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.
1st June 2023
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.
10th April 2022

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.
15th March 2015
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.
22nd December 2014
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...).

5th November 2014
I applied this to my wrists and my nose picked up two notes. Rose and Beer. As time passed I recognized a woody note and a light rose again. It was a transparent and ethereal rose and pleasant, however ultimately soft. Offered a whiff to my brother-in law to ask his impressions. Without prompting he said "Hmm, Rose and Beer" We both moved on to watching the wives ordering dinner at the KiKi Bar. Cuir Pleine Fleur is much more interesting to this kid!


There is a styling, of, quiet, meditative, linear, precision and transparency that I have found intriguing of late. It's a quality that is carried with Heeley scents that I have tried. It is a narrative that has caused me to place Heeley on my list of imaginary Bespoke acquisition.

31st March 2014
A simple, safe, quality, well made, well balanced and repetitive oud and rose combo.
This is the best way to describe this fragrance.
The whole idea of the scent is just a soft, none offensive scent.
The rose note is very fresh and a transparent.
It's not so heavy and in your face. it's not very sweet and syrupy. it's not so spicy, very woody or animalic ..... it's just simple, pleasant and fresh rose with a little bit of sweetness.
The oud note is light, but strong enough to give the scent a dark and woody feeling.
The incense note shows up just for a short time at the opening with slight smoky vibe, but disappears before even you can catch it.
If you like this combination and want something without anything that piss you off, this is for you.
Both projection and longevity is average. around 4-5 hours of longevity and medium projection.
I like it. not a bottle worthy fragrance for me but I like it.
Great quality and very good balance of the notes is something that shine in this fragrance.
24th December 2013
Heeley Agarwoud is at it's best just after it first goes on your skin. And it has a lot of appeal at that point. So pretty. So simple. A pretty rose-scented jelly candy. Pretty pretty pretty. But elegant too. The sweet oud gives it it's gel quality.
And that's it.......
And maybe that's the problem I always seem to have with it. I tire of it so quickly. Poor thing.
9th February 2013
I like Darvant's review of this fragrance, as he hit the nail on the head of what appeals to me so much about Agarwoud, but didn't quite realize until reading his words. He called it an "angelical type of fragrances, with a sort of ethereal cool vibe that seems floating in the air as a beatifying cloud".
That's it - it has a light, uplifting vibe, a consecrated wood feel. I had always heard about the spiritual quality of Oud essential oil and wood, but never picked that up in oud perfumes. But, I finally got it with this one.
Yes, it comes in on a flooded market. But for me, it's spiritual take on the essence of oud makes it stand out (and at this point for me, stand alone). I love it.
I think the luminous wonder of this wafting oud must be taken with a different attitude than other ouds. Most are dark, rough, even brutal, as the impulse to explore the earth and fire side of oud has prevailed in fragrances. I don't diss that at all - one of my favorite fragrances is Black Aoud.
But Heeley has gone the other direction, giving this one air, silence, and water. What an amazing transformation! Darvant is right - it's as if oud were beatified. I didn't realize oud was so adaptable, except what's really going on is this quality was always there. I'm very glad to have found a fragrance that opened this up for me.
21st January 2013
Very attractive bottle. Magnificent minimalism. However, the scent itself is very "short" AND very "small" making the expense entirely unreasonable in my opinion. More specifically, it smells more than terrific and more than wonderful, but it does not leave the skin, requring you to somehow stick your nose in your neck in order to detect it (which is why I chose to wear it on my forearms and wrists), unless you want to spray a lot of it on yourself and that's just a miserable downhill battle of wasting money and offending random passersby.
11th January 2013
I tend to appreciate a lot such minimalistic immaculate/absolute and angelical type of fragrances, scents with a sort of ethereal cool vibe that seems floating in the air as a beatifying cloud. Overall i use to fully admire some types of incense fragrances in which the master creator is so craft and expert to hide the incensey presence in a sort of cool/rosey/slightly dusty (but in a silky and impalpable mode) way to seem holy. This fragrance is an extremely refined oud/incense/rose combo with a sort of finally soapy undertone and with a cool/watery (i love the reference to the champagne) and finally airy (an air that smells of rose with a fresh and delicate arcane incensey vibe) temperament that is so far from the brutal, medicinal or extremely dark/satanic modern oud beasts. Conceptually this fragrance reminds me a bit the slightly more sophisticated Amouage Homage (which is less musky/green, more clear and more incensey/floral) and infact both have a dreamy/otherworldly feel with a soaring up in the air rosey/airy aroma. Some nuances (i mean basically the musky/rosey temperament) remind me also the Montale Black Aoud. The subtle green oud/rose/incense "pollution" is supported by a well calibrated patchouli backbone which is anyway able to hide itself and to not interrupt with an earthy feel the general soapy/rosey silkiness. The final soapiness is substained by a delicate amber/benzoin basement with its opaque and barely mild cushion. I have also to add that (at least on my skin) the faint longevity is ostensible as the smell lasts for long time despite the longevity could not obviously be so powerful as the one from some more muscular ouds around (which overdose the oily/earthy/ rooty concentration). After some hours you start really to appreciate the substance of a green, soft and airy oud which the rose, the balsams, hints of musk and the incense represent a soapy almost neutral support. Pura Arte olfattiva.
21st December 2012
Heely Agarwoud
This oud perfume definitely falls into the rose-oud genre of oud fragrances as opposed to leather-oud style. The rose is very subtle but flows seamlessly into the oud center of the fragrance and finishes in a fine grained wood. Summarized this is a rose incense chord built around oud. Agarwoud has an oceanic feel to me because the rose rises gently like the swell of a wave and it crests across the oud woods and slowy dissipates over the sands of sun dried amber incense. Overall the scent is rose and incense woods. Smelling Agarwoud from a foot away changes the scent into an otherworldly veil or presence of the spirit of rose as a soft gentle phantom. I like this fragrance but this one is likely to be a highly personal choice. rating 4 / 5.
5th December 2012
I find this to be one of the best oud / rose combinations. Unlike many oud scents, this one doesn't smell like a barnyard. This seems to be a sport flanker of those deeper oud fragrances. It's a champagne-like oud / rose. Bubbly and light. An oud for the summertime. Inoffensive and clean. One of the best oud fragran... No, one of the best fragrances I have smelled. They want a lot for this, but I will give it to them gladly.
27th July 2012
Agarwoud opens with a very subtle, slightly watery rose and oud combo. At first when I applied it, I had to re-smell my wrist because I could barely detect the scent. The rose and oud grows stronger entering into the heart notes while remaining subtle compared to most scents in the genre, adding a hint of patchouli into the mix as well as subdued incense. The base is rather simplistic, featuring amber which melds with the remaining rose and oud. For the most part, the scent is highly linear and what you experience early-on is what you get throughout. Projection and longevity are both below average to average.

In addition to the terrible Hippie Rose, Heeley makes a further stab at succeeding in the rose and patchouli combo scent arena, this time adding oud and incense into the mix. Unlike the difficult to wear and unpleasant smelling patchouli bomb that is Hippie Rose, Agarwoud is quite the opposite. I find it refined, easy to wear, minimalist and quite classy. That said, it is extremely late to the party and so many other releases of various merit have come and gone... Agarwoud at least is a very strong entry, and I would say it reminds me of a cross between Portrait of a Lady by Malle and Black Aoud by Montale. It is much more toned-down than either of those two powerful projection beasts, projecting little more than a skin scent at all times. I definitely like Agarwoud a lot and certainly can recommend it, but with its poor longevity at its $230 price point for 50ml I find it a very hard sell financially, as Portrait of a Lady can be acquired for slightly less and it is considerably superior in just about every aspect, IMO. If you want a subtle rose and oud combo scent that does not project like "the big two mentioned above" then certainly Heeley's Agarwoud is an excellent one and I give it a strong 3.5 to 4 stars out of 5.
29th June 2012
When I first saw this new line by Heeley I really got excited to see he finally decided to introduce in the market three new fragrances in extrait de parfums diluition. I've always been a "fan" of many of his previous fragrances such as Cuir Pleine Fleur, Sel Marin and Iris De Nuit but longevity has always been an issue, so seeing these extraits made me think about something even more satysfying. Last but not least, my curiosity to smell Heeley's take on oud was definitely genuine. This is to say that I was really well disposed towards this new launches and I was sure to smell something brilliant, original and unique.

I got the three samples together with an informative brochure and I decided to start with Agarwoud (Agarwoud?? I had to double check it wasn't a typo). Looking at the inspirational words I see "Siddartha", "Extrait De Devotion", "Control", "Poverty"...I started getting suspicios. Ok, let's smell it...

Yet another iteration of the rose/oud combo? Really??? Ok, calm down. Rumours wants that this composition has been on the making for more than four years, so at the time we weren't yet overwhelmed by the oud overkill and James Heeley was probably not aware of the huge amount of oud compositions that in a few years would have over crowded the market.

Agarwoud smells like the basic structure of many western oud-centered compositions. It's not as boombastic and dark as Black Aoud and the rose note is definitely more restrained. It's not refined and opulent as Epic Woman. It doesn't have the gourmandic twist of Red's just oud and rose laying on an ambery base. Minimalistic (as many of the Heeley's previous compositions), moderately powerful (considering is an extrait), honestly crafted but not particularly interesting.

Overall Agarwoud smells fine but it arrived on the market a bit too late.

As a friend used to say: "What's... Agarwoud? It wood if it could."
25th February 2012