Sometimes, you have ideas that you don’t think are feasible. But you just can’t get them out of your head, no matter what. For me, I wanted to do an oud perfume. Of course, that’s not so unique. However, I wanted to create one that not only features the oud as the star, but also to find a unique twist.
Here’s the thing, though. Oud is expensive. Like super expensive. And between supply chain issues while also weathering an economic slowdown, there was no way I could justify spending enough to create a full batch release. So I decided to create something in a much smaller batch than usual, allowing me to spend on other materials in addition to the oud, while releasing it in 10mL bottles in order to make a bottle more affordable.
So I smelled many different ouds. Each one has such unique and often unapologetic characteristics that I realized that I should not come into it with any preconceived notions. I found three different ouds and let them guide me to find the right complements.
When working on this composition, a friend remarked that it was like smelling a string quartet. Smooth and interconnected. That brought me to the term, “Legato,” which indicates notes that are seamlessly intertwined with no space between them.
The composition began with the three ouds that I selected. The Cambodian oud is very polite for an oud. Rich, velvety, with a cocoa/leather nuance. The Thai oud is the polar opposite. It’s very assertive, with characteristics of a more medicinal oud as well as being the woodiest of the three. Finally, the Prachin Pearl has the most animalistic bent, rich beyond belief, and very heady. Simply outstanding. Thus, the Cambodian oud serves as a perfect mediator between the two.
I thought the opulent-but-not-overly-sweet nature of stone fruit would be a great sidekick to this oud combination. I built a plum accord that uses many of the same materials that I’ve used in the past, but with a boost of fructone in order to add to the sweetness, plus apricot essential oil from Robertet that is bang on for the flesh of a perfectly ripe apricot.
Next, I wanted to create a counterpoint. The first one was white lotus absolute, something that is very lush in almost a similar manner to a rose, but also with a carnation-type leaning that is spicier, avoiding a traditional oud/rose type of scent. It combines excellently with a natural saffron that I procured, letting the natural leather undertones of saffron help bring everything together with the oud and stone fruits.
Finally, I wanted some more texture. So I landed upon Virginia cedar, the deepest and most rich cedar oil that I have in stock. It’s what I think of when I smell the red cedar wood from my childhood. It adds a texture that helps counterbalance the spice while also not allowing the base notes to get too heavy.
I will release this limited edition at MaherOlfactive.com tomorrow, October 22. Because I let my instinct lead me, the scent signature is very much mine, but it is still not like anything I have ever created with previously unexplored materials. As always, I’m very excited to share it with you and hope you enjoy it!