost their way but these two oud scents make me think that the line is ready for a comeback.

Other opinions:

Perfume Possee
The Candy Perfume Boy
The Scentrist
Ca Fleure Bon
Man Loves Cologne
Katie Chutzpah

Tom Ford Private Blend fragrances are available at Saks 5th Avenue and Neiman Marcus.

Disclaimer: Sample provided by sales associate for review. Image courtesy of Neiman Marcus.tom-ford-private-blend-oud-fleur-nordstrom