Fragrance Reviews

Illuminum Indian Oud Fragrance Review

* Starts off like a soft floral, with a bit of citrus.  I get jasmine and germanium.

* The floral calms down but stays present throughout – a subtle light oud starts to come through.

* The oud gets a bit sweaty and salty, but never dirty or aggressive.

* The sweat fades away, and a light vanilla with sandalwood and musk is the base.

Summary:  Indian Oud isn’t necessarily feminine but is an oud that a woman could wear without it being overbearing.   It definitely smells great on a guy, I got a few compliments when I was wearing it.  Unlike many of the ouds on the market, this is not an “oud in your face” or an arabic-styled fragrance.   The base notes last a really long time – more than 12 hours and easily into the next day or next shower.  Though there is strong projection on first spray, it lightens and becomes office-friendly after the first hour.   If you are looking for an oud to wear that doesn’t “wear you” – Indian Oud is worth checking out.

Illuminum Haute Perfumes are available from .  They will be available at Henri Bendel in June 2012.

Disclaimer:  Sample provided by Illuminum.  My opinions are my own and I am not financially compensated for this review or any others. Image from



Fragrance Reviews

By Kilian Rose Oud Fragrance Review

* Rose Oud starts with a powerful punch of oud and rose mixed together.  It is strong and projects loudly.

* Oud is a resin from southeast Asian evergreen trees that have been infected by a mold.  It is rare, expensive, and highly prized in Indian and Arabic cultures.

* After wearing it a few times, I’ve noticed that top sometimes gets a little soapy on me as well, while most of the time it is Rose and Oud.

* As the scent calms down into the heart notes – the rose and oud stay present, joined by honey and cinnamon.  Oud acts as the base, with the sweeter notes making a nice contrast.

* The base notes mirror the heart with the addition of a bit more sweetness, with either butterscotch or vanilla coming in to play.  This is by no means an edible gourmand, but a quite pleasant sweetness combining with a more subtle rose and oud.

Summary:  Combining a classical female note, rose, with a classically male note, oud, is quite brilliant and the contrast makes this quite a unique and sophisticated scent.  Rose Oud is one of four oud scents from By Killian along with Pure Oud, Incense Oud, and the recently released Amber Oud.  A limited edition Extreme Oud is apparently only available in the middle east. This is a great nighttime fragrance as its way too much for the office.  It’s extremely sexy in a seductive, not sleazy, kind of way.  As the scent is quite expensive, you will definitely want to skin test it a few times before going for a full bottle.

By Kilian Rose Oud is available from Luckyscent, Aedes and Saks Fifth Avenue.


Fragrance Reviews

Bond No 9 New York Oud Fragrance Review

* New York Oud kicks off with a quite loud blast of oud and sweet plum.

* It is strong, quite strong, and lasts a long time.

* The sweet plum recedes and saffron comes into the forefront with the oud for a little while.   Then on me, I suddenly get Ivory Soap (on top of the oud).   I am not sure exactly of the notes – kind of sweet, but in an inedible kind of way.

* Projection on this is massive and it stays strong for several hours

* In the base, there is still the oud and saffron in the forefront.  On different wearings, I’ve also smelled patchouli and a light musk – but it’s still all about the oud and saffron.

Summary:  Bond No 9 is what I call, lovingly, a battery acid fragrance.  Once it goes on, it cuts through everything and takes control.  I wouldn’t say it’s linear (meaning the same from top to base) but it’s linear-ish, as if the main oud and saffron stay in the game with different players joining for a bried inning/appearance.  This is definitely not an office fragrance – save it for the nighttime.  If you find New York Oud too strong and want to stay in the Bond No 9 line, try their Signature Oud in the gold bottle.

Bond No 9 Royal Oud is available from Saks Fifth Avenue and Bond No 9 New York Boutiques.