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What Is Oud Perfume?

When it comes to scents and fragrances, nothing does luxury and elegance quite like perfume oils. These artisanal distillations bear a stunning range of unique aromas… and it’s very easy to see why they’re proving so popular at the moment.

If you’re just discovering the wonderful world of perfumery at the moment, you’re sure to have come across ouds on your travels (or oudh, in Arabic). Fun fact: oud is one of the most expensive and luxurious ingredients featured in perfume, bearing its own incredibly distinctive musky sort of fragrance!

The story of oud is an intriguing one indeed. It is taken from the wood of the agar (aquilaria) tree, which can be found in India, Bangladesh and throughout south-east Asia. 

In order for us to access oud as a perfume ingredient, the tree needs to be infected with some kind of parasitic mould, which it fights by producing a dark and fragrant resin… known most commonly as oud, although you may hear it referred to as agarwood or agallocha.

This is a very rare occurrence, unfortunately, which makes the oil itself (which is extracted from the wood or produced by melting the resin) quite expensive. But its quality certainly speaks for itself - and this is the reason why so many Western perfumiers are now turning to it as an ingredient for their fragrances and scents.

But what does it smell like? Naturally, it has a somewhat woody smell, but you’re also sure to discover hints of spice here and there, an earthy tone, some sweetness and even some suggestions of leather.

Because there are 15 species of tree that are able to produce this resin and different methods of extraction, there are variations in scent - but what is true for all of them is that they’re seductive and intense… and, for that reason, oud perfumes will always be an incredibly alluring choice for those interested in artisanal perfumery.

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