Heeley (2012)

Average Rating:  16 User Reviews

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Agarwoud by Heeley

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About Agarwoud by Heeley

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Agarwoud is a shared scent launched in 2012 by Heeley

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Reviews of Agarwoud by Heeley

There are 16 reviews of Agarwoud by Heeley.

On my skin this is complex, rich, and utterly captivating. I can't say I have a great nose, but I've done a lot of exploration lately and this scored at the top of over 40 samples.

Heeley characterizes Agarwoud as “dark, mystical elegance.” To my nose, it’s neither dark nor mystical, though it is elegant in its own way. This is (synth) oud so sanitized, rose so green, and an overall profile so light, it’s more like an “oud de cologne” than anything remotely authentic. As such, it’s quite pleasant, if not especially long-lasting (though it holds on as a skin scent).

On the one hand, I like a good, clean minimalist scent. On the other, Agarwoud is neither great oud nor great rose. One could argue that its merits are dependent on those notes being unremarkable in themselves. Still, I’m not likely to plunk down niche money for it—though, if I had a bottle, I’d definitely keep it.

Agarwoud fits right in with Heeley's mainly minimalistic ethos – it's a linear, acetone oud, quite stylized and buffed. The realization of the oud note is in the vein of MFK attempts – vaporous, clean, unashamedly synthetic. The same can be said of the rose here – which seems airbrushed to the point of unreality (a la Tocade). It brings an angular art deco sensibility to its approach to these natural elements which is surely the intention: to produce something sheer, beyond nature, almost conceptual. There is a touch of something woodsy like a sweetened sandalwood in the background which seems to be the only concession to the real.
The linearity can get to be a bore in something so streamlined, and I'll admit I wouldn't want to wear it often. But I find this enjoyable in infrequent doses.

I don't know why, but rose and I do not get along. I keep, because I want to understand the scent and learn the nuances...and two, because my wife adores the scent on me! I don't know what it could be? Perhaps that I am always reminded of my grandmother's house? Or that my first rose scent was Montale's Black Aoud...which I should have "built" up to!

So here I am testing one of my favorite house's rose/oud fragrance, Agarwoud, and I find myself really liking a rose scent, that is. It is very simple, and perhaps synthetic, but I could see myself wearing it. It is not very long lasting, nor does it project much, but it has a roundness to it, an almost satin-like feel.

I will keep trodding(word?) down the rose road, though, with the knowledge that Agawoud will be there for me if nothing else. It earns a 3 out of 5 for me.

Speaking as a Heeley's fan, Agarwoud is possibly the first real “fail” in his range so far, in my opinion (I've not tested the whole line, though). A completely conventional and dull synthetic oud scent, trying to play again Heeley's clean contemporary “transparency” card, which however here does not seem to manage to be a creative statement. Maybe because here it's not about reworking materials shaping them in some creative and clever way to give them that particular sort of understand and transparent look; here, it smells more of a “ready-made” scent, as basically synthetic oud smells like that already – I mean: a linear, sharp, synthetic oud pretty much exactly like dozens of others (pick any Montale without the “variation-topping”: same story). Salty, metallic nuances with a hint of translucent rose complete the blend. It's not strictly bad, but it's sadly dull, uninspired and honestly quite boring, as it is also quite linear. Plus the persistence is fairly short (not that you need hours of this...).


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