November 24, 2021

What Does Oud Smell Like? And 10 Oud Perfumes

What does Oud smell like - Oud oil and wood

So what does oud smell like? Very seductive, smoky, woody, slightly animalic. The scent is rich in nuances, ranging from sweet to earthy, with some accords of leather and spices. 

It's exact smell depends on the species of the tree that produces the resin and on the technique used for extraction.

Oud is charming; it is an unmistakable and mysterious smell that you will not easily forget. In perfumery,  oud oil is often used in oriental bases as well as woody and fougère compositions. Oud fragrances without a doubt evoke feelings of pure luxury and exclusivity. 

Oud wood and its essential oils are extremely precious and rare and is used extensively in perfumery. One of its great qualities is the long-lasting persistence on the skin. Pure oud oil is considered to be one of the most precious ingredients of artisan perfumery.

Agar wood trees

What Is Oud & Where Does Oud Come From?

So what is oud? Oud wood, also commonly referred to as Agarwood, is produced from trees of the genus Aquilaria, belonging to the Thymelaceae family. These trees are prone to being infected by a particular mold. The tree rejects this invasion by producing resin. In this way the wood remains protected. The resinous heart of the oud wood goes from soft and odorless to dark and aromatic, in defense of the fungus growth. The infection can progress from the trunk to the roots making the whole tree dark brown or black.

Agar trees that produce oud typically grow in dense forests in Southeast Asia, India and Bangladesh. It has been said that only 1 out of 10 Agar trees have the infected heartwood, making it even more rare!

Oud oil

Best Oud Perfumes

Best Oud Perfume - Acqua di Parma Colonia Oud 

Acqua di Parma Colonia Oud Eau de Cologne Concentree

Colonia Oud

Colonia Oud is an oriental woody fragrance for men.

The opening brings gentle fresh citruses - typical of Acqua Di Parma perfumes. This dissipates very fast allowing the darker notes to come through. The cologne then transitions to an elegant musky almost soapy stage giving room for the beautiful oud  arome and honey smell, with a rich floral background. The dry down has a leathery touch which almost overpowers the oud.

Colonia Oud fragrance has outstanding longevity (around 8 hours) and the sillage is strong. This fragrance great during fall, winter and spring.


Top: Calabrian bergamot, Italian orange. Middle: Agarwood (Oud), Amyris, Coriander.Base: Leather, Sandalwood, Musk, Atlas cedar, Indonesian patchouli leaf.

Best Arabian Oud Fragrance - Al Oudh EDP

Al Oudh by L'artisan Parfumeur Eau De Parfum

Al Oudh

Al Oudh is a Oriental Spicy Oud fragrance for women and men, but it leans more masculine. It opens with delicious notes of pink pepper, dates, dried fruits, caraway, cardamom and orange blossoms. They fade quite quickly though. A beautiful incense, elegant arabian oud and rich dark leather make up the heady concoction that takes over. This center is supported by iris, saffron, neroli, and rose. 

Al Oudh can be worn all year round, but it is really best suited to cold fall and winter nights. It is moderately long lasting with a moderate sillage.


Top: Caraway, Dates, Dried fruits, Cardamom, Pink pepper, Orange blossom. Middle: Agarwood arabic Oud, Leather, Incense, Saffron, Rose, Iris, Neroli. Base:Civetta, Myrrh, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Musk, Virginia cedar, Tonka bean, Vanilla.

Best Oud Perfume For Men - Oud Noir EDP

Versace Pour Homme Oud Noir Eau de Parfum

Versace Pour Homme Oud Noir

Versace Pour Homme Oud Noir is an oriental woody fragrance. It opens with a moderate to strong projection of oud, green, sweet resinous, and sweet citrus notes. The opening is mature, delectable, classy, intense, fresh, and inviting. 

Oud Noir has a noticeable sweet note; this is a result of the olibanum and bitter orange. The olibanum is a sweet, honey-like, fresh, resinous, and slightly spicy note. Its honey and vanilla-like touches gives the fragrance its uniquely appetizing, and resinous sweetness.

Longevity is moderate at about 4 hours, it projects well for about 1 hour. This Versace Perfume is best for colder days in winter, spring and fall.


Top: Black Pepper, Bitter Orange, Neroli. Middle: Saffron, Cardamom, Olibanum. Base: Oud, Patchouli, Leatherwood.

Oud Perfume For Ladies - Gucci Intense Oud EDP

Gucci Intense Oud Eau de Parfum

Intense Oud

Gucci Intense Oud is an oriental wood perfume for women and men; elegant, quiet, calm, mesmerizing, and classy. The slightly sweet and minty opening is all about very refined incense. Intense Oud has woody notes over a rich, leathery base while hinting of sweet amber and olibanum. The end stage it is very faint but consistent and creamy, which makes it an extremely smooth skin scent.

Very long lasting, Intense Oud has a strong sillage that lingers for hours, leaving a dry, smokey oud with notes of cumin. It is best suited to cooler winter and fall nights. Wear it for formal, semi-formal and smart casual events.

Notes: Oud, Incense, Olibanum, Woody notes, Leather, Amber

Jo Malone Velvet Rose & Oud Cologne Intense

Jo Malone Velvet Rose & Oud Cologne Intense

Velvet Rose & Oud

Velvet Rose & Oud is a dark and romantic oriental floral oud cologne for women and men, but it leans more feminine.

It opens with the oud and then the praline and sweet Damask rose enters the picture. The rose offers up a dark and captivating feel, while smoky wood balances out the rich deep and warm oud. There is a suggestion of clove entwined with the praline. They linger together for a moment until the rose takes over. This fragrance is deep, glamorous, enigmatic and unforgettable. The longevity is good and the sillage is moderate. 

Notes: Damask rose, Oud, Praline, Cloves

Golden Aoud Eau de Parfum by Montale

Golden Aoud Eau de Parfum by Montale

Golden Aoud

Montale Golden Aoud is an oriental fragrance for women and men, but it definitely leans to the feminine side.

The rose and oud smell dominate. The most prominent overall note is the oud with a slight leathery twinge to it. The patchouli is very lightly applied - almost unnoticeable, while the saffron and geranium are quite prominent. The other notes add a hint of spice. This luxurious oud perfume could very easily become your signature scent.


Top: Rose, Geranium, Patchouli. Middle: Leather, Chili Pepper. Base: Oud, Saffron, Teak wood, Cedar.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Oud Eau De Parfum

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Oud Eau De Parfum


Maison Francis Kurkdjian Oud is an oriental woody fragrance for women and men. It is easy to wear, versatile, and smells wonderful - a little sweet, woody and mysterious.

This is the gentlest oud I've ever smelled. The opening promises something fairly strong and sweet, almost caramel or honeyed but the headier opening quickly gives way to a sweetly refined oud and saffron mix. The saffron adds a very subtle earthy roundedness to the oud. The dry down reveals a soft sensual powdery floral oud.

Oud is at it’s best worn on colder fall nights - a scent for special occasions.

Notes: Saffron, Elemi, Oud, Cedar, Patchouli

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Oud Satin Mood EDP

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Oud Satin Mood Eau De Parfum

Oud Satin Mood

Oud Satin Mood is an amber woody fragrance for women and men. The strong rose accord makes it perfectly suitable for women to wear.

From the beginning, Oud Satin Mood opens up with a clear yet soft oud smell, supported by roses. After about 10 minutes, the oud settles down, letting the rose and violet come to the forefront. The vanilla is a soft note in the background. It is a fabulous rose blend with sweet and woody notes.

Oud Satin Mood is mature, multifaceted and elegant, you must try how the blend with your body chemistry. A strong oud scent which lasts extremely well. 

Notes: Bulgarian rose, Turkish rose, Vanilla, Oud, Benzoin, Violet

Trish McEvoy Black Rose Oud Eau de Parfum

Trish McEvoy Black Rose Oud EDP

Black Rose Oud

Black Rose Oud is a deep and warm amber floral fragrance for women and men, but it definitely leans more feminine. It was launched in 2011.

If you like deeper, alluring, more mysterious fragrances with lasting, lingering, earthy woody notes then you must try this famous  fragrance.

When you initially apply this scent, the black rose petals come through very strongly, with an undertone of woods. However, after the initial dry down (about 20 to 30 minutes), the rose recedes and the other scents start to come out. You can smell a little of the litchi, the raspberry and the oud comes out just a little bit more. You can tell that it is oud, but this is a subtle oud, and very pleasant. There’s also a little bit of spiciness that makes it feel more like an oriental woods fragrance. I can best describe the feeling of this fragrance as elegant and refined.

Black Rose Oud is for a woman who is sure of herself; someone who doesn't fear attention, because this scent is definitely going to draw people to you. It is a very strong fragrance that lasts a long time and has a strong sillage, so take care not to overspray. Black Rose Oud is more of an evening fragrance, and really performs well in cooler weather.


Top: Raspberry leaf, Litchi, Saffron, Osmanthus, Black pepper. Middle: Black rose, Bulgarian rose, Incense, Orchid, Geranium, Papyrus, Cypriol oil or Nagarmotha, Cumin.

Base: Oud, Benzoin, Musk, Madagascar vanilla, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Cedar.

Valentina Oud Assoluto EDP - Oud Perfume For Women

Valentina Oud Assoluto Eau de Parfum

Valentina Oud Assoluto

Valentino perfume - Valentina Oud Assoluto is a dramatic rose, oud and leather fragrance for women. 

Soft floral notes of rose and prominent leather blend with the scent of fresh orange blossom results in a provocative and beautifully harmonious fragrance. The compelling, carnal and voluptuous aroma of the perfume mesmerizes with its languid plush character. This is juxtaposed with the elegant restraint of the wood notes and saffron. 

The dry down is all about the saffron and woody notes. Valentina Oud Assoluto has great longevity and the sillage is moderate to strong - a little from the marvelous bottle  goes a long way.


Top: Cardamom, Orange blossom. Middle: Oud, Leather, Bulgarian rose. Base: Saffron, Vanilla, Woody notes. 

FAQ -  About Oud Wood Perfume

What Is The History Of Oud?

Historians have traced the use of oud all the way back to ancient times when it was used in the scriptures of various cultures around the world. Muslims, Hebrews and even Buddhists made use of oud as a fragrance and as incense. The use of oud also spread to Europe, where European royalty used oud as an everyday fragrance.

Even today, eastern cultures often use oud during prayer to get closer to God.The extremely intense smell is linked to the sacred, and in fact oud is called "the wood of the Gods". Oud is also mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible.

In the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia, they use both incense and oil, to obtain a longer lasting effect. Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists use incense mainly in religious ceremonies. Therefore, the use of this perfume linked to religion plays a very important role. Some people even perfume their clothes by exposing them to the smoke of burning wood.

In Morocco, oud is considered a real treasure reserved for a chosen few and used during Islamic religious services, such as the Prophet’s birthday. It is also used during meditation for a deeper and more spiritual experience induced by oud's heady and mysterious fragrance.

In Japan they use oud in the Ko-Do ceremony, during which resin and other aromatic woods are burned in braziers. This ceremony represents the beginning of a lifelong journey. In fact, through different enveloping fragrances, it is possible to undertake a spiritual journey.

Indians, Indonesians and Chinese also use oud. Its noble and ancient origins have made it one of the most expensive fragrances, earning it the nickname of "liquid gold".

What Are Oud Perfumes?

Oud is much valued by perfumers for its warm sweetness mixed with woody and balsamic notes. It's an aromatic and complex scent. It is used in the form of oud oil or as a resin. When used in oud perfumes, it is most often a base note. More recently, oud perfumes are a hit with both designer and niche brands as they cater for those who prefer a more exotic scent.

Why Is Oud So Special?

Pure oud is a very rare scent that is not readily available therefore the amount that is around needs to be savored beyond measure. The oud scent is classified as one of the most valuable and richest raw fragrances in the world. In today’s world of mixed fragrance formulations, quality oud oil is much in demand. 

When used in perfume production, oud is most frequently a base note, which tends to remain on the skin long after the other notes have dissipated.

What Are The Benefits And Uses Of Oud?

The uses of this precious essential oil has various forms that range from religious to corrective and remedial. It is usually associated with harmony, peace of the spirit, and if applied daily, the elimination of destructive forces in the home. A beneficial aid for meditation, it is also said to improve mental acuity and ease compulsive and obsessive behaviours.

In the Middle East, both women & men burn oud wood pieces to fragrance their homes and their clothes. Numerous Muslims think that their prayers grow with the scented smoke of oud and are sent directly to Heaven.

Why You Should Try An Oud Perfume?

So what does oud smells like in perfume? Sweet, smoky, sexily earthy, oud is all about depth. It is one of the strongest and most long-lasting perfume notes on skin. Oud goes well with vetiver, sandalwood, rose, lavender, geranium and carnation and sometimes with citruses like bergamot as supporting notes.

Quality oud perfumes are perfect for special occasions, especially as an evening event in cold weather. It can be intimidating to wear oud perfumes for the first time, as they are certainly not for everyone. But once you get accustomed to the velvety spiciness of oud, it’s hard to forget!

What Other Perfumes Resemble Jo Malone's Oud And Bergamot?

  • So Yas by Yas Perfumes 
  • Oud Assam by Rania J
  • Verbena Collection - Citrus Verbena Summer Fragrance 2015 by L'Occitane en Provence

Which Other Oud Perfumes Are Great?